Sunday, July 10, 2005

Book Meme -- Tagged by ER

I'm not much for memes but I was officially tagged by the Erudite Redneck so here you go.

How many books have I owned? I'd say over the years I've probably owned at least 1000 books. I probably have 400 or so in house at any given time. (50 are cookbooks alone, I just counted.) I probably buy 50-75 a year. I admittedly have books stashed in every room of the house like some people hoard food. Coffee table art, architecture and design books in the living room, cookbooks, political, business, historial fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art narrative and popular fiction and non-fiction in the study (as well as travel, dictionaries, reference books, and sailing/boating books), a few cookbooks in the kitchen, and current books I'm reading on nightstand bookshelf. I used to think I would be one of those people overrun with books, but I seem to have hit some sort of stasis. I trade a lot of books back and forth with my father and when I'm ready to do a book purge, I load a few grocery bags up, leave them in my foyer, and let my friends paw through them and take what they want. After a few weeks of being picked over, I load them up and take them to the local used bookstore, where of course, I use what money I get to buy more books.

What was the last book you bought? As noted below, next Amazon order has Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk, Bone in the Throat by Anthony Bourdain, and Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell coming. Last book bought in a bookstore was probably Big Weather by Mark Svenvold. Last book from the library was last week -- Pride and Prejudice in unabridged audio which I also finished reading in hard copy. Didn't have to buy it, though. Already had it.

What was the last book you read? See post below. A nice long list.

What are FIVE (or more) books that have meant a lot to you? Hmmm. This is a nice one. I'm trying to stick with books that really have meant a lot to me for some reason or others not just books I really liked. I'm sure I'll think of more and more brilliant titles later, but for right now, in no particular order, I'd say:

1) We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda, Philip Gourevitch (This book should be required reading for everyone to be a human. A straightforward non-fiction account of how genecide could happen in the last decade plus the foundations of the problem we face with Africa today.)
2) Down and Dirty: The Plot to Steal the Presidency, Jake Tapper (An even-handed account of political history in the 2000 Bush/Gore election)
3) Novel Ideas: Contemporary Authors Share the Creative Process, Barb Shoup and Margaret Love Denman (An inside look at how novelists like Michael Chabon and Wally Lamb work)
4) Another Life: A Memoir of Other People, Michael Korda (Hands down the best book out there on publishing, editing and a life with authors from the S&S editor in chief)
5) Born to Win: A Lifelong Struggle to Capture the America's Cup, John Bertand (An amazing account of the birth of modern sports psychology, technology in boats and the first foreign team to win the America's Cup)
6) The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested Battled-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything, Guy Kawasaki (The business start-up, no bullshit Bible.)
7) A Man in Full, Tom Wolfe (The first novel that introduced me to the brilliance of Tom Wolfe)
8) American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis (A book I loved in 1991 and love now for so many different reasons by a novelist of my generation who "got it" but almost let this book break him as a writer. Make sure you buy the Vintage paperback since they were the only publishers who would take it on. When it was published, the NYTimes said this book should cause us to be able to ban books in America.)
9) That Old Ace in the Hole: A Novel, Annie Proulx (Proulx takes her signature way of looking at quirky cultures and explores the unique world of the Oklahoma and Texas Panhandles.)
10) The Fourth Star: Dispatches from Inside Daniel Boulud's Celebrated New York Restaurant, Leslie Brenner (An amazing tale of day-to-day life inside one of NY's finest establishments after the Times denied them their fourth star -- and how they got it back.)


At Sun Jul 10, 02:43:00 PM, Blogger Erudite Redneck said...

Uh oh. This makes me ashalemd that I started "A Man in Full," but got distracted and never returned to it. It was even a Christmas present, by request, from Dr. ER! (Hangs head in shame)


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