Thursday, June 02, 2005

Tagged by Mark @ Section 15

Of course, I dislike chain letters and ponzi schemes; but this book tagging business I find interesting. I've already got several new books to add to my 'must read' list. Apologies in advance that my list is unlikely to yield anything as deep as some I've been reading elsewhere already. I feel pretty shallow, actually, compared to others out there. Here goes:

Number of books I own: A quick walk through the house puts this number something close to 1000 (not including scads of children's books).

Last book bought: I peruse through second-hand book stores more than I maybe should (I've only read about 10% of what I own); on a recent trip I picked up 7 second-hand books, mostly history-related; the most recent new book I bought was Witness to Hope by George Weigel (John Paul II's biography).

Last book read: I've started a LOT of books, but recently have finished few. My wife pointed out to me that the last full book I read was The Da Vinci Code. I really need to read more real books.

Five books that mean a lot to me:

The Ultimate Resource, by Julian Simon. It's strange how a book like this can have such a strong impact philosophically. The premise, fundamentally, is that people are the world's ultimate resource, and that discussions of natural resources that discount or neglect this fact may (often) come to the radically wrong conclusions about life, the environment, and everything (to throw HHGTTG in here without having to count it in my 5).

I've long enjoyed absorbing mysteries, such as those by Agatha Christie. To pick one with a unique plot, the standard would have to be The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.

I'm reluctant to mention LOTR because I deplore the faddiness of it all these days, but one semester at university, in the midst of more French literature than I care to remember, I'm sure it, and The Hobbit, saved my sanity. For that I am also grateful.

Mark Twain's Joan of Arc. Twain apparently considered this his greatest book. It's a very interesting fiction-like read, with the added bonus of considerable historicity.

Catholicism and Fundamentalism by Karl Keating is a tremendous boost to one asking difficult questions about the rationale behind the Catholic faith. Covers many broad topics, but gives enough depth to whet your appetite.

Thanks for the tag, Mark.

I think I'll tag:

Jeff
Linda
Publius
and Ed

5 Comments:

Blogger Linda said...

Noted! I've started pondering... boy, this sure isn't easy...

Friday, June 03, 2005 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger Mark Francis said...

I'm surprised I left off HHGTTG off my list!

This book tag thing is going everywhere.

I think now and then, it's a good idea, as long as it serves some sort of reasonable purpose.

'The Ultimate Resource' sounds interesting.

Friday, June 03, 2005 11:04:00 PM  
Blogger Cyrano said...

Julian Simon's books are quite interesting, which shocks me a bit, because he was an economist or demographer or some such thing.

By the way, did you enjoy the whole HHGTTG 'trilogy'? Even aside from the crassness that began in volume 4, I thought it just got sloppy and low on the creativity scale. To any of my students who sound interested, I recommend they read the first 3 and then stop (one actually did). It's my impression that DA wrote the last two to appease fans (it seems to me like that last one is to exact revenge on fans who were probably bugging him to keep adding more).

Another aside, I was able to find alternate endings online - written by fans, some of them quite good.

Saturday, June 04, 2005 12:58:00 AM  
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