Blog author: jballor
by on Monday, June 20, 2005

Having been tagged by Kathryn at Suitable for Mixed Company, I duly submit my list within the guidelines of the following (and pledge not to repeat any placed on my initial list):

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?

  1. The Abolition of Man, C.S. Lewis – A must read for anyone currently involved in education, has ever been educated, or has ever thought anything about education.
  2. The Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison – The most formative book of my high school years, I will try to sneak this one past the censors (I can’t recall if the profanity, if there is any, meets the requirement of appropriate “context”).

  3. Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold – “A classic of nature writing,” I’ll submit this as one with some regional connection (Wisconsin).
  4. Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger, Twentieth Anniversary Edition, Ron Sider – This applies to the twentieth anniversary update only…a challenging, authentic, and worthy call to Christian living, with at least some economic sensitivity.
  5. A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, Kate Turabian – A necessary resource for any student.
  6. Ecumenical Creeds and Reformed Confessions, CRC Publications – This one I submit as providing background primary texts for the formation of Western civilization.
  7. Clan of the Cave Bear, Jean Auel – The first in Auel’s fiction series, Earth’s Children.
  8. The Art of Rhetoric, Aristotle – An oft-overlooked classic text.
  9. The Boy Who Looked Like Shirley Temple, Bill Mahan – Read this as a youth, and it stands out as one of the funniest books I’ve ever read (this one too might have trouble making it past the censors, however. I recall the boy having a foul mouth).
  10. A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle – Although a children’s book, worth reading at any and all ages.

I tag Bunnie Diehl, Stacy Harp, and Josh.


  • http://bunniediehl.worldmagblog.com/bunniediehl/ Bunnie Diehl

    Recommending books for high school students was really hard. It also made me realize how many books I read at that time that wouldn’t have made it past our fictional censors.

  • http://www.blogforbooks.com Stacy L. Harp

    Great question. I’ll have my answers posted soon.