A Booky Meme

I was tagged for this booky meme by Reed from “Out of Ideas”.

1) Total Number of Books Owned

Approximately 300. Including 30 of poetry, 10 of limericks, 18 dictionaries and thesauri and 49 textbooks on mythology and ancient history. Oh yes, and 20 in my TBR pile.

2) Last Book Bought.

Actually a batch of 4 at a remainder sale. Tourist Season & Double Whammy by Carl Hiaasen (a double dose volume), Hostile Contact by Gordon Kent, Emerald Decision by Craig Thomas and Heretic by Bernard Cornwall.

3) Last Book Read.

The Comedy of Dante Alighieri (The three volume Dorothy L Sayers translation) and Unintelligent Design by Robyn Williams. I must organise reviews to post here.
3a) Bonus question. Currently reading Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, A Kahlil Gibran Anthology, The Little Book of Wrong Shui by Rohan Candappa, Bullfinches Mythology, The Greek Myths by Robert Graves.

Extra note – I now need to move “Poisonwood Bible” into “The Last Book Read” list. And I need to add “The Catalogue of Lost Books” by Tad Tuleja to both my “Currently reading” and “Last Book Bought” lists. I shall be shamelessly plagiarising this volume in the archive. It is too good not to share!


4) Five books that mean a lot to me.

Yikes – how do I drop this list to five? Ok, after a couple of day’s thinking.

1) Amazing Stories. I know it isn’t a book, it was a Science Fiction magazine. It taught me, at 14, to think outside the square, to accept that wild imaginings are an acceptable form of story-telling.
2) Great Expectations by Charles Dickens because I learned in my disappointment that my thoughts were as valid as my teacher’s.
3) The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran which I first read when I was 30 and Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam which I first read at 19. They led me into the endless fields of poetry, both that written by others and the poor doggerel I have attempted.
4) Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams and Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett because they reminded me that reading is fun.

5) The Concise Oxford Dictionary, for its wonderful vocabulary and also for the history of our great language which is contained in those snippets before the definitions where the philology is shown.

How could I leave out Shakespeare who was so obscure to an impatient schoolboy until a teacher asked his class the question, “Who was worse; Mr or Mrs Macbeth?” Suddenly it all became relevant. And led me into some wonderful reading and some wonderful hours at an assortment of theatres.

Now to the hard part. Tagging four people. Wandering Coyote springs to mind because she introduced me to The Poisonwood Bible. Metro and Lori because they both have a close relationship with literature, and Cliff Burns for it should be instructive to see the answers of a writer to these questions. Should anyone else feel drawn to taking part in this meme, feel free. A link back would be nice but isn’t demanded 🙂

14 responses to “A Booky Meme

  1. Good collection there.

    I have read a lot about “Amazing Stories”, but Hitchhiker’s Guide is real great. I wish I had time to read more Mythology and ancient history.

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  2. now THIS is a good book meme 🙂

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  3. fleiger, my interest in mythology and ancient history is in finding the boundary. Always difficult since so much of truly ancient history has become religiously endowed and so has moved across the boundary.

    dorid, jump in, it is a great book meme.

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  4. The Concise Oxford Dictionary? Really? I used to read that, when I was a child and had run out of other things to read. Hm! Fancy that.

    Thank you for playing!

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  5. Reed, I love dictionaries. Good dictionaries. I often read it just for fun. Chasing a word through its permutations and its history. I am even finding Indo-European roots for modern words through Google. Did you know that the Indo-European for “two” is “dwo”?

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  6. I know what you mean. Ancient history (or even stories) is many times layered with myth, just like ancient personalities are often layered with divinity or near-divinity.

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  7. fleiger, my aim is to find the oldest myth which can be traced to an actual event.

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  8. Wow… I will really like to hear that.

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  9. fleiger, consider the cave paintings at Lascaux, France and other nearby caves. There is a bull with a representation of the “seven sisters” star group within it. Then consider the astrological sign “Taurus” which also contains the “Seven Sister’s”. This is the oldest I have traced so far. Back into the middle of, and beyond, the last Ice Age. Into the Upper Palaeolithic and about 30,000 years ago. That is pretty old. It is to be expected that at least some of the other astrological signs would date from then or before. The “Venus” figurines from across the Eurasian continent indicates the concept of “Mother Earth” is considerably older.

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  10. Pingback: Booky Meme « Care’s Online Book Club

  11. And what did you mean by “Great Expectations … because I learned in my disappointment that my thoughts were as valid as my teacher’s.”
    You were disappointed to find out that your teacher’s thoughts weren’t MORE valid? that your teacher was just an average intellectual because you thought the same? huh?
    just curious! -Care (PS- you win the award for first commentor on my blog who isn’t a relative. uhoh -we aren’t related, are we?!)

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  12. care, Charlie Dickens and I have a long-standing feud. He considers me a carping critic and I consider him to be the greatest fraud ever foisted on the world of English Literature. I was able to put forward arguments (fifty years ago) which convinced my teacher that I had a valid objection to Dickens scribbles which, while different from his, were just as valid.
    Wow – a first comment. And no, I don’t think we are related. Except, possibly in Jasper Fforde’s universe.

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  13. Arch, do you actually have a TBR pile? Or are those 20+ books on a specific shelf? ‘Cause that would be a mighty big pile on your bedside table…

    🙂

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  14. Loricat, it has turned into two piles, and they are on my bookshelves – I’ll try to organise a pic sometime soon – when I can drag myself away from my current book to dust those book shelves 🙂

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