Monday, October 31, 2011

Christopher Hitchens responds to 9-year-old's question: What books should I read?

Gravely ill with throat cancer, Christopher Hitchens received the Richard Dawkins Award at the Texas Freethought Convention in Houston — from Dawkins personally. During an unscheduled Q&A Hitchens was aproached by a very precocious then-8-year-old girl, Mason Crumpacker, whose mother (knowing her daughter is no pushover) told her she could ask Hitchens a question if it was good and if it was respectful. Mason walked through the hall, populated with over 1,000 Atheists, seized the microphone, the day and the attention of the blogosphere, and asked Hitchens: "What books should I read?"

Hitchens was so charmed and intrigued that he spent 15 minutes with the girl after the presentation. His recommendations?

  • Dawkins’ Magic of Reality
  • Greek and Roman myths, "particularly those compiled by Robert Graves"
  • "Anything satirical"
  • Shakespeare
  • Geoffrey Chaucer
  • Ayaan Hirsi Ali
  • PG Wodehouse (“for fun”)
  • David Hume
  • A Tale of Two Cities.

A complete account may be seen at Why Evolution's True.

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