Katharine E over at Meaning and Authenticity has tagged me for this great meme about one of my favorite topics, books! (To be honest, over a week ago). So, now I'm finally getting to it:
1. How many books?
I have not ever counted all my books, although at one time I did try to list at least the Biblical studies ones (for insurance purposes). A conservative estimate is about 750, as I am always weeding out and taking some over to books sales and used books stores (we have a small house, and, my husband has books too -- both at home and at his office). Altogether we probably have about 2,000 books, although not all of them are at home. My interests lean to literature and theology; his to biblical criticism, music and history (certain eras, anyway). Lately I've been into a subgenre called "dog books."
2. Last book read?
That would have to be Abide with Me, a novel by Elizabeth Strout that I read for my church book club. It is set in 1959 and is about a pastor in a small town in New England, and how the town reacts after a family tragedy.
If there were a last book almost read category, that would have to be Three Cups of Tea, which I have been almost done with since August. Almost finishing books has gotten to be a Bad Habit with me lately. I have several other partially read books on my shelf, which I put down when I realize that I need to put on speed and finish the book club book! But Three Cups of Tea is the most inspiring book I have ever almost finished, and when I'm done, I'll post a review and some salient quotes.
3. Last book bought?
I believe that is For the Love of a Dog, by Patricia McConnell, which I got with some gift card money recently. Not a dog memoir, by an animal behaviorist, and full of insights into both dogs and people. I absolutely loved her book The Other End of The Leash.
Last book almost bought.... I am kicking myself for not picking up a copy of Sherman Alexie's new book for young adults, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which was available at the college bookstore when I was at the 7th grade confirmation retreat last weekend. I heard him on the radio, talking about the book, and I think it will be a winner. It's about a boy from the reservation who goes to an all-white high school, and is semi-autobiographical. (also, the books were signed.)
4. Five Meaningful books
1. To Kill a Mockingbird. One of the first "adult" books I read, in about 5th or 6th grade. I was too naive to "get" all of it, then, but I've come back to it, again and again.
2. The Living Reminder. The first book I read by Henri Nouwen, put me in touch with a deeper spirituality than I had experienced before. After that, I read everything he wrote for awhile. Later on, I discovered that it was a book about the priesthood, in some ways.
3. The Freedom of a Christian. The best thing that Luther ever wrote, in my opinion.
4. The poetry of George Herbert. An Anglican priest who was a contemporary of John Donne. Start with "Easter Wings" and go along from there.
5. Bleak House. And other books by Dickens, who was actually quite a social critic in his day
like Fran, I have a couple more than 5....
....The Bean Trees and Animal Dreams, by Barbara Kingsolver. I loved "Jesus is Lord" used tires, and there is a quote from Animals Dreams, about "living inside your hope" which I believe describes what it means to be a Christian, living in this world by the values of the Kingdom of God.
....The Plague, by Albert Camus, about living a moral life in a flawed society.
....Breathing Space, by Pastor Heidi Neumark (I confess that I haven't finished it yet) . About being a pastor-organizer in New York.
....The Preaching Life, by Barbara Brown Taylor (the first one of hers I read)
Harold and the Purple Crayon. (love the creativity)
Alice in Wonderland (what good IS a book with no pictures or conversations?)
the Betsy-Tacy books (I too tried writing a book about my best friend and me)
Winnie-the-Pooh (How can you not love a bear of very little brain?)
and, more recently....
books by Katharine Paterson, like Jacob Have I Loved, Angels and other Strangers
Because of Winn-Dixie, by Kate DiCamillo
Holes, by Louis Sachar