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Book Meme

I've just been reminded (by seeing an entry in pussreboots' journal) that I was tagged for this meme, too (by beckerbuns. As if I need an excuse to talk about books. :D :D :D

1. Total number of books I own: This is difficult for me to calculate right now, as the vast majority of them are in California. I'm going to guess that the number is somewhere in the vicinity of 3,000. Here in Pennsylvania, I probably have about 300.

2. The Last Book I Bought: "The Color Pencil Wheel Book." Tips and projects for learning to work in colored pencil.

3. The Last Book I Read: The last book I finished was "Jimmy Page: Magus, Musician, Man." Unless you count audiobooks, in which case the last book I finished was "The Amulet of Samarkand." Unless you want to know the last book I actually had in my hands to read (but have not yet finished), in which case the answer would be "The Zen of Organizing."

4. Five Books That Mean a Lot to Me:

~ "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" (which is standing in for the whole series). Not only do I love this series (and this is my favorite), but becoming part of a community of people who loves these books was literally life-changing for me. I've made so many friends because of these books, and that really does mean a lot.

~ "Dragonology" by Earnest Drake. Not only is this a great book (and series) with amazing illustrations, but reading it with Connor was so much fun. We've done art and science projects based on things we read here, and it's just an all-around special book.

~ "The Velveteen Rabbit." One of my very favorite books from childhood; it still makes me cry.

~ "The Seat of the Soul," by Gary Zukav. This is a book about spirituality, and it's just lovely. Zukav comes closer than anyone (or any religion) to describing my own spiritual beliefs. It was very special to read this, especially when I first encountered it and was not perhaps as "secure" on my path as I am now.

~ "The Hungry Tiger of Oz." Again, this one holds the place of the entire series. I loved these books as a child, and read them again and again. This one was my favorite. I remember sitting up in my treehouse reading and reading and reading, because that was a great place to get away where no one would interrupt. I also remember that once I left it up there and it rained that night (which was probably unexpected, considering I grew up in southern California), doing massive damage. Even waterlogged, though, I loved that book, and wish I still owned that copy. (I have a newer edition now, in paperback, but it's just not the same).

(It's funny, but in some ways living in Pennsylvania temporarily helped me do the question above. If a book is truly important to me, it's likely that I brought it along. Helped narrow down the choices).

5. Tag five people: Okay, choosing randomly from the MANY bookworms on my list: momof2girls, syrinxkat, joyliveshere, happy_potterer and synergy. And anyone else who cares to do it . . . consider yourself tagged. :)



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 4th, 2007 03:14 pm (UTC)
1. Total number of books I own: This is hard for me too, especially since I grew up in a family that decorated with bookshelves. By the time I was in college and started putting together homes of my own (dorms, apartments, etc.) I had amassed several bookshelves of my own books. Many of them are still in Texas in my old room. Some of the most important ones are here with me. I'd say I have about 500.

2. The Last Book I Bought: "My Life in France" an autobiography of Julia Child. It is brilliant and will absolutely transport you through time to the life of an ex-pat in France during the 1950s. I've loved every page of it, and unlike most books that I tear through, I've savored every page, reading them and re-reading them slowly to really enjoy the sensual journey through time and food.

3. The Last Book I Read: I'm still reading "My Life in France" but I just also picked up (and put down just as fast) one called "Teach Yourself French." Like so many books on language, it just wasn't a reasonable alternative to an interactive lesson with a living human being.

Sep. 4th, 2007 03:14 pm (UTC)
4. Five Books That Mean a Lot to Me:

Atlases. I know that probably sounds cheap, but I don't think people understand exactly how much I love maps. They are an escape for me. An adventure - the same way a good story can be - without ever leaving home. They hold the promise of eventual exploration, and myriad stories of all those who have gone before. I love new maps. I love old maps. And they really mean a lot to me.

The Harry Potter series is similarly important to me. I probably don't need to explain this much to anyone who will read it here, but I finally felt the mysticism that I had been searching for in the world when I read the first book in that series. And for that, I'm eternally grateful.

Etiquette by Emily Post. It's kinda kitschy, and many things are out of date. But there is something relaxing to me about curling up with the big book on social usage and learning about how one behaves appropriately. I'm fairly sure that my interest in etiquette stems from my search for mysticism in the world. It is just the other half of the same coin: the half that wants to find order and structure in the world instead of mystery and magic.

NPR: The Trials and Triumphs of National Public Radio by Mike MaCauley. I picked this book up at a tiny little bookshop in Virginia Beach when visiting for a friend's wedding. In addition to reminding me of the beautiful weekend of wedding festivities, it is a viewport into an organization for which I have the utmost respect. I grew up in an NPR family. Every morning in the car, we listened to NPR. Every afternoon on the way home from school, we listened to NPR. On car trips across the country, our constant companions were Carl Kassel, Renee Montaigne, Garrison Keillor and the rest of the NPR gang. I can do a devastating Julia Pojoli impression. I think Marketplace is one of the most brilliant shows on the air. And even though I can't stand A Priarie Home Companion, I think it is far better than the vast majority of things out there that are considered "entertainment." This book is a must for anyone interested in broadcast journalism, history, public radio or just good historical writing.

The Divided Nation: The History of Germany 1918-1990. This is a political science book that I think shoul be required reading for Americans. We tend to live in "black and white" times. And as a result, we tend to have "black and white" opinions. America's mistrust of Germans bothers me for some unknown reason - especially given the history of the Holocaust, two world wars, and East German tyranny. I think it is probably because I remember my father once telling me that Germany was "a country full of killers" that I started my quest to better understand the political happenings of Germany. Because no matter how awful things might have gotten, no matter what atrocities were committed, I simply cannot believe that it is "a country full of killers." This book helps answer a lot of the questions that nobody seems to know to ask. It traces the political developments in the country through the better part of the last century, and it is very careful to introduce information that most Americans have little or no access to. I'm sure part of my rush to defend Germans has to do with our current status as global-tyrant. I just hope that it doesn't take other Americans much longer to clue in to the fact that the minute the "pax americana" turns into the "atrocitas americana" (if it hasn't already, and I'm not yet convinced that it hasn't) the rest of the world will simply view us as "a country full of killers."
Sep. 5th, 2007 03:19 pm (UTC)
Can I do it here?

1. Total number of books I own: Probably close to a thousand. My husband owns about ten books. Bah.

2. The Last Book I Bought: The Abortionists Daughter, I think, off Amazon. I have swapped a lot of books recently though

3. The Last Book I Read: I just finished Johnny Cash's 'Cash'. I'm currently reading Birdsong

4. Five Books That Mean a Lot to Me:
Five Quarters of the Orange - Joanne Harris
Stories We Could Tell - Tony Parsons
High Fidelity - Nick Hornby
Walk Two Moons - Sharon Creech
Moab Is My Washpot - Stephen Fry
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
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