Although it has been many years since I read it, I was very pleased to see that the Toronto Public Library has chosen Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 for its One Book annual community reading event. Although first published in 1953, this eerily prescient novel tells the story of a world where people are globally deterred from thinking by the banning of books, the addictive use of 'seashells' that whisper sweet nothings in their ears (read IPods), and the constant diversion of omnipresent large-screen televisions that broadcast the most empty forms of diversion imaginable. Sound familiar?
Without question, Fahrenheit 451 puts to the lie the fashionable notion that fiction has little to offer for the mind. And if that whets your appetite, give Aldous Huxley's Brave New World a try. Again, the parallels to today's world are stunning.