book meme!

by sam on 06/17/2005

Rick tagged me with the book meme that’s going around, so I thought I’d give it a try (my internet is still wonky so this might take some time before it’s published anywhere)…

1. Total number books I own:

My delicious library catalog says I have a little over 300, but that’s just the books in my apartment. It doesn’t count the hundreds of books stored in my parents house, or the books I given away (or that my brother has "borrowed") over the years. Or all of those books from college that I sold back to the bookstore for beer money at the end of the semester.

2. Last book I bought:

The last time I went to the bookstore, I picked up Courtroom 302 and Freakonomics (which I’ve now read).

3. Last book I read:

Bee Season. See the previous entry for my review. I just started reading How to be Alone by Jonathan Franzen.

4. Five Books Of Notable Influence On Me:

This is a really tough one. From childhood, it would definitely have to be The Phantom Tollbooth. I still remember it as the first "long" book that I ever read. Along the same lines, all of the books in the Chronicles of Narnia. I actually have a fresh set ready to be read again before the movies come out.

I was trying to think of some of the feminist books that have influenced me, but there have been so many. Certainly the book that made me want to major in women’s studies was The Feminine Mystique. A bit dated by the time I read it, but amazingly relevant and troubling. I have two editions of Our Bodies, Ourselves on my bookshelf, and use them regularly as a resource (speaking of which, I should probably get the new edition – the last one I have is from the mid-90s).

Wow. Four already. I may need to go over.

The best book on New York City politics that I have ever read, and the book that sparked my interest in the subject generally, is The Power Broker, by Robert Caro (a book I loved enough to drag my dog eared copy of it to a reading Caro gave so that he could sign it).

Others in shorter form:

A People’s History of the United States, by Howard Zinn.
Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
Plato’s Republic
Free Speech for Me but Not for Thee, by Nat Hentoff
The Portable Thomas Jefferson
Democracy in America, by Alexis de Tocqueville
The Federalist Papers, by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay

And about a million others that I can’t think of right now.

I had to remind my self that these were influential books, not necessarily favorite books (although they do overlap by a lot). Otherwise there would be a lot more David Sedaris and Caleb Carr on the list.

So. who to tag next? I’m thinking Greg over at For the H*ll of It.


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