If you ever ask me what my favorite book is and I say, “The Great Gatsby,” I’m sorry, I just lied to you. I didn’t mean to, it slipped out. I want to look smart but not weird obscure smart, so for a number of years, that was the answer I used to say.
The truth is that if favorite book is determined strictly by the number of times you have read a certain title, then mine is “Eye of the World” by Robert Jordan. It’s a fantasy series that my wife takes great pleasure teasing me about because there’s a white horse on the cover that looks like a unicorn. It’s not a unicorn, it’s a majestic white horse about to embark on an adventure of epic proportions where friends will become enemies, enemies will become friends and the fate of the world will hang in the balance of one young farm boy that … see, I’m a dork.
I should say “Bible” when someone asks me what my favorite book is. That’s what you’re supposed to say if you’re a Christian. But everyone knows that, what about the harder questions? What do you say when people ask you the desert island question or the “who would you have dinner with” question? What then? How do you navigate that conversation? I suggest the following answers:
1. What are your two favorite books?
“The Old Testament and the New Testament.”
2. Right, but what about other books?
“CS Lewis.” (Regardless of if you have ever read any, just name drop Lewis. Works like a charm.)
3. OK, how about fiction?
“Chronicles of Narnia or Lord of the Rings. This Present Darkness is pretty good too.”
4. What about favorite movie?
“That’s a tie between the Passion of the Christ, Facing the Giants and Braveheart. The TBS edited version of course.”
5. What would you take with you on a desert island?
“The Bible and CS Lewis.”
6. He’s dead though.
“Not on this island he isn’t.”
7. Fine, then what three people living or dead would you go out to dinner with? And don’t say Jesus, you’re going to spend eternity with him, surely you can go get baby back ribs with someone else.
“That’s a tough one. How about Moses, Paul and Zack Morris.”
8. Zack Morris isn’t real. That’s just a character played by Mark Paul-Gosselaar on the show Saved by the Bell.
“Why does that matter? In this dinner scenario you’re bringing Moses and Paul back to life, why can’t Zack Morris come? And not “College Years,” Zack Morris, I’m talking about when he was at Bayside High. That Zack.”
9. That’s absurd. This whole quiz has broken down. I’m not even sure where it’s going.
“Good, then I win.
10. Win, win what?
See, if you just follow those easy steps and answer the questions that way, not only will you get to look holy, you’ll get to talk about CS Lewis and Zack Morris while concluding with “The Bible.” It’s a pretty nice little package when you think about it.