Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Books, books and more books

Skippy-san tagged me with a book meme, so here I am, valiantly taking up that passed baton. Here goes: (1) Number of books I own: Only about 600. I used to own three times that, but I gave most of them to charity the last time I moved. And then, by good fortune, I discovered that my community has a wonderful, wonderful public library system. Between the kids and me, we usually bring home about 30 books a week (20 for them, 10 for me). (2) Last book bought: See above. (3) Last book I read: Hard to define that accurately, since I'm usually reading several books simultaneously. Right now I'm working on (a) The Reformation: A History, by Diarmaid MacCulloch; (b) A variety of out-of-print Bennett Cerf books, with anecdotes from the 1940s and 1950s, as well as his in-print autobiography; (c) The Winning Brief, by Bryan Garner, which is a great guide, not only to good legal writing, but to good writing generally; and (d) I usually have a few Georgette Heyer books floating in the background. (4) Five books that mean a lot to me: (a) Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, which I think is the best comic novel ever written. (b) Neville Shute's A Town Like Alice, a beautifully written story about two people who are caught up in the War in Malaya, and whose experiences then shape their life after the war. (c) C.S. Lewis' Narnia Books, which I've reread regularly since I was a child. I think they're wonderful books at so many levels -- as adventure, as allegory, as moral tales, as you name it. (d) C.S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower series -- written in the 1930s through 1950s, these books chronicle the adventures of a fictional officer in the British Navy during the Napoleonic War. To my husband's distress, I prefer these over the Patrick O'Brien books. (e) Anne MacDonald's No Idle Hands : The Social History of American Knitting, one of my favorite American History books. By using knitting as a lens, its a joyous gallop through American history, from Plymouth Rock to the post-War 1950s. Whew! I'm exhausted now. It's with some relief that I pass the baton to Steve, Anne, Patrick, Curt, and Mike.