Sunday, September 09, 2007


Grace didn't tag me to do this, but I'm just gonna do it anyway, because I want to. That's just how I roll.

Total number of books owned: I am going to guess around 6-8,000. You might wonder why I can't peg it in a smaller range, but could you if most of your books were on the other side of the world?

Last book bought: Book, singular? Are you fucking me? Are people able to buy only one book at a time? This is why I wanted to steal this meme. I went to What the Book today, intending to buy some magazines. However, the next month's batch haven't come in yet, so I ended up buying books instead. In a big surprise, I failed in my intent to resist. (That's sarcasm, in case anyone missed it.) So, here's my haul:

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers. I have been meaning to read this for years, so since it was there second hand, I couldn't resist. I hate, hate, hate buying books with the Oprah's Book Club sign on the front, though. Or movie photos.

Rip-Off Red, Girl Detective and The Burning Bombing of America, Kathy Acker. A random selection, chosen because they describe her as one of the most celebrated authors of the past thirty years on the back and yet I've never even heard of her. I'm curious.

Big Mouth & Ugly Girl, by Joyce Carol Oates. The only book I bought new. For young adults and purchased for a blog entry I'm thinking of writing.

the grass is singing, by Doris Lessing. I love the cover, which is not shown on Amazon. Mine has four green blades of grass; they look kind of bamboo like. That and I've never read her, but feel by now I should have.

Little Earthquakes, by Jennifer Weiner. Bought because I need something that is relaxing sometimes, at the end of a 10.5 hour day of teaching children. I read my first book by Weiner at the suggestion of Abby, the owner of Abby's Book Nook in Itaewon (which seems to have closed down while I was gone, which saddens me. What the Book has never had anything close to as good an ambiance.) It was Good in Bed, it wasn't at all what I expected from the title, and I loved it. I think she writes well and the subject matter of that particular book (weight worries, premie baby) resonanted with me. I've been a fan ever since.

Help: The Original Human Dilemma, by Garret Keizer. Another random pick, which I almost passed on due to the fact that the author is a minister of some sort and two out of three of review quotes on the back where from Christian magazines. It's not that I have some sort of hatred for Christianity, merely that it seldom speaks to me on any level. However, I am curious enough to give it a try.

On Beauty, by Zadie Smith. I loved, loved, loved White Teeth, which I finally read in Hong Kong this past summer. My copy is sadly not as pretty as this one.

Living on the Edge: fiction by Peace Corps Writers, edited by John Coyne. If you have ever heard me ramble on about what I'd like to be doing in the next five years, this one is an obvious choice.

Last book read: I'm reading The Dogs of Riga by Henning Mankel right now, maybe halfway through. It's good, though I am still not sure about this series. Before that, it was Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume. I should read Grace's most recent read, Everything I Needed to Know about Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume.

Five Books that Mean a Lot to You: This is a list that changes often, based on what is going on in my life at the time. And, I am horribly forgetful of titles. However, here goes:

1. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, for obvious reasons. Well, obvious if you've read the book yourself and think back to what was going on in my life two years ago. When I read, I have started dog-earring pages with passages that really speak to me. Check out the picture of Eat, Pray, Love after I finished reading it. It was so dog-earred it was about twice the thickness. I intended to blog all about it, but it was a bit too raw and personal. I think maybe when I get back to Canada next time, I'll be ready to reread and blog about it.

2. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith. I saw so much of myself in Francie Nolan.

3. The Whole Woman by Germaine Greer. The first feminist book I read, after I went to a talk by her in Edinburgh (and got my book signed!), courtesy of an invite from Donna. It lead to my interest in feminism and a lot of important thinking about the world on my part, and then a lot of friendships with great feminist women.

4. The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood. The first book I was required to read at school that I actually liked, in spite of having to critically analyse it. I was starting to think that critical consideration ruined all reading. I'm glad this book taught me differently.

5. The Paper Bag Princess, by Robert Munsch. Because it rocks.

Amazon has this neat little thingy on their page now, where books on your wish list spin around! Fun!

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