This blog in the New York Times about the literacy campaign in Chile (part of which involves giving away a box of nine books to every family) reminded me of H.G. Wells' The Time Machine. I recently caught the end of the fabulous 1960 movie (starring hunky Aussie Rod Taylor) on TV. I loved the movie but was always annoyed that the Morlocks looked so cheesy. Certainly with today's technology they could build a better Morlock? So I rented the 2002 remake to see. Still kinda cheesy, but Jeremy Irons was truly frightening as the inexplicably more-evolved Morlock leader. Check out this scene where Irons does battle with Guy Pearce -- another hot Aussie... although I prefer Rod. (I always prefer my movie star hunks to be named "Rod.") Irons looks like a cross between Edgar Winter, David Bowie as Andy Warhol and Bryan Gregory from The Cramps. Good Halloween drag!

The recent film has a more politically correct, multi-cultural take on the future but both movies end with our time-travelling protagonist returning to the 19th century where he takes three books from his study and then vanishes forever into the future. The audience is left with the burning question "What three books would you take?" I remember this movie ran on TV when I was in fourth grade and our teacher posed the same question to us impressionable tykes. I think the most popular answers were The Bible (well, it was in West Virginia after all), the Dictionary and... an atlas? World Book 1966? Shakespeare? Goodnight Moon?

I can't remember now what I said. And can't for the life of me decide which ones I'd take now. What three books would you take?