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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Bora's book meme.

I got tagged by Coturnix to do this book meme.

Number Of Books I Own: When I was a kid, we didn't own any books at all. I was astounded when I went to college to find out we had to BUY our books, and I still have two of those: a history of Russia, and Canterbury Tales. I was very slow to start buying books and was appalled when I saw people (my ex, for instance) writing in books. When you don't own the books you read, writing in them is a terrible crime. To this day, I don't even write "Happy Birthday" in books when I give them to people.

My first impulse was to think, I don't own very many books, because I tend to get rid of them after I read them. I buy them used, cheap, and am very harsh about which ones get to stay.

I have a couple hundred in the music room. Then, let's see, about forty about crafts: some which I once did, and some were bought in lieu of doing the actual craft. If you include computer stuff in "crafts," ok fifty. Genealogy, twenty or thirty. Fiction I couldn't part with, another eighty? Books that were gifts - another twenty, books I bought for blogging, another fifteen. Junky books, still unread, bought in anticipation of the next long trip - I leave these places for people if they're good and throw them away vindictively if they're bad: another ten or so.

I comb my bookcases restlessly looking for more to get rid of. I am truly annoyed to have so many.

Last Book I Bought: I just bought "The Historian" over the net in anticipation of a new book club around here, tentatively started via a Yahoo local alumnae list. The author was a member of the Yale Slavic Chorus and I like to support my team members!

Last Book I Read: The last one I read the whole way through was "The Fortunes of Richard Mahony," recommended on a blog I like, about a manic depressive doctor who ignores the sage advice of his wife and abandons his life every time it appears to be getting tolerable.

Five Books That Mean A Lot To Me:
  • "Collapse" by Jared Diamond. It illuminated my feelings about the earth and our ecosystem.
  • "A Pattern Language" by Christopher Alexander. It illuminated my feelings about cities, towns, streets, and homes and actually made me weep a couple times, it was so right. I built my house continually referring to this book.
  • "Lark Rise to Candleford" by Flora Thompson. It illuminated my feelings about the world from which the 17th-19th English country music I love arose, and it was given to me by the pianist Jacqueline Schwab after we made a cd together and I was swooning in her elegiac romanticism. I'm going to blog about it soon.
  • "Tom Jones" by Henry Fielding, who had an outlook on life very like my own, though he seems to have an innate optimism I lack.
  • "The Sabbath" by Abraham Joshua Heschel. It was given to me by my rabbi and has altered the way I look at life, though it hasn't (yet) changed my behavior as much as I would have liked. I will blog it soon.
OK, that's it. Thanks, Bora. I don't explicitly tag people any more because it seems like passing a chain letter, but if you want to do it and haven't been asked, consider yourself tagged!


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