An Impersonal Recommendation


I had a 40-percent-off coupon for Borders that expired today so we stopped by to see if they had any good computer books in stock, which they did.

At the checkout, the woman asked me if I’d like to get a recommendation for a novel.

“Yeah sure,” I said. I was pretty excited about the idea because I thought they’d look at my purchase history and figure out something I might enjoy.

Instead she recommended Home by Marilynne Robinson, which was displayed on the counter right in front of me.

“Are you recommending that just for me,” I asked, “or you recommend it to everyone?”

“We recommend it to everyone,” she said.

What a sham! “I’m going to pass on that,” I said. “There really hasn’t been a good female novelist since Jane Austen.”

My son, who was standing next to me, added, “And even she was kind of boring.”

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