He went with George Orwell's autobiographical novel, Down & Out in Paris & London. In it, Orwell describes a period of his life living in the slums of Paris, very poor, washing dishes and begging for food. The characters in his book are colorful and quirky, and offer insight into the experiences of people living in poverty . Ben also chose Cormac McCarthy's No Country For Old Men. I told him that it wasn't exactly upbeat reading he was checking out this week, and he said that was okay. He can always swap them next week for some kind of literary palate cleanser.