Your 'Starting From Scratch' Reading List

Jason English

Every Friday, I post a series of unrelated questions meant to spark conversation in the comments. Answer one, answer all, respond to someone else's reply, whatever you want. Very casual. On to this week's topics of discussion...

1. You've been asked to leave the country. (You know what you did.) You'll be given a moderate housing allowance and some money for food. There are three catches: you have to pick one city and stay there; you need to find and hold a job; and a year from now, you must return home and resume your previous life. (Don't worry, everything will have blown over). Where will you go, and what will you do there?

2. I took piano lessons for three years in the early '90s. Today I'd struggle to find middle C. I wish I'd taken it more seriously—we used to have a piano in the office, and it would have been cool to be able to use it for more than seating. (I should add that Mangesh is quite proficient.) Is there a long-abandoned hobby or skill you wish you'd stuck with?

3. What's your least favorite episode of your favorite TV show?

4. Today's last question comes from a reader who sent me a somber note this week. A self-described proud nerd suffered a traumatic brain injury that affected her memory, and she's feeling very "average." Now on the road to recovery, she's hungry for knowledge and asked if we could recommend any books.

In essence, she's asking what books we consider essential—or at least essential for people who value book learnin'. Got any recommendations for someone trying to re-learn the world?

Have a wonderful weekend!

[See all the previous Friday Happy Hour transcripts.]