(Copied from kamileon, because it looked interesting…)
1) Total number of books owned: Probably around 1000. Haven’t done a detailed inventory. One wall of my bedroom, one bookcase in my study, one wall bookcase in my living room, plus the stacks of books… well… everywhere.
2) Last book bought: A stack of books prior to the upcoming trip. The Autumn of the Patriarch (Gabriel Garcia Marquez), Post Captain (Patrick O’Brian), Their Eyes Were Watching God (Zora Neale Hurston), Why is Sex Fun? (Jared Diamond), The Feynman Lectures on Computing (Richard Feynman), MirrorMask (Script by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean).
3) Last book read: Just finished re-reading To Say Nothing of the Dog (Connie Willis); also somewhat enmeshed in Statistical Field Theory, v. 2 by Itzykson and Douffe, but that’s just trying to load key bits into my head before the trip.
4) 5 Fiction books that mean a lot to me: (Not a “5 best” or anything, just books that have had a strong influence on me)
1. Neil Gaiman: The Sandman
2. Jorge Luis Borges: Dreamtigers
3. Frank Herbert: Dune
4. Robert Heinlein: (Miscellaneous)
5. Umberto Eco: The Name of the Rose (Not for the story so much as for introducing me to Medieval history…)
5) Five more fiction books I really like:
1. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, everything.
2. Connie Willis, To Say Nothing of the Dog (Damned if I know why I like it so much, but I do)
3. Umberto Eco, Foucault’s Pendulum
4. David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest
5. A lot of the rest are short stories – The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, v. 1 sticks out in my mind as an anthology.
6) Five non-fiction books that mean a lot to me: (What can I say, these are still books I curl up with when I’m tired…)
1. Green, Schwarz and Witten, Introduction to Superstring Theory
2. N. E. Wegge-Olsen, K-theory and C*-algebras: A Friendly Approach
3. C. von Westenholz, Differential Forms with Applications to the Physical Sciences
4. J. J. Sakurai, Modern Quantum Mechanics
5. Peskin & Schroeder, Introduction to Quantum Field Theory
6′) Five non-technical non-fiction books that mean a lot to me:
1. Peter Brown, more or less everything.
2. J. Diamond, Guns, Germs and Steel
3. Various authors, the Mishnah
4. R. Rhodes, The Making of the Atomic Bomb
5. R. P. Feynman, The Feynman Lectures in Physics (Well… it’s no more technical than the Mishnah)
7) Five books that had an impact on me, which I haven’t read since I was a teenager:
1. Robert Shea and R. A. Wilson, Illuminatus!
2. …actually, this category is more or less empty, since I’ve been re-reading a lot of the books that had an impact on me, so they end up falling in category 4 instead of 7.