What the novelist wants for the holidays

Award-winning writer Thomas Wharton’s wish may not bring about peace on earth, but it just might bring you peace of mind.


We asked some of our experts what they wanted under the tree this holiday season. Here's what they told us.


Thomas Wharton, novelist and creative writing instructor

What he wants

The Dhammapada by Buddha, a collection of sayings of the Buddha in verse form and one of the most widely read and best-known Buddhist scriptures.

Why he wants it

“Because we’ve been overwhelmed by bad news and craziness this year, I’d want the gift of timeless wisdom: ‘Hate is not conquered by hate: hate is conquered by love. This is a law eternal.’

Said to be the oldest Buddhist text, and the closest to Gautama Buddha’s original teachings. Long before the mindfulness craze, this was the primer on how to find peace of mind. (Hint: don't be a dick.) My favourite version is translated and edited by Glenn Wallis, with a guide to the work and commentary on selected verses.

Further suggestions for peace of mind

The Tao te Ching, by Lao Tzu

“I don’t know what the Tao is, but apparently Pooh and Piglet do: ‘The things of this world exist; they are. You can’t refuse them.’”

Storyteller, by Leslie Marmon Silko

“Timeless wisdom from a modern writer: ‘Old stories and new stories are essential: they tell us who we are, and they enable us to survive.’”

PREVIOUS: What the pop music expert wants for the holidays

NEXT: What the expert on everything wants for the holidays