So, I spent the morning at my grandfather’s funeral, and am now blogging out of an airport in Iowa, waiting to fly back to Dallas. I don’t cite this autobiographical information as a call for sympathy, but rather as justification for my flagrant cheating for this week’s question. Because I can’t think of any book I’d have to insist Beloved read as soon as the two of us are one. But there may well be some books he ought to know in order to merit consideration for a date. (Actually, even this may not be strictly true, but considering Real Life Things at the moment, I wish to be entirely frivolous right now.)
About a year ago when I was taking the GRE for grad school applications, I worked on building up my GRE vocabulary. I wrote a bunch of flashcards, and made up my own sentences using the vocab words, the more ridiculous, the better (helps you remember, don’t you know).
ultimatum n. a final demand or statement of terms, the rejection of which will result in retaliation or a breakdown in relations (Oxford American Dictionary)
“She issued an ultimatum: ‘Read Sandman or I can’t date you.'”
Sandman was one of those mind-changing books that I discovered in college; it shaped both my imagination and my view of why literature is important (and by extension, why I should go to grad school). It influenced my choice of quotation for the alumni walk brick that my parents bought me for graduation. And at the time, any guy who wanted to have a hope of understanding the way I thought really needed to read it. Telling me you’ve read Sandman is still a sure way to impress me (okay, extend that to pretty much any Gaiman). So there you have it. Having read Sandman probably won’t be a deal-breaker for a first date, but it totally earns the guy points. And if he wants to get beyond a first date, well…