Monday, November 26, 2007

Catching up - the book meme

I've been tagged for a bunch of memes lately (and not so lately) that I haven't had a chance to get to. My parents are gone now and I have a small lull before a major work project hits, so this seems like as good a chance to play catch up as I'll ever get.

Fourier Analyst tagged me for the book meme AGES ago, so I'll start with that one:

Total Number of Books I own - I have no idea, but I suspect it's still well up into the hundreds despite the recent purges. I give books I know I won't want to reread to my cleaner, but anything I even remotely liked tends to stay on my shelves forever. And that's not even counting the hundreds of children's books we have. Those are even more fun now that Itai is learning to read English and Maya is suddenly discovering that she enjoys sitting still to let mommy read to her on occasion. (The current flavor of the week is the Hebrew translation of Not Now, Bernard by David McKee, which she got from her preschool's library, but If You Give A Mouse A Cookie and David Gets In Trouble are perennial bedtime favorites.)

Last Book Read - The last book I finished was Alice Steinbach's Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman, read, apppropriately enough, on the plane home from Italy. A lovely, engaging read and definitely one to get you reflecting on the path your own life is taking and the choices you're making each day. The book I'm reading now is Reay Tannahill's absolutely fascinating Food in History. A must-read for any foodie. This is a reread actually. I owned this book years ago but it went missing after I lent it out. After years I saying "gee, I really wish I could reread the section on X Y or Z," I finally just went out and bought it again. The good news is it's been updated since I last read it, so I'm on a hunt for new little gems. Next up is probably Tommy Sands' The Songman, which so far I've just had time to skim but it looks enchanting. Either that or whatever it was that I am supposed to be reading for my next book club meeting, but we all know how I tend to procrastinate with those...

Last Book Purchased - I bought a bunch of books online just before my parents came (gotta love that free international delivery service). They included several Florence guidebooks (regular and food-oriented), Food In History, and a mystery novel that will be revealed in a later TT. No, I won't tell you what it is right now.

Five Meaningful Books -

Though I tend to read quite serious books for my book club (no, I don't usually select them, how did you guess?), when left to my own devices I tend away from that towards the much more fun classic escapist literature. Here are five of my favorites, and yes, I cheated by selecting series. Sue me.

Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide series - because it simply doesn't get any better than this.

The Oracle Glass by Judith Merkle Riley - not meaningful per se, but great fun and one I find myself coming back to time and again.

The Harry Potter series - not only is this a cracking good story, but also anything that has gotten an entire generation of children to embrace reading needs to be taken seriously.

Patrick O'Brian's Master and Commander series - a great peek into Britain's Navy during the Napoleanic Wars, as seen through the eyes of one of literature's great pairs - Captain Jack Aubrey and Ship's Surgeon Stephen Maturin. I was absolutely bereft when the last one ended, mid-sentence, left unfinished by the author's death.

CS Lewis' The Narnia Chronicles - as much fun to read now as they were when I was a child, particularly if I ignore the religious overtones. I still have the same set I received when I was nine, pages falling out and much loved. We read the entire series to Itai this year and now he loves them too. For Hannukah this year (otherwise known as the Festival of Overly Expensive Big Budget Children's Musicals here in Israel) I'm taking him to see a (Hebrew language) musical that they've made of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. (We'll be doing that instead of Festigal this year (his choice), though I did agree to buy the Festigal dvd. I wasn't going to shell out for tickets to both though. There are limits...)


Janet said...

I've been wanting to read Alice Steinbach's book; thanks for the reminder, it's going on my list right now!

Fourier Analyst said...

YEA!! Great answers! Love your "series" favorites, most are mine as well. And now I have to go out an buy a food book because you just make it sound so interesting!! Thanks for playing Darlin'!

Phyllis Sommer said...

what a great meme, there's one i haven't seen before. i loved reading your lists!

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