Thursday, September 01, 2005

Tag, I'm It...

I've been tagged by echan, whose blog has all the virtues mine lacks: wit, concision (ok, that's not a word, but y'know what I mean), and, well...geeky chic. Also more technical expertise than me, who still hasn't figured out how to put active links into my blog. (I really will figure this out once I don't have a million things to do - which should be the case starting September 19...) Anyway, her link, which you can cut & paste, is

1) Total # of books you own?

I have noooo idea. A lot, most of which are in my bedroom in my parents' house in Virginia. And I was always bad at guesstimating the number of people in a room or gumballs in a jar, so I ain't even tryin' on this one...

2) What was the last book you bought?

Just today: Jasper Fforde's "Something Rotten" (the latest in the Thursday Next series, which really does get better after the first 2 - like Harry Potter...). Also Raymond Chandler's "The High Window." My goal is to read every book Chandler ever wrote...which isn't hard, cause there aren't that many.

3) What's the last book you read?

Fiction: Kazuo Ishiguro's "Never Let Me Go." Fantastic book - much better than his last - with a sci-fi-ish premise that's weirdly similar to that of the much-maligned Michael Bay disaster "The Island." But executed with much more subtlety and poignancy (though that isn't saying much).

Nonfiction: I only read fiction, sad to say. I should really break out of that.

4) List five books that are particularly meaningful to you (in no particular order)

Too damn many to choose, but here's a try:

"The Golden Gate" by Vikram Seth: Little-known novel that is *entirely in verse*, but flows as rapidly and smoothly as the best page-turner. All about the lives and loves of a group of twentysomethings in San Francisco of the early 1980's. If it's still in print, I highly, highly recommend everyone to get this book and read it. It doesn't matter if you don't dig poetry - I don't, either. (Shh, dirty secret of the former English grad student.) This isn't poetry, it's pure magic.

"The Great Gatsby": Hated it the first time I read it. Then the seductiveness of Fitzgerald's prose began to sink in. Still ranks among the most tightly and beautifully written novels ever published, in my humble opinion.

"Brave New World": The book that got me really thinking about the nature of human happiness. And society's role in promoting it. As a novel, it's flawed, but as a treatise on human nature, it's brilliant.

"Atlas Shrugged": No, I am NOT an Ayn Randian (aka an Objectivist), not by a long shot. But this book, read at the impressionable age of fifteen, up-ended my world view quite as much as "Brave New World."

Chronicles of Narnia: Ok, I'm cheating. But it's really a stand-in for every children's book I ever read and loved, because to be honest, those are the books that shaped me and stayed with me much longer than most of the books I read in college or thereafter.

5) Tag 5 people and have them fill the quiz out on their own blogs.

Gah, have to figure out how to link! Will do this when I get back from Costa Rica, I swear.


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