1. Total number of books owned – I don’t know. I have two bookshelves filled, books on dressers, stacked on tables, boxes of books and several out on loan to people.
2. The last book I bought – A Mind of Its Own: a Cultural History of the Penis by David M. Friedman which was preceded by the purchase of Stiff: the Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
3. The last book I read – re-read The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis and Bury Me Standing : The Gypsies and Their Journey by Isabel Fonseca
4. Five books that mean a lot to me – Oy vei, people. I’ll give it a whirl.
1. Crime & Punishment AND 2. Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky:
Both of these stories stuck a deep chord within me. I’ve read nearly all of his writings and these two are my favorites. Hands down. Brothers Karamazov , specifically, drew me in because of the familiarity of the religious setting, and the humanity that collides with it. I felt like he opened a curtain in a world I already lived in (I grew up in Eastern Orthodox) – I saw a lot of truth in his fiction (partially due to the fact that he based one of the characters on a popular neo-saint and partially because he doesn’t have a problem not glorifying the church and at the same time not degrading it). These two hurled me on to greater heights of Russophilia.
3. Geek Love by Katherine Dunn
Aw, the story about beautiful freaks. This one’s close to my heart. The main character, an albino hunchback was a vision of love and sorrows while her brother, a flipper-boy (who she is in love with), frightened and amused me as the story reveals him as a cult leader who manages to proselytize the carnie-wannabes into amputating themselves. Sweet. I laughed, I cried, yada-yada. Screw you guys.
4. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
Oh, because I’m a girl. “What if I came to the end of my life and realized that I’d spent every day watching for a man who would never come to me? What an unbearable sorrow it would be, to realize I’d never really tasted the things I’d eaten, or seen the places I’d been, because I’d thought of nothing but the Chairman even while my life was drifting away from me. And yet if I drew my thoughts back from him, what life would I have? I would be like a dancer who had practiced since childhood for a performance I would never give.” I’m a freakin’ romantic. Haven’t seen the movie yet. I want to re-read the book first and it’s out on loan…
5. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Fucking beautiful. “Follow your dreams” and all that… but it’s so fucking mystical I can’t stand it.