Hmm…

(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.

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Published in: on May 25, 2005 at 00:16  Comments (14)  

14 Comments

  1. re: 5 — some people get nostalgic for good times they spent with friends in their youth, while others get nostalgic for entire years they spent slowly working through dense, thick, mathematical texts. Seriously, every time I open up Shankar’s QM text and smell the pages, I remember the 23 days of heck (during xmas break) I spent working through it as an undergrad, as well as the fact that Tool’s Lateralus had been continuously looping for most of that time, cause every time I changed my music playlist, I got distracted and couldn’t work.
    re: 7 — oh god. That book was pretty much way too big an influence on me in 9th grade. I lent it to this girl who earmarked and wrote down inside the back cover all the locations of the sex scenes.. FOR me. Like I didn’t know where they were by myself already. Too bad I didn’t like her THAT way… I need to read that again since now I’d probably understand the half of the book that’s stream-of-consciousness 60s-70s popular culture references, or at least more than I did when I was 13 or whatever.

  2. re: 5 — some people get nostalgic for good times they spent with friends in their youth, while others get nostalgic for entire years they spent slowly working through dense, thick, mathematical texts. Seriously, every time I open up Shankar’s QM text and smell the pages, I remember the 23 days of heck (during xmas break) I spent working through it as an undergrad, as well as the fact that Tool’s Lateralus had been continuously looping for most of that time, cause every time I changed my music playlist, I got distracted and couldn’t work.
    re: 7 — oh god. That book was pretty much way too big an influence on me in 9th grade. I lent it to this girl who earmarked and wrote down inside the back cover all the locations of the sex scenes.. FOR me. Like I didn’t know where they were by myself already. Too bad I didn’t like her THAT way… I need to read that again since now I’d probably understand the half of the book that’s stream-of-consciousness 60s-70s popular culture references, or at least more than I did when I was 13 or whatever.

  3. oh shoot, re: 6 on the first one rather.

  4. oh shoot, re: 6 on the first one rather.

  5. haahaa, I just wrote a paper about violence used thmeatically throughtout Their Eyes Were Watching God. Enjoyed the book.

  6. haahaa, I just wrote a paper about violence used thmeatically throughtout Their Eyes Were Watching God. Enjoyed the book.

  7. You’ve got to be the only other person I know who finished and liked Infinite Jest…

  8. You’ve got to be the only other person I know who finished and liked Infinite Jest…

  9. I don’t know that many people who have even tried to read it; I only did because a friend of mine kept recommending it.

  10. I don’t know that many people who have even tried to read it; I only did because a friend of mine kept recommending it.

  11. Clearly that friend is borderline genius. Which border, you may wonder. It’s up to you.

  12. Clearly that friend is borderline genius. Which border, you may wonder. It’s up to you.

  13. …okay ,that’s strange; you’re the only person I know who’s used that phrasing besides me. (A few years ago a friend of mine described his new gf as “borderline gorgeous,” and I felt obliged to ask the same question…)

  14. …okay ,that’s strange; you’re the only person I know who’s used that phrasing besides me. (A few years ago a friend of mine described his new gf as “borderline gorgeous,” and I felt obliged to ask the same question…)


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