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Book Tag

2005-05-31 15:34:31.146273+00 by Dan Lyke 14 comments

I just got tagged by Dave, so:

Total Number of books I've owned
Hard to estimate. I've been through two large purges, in the last one I shipped John a few hundred tech books. But in Chattanooga, I also had a great uncle who fed me cartons of SF books, and I had a great relationship with a used book store, so if you count those...
Last book I bought
Freakonomics (as mentioned here).
Last book I read
Reading a note or two every day from C++ Coding Standards by Herb Sutter and Andrei Alexandrescu, ISBN 0-321-11358-6. I'm getting a good "here are the implications" re-education of some of the things I've not worried about since I haven't been doing much that's performance limited recently.
Last book I finished
I just finished re-reading Going Postal by Terry Pratchett[Wiki], ISBN 0-06-001313-3. Some of the references to modernity are a little less subtle than much of his satire, but it's a fun take on brands and the clash between business and engineering.
Five books that mean a lot to me
Hmmmm... In no particular order...
  1. The Magus, by John Fowles[Wiki]. A good romp through the mutability of our perceptions of reality; 14 years after I read it I still end up finding new ways that the line "I'm not asking you to believe, I'm just asking you to pretend to believe" speaks to human experience.
  2. Atlas Shrugged, for completely different and yet entirely similar reasons
  3. I find myself going back to Terry Pratchett[Wiki]'s books reguarly, I don't know how long that'll last, but I enjoy the satire and think that his world that's completely different from our own has helped me build my understanding of politics and people over the last few years.
  4. Story, by Robert McKee. Of course it's ruined movies for me, but I think that's a good thing.
  5. Neal Stephenson[Wiki]'s Snow Crash. Because it was both prophetic and wrong; it spoke to what we wanted to believe, and yet has been most true in its dystopian elements.
Five people I'd like to see to do this as well
Lyn, John, Nancy, Meuon, Mark, Topspin, ... this could go on all day...

[ related topics: Books Software Engineering Writing Chattanooga Terry Pratchett ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2005-05-31 18:18:59.989064+00 by: ebradway [edit history]

Hmmm... I'm not on Dan's top-list. That's a little disappointing - but I guess it's because the last book I mentioned on Flutterby was one from one of his prior purges (his copy of Stroustrup's C++ Programming Language).

Number of books I own:

I've been through a few purges myself, including a major one a couple years ago. I got rid of every book I thought I either wasn't really going to get around to reading or would never really, honest want to read again or give to a friend (or enemy!). This included numerous titles from my early undergraduate education, such as St. Augustine's Confessions[Wiki], and lots of SF&F from my teenage years.

The last book I bought:

Do textbooks count? The really good books related to my work/studies, I get via interlibrary loan because compendiums of journal articles tend to be damned expensive. A recent favorites that I had to sacrifice back to the library before I got all the way through it: Turtles, Termites, and Traffic Jams: Explorations in Massively Parallel Microworlds by Mitchel Resnick. The most recent purchase that wasn't school related: It's Here Now (Are you?) by Baghavan Das.

Last book I read/finished:

Textbooks: (actually read cover-to-cover) Area Cartograms: Their Use and Creation by Daniel Dorling, piecing my way through: Geosimulation : Automata-based modeling of urban phenomena by Itzhak Benenson, Paul Torrens. Note: Dorling and Torrens are on my list for potential Ph.D. advisors. Nontextbook: The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.

Five books that mean a lot to me:

I'll have to add the other two later...

#Comment Re: made: 2005-05-31 19:51:20.455333+00 by: Dan Lyke [edit history]

Yeah, that list could go on for a while... you, Diane, David, Bryant, (I left Ziffle off the original list 'cause I somewhat know, but I'd like to see his list too) and if I keep this up I'm just going to offend more people by leaving them off...

On a completely different note, I once had a copy of The Profit by Kehlog Albran...

#Comment Re: made: 2005-05-31 23:57:31.202351+00 by: meuon [edit history]

Total Number of books I've owned (even briefly): Thousands. I read a book a day for YEARS of my life, including the Encyclopedia Britannica cover to cover. Lost in moves and divorces and/or given away.

