All I Want For the Holidays: An NEA Big Read Quiz
"Books make great gifts because they have whole worlds inside of them. And it’s much cheaper to buy somebody a book than it is to buy them the whole world.” -- Neil Gaiman
Need a break from holiday shopping? Sink into a comfy chair, grab your pumpkin-spice latte, and see if you can guess which gift below is inspired by a new prose title in our NEA Big Read library. If a visit to your local bookstore is on your agenda, you might also get a few ideas by checking out our full list of NEA Big Read titles.
1. 1968 Betty Crocker Cookbook
3. World Wrestling Federation t-shirt
5. Binoculars and a kid’s bike
6. 200-year-old huge, hairy handbag
7. Flatbed truck
8. Portable GPS
9. Sci-fi comic book
10. Fountain pen and leather-bound notebook
WHICH BOOK INSPIRED THIS GIFT AKA THE ANSWER KEY
- Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. Ng’s mom owns this cookbook, and so does Marilyn, a character in her novel, who acquired it as a hand-me-down from her mother. Ng uses several quotes in her novel that she took directly from the real cookbook.
- To Live by Yu Hua. Fugui, the main character of Hua’s novel, is first seen plowing a field with an ox of the same name. The ox is a symbol of his family’s wealth.
- The Latehomecomer by Kao Kalia Yang. As she describes in her memoir, Kalia’s family in America enjoyed gathering around the TV to watch wrestling matches.
- Ways of Going Home by Alejandro Zambra. Zambra’s novel is set in Chile, which has a history of earthquakes. The novel’s opening scene describes the aftermath of one from a young boy’s point of view.
- The Round House by Louise Erdrich. Joe, the protagonist of Erdrich’s novel, rides his bike around the reservation with his friends and spies on their local priest.
- Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link. “The Faery Handbag” is a short story in Link’s collection. Open the bag one way and you’ll find yourself in a boat on a river heading to a small village. Open it another way and you’ll face the wrath of the bag’s fierce canine guardian.
- Five Skies by Ron Carlson. This is the vehicle of choice for Carlson’s three male characters working a construction site in Idaho.
- This Boy’s Life by Tobias Wolff. In this childhood memoir, Wolff describes a cross-country road trip with his mom to relocate in the Pacific Northwest.
- Station 11 by Emily St. John Mandel. “Station 11” is the name of the sci-fi comic book that Kirsten, one of the main characters in Mandel’s novel, carries around with her as she traverses the post-apocalyptic landscape.
- Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. These are the implements used by Reverend John Ames in Robinson’s novel, who is writing a letter to his young son in Iowa in 1956.
Don't forget there's still time to apply to host an NEA Big Read in your community in 2017-18! Visit neabigread.org for details.