Sunday, June 05, 2005


Philaelaethes has tagged me, and I happily respond. If anyone else rings me up, I’ll either relink this post – or come up with all new books. Depends on my mood.

Number of Books I own
Between 500 and 1000. Actually, rather strange now that I think about it, how much I have spent on books over the years. Most of them aren’t even printed on acid free paper. Perishable, like me.

Last Book I Bought
Code Complete 2nd edition. (Kind of geeky, easy to recommend.)

Last Book I read
Maps -- Nuruddin Farah

Five books that meant a lot to me
Mencken Chrestomathy -- H.L. Mencken
Look here; if you haven’t at least read The Green Hills of Zion, give it a go. If that whets your appetite for more on the Scopes trial, check out Summer for the Gods.

The Book of J -- Harold Bloom and David Rosenberg
Opened my eyes to a few things, among them being, the only the thing the bible ever needed was a good editor. Undecided if I agree with Bloom’s thesis regarding J; enjoyed the translation and arguments all the same.

The Demon Haunted World -- Carl Sagan
The clarity of this book in defending rationality is special. Also, far less patronizing than most of the freethinker and skeptical tomes out there; I could give this book to anyone who reads at least 800 pages a year.

Courtesans & Fishcakes -- James Davidson
I’ve got a ton of books on archaeology and history. This particular one is a favorite: detailed, aware of limitations of A & H, lucid, fascinating, and provides a window on the lives of people from another age.

Hubbert's Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage -- Deffeyes
Short, to the point. Packed with information. Great summer reading. Caused me to go on a peak oil kick back in 2004.

Bonus Books
So, where is the fiction, I ask myself?

Tom Sawyer -– Mark Twain.
Luckily, the edition I read had pictures - it was the summer before second grade, and couldn’t have picked a better “real” book to start my career as a reader with. Twain is a truthful writer. I next picked up Huckleberry Finn, and dropped it after 3 or 4 pages, deeply confused. Where were the hijinks? The spelunking? Had to save that one for later.

Dune –- Frank Herbert
Hey, I like fiction that puts in everything. Politics, religion, swashbuckling adventure, sandworms – you know, the whole enchilada. That’s why I couldn’t put James Joyce’s Ulysses in this spot: no sandworms.

Now, to pass it on:
A year of bad luck for each blogger not named, minus time served.


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