Mason Crumpacker and the Hitchens reading list

Jerry Coyne in Why Evolution Is True:

When Christopher Hitchens got the Dawkins Award in Houston, I posted the following report from

Masons-listThough [Hitchens] was asked a variety of questions from the audience, none appeared to elicit more interest than the one asked by eight-year-old Mason Crumpacker, who wanted to know what books she should read. In response, Hitchens first asked where her mother was and the girl indicated that she was siting beside her. He then asked to see them once the presentation was over so that he could give her a list.

As the event drew to a close, Mason and her mom, Anne Crumpacker of Dallas, followed him out. Surrounded by attendees wanting a glance of the famed author, Hitchens sat on a table just outside of the ballroom and spent about 15 minutes recommending books to Mason.

If you read the comments after that original post, you’ll know that Anne Crumpacker, apparently a reader here, added a few observations. She’s now sent me a scan of the reading list that Hitchens recommended to Mason, as well as a beautiful thank-you note that Mason wrote to Hitchens. I’ve had it forwarded to Christopher via Richard [Dawkins], and post it here with Mason’s permission. Finally, at my request Anne wrote her own account of the incident:

First, the reading list, about which Anne says, “Most of the notes were written by me, but he took my pen to write ‘Tale of Two Cities’ and ‘Sunset at Blandings’.”

More here.