Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Tagged By My First Meme 

It was bound to happen eventually. You can run but you can't hide. A meme, the Book Meme, has found me, thanks to Flown to the Roll.

So lets give it a try, it probably won't hurt too much.

Total number of books owned, ever: I'll put aside for the moment the fact that you can never truly own a book, only give it a good home for awhile. My book hosting count is probably somewhere on the order of one to two thousand. It would be higher except I've spent the better part of the last decade living in a country where the vast majority of available books are in a language I can barely use to order a cab, let alone read a book. I eagerly await the coming age of JITP (Just In Time Publishing), when anyone can walk into a shop anywhere in the world and have their own copy of any book printed and bound to order, on the spot. I'm a dreamer.

Last book I bought: It's hard to remember which one was on the bottom of the pile I dumped on the cashier's counter, and thus the Official Last One. It was probably Harry Potter V, since it's so heavy. Or it could also have been one of the volumes in the "Captain Underpants" series -- I could easily imagine that being on the bottom of the pile. But if not one of those two, then it was probably one of my wife's "three generations of women struggling to understand their most painful memories, swept up against a backdrop of war and turmoil, and the men who loved them" novels.

Last book I read: The last book I actually finished would be Yertle the Turtle, a true classic in the fields of political theory and vertical structural engineering. It's been a long time since I actually finished a book from my own reading list though. This is because I don't read nearly as much as I'd like (work, kids, blogging, blog reading) and because I am presently buried 400 pages and 5 months deep into the second volume of Neil Stephenson's Baroque Cycle -- I manage only about 2 or 3 pages a day at certain, shall we say, propitious moments. Oh well, I figure 6 more months and I'll finish it.

Five books that mean a lot to me:

Snowcrash by Neil Stephenson: An amazing ability to convey serious ideas with writing that is nonetheless totally hilarious. Also was my gateway to the rest of his work, which is all exceptional, especially Diamond Age.

Man's Search for Meaning, Victor Frankl: Taught me that even when we can't control our fate, we can control our reaction to it.

C++ FAQs: What can I say? I'm a geek. But this book made me a better, more highly-paid geek.

Sunset Stir-Fry Cookbook: Source of my Sweet-and-Sour Chicken recipe. Life changing.

"The What to Expect" Series -- When You're Expecting, The First Year, The Toddler Years: I basically lived these books for years. Of course, things didn't really go the way they said it would. For instance, no matter how much they tell women to focus on breathing and deep meditation while in labor, let me tell you the truth -- it still hurts!

You're It!

Ok, here comes the viral part. We'll give the Big Blogger Wheel of Fate five random spins and pick the next victims...

You can all thank me later.

If you really, really liked this -- or even really, really hated it -- there's lots more: