Once you’ve got a reputation for being a reader, inevitably, people will start asking you for recommendations. To me, this is a fair amount of pressure, but when it’s a student asking? Then the pressure is really on: how many times have we heard those stories of a teacher handing a student the book, the book that rocks her world, the book that changes his life? Yikes!
Recently, a student appeared in my doorway with a copy of Sophie’s Choice clutched in her hand, a copy that I had lent her a few months before. This is a very bright and creative student, and when I brought her the book, I was inwardly holding my breath, hoping that I hadn’t fumbled the ball, hoping that at least, she wouldn’t hate it. Her favorite book was Fight Club: A Novel, after all–what had possessed me to think she would like this book?
“I love it!” she said, and I let out the breath that somehow, I’d been holding since December. She came in, and we chatted about the ending, the characters, the impossibility of anyone casting Nathan correctly, the amount of rich detail in the book that all comes to a shattering halt.
I’m not saying I changed her life, but what a relief to know that at least this time, I’d gotten it right.
- The Tournament of Books Declares the Book of 2010! (theawl.com)