Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Tagged: Important Books

This is long overdue. Some time ago Lisa at R Cubed tagged me with several questions regarding important books. Real Life has interferred somewhat with Blog Life so I am just now getting around to it. So, with no ado whatsoever, let's get on with it.

What is the total number of books you have ever owned?

This is hard to answer as most of my books are still in boxes. After my move last year I wound up with more books than shelves and I haven't gotten around to buying new bookcases yet (can you see that I am comfortable with procrastination?). If I had to guess, I would say somewhere in the range of 2,000.

What is the last book you have purchased?

I'm in the process of trying to get all twenty of the Patrick O'Brien books (I've got eight so far), but I also just recently bought the three Bourne books by Robert Ludlum (used, as they are out of print).

What is the last book you have read?

Master and Commander, the first of the Patrick O'Brien books. My reading is way behind as I am spending more time writing. So in actuallity, the last book I've read is the Unfinished Great American Novel by Me.

What are 5 books that mean a lot to you?

Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein - It was hard to pick one book by Heinlein as I grew up reading his books after being introduced to him by my father. Two others that were in the running were Glory Road and Stranger in a Strange Land.

Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott - I've read this book at least five times and will likely do so again at least five more times before I die. Today's critics sometimes complain that Wilfred of Ivanhoe should have hooked up with the Jewess Rebecca but that would have been very unrealistic for the middle ages. The book deals honestly with many timeless issues including love, honor, and race.

The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy - As Robert Heinlein can be considered one of the founding fathers of the science fiction genre, so Clancy is to the reletively new genre of techno-thriller. This book, his first, was so engrossing that I literally read the entire book in a day and a half. It was the first book that for me was a page turner.

The Democracy Reader: Classic and Modern Speeches, Essays, Poems, Declarations and Documents on Freedom and Human Rights Worldwide edited by Diane Ravitch and Abigail Thernstrom - If you ever need a refresher on how important the United States of America is in the scope of World History, of how we came to be and why we're here, read this book. It covers everything from Thucydides to Nyein Chan, as well as our own founding fathers, the Seneca Falls Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions, and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Stride Toward Freedom.

The House at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne - The Pooh stories are so full of philosophy to live by that they've spawned other books like The Tao of Pooh and The Te of Piglet by Benjamin Hoff. One of my favorite passages is from the chapter In Which Piglet Does a Very Grand Thing, the story which eventually became The Blustery Day. I think of this passage whenever chance introduces me to an interesting and meaningful person. As Pooh and Piglet are leaving Eeyore's house on their way to see Owl. Eeyore says these words:

"Good-bye," said Eeyore. "Mind you don't get blown away, little Piglet. You'd be missed. People would say 'Where's little Piglet been blown to?' - really wanting to know. Well, good-bye. And thank you for happening to pass me."

I'll have to think a bit before I tag the next group of victims. I will update this post hopefully no later than the weekend and send out e-mails to the lucky candidates. Lisa, I'm sorry for the delay. I hope the wait was worth it.


Blogger ljmcinnis said...

Wow! Great list and yes it was worth the wait. Besides no time limit was ever stated...
I grew up on science fiction and have a great affection for Heinlein, as well as Bradbury and Asimov. I still refer to passages in Stranger in a Strange Land.
Thanks for taking time out from your "real life" to write such a thoughtful and though provoking post.

7:18 PM  
Blogger ljmcinnis said...

sorry I meant thought provoking...

7:19 PM  
Blogger ljmcinnis said...

I just read the excellent comment you wrote at Neo-neocon's post titled dancing in a ring (in response to the self described socialist).
I'm almost insulted by the constant comparison of the Iraqi War with Vietnam and how immoral and brutal it is. I was aware of the numbers of casualties in previous wars but appreciated your reminder. Funny "the socialist" refused to believe the numbers. You probably know that more casualties were sustained the first week of the Korean War than the total casualties in Iraq (at least until 3 mos ago).
Of course facts and historical evidence never matters to the closed minded indoctrinated...

9:05 PM  
Blogger StevenBurda said...

Thanks! Great read!

- Steven Burda -

4:23 AM  

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