Aardvark Alley

Lutheran Aardvark

Confessional Lutheran theology, hagiography, philosophy, music, culture, sports, education, and whatever else is on the fevered mind of Orycteropus Afer

21 June 2005
  Tag ... I'm It
An adventure in literary frivolity continues.

I've been tagged by Bob Waters. I'm copying the rules of engagement from his blog:
Imagine that a local philanthropist is hosting an event for local high school students and has asked you to pick out five to ten books to hand out as door prizes. At least one book should be funny and at least one book should provide some history of Western Civilization and at least one book should have some regional connection. The philanthropist doesn't like foul language (but will allow some four-letter words in context, such as expressed during battle by soldiers). Otherwise things are pretty wide open. What do you pick? ... Bunnie adds these requirements: 1) one book must be something you're a bit embarrassed to admit is on your favorites list, 2) all books would be suitable for adults and 3) one book changed the way you look at the world.

  1. For my funny book, I could pick 90% of my library; I'm funny that way. Right now (although it might change in a few minutes) I suggest The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson (link includes reference to etext) by Mark Twain. Yet this is not only fine humor but also Twain at his best at critiquing that "peculiar institution" of slavery. As alternatives (also covering regional American topics and Western Civilization) any number of the collected works of Walt Kelly's Pogo still ring true. The greatest difficulty here would be for younger readers to figure out who Kelly represents in some of his caricatures.

  2. I could easily return to the well of Twain for both regional (American West and Midwest) and Western Civilization resources. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and Roughing It all fill the bill. If these high school students are smarter than the average Aardvark, I'd recommend Huck Finn or Roughing It.

  3. In many people's eyes, I should be embarrassed to admit that I own even one—let alone, nearly all—of the works of Louis L'Amour. I further confess that I have learned history and geography from some of his later works.

  4. No book more influenced my worldview than did/does The Bible. After that, a huge train wreck arises at second place. Any of the above would merit strong consideration.

Now it's my turn. The rules don't say how many to tag, so I'm going to follow precedent: I tag Steve Billings, the Ruminating Lutheran Cleric, and David Brazeal of Horn+Swoggled.
 
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