Thursday, May 26, 2005

Playing "book tag"

I’ve been “tagged” by Thomas L. Knapp to answer a few questions about my reading. Alrighty then. Here we go...

Total number of books I own: When I was single, I cleverly threw bedsheets over stacks of books in my apartment, creating unique pieces of furniture. In 1998, preparing for our move out of the Los Angeles area, Deb and I donated more than 700 books -- both hardcover and paperback -- to the local library. We now have nine bookcases in our house, most of their shelves containing books behind books, and corners in the living room and master bedroom are stacked with books. Plus there are at least 12 boxes of books in the garage, which Deb keeps urging me to weed through. Hell, you do the math.

The last book I bought: An old paperback copy of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ The Mucker, purchased just this morning while I waited for the Accord to be serviced.

The last book I read: Out of the Gray Zone, the brand new freedom movement novel by Claire Wolfe and Aaron Zelman. I plan to post a review of it here in the next few days.

Five books that mean a lot to me: This is so tough that I think I’ll avoid the obvious altogether and shoot instead for the unexpected.

  1. Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose, by Dr. Seuss. Any book by the good doctor was very big in my home when I was a kid, but this one about poor Thidwick, whose enormous antlers serve as perches for ungrateful woodland creatures, was the best. I probably read it a hundred times before I was 10. When I turned 15, its political relevance smacked me up the side of the head. If you haven’t read it yet, it’s still not too late.
  2. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger. A single copy floated around my junior high for most of the 1967-68 school year until every boy in eighth grade had read it. "If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth." Every few years, I miss Holden Caulfield enough to read Salinger again.
  3. The Amazing Spider-Man #1-38. OK, they’re comic books, but damn it, these first 38 issues from 1962 to 1966, written by Stan Lee and drawn by Steve Ditko, aren’t just comic books, they’re the greatest comics of all time, for cryin’ out loud. I’ve still got the originals (for the time being), the hardcover Marvel Masterworks reprints (my reading copies), and the recent CD-Rom edition. And if I were stuck on a desert island, I’d want the classic issues #31-33 with me at all times. So there.
  4. Radical Libertarianism: A Right Wing Alternative, by Jerome Tuccille. My folks bought this for me in 1970. Thirty-five years later, I’ve still got that hardcover copy, now beat up but still with its faded dust jacket. The jacket says the book cost five bucks. Holy cow. Anyway, at slightly more than 100 pages, Tuccille’s first book is still a pretty good primer on libertarianism. And it’s the first book I ever owned that had the word “libertarian” in it. It’s probably long out of print, so I’ll just hold onto this copy, thank you.
  5. The Complete Sherlock Holmes, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I may own a dozen or more editions of these four novels and 56 short stories. My dad introduced me to Holmes when I was seven or eight, and I still reread at least one story a month. There’s comfort in these tales. Another must-have for that desert island.

Tag five people and have them do this on their blogs:

  1. B.K. Marcus
  2. Claire Wolfe
  3. Libertarian Critter
  4. Bob Wallace
  5. Tom Ender


At 3:15 PM, Blogger bkmarcus said...

I'll get right on it.

At 9:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Wally,

I'm flattered you asked, but I don't have a blog of my own yet, although, as you know I irregularly blog at both Sunni and the Conspirators and The Sudden Curve. It is a future project to add a blog to Endervidualism.

However, I also don't have any sort of a "bio" piece about me at my site. So, I'll "kill two birds" and make the book tag answers into a partial bio piece. Now that I'm temporarily "almost caught up," I may even get to that soon.

What happens if a person is tagged twice?

At 9:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Tom, you know you're welcome to post your answers at our blog ... just because I declined Tom's nice invitation doesn't mean that applies to you. I'm most interested to see what you come up with, and I'm lazy even in my browsing! ;-)

At 5:29 AM, Blogger Sunni said...

Ah yes, Thidwick ... I didn't come across that one until recently, with my children, but it's a very good one too.


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