Wednesday, June 22, 2005


Charles hit me with this dart, and it keeps me from working on a post that requires much thinking (or blogging about the NBA Finals or the Astros) ...

1. How many books do you own?

I don't really know. I have one floor-to-nearly-ceiling built-in bookcase and it's so full that books are crammed on top of books. There's no more room in it, and I have a few books on the coffeetable in the living room and a stack on the floor next to my desk here that looks like it's about three feet tall.

When we moved from Midland, TX to Treasure Island, FL in 1992 we gave away probably a couple of hundred or more to friends and neighbors and the literacy project there (Midland Need to Read, where I had been a tutor). That was a nice library too; an autographed copy of Tom Landry's biography given to me by my younger brother was part of that collection.

2. Last book read.

The Broker, by John Grisham.

3. Last book purchased.

Amy Goodman's Exception to the Rulers, signed by the author. I just offered to trade it to one of my friends, as a reciprocation for the book she's going to send me, so I'm glad she didn't take me up on that ...

4. Name five books that mean a lot to you.

1. See Dick Run. Probably the first book I ever read. Seminal. Seriously, though ...

2. The Little House, by Virginia Lee Burton. I can still see some of the pages in my mind's eye.

3. Moby Dick. We read it aloud in my eighth-grade language arts class right before school let out for the summer, and I still remember some of Melville's best work from it:

"And he piled up one the whale's white hump the sum of all the rage felt by his whole race. If his chest had been a cannon, he would have shot his heart upon it."

And for my big finish, I'll list 4. A Bright Shining Lie, by Neil Sheehan, and 5. Liars' Club by Mary Karr, because they represent two genres that I enjoy the most, which are historical and biographical topics, and novels with some local flair ('local' in this case defined as any place I've actually lived or visited). I have bios and autobios of LBJ, Jimmy Carter and the Clintons, but also a few of Elmore Leonard's and Jimmy Buffet's books because of that year I spent living in and traveling around Florida.

Mary Karr is about my same age, grew up in Port Arthur, and went to a bunch of the same places my crew went, so I'm kinda surprised we didn't bump into each other at a high school football game or something. I knew girls just exactly like her, though ...

5. Five people to tag.

Sarah, Charles, Joe, Lyn, and Lisa, you're it.


Anonymous said...

Here's mine

Charles Turner said...

How Many Books?
About 300. I culled them a few years ago.

Last Book Read?
Reread Oliver Twist to study Dickens' inventive sentences.

Last Book Purchased?
Ahab's Wife, or, The Star Gazer

Name Five Books That Mean a Lot To You.
An Essay on Morals and Opus 21, two by Philip Wylie- -a boy of 18 with no friends, no one to unload on and here is Wylie. He became an unwitting father figure to me.

Tropic of Capricorn and Tropic of Cancer, two by Henry Miller- -I love the way he opened up and let fly with unrestrained prose Rabbelais-like, Whitman-like, all his own.

Ulysses, by James Joyce- -I recognized a kindred spirit from chapter one and held on for the wild ride . . .

Marat/Sade, by Peter Weiss- -In your face Marxism, powerfully drawn.

A Christmas Carol- -This book is an obsession with me. Most movies based on it don't really touch the true spirit it embodies. One exception is the 1950s version, starring Alistair Sim.

Have to work on the five to tag . . .

afp763389 said...

... :[

afp763389 said...

no less than literacy...