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Old 12-06-2009, 07:01 AM   #1
cklammer
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If you could give only ONE book to an alien ....

This is going to a bit far out but here goes:

Imagine, you are meeting an alien requesting you: "Give me just ONE book only to make me understand the human race!"

Which ONE book would you give to the alien?

(book's language doesn't matter)

Note: some people will most likely show that they don't understand the meaning of the word "one". For those I say please do try ...

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Old 12-06-2009, 07:05 AM   #2
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And here is my own answer:

Cervantes, Miguel de: Don Quijote de la Mancha (Illustrated, Spanish) (here from the site)

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Old 12-06-2009, 08:53 AM   #3
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Robert A. Heinlein
Stranger in a Strange Land
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Old 12-06-2009, 09:03 AM   #4
LDBoblo
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Green Eggs and Ham is one book, right?
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Old 12-06-2009, 09:09 AM   #5
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I would suggest Bertrand Russell's 'History of Western Philosophy'
Although, by focussing on Western civilisation, it obviously omits great tracts of important human thought; it does show how we have struggled with the big questions, and ended up where we are.
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Old 12-06-2009, 09:34 AM   #6
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Homer's "Iliad".
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Old 12-06-2009, 09:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Homer's "Iliad".
You stole my answer. Honestly, Iliad is what immediately came to my mind too. Of course I'd have to give it to him on an ebook reader too.
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Old 12-06-2009, 09:48 AM   #8
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"Humans: We Taste Bad and Are Bad for You!"

<Sorry, couldn't resist, but if such a book existed, it might not be bad idea to share it with the aliens.>

On a serious note, I would probably give Ben Hur as it focuses on the question of whether it's better to hope for justice in this life or salvation in the next. That debate has been going on for centuries all over the world and often plays a part in many issues today.
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Old 12-06-2009, 09:54 AM   #9
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"The Cockroaches of Staymore," by Arkansan Donald Harington.


Everything good and bad about the human race, except told through the eyes of cockroaches. A classic novel about Family, Love, Devotion, Egotism, Hypocrisy, and Biblical philosophizing.


Don

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Old 12-06-2009, 10:28 AM   #10
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The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:31 AM   #11
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Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol - as a warning!
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:34 AM   #12
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Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol - as a warning!



Don
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Old 12-06-2009, 11:26 AM   #13
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Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol - as a warning!
They'd invade as soon as possible to clear the blemish on the universe...
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Old 12-06-2009, 11:55 AM   #14
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I'll second cassidym -- Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy -- it has the whole story of the human race!
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Old 12-06-2009, 12:02 PM   #15
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The Prince. Machiavelli.
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