I was "infected" with this meme (via Vitriolic Monkey) some time ago. It lay dormant, thoughtfully waiting for me to wrestle the more serious mystery infection into something resembling submission. Anyway, now that my brain seems to be back up to snuff - at least, as up to snuff as it can get - I figure I'll answer these.
1. Total number of books I've owned.
This is a silly question, especially considering those school book sales they used to host in the early grades. Man, I would raid those places! Of course, I focused on Mad Libs but books were also purchased, much to my mother's relief.
Currently I have just under 300 books in my Queens apartment, but many more are at my parents' house in Virginia; unfortunately, small apartments don't allow for a proper library.
I'm something of a bibliophile. I love to - no, must - smell books and run my fingers down the different papers or up the binding; it's a perversion, really, but one that I'm quite comfortable with. As for how many books I have ever owned...I've no idea.
2. Last book I bought.
A three-way purchase:
Foop!, by Chris Genoa, a debut novel by a college buddy of mine. I'm halfway through and enjoying it.
Shoveling Fuel For A Runaway Train: Errant Economists, Shameful Spenders, And A Plan To Stop Them All, by Brian Czech, a conservation biologist and founder of The Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy.
XXX: 30 Porn-Star Portraits, by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, the acclaimed photographer; this is more of a coffee table art book than a good read.
3. Last book I read.
I'm currently reading nine books and attempting to keep up with my many magazine subscriptions so things can get confusing. The two books I finished most recently are:
Tigers & Ice: Reflections on Nature and Life, by Edward Hoagland, one of the best American essayists of the twentieth century and almost certainly the best one working today.
Living Wild & Domestic: The Education of a Hunter-Gardener, by Robert Kimber; Quite simply, one of the best books I have ever read dealing with the philosophical hand wringing of hunting, fishing, and agriculture and how these relate to conservation and, more importantly, each of our lives.
4. Five books that mean a lot to me.
I will list four books and one category.
Childhood favorites that I still cherish; The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis, Watership Down, by Richard Adams, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Just So Stories, by Rudyard Kipling.
On Human Nature, by E.O. Wilson
Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge, by E.O. Wilson
The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal, by Jared Diamond
Speak, Memory, by Vladimir Nabakov
There are so many also-rans (not in the pejorative sense) that it becomes hard to narrow it down to five. Also, excepting the childhood reads, I have not included any fiction. I still enjoy reading fiction and some of my favorite books are novels, but my recollection of such writing is fleeting; my "artsy side" seems more attuned to visual art and film.
5. People who I'll infect with this meme.
I think all the bloggers I know have either already been "infected" or host sites that are focused on things other than book lists. I don't want to end the meme, however, so I'll pass this along to the following sites, but with the understanding that they don't HAVE to do it, especially you, Chris, since it might seem very out of place at Organic Matter.
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