Last books I bought: While at Novel Idea today.. The Zen of Money, a cute little gift book ($1). 3 days ago, I bought The Dilbert Principle (and have already read it, mostly in the bathroom, worth the $2.00 I paid) and some classic Sci-Fi anthologies (Ben Bova, Asimov, etc..) and Robert Antone Wilson's "Illumunatis" (will read it again and give it away).

Last book I read. See above, plus Orson Scott Card's "The redemption of Chrisopher Columbus".

5 "books" that mean a lot to me:

So it's 5 books and a fortune cookie. :P

Five people I'd like to see do this as well: My Dad, Nancy, Dan Lyke, Topspin, Clem Akins.

#Comment okay, i'm done... made: 2005-06-01 01:53:49.671302+00 by: John Anderson

...my reply is up.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-06-01 03:31:53.888832+00 by: Diane Reese

... as is mine.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-06-01 15:14:21.859628+00 by: Nancy

Honestly, I thought Flutterby was above this kind of girl-blog sort of thing!! (teasing!) I have no idea how many books I've owned. Hundreds at the very least. I moved a lot and tended to purge. The seven twelve-foot bookshelves Mike built should help us shore up a nicely growing collection. Last book I bought - a bag full at McKay's Saturday, most notably "The Magic of Sex". Last book read, last book finished, see my website; I keep a list if you care that much. Five books that mean a lot to me: Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, What Really Works with Men by A. Justin Sterling, my own journals, Thimbleberry's Book of Quilts and Quilts from the Quilt maker's Gifts, A collection of my Grandma Louise's writings, and last but not least, a book called How to Count to Five. Five people I'd like to see do this blogercise: I'm really too narcissistic to care that much. But knock yourself out. And thanks for asking. I'm in a wierd mood. I'm blaming it on the rain. (Since I wouldn't want to take responsibility for my own feelings.)

#Comment Re: made: 2005-06-01 16:16:34.847395+00 by: topspin [edit history]

Books owned: Many, though I see books primarily as something to "possess" in the sense that one owns a cat. You look at it now and then, revel in its coolness, but it belongs to itself and charms everyone differently.

Last bought: Ernest Hemingway: The Short Stories. Yeah, I know, but I've always been curious about how he does dialogue.

Last read: A coupla of the above stories, a coupla selections from Full Woman, Fleshly Apple, Hot Moon by Pablo Neruda, a coupla selections from The Collected Works of Theodore Roethke and various articles related to work. Waiting patiently to be read is The Alchemist but I have the attention span of a flashbulb for prose, normally.

Last finished: I'm still writing it. <grin>

5 meaningful books:
Writings and Drawings by Bob Dylan. Blew my head off when I was a kid. I have not recovered.
The Marriage of Heaven and Hell by Wm. Blake. One really has to go through the plates of Blake's work to get the full impact of how intense his visions were. If you can't write with that kind of passion, you probably shouldn't write.
No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre. Hell is other people.
Loading Mercury With a Pitchfork by Richard Brautigan. Many gems exist in Brautigan's work but few better than:

For fear you will be alone
you do so many things
that aren't you at all.

The Holy Bible. One cannot be raised in the south and not nod to the pervasiveness and perverseness of The Bible.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-06-01 16:43:51.033241+00 by: Dan Lyke

Hey, Meuon, you want to chime in on how that A. Justin Sterling book works out? [grin]

#Comment Re: made: 2005-06-01 16:59:58.120442+00 by: meuon

You mean. "What really works with men". Hadn't read it, but she sure has and it must work on me well. :) - Maybe we'll play with the 'Magic of Sex' someday too. Laughing..

#Comment Re: made: 2005-06-01 17:09:36.514909+00 by: Diane Reese

Amen on the Brautigan, topspin -- I wanted to stuff "In Watermelon Sugar" into my set, but 5 does usually mean 5, sigh...

#Comment Re: made: 2005-06-02 14:45:37.006538+00 by: Dan Lyke

Lyn's reply.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-06-07 01:13:02.748043+00 by: Signal Fire

#Comment Re: made: 2005-06-10 15:46:47.609253+00 by: Dan Lyke

Larry chimes in.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-06-10 15:47:33.498125+00 by: Dan Lyke

Oh, and trackbacks are working! Cool! Note the David Chess trackback below...