17 May 2005

Tagged by Zadok

1. Total books owned, ever: around 800, I think. Total currently on my shelves—not including music books and the children’s books in my parents’ garage--is about 350, total around 500. Thinking about the 800 and 500 total figures, it would mean that, on average, I’ve acquired 40 books a year and thrown out 15.

2. Last book I bought: I don’t remember the title, but it was about a woman from Washington who walked across the country. I bought it for myself, but let my mother read it first, so it’s disappeared.

3. Last book I read: sadly, a picture-book with words on every other page. But it was, happily, a book about the life of St. Dominic. It wasn’t a children’s book, by the way, but something from the library at GU. (This is the last one I actually finished reading—I have a terrible habit of reading half of a book and never picking it up again.)

4. Five books that mean a lot to me:

1. The Giant Treasury of Peter Rabbit. Well, nobody said it had to mean something profound. I have many childhood memories of snuggling up next to my mother as she read to me from this book. I was particularly fond of “The Tale of Two Bad Mice.”

2. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. As a child, I adored this book. Even though I was always careful with books, my copy of Dawn Treader is about to fall apart. Actually, all my Chronicals of Narnia are about to fall apart, except The Silver Chair, which I never liked, and the spine of which isn’t so much as creased. But Dawn Treader was always my favorite, because of the end where Lucy, Edmund, Eustace, and Reepicheep row off into the sweet water and the “endless carpet of lilies” to the end of the world.

3. Perelandra. I actually didn’t like this book the first time I read it, but the second reading was a little more interesting, and the third was for an excellent literature class, and the teacher’s lectures made an impression on me. It’s rather bad form for a writer of a romance to insert pages and pages of dialogue of the sort that Lewis puts in when the eldila show up, but it’s so interesting.

4. The Theology of the Body. I was lucky to be required to read this for my high school senior seminar. It’s a difficult book to read, but the group discussions helped me understand at least some of it (my mind is not particularly suited to reading philosophy or theology, especially not the difficult language JPII uses).

5. Leisure, the Basis of Culture (by Josef Pieper). This is another book from senior seminar that I never would have read on my own. Pieper clearly and beautifully explains why the liberal arts are important, and why we should not confuse them with the servile arts. It’s been three years since I last read this book, and since I’m working on applying to graduate school, it’s probably time for me to read it again, lest I begin to think of the liberal arts as “work.”

5. Tag 5 people: Dan and Emily of the Holy Whapping, Zorak, Jamie Selkie, and Gordon Zaft.

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