Book tag

06.07.05

Here’s the thing about chain letters… you can groan about them all you want, but sooner or later one gets to you and you find yourself completing it and passing it along despite yourself.

Pieter has “tagged” me on the latest one making the blogosphere rounds: book tag.

I’m a self-admitted bookworm, so this was a near-impossible list to compile. But for what it’s worth, here are my answers-of-the-moment. (If I’d compiled this tomorrow, I probably would’ve picked different books, but alas, I had to choose something.)

Number of books I own: About 150 currently in my apartment, because I don’t have a lot of storage space. But add about twice that number in boxes in my parents’ basement, and an untold more in my ownership past that were donated or sold at various garage sales. This doesn’t count my frequent library forays. Like I said, I’m a bookworm.

Last book I bought: Between Mountains by Maggie Helwig, which is a love story set against the aftermath of the Balkan wars.

Last book I read: Not counting the umpteenth re-read of books I first read a zillion years ago (because I do that), the last book I read for the first time would have to be The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. One of the more enjoyable reads I’ve had lately. I hear they’re making it into a movie that will probably be frighteningly awful and will destroy an otherwise excellent book. Why must bad movies happen to good books?

Five books that mean a lot to me:

  • 1984 by George Orwell. Okay, this one’s almost too obvious; in fact, it was even on Pieter’s list, so I’m not sure if I’m allowed to use it. But I challenge you to find a book that’s more relevant or insightful.
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey. I loved it when I first read it, and went through a brief period of hating it after having to analyse it to death for subsequent English classes in high school and cegep. Now I’m back to loving it.
  • Exodus by Leon Uris. Sure, all the critical reviews are justified; it takes broad liberties with historical accuracy, the writing is often appalling, and it tries too hard to be an epic. Nonetheless, my copy is dog-eared and falling apart, and I probably bungled many a question on a Jewish history exam in high school because I remembered this book’s version of an event instead of the textbook’s.
  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig. No, I have no interest whatsoever in motorcycles. I still love this book, though, less for the story than for the ideas it tries to set forth.
  • To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I read this as a kid and it made a major impression on me as a model of standing up for the right thing even when it’s unpopular to do so. This is one of those timeless classics that will endure because it continues to be relevant to modern circumstances.

Yikes, now that this list is complete, I’m second-guessing it because of all the books I’ve left out. Ah well, I guess I have to hit publish sometime.

One last thing, I have to tag 5 more people. Lynn, Paul, Imshin, Meryl and Elana… you’re “it”.

Oh and P.S., last year’s meme was the whole listing of books from childhood. There’s a good list of some of my favourites from way back when up there.

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