5 Books to Recommend to Scott Morrison (to Read)December 09, 2021

Love... is not a kind emotion. You were puzzled after your cousin told you this insight(?), which she learned from a short tale of mythical origins. And she pointed out that it wasn't a story about Aphrodite. It was too early for Valentine's Day, as you and your coursemates were arguing about books. What titles will you recommend to Prime Minister Scott Morrison?

Your coursemates were distracted by your recollection of your chat with your old mate, currently based in Boston. He was excited about Michelle Wu's election victory, and he likened her upcoming term to "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings". The comparison almost made you fall off your seat. This Marvel film was supposed to be a breakthrough, but it fell short of your expectations. The bus fight scene, supposedly one of the highlights of the movie, was copied from "Oldboy" (or what your not-so-old mate, who knew many tidbits about the action genre, argued). You don't want to counter your old mate, who supported Wu's candidacy passionately. (And he hasn't revealed Wu's plans on how to keep the more transmissible Omicron variant from Boston.) You would set foot in Boston, but you won't know if Wu would still be in office. And it remains to be seen if her ambitious plans would take effect. You can ask your mate about it some other time, as you asked him about recommended titles for PM Morrison to read.

It's that time of the year when you and your mates discuss (or argue) about what books to recommend for PM Morrison. You once wondered why it happened during the start of the summer season. (One of your coursemates points out that summer offers plenty of free time. No one reminded him about adults and other priorities.) You're excited about discussing, if not arguing, with your friends. States are hesitantly opening borders, but the threat of the Omicron variant could mean that another lockdown is looming on the horizon. You don't want it to dampen your (summer) mood.

Novel Ideas: Why These Books Are So Recommended This Time

Harry Potter (series) by J.K. Rowling. Your (female) coursemate didn't like the fact that Prime Minister Scott Morrison is dismissive of women during meetings. Your other mates have reservations, as she didn't name the news feature (or op-ed) where she got her information. She recommended Harry Potter, which you absolutely agree with. A woman IS a glue that holds a family - and friends. Hermione Granger demonstrated it many times, even if her knowledge of magic put off other students. You could see Hermione on your mother, who looked at your father and sister warningly. (Many Sydneysiders are leaving town, and your father and sister found themselves on opposite sides on this issue.) Unlike Steve Harvey, the prime minister does know Harry Potter. He can read the series. One. More. Time.

"Galapagos" by Kurt Vonnegut. PM Morrison compared Australia's approach to the pandemic to Dreamworks' "The Croods", a comparison that made you laugh. A cataclysmic earthquake forced a family of cavemen to search for safer ground, and the final scene was a HUGE letdown. (A tsunami may follow seismic activity.) It reminded you of "Galapagos", where a global financial crisis had serious consequences, one of which would be the human populace becoming infertile. It happened when a shipload of passengers arrived on the island of Galapagos. A devolution followed. The prime minister might dismiss the novel, but it should make him rethink future comparison(s).

"The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho. The prime minister would love this novel, about Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy, who discovered something about himself while traveling. Morrison headed Tourism Australia, but he was fired from the job. Did this fuel his fire (to pursue a higher position)? Politics is murky water, and Paulo Coelho might not pen a poetic sentence about it. Your mates were quite amused. Morrison might not.

"The Snows of Kilimanjaro" by Ernest Hemingway. Death is the major theme of this short story, and everyone agrees that it can make some people look at the pandemic differently. A superspreading event (SSEV) in Oslo might not happen at all, your other mate assumed, but you don't like assumptions. Most people are exhausted at this point, and many are fortunate not to experience the on-and-off lockdowns, which would prompt another mate to make a confession. He thought he knew his grandfather until he stumbled into his Instagram account. The pandemic gave his grandpa the opportunity to explore the lesser-known beaches in New South Wales, and many of his selfies showed him wearing a fedora hat. And nothing else. No one said a word. You imagined a stone-faced PM.

"Walden" by Henry David Thoreau. Massachusetts, once a literature hotspot, would be proud of Thoreau. Your old mate believed that he was the first one to show what to do during isolation. And how to do it properly. If Thoreau were alive, he might be ridiculed. (Not a few complained about a two-week hotel quarantine.) You imagined Morrison accompanying Thoreau to Bondi, if not take him on an island-hopping tour off Queensland. Your mates didn't hear what you said.

Novels in Three Lines

The chat session ended, and no one recommended other titles which won't be included in your reading list. Your mates talked about a book by Felix Feneon, and his unusual (literary) style to describe the tumultuous conditions in his native Paris during the 18th century. Everyone was curious about that book. They are relieved that they don't have to write an essay about it, and they have the entire summer to read it.

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