When I was a kid my mom would let us watch movies but only the ones that she had seen, or were ones based on great works of literature. So when kids my age were watching the latest horror film, I was watching movies from the 1940, 1950 and the 1960’s. There are some great old movies out there that are being overlooked because they are black and white, or the stars in them are not known. That is not what this post is about this is just an introduction to the question.
In the 1960 movie The Time Machine based on the book by H. G. Wells there is line at the last segment that asks the question “What three books would you have taken?” After we saw this move that was a question that I thought and thought about, and I still do. However, as I have gotten to expand my reading I have realized that I could not pick just three books. I would have to pick much much more, I would have to pick 1 and 20. I do have to be honest my twenty are not yet all chosen.
I am going to use a basic dystopian setting for the question as many people have read dystopian fiction.
Dear Blog reader:
You are one of few chosen to go on to the brave new world. This steamer trunk is what you are to pack all that you want to bring with you. Please note DONOT pack clothes as you will be issued a survival suit on arrival to the city. Also, there is going to be a shortage of electrical power, all power will be restricted to heath care and food growth. If you choose to bring a powered device note that when the battery goes dead you will have a nice paper weight.
What we are going to encourage you to pack are books. In the trunk you will have room for all the works of your favorite author AND twenty more books. Please only bring books that you love to read, we will have a city library where there are all the works of the masters. (Austen, Wells, Shakespeare, Dr. Seuss, Twain, Dickens etc.) Please also note that the library will contain copies of religious works for borrowing and hand copying. If a printed copy of a religious text is found in your trunk it will be confiscated, UNTIL you have borrowed and completed a hand written copy of that text. On completion you will receive your printed copy back. (Please note a Book of Shadows does not apply as each book of spells is unique to the person practicing)
Thank you. THE END IS NEW
That is the letter you get. What author would you choose, and what twenty books would you take? My author is an easy one; I would take the works of Charles de Lint. Now for my books of twenty that is a bit harder and in some cases easy.
I would take:
Ready Player One by Earnest Kline
The Caverns of Socrates by Dennis L McKiernan
The Hounds of the Morrigan by Pat Oshe
101 Dalmatians by Dody Smith
Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank Gilbreth
Lady Cottingto’s Pressed Fairy Book by Brain Froud
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
I know this is only seven books, but I have not yet found a perfect twenty. The list will get there. What is your one and twenty?