Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Book Meme

John at Counago and Spaves passed this on to me.

  1. Total Number Of Books I Have Owned.

  2. Must be about 2500. Some have been read and passed on, either to friends or to charidee shops. Some have been kept. Why do I keep books? As the man (Anthony Powell - thanks SIAW) said "books do furnish a room", and because I like having books around. Books to read. Books to browse.

  3. Last Book I Bought.

  4. Last Saturday I bought three books on a 3 for 2 offer in H2O-Boulders. One was Faster than the Speed of Light by Joao Maguejo and another was Critical Mass - how one thing leads to another by Philip Ball. The third book was for Rullsenberg.
    I'm claiming Critical Mass as my book. At this stage I can but quote from the frontispiece
    being an enquiry into the interplay of chance and neccessity in the way that human culture, customs, institutions, cooperation and conflict arise.
    I think that subtitle echoes the book subtitles of Adam Smith's the Wealth of Nations. The blurb suggests that it moves from the prediction and analysis of the action of individuals and looks at the impact of decisions taken by millions of people.

  5. Last Book I Read.

  6. The Big Blowdown by George P Pelecanos. Late 1940s gangland Washington D.C. Hard boiled southern fiction. Written in the 1990s. Southern noir. Reminds me of Walter Mosley. If you like that sort of thing give it a go. This came to me via Rullsenberg via a recommendation from Reidski.

  7. 5 Books That Mean A Lot To Me

    1. Leaves of Grass (1) and Democratic Vistas by Walt Whitman.

    2. It's an early Everyman edition from the 1920s. I picked it up for 50p in the early 1980s. It's been seduction poetry and end of relationship poetry. It's been there with me. It's for when I'm feeling up and for when I'm feeling down. Every satchel should have one.

    3. How to Make Verse by Valdimir Mayakovsky (translated by Valentina Coe).

    4. The introduction ends with an extract from In at the top of my voice from January 1930 (just before Mayakovsky killed himself).

      When I appear
      before the CCC*
      of the coming
      bright years,
      by way of my Bolshevik party card,
      I'll raise
      above the heads
      of a gang of self seeking
      poets and rogues
      all the hundred volumes
      of my
      communist committed books

      * Central Committee of the CP.

      The book itself is a manifesto for poets. And is a little book that can be carried anywhere. Everyone should have a copy of The little book of Mayakovsky.

    5. The Poetical Works of Shelley

    6. I actually have two versions of this. One I bought way back in the 1980s from a second-hand bookshop in Bridgnorth, Shropshire. That's the black (or green) leather bound Oxford edition from 1917. Well read it is, too. Last summer I picked up a Macmillan edition from 1890. The selections are essentially the same but there are some differences. I had made a note of some important differences but I can't remember where I put the bloody thing. In a better world everyone should have a complete Shelley.

    7. Vineland by Thomas Pynchon.

    8. It's about the most accessible of his works and it's funny. About the 60's dream turning into the nightmare of Reagan's America.

    9. Decline of the English Murder and Other Essays or Inside the Whale and Other Essays by George Orwell.

    10. I can remember going on holiday and buying several black covered Penguins of Orwell's. Both of these volumes are inspirational in style and in content. English Murder contains the essays How the Poor Die and Why I Write. Inside the Whale contains England Your England and Politics and the English Language. I was going to call them classic but they're almost beyond that stage. George Orwell was the Christopher Hitchens of his day (said with a smile).

  8. Five people to pass it on to

That's three. The other people I was thinking of have already done it. That's sad.

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