Am I the only person who finds this to be an extremely difficult question to answer?
I mean, just one book? How do I even begin to decide? Fiction or non-fiction? Religion or fantasy?
I think everyone should read the Bible, but I also think every should read the Koran and the Mishnah, too. But I don't feel the compulsion to run around pressing copies of these holy texts into peoples' hands.
Some of the books I have thrust into peoples' faces with a decisive "You need to read this" include Lamb by Christopher Moore, Nefertiti by Michelle Moran, Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, Perfume by Patrick Suskind, and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. These are the books I actually turn evangelist for, but it doesn't feel urgent because I don't think it'll change their lives or anything. The books are just darn good reads!
I guess if I had to pick just one book, balancing entertainment and truths about the human condition, I'd go with To Kill a Mockingbird. Most kids in America read this book in junior high or high school. Heck, as far as I'm concerned it is the Great American Novel. It's poignant and sentimental, heavily nostalgic for mythical small town America.
What about ya'll? What one book would you choose to answer this question?