Here is this week's question, which to me is an incredibly difficult and thoughtful one:
If you were going off to war (or some other similarly horrific situation) and could only take one book with you, which literary book would you take and why?
At first I thought this was a "desert-island read" type of question, but then I realized that what the question really is asking is: What book inspires you enough to help you through the toughest time you can imagine?
I'm going to go with John Steinbeck's, The Grapes of Wrath.
I first read this book in high school and was surprised how much I liked it (I was in a rebellious against assigned readings phase), despite how depressing it is. Steinbeck is a deceptively simple writer with a knack for stunning description and for writing characters that feel so real, they became like family as I read. In the case of this book, family that was going through some of the toughest times imaginable. The characters are tough right back and that is why I would choose this book. It is a complex read, a pleasurable read, and I think it would inspire me to be tough as well.