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Sunday, June 26, 2005 

Book meme, from Ian

Total number of books I've owned
Are you serious? After taking a look around here (my parents' house), I'd say I've got at least 200 here alone. It's difficult to tell because my closet is filled with boxes of leftover stuff from my various moves. Half of the boxes are full of books. I've probably got at least another 50 at the apartment. Some are loaned out at the moment. Which reminds me, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night is missing. Can someone remind me I loaned it to them? Then I can call off the roving SWAT team I've got out looking for it. They're expensive you know.

The last book I bought
The Enemy, by Lee Child.

The last book I read
I've got a few on the go right now (The Drunken Forest by Gerald Durell and Memoirs of a Geisha), but the last one I read was Beasts in My Belfry by Gerald Durell. Christa loaned me one of his others (Filets of Plaice, I believe) as part of a book exchange we're doing this summer. We each picked five novels that meant a lot to us at some point in our lives and that the other had to read. (So far she's assigned me The White Bone by someone I can't remember, Filets of Plaice and Memoirs of a Geisha. I've assigned her The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay, The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan, The Godwulf Manuscript by Robert B. Parker (simply because it's the first Spenser novel and I couldn't choose another one arbitrarily... aren't nested parentheses great?), Earth by David Brin and am still deciding on a fifth.)

Five books that mean a lot to me
If it were 'novels' instead of 'books', my answer would be the ones I've assigned to Christa. However, it's not, so...
- Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tzu. It's difficult to say anything about a work when the line from it that keeps repeating in your head is: "He who knows does not speak. He who speaks does not know."
- The Encheiridion, by Epictetus. A classic work of Stoic philosophy that I've loved since second year ethics.
- Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn. Say what you will about it's lack of sophistication and clunky prose, it shattered my worldview and will always mean a lot to me.
- Mortal Stakes, by Robert B. Parker. An arbitrary choice. I could have picked any of about a dozen of the Spenser novels for this list. They remind me that living a good life comes with a high cost, but that it's worth it. And I mean a good life, not a pleasurable one.
- Love and Glory, by Robert B. Parker. Same reason.

Tag three people and have them fill this out on their blogs
Christa, Dan and Caitlin. I'd tag Brian too, but Jer beat me to it... Screw it, Brian too. You're tagged twice. Can't duck it now.