Relapse tagged me with the book meme, I guess it's fair play since I tagged him with the music baton... :)
1) Total number of books owned?
Umm, more than a whole bookshelf and less than a whole house
2) The last book I bought?
Gads, it's actually been a while. I think it might have been The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, or perhaps Market Forces by Robert K Morgan. The most recent purchase should have been Robert K Morgan's new book along with the third Baroque Cycle book by Neal Stephenson. But a certain bookshop rang the wrong number at work and alerted the wrong Morgan fan ;)
3) The last book I read?
Digital Fortress by Dan Brown. -L bought it after we tore through The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons :) Before that a series of the Sam Vimes Pratchett books - when I need to buy new books, I often re-read Discworld novels in the meantime.
4) 5 books that mean a lot to me?
There's not a chance in hell I'll stick to five. For the purpose of the meme, take the first five and the rest are extras :)
- Neuromancer - William Gibson. This shouldn't surprise anyone :) I actually read Burning Chrome before Neuromancer and almost said that instead... but Neuromancer probably did more to seal my love of cyberpunk. I've read it so many times I can proudly say my copy is "weatherbeaten". I also love Gibson's new stuff. Other science fiction notables:
Highways to a War - Christopher Koch. This book had a profound effect on me when I read it for the first time. I enjoyed it so much I rationed myself to one chapter per day, to make it last. There are very few books which can draw me in so completely; and very few where I truly felt the joys and sorrows of the characters as the book progressed. I couldn't really explain why, but the book probably helped found my love of photography.
Pyramids - Terry Pratchett. I had to put in a Pterry book; and hey I got him to sign this one for me. I don't think any other book has ever made me laugh as hard as Pyramids, particularly the bit about camels running by throwing their feet away and chasing after them.
(six book omnibus) - James Herriot. Yes, these are the books which All Creatures Great And Small was based on. My grandmother gave the book to me during high school, I think it might have been after a school musical or perhaps I'd won an academic prize. Anyway, Herriot is a great storyteller and the six books progress through from the start of his time in Darrowby and through war (he trained as a pilot).
Childhood favourites... I'm going to cheat and group these as one, to get them into the top five:
- Everything by Neal Stephenson.
- Everything by Iain M Banks.
- Jonathon Livingston Seagull - Richard Bach. The tale of a seagull whose pursuit of his passion results in rejection from his flock; and yet it simply drives him to work harder on his dreams. It can be interpreted in many ways, but I just remember it as a book which teaches kids that it's ok to be different.
- John Brown, Rose and the Midnight Cat - Jenny Wagner and Ron Brooks (Illustrator). The book has some quite dark imagery but leads the reader through to a warm and cosy conclusion. It's a message of love, sacrifice and overcoming jealousy. It also delves into the love and companionship of pets.
- Where the Wild Things Are - Maurice Sendak. Who doesn't love this book?
It wouldn't be fair if I didn't mention The Hunting of Shadroth and Baily's Bones by Victor Kelleher (and subsequently every other Kelleher book I could get my hands on). My aunt gave them to me at just the right age for me to really get into them, proving her literary savvy. I was at the end of childhood reading and this was the shove into "young adult" fiction that I needed.
The works of Colin Thiele were a huge part of my primary school reading; plus a few got made into TV series as well. Seashores and Shadows, Uncle Gustav's Ghosts, Sun on the Stubble, Blue Fin, The Fire In The Stone, Storm Boy... the list goes on. From memory we read/studied several of the ones which focussed on the German (Lutheran) migrants who made such an impact on South Australia. I went to a Lutheran primary school, so it makes sense :) One of my teachers did a great rendition of the older German men when he read passages from the book - I recall him booming out "Bruno boy!".... I didn't get along with that teacher too well, although things improved greatly after he got a grip on my sense of humour.
Ayuamarca and Hell's Horizon by Darren O'Shaunessy . This pair of books should have been a smash hit, but the marketing sucked and the first book's title was a little too unapproachable (readers act totally dumb while choosing books). The second book is a sequel of sorts, however the storyline actually runs parallel with the first book. The two stories are intertwined in a fascinating manner and I really would have loved to read the third book; which was written but not released (I emailed O'Shaunessy and he not only replied but chatted about various things including the future of the City series).
I'd have to finish off with Stardustby Neil Gaiman. I think I read this as a proof while working at Pulp Fiction; and I immediately went back and bought three copies (one for me, one for -L, one for a close friend). I also bought the graphic novel for -L. It's a fairy tale for the modern world, a magical book and everyone should have a copy.
5) Tag 5 people and have them fill this out on their ljs:
Sleebo, Drjon, Araquel, Belegdel, Andrew K.