One size fits all

Alex Beam on another kind of one-book-wonder:
“A new microgenre of what passes for literature has appeared on the scene: the omnididact’s tale. Perhaps because everyone feels so stupid, we witness the impulse to get smarter, preferably by reading one book.”
Before Bill Bryson and company offered to downsize all that you needed to know, there were always zealots who insisted that you only needed to read one book, ever, for all your life. (The Book in question varied. The Koran, the Bible and the Bhagavad Gita were often mentioned; atheists advocated The Prophet, The Fountainhead, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance; today’s One Book to Rule them all is well, The Da Vinci Code; and the most offbeat in this category was Green Eggs and Ham. Recommended by a friend who swore Dr Seuss had ALL the answers.)

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