June 22, 2005
Memed again

Ginger has tagged me with a book meme, so let's dive in.

1. How many books do you own?

I've never counted, but we have one bookcase's worth upstairs (plus an overflow box) and three more cases downstairs, not to mention 20 or so books in Olivia's room and some cookbooks in the dining room. So, maybe a couple hundred all together. I'm under strict orders to throttle back book purchases because we don't have the space for them, and both of us regularly dump used books at Half Price or whatnot.

2. Last book read.

"Turncoat", a thriller by Aaron Elkins. I do a lot of my pleasure reading now while travelling, as there's often too much to do at home, but this one was read while not on the road. I'm most of the way through Peter Robinson's "Close to Home" now - it's a British police story - which I started on the plane to Colorado. Mysteries of all stripes are my main reading passion.

3. Last book purchased.

My in-laws give me a $100 gift certificate to Murder by the Book every year as a birthday present, and that's most of my bookbuying these days. I used about $65 worth of it in March; the haul included the two books mentioned above.

4. Name five books that mean a lot to you.

I've never been much for Literature, so this list may seem a little weird.

- The "Enclyclopedia Brown" mysteries. My love of the genre didn't spring from a vacuum, you know. My parents saved all my old EB books, so they'll be Olivia's some day.

- The Baseball Encyclopedia. Hey, back in 1979 when the Internet didn't exist, this book was the Holy Bible for statistics-obsessed baseball fans, which was a pretty good description of my 13-year-old self.

- "Illusions", by Richard Bach. Didn't everybody go through a Richard Bach phase in college? I admit it was a bit of a comedown to reread "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" a few years afterwards and realize that it's the same book, but disappointment can be a good learning experience.

- "The Mystery of the Aleph", by Amir Aczel. As a math major, the concept of infinity, and different types on infinity, is one of the most challenging and bedevilling things to grasp. This is the best book I've read on the subject - it's mostly a biography of Georg Cantor, who revolutionized how we think about it. He also went mad, which lends some poignance to it all.

- "Planet Ocean", by Brad Matsen and Ray Troll. The book we all should have read as kids during the dinosaur-fascination phase most of us go through. It's a beautifully illustrated guide to the wonderful and strange creatures that walked and mostly swam the earth hundreds of millions of years ago. It's a book I plan on reading with Olivia in a few years, though we'll start with their more kid-oriented "Raptors, Fossils, Fins, and Fangs" first.

5. Five people to tag.

Like Ginger, I say anyone who wants to do this should give it a shot. I'd go ahead and tag Hope, Julia, Perry, Sarah, and Christina. Have fun, y'all.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on June 22, 2005 to Books | TrackBack

Ohhh, okaaay...

Posted by: PDiddie on June 22, 2005 11:23 PM

Oh, I had forgotten all about Encyclopedia Brown! Thanks for pinging a fond memory.

Posted by: Ellen on June 23, 2005 4:38 AM

I was just thinking about the Encyclopedia Brown series, and I realized that the books probably wouldn't generate the interest they did in the 1970s. After all, kids might not even know what an encyclopedia is these days. And you really can't take a nemesis seriously when he has a name such as Bugs Meany.

Of course, Google Brown and B-Unit Meany wouldn't work either. ;-)

Posted by: William Hughes on June 23, 2005 9:32 AM

God, I'd hate to do these - I've still got 4000 or so books left, and only 5 important ones? No fair.

But I don't blog, so I don't have to... ;-)

Posted by: Wich on June 23, 2005 10:13 AM

All right, then. Here's mine.

Posted by: hope on June 23, 2005 10:27 AM