From Aaron's blog, The Violent Munkee, a bibliophile's Meme:
1. Total Number of Books I've Owned:
Seriously, I DON'T KNOW. Probably close to 1,000. Couldn't tell you, though.
2. Last Book I Bought:
O Death, Where is Thy Sting? by Fr. Alexander Schmemman. A good read, especially for those who want a good, hard look at how death is to be despised to the last breath, not "accepted" nor something to which we should be "resigned" or "reconciled."
3. Last Book I Read:
All the way through? A couple: re-read Hitchhiker's Guide in preparation for the movie (which, if you've seen it, you know that that really didn't matter all that much, as they took bits from several of the books and put 'em in there. Also read Harry Turtledove's The Guns of the South, an alternative fiction about the Confederates winning the Civil War.
4. Five Books That Mean A Lot To Me:
1. The Apostolic Fathers. They were the guides who led me out of Evangelical Protestantism and into deeper questions about what it meant to be "in Christ." These men are called "apostolic" because they sat at the feet of and received their extensive training as bishops and/or apologists for the Faith from the writers of the New Testament themselves. They painted a picture of the original Church that was very different from my Baptist upbringing, so I began to ask questions about just how accurate my view, derived only from Scripture, was, and if it needed to change. I owe these guys a lot for getting me started on the road to Holy Orthodoxy.
2 and 3. For the same reasons: The Orthodox Way by Bp. KALLISTOS Ware and For the Life of the World by Fr. Schmemman. Were the two books that really made me sit up and take notice of the different "spiritual flavor" that Orthodoxy offered. Knew I had to take the claims of this Church seriously after reading them.
4. "Waiting for Godot" by Samuel Beckett. I wrote my Sr. Thesis on this, along with his other play, "Endgame." A classic tale of two tramps waiting for what the audience knows will never come, it's been interpreted as a satire of religious souls waiting for God (which I deem as a superficial shot at the title and an unfair reading of the play) as well as of materialist souls waiting for meaning in an ultimately meaningless world (which I see as more plausible). In any case, Beckett paints his own picture of nihilism, giving those of us who do not share his worldview a richly artistic picture of what life is like when meaning eludes seekers who search both the spiritual and the material realms.
5. The poetry of Pablo Neruda, specifically Veinte Poemas de Amor y una Canción Desesperada. Not only can this man write stuff that can make women SWOON (though only when understood in the original Spanish, in my experience), this guy was the first author I really read -- and by that I mean read for enjoyment -- in another language. It was a welcome break from García-Márquez, Lorca and Borges (though Borges was occasionally cool). His poetry is amazingly heartfelt and connected to the most primal and urgent feelings of most anyone who's ever been REALLY in love or REALLY hacked off. Just beautiful.
5. People I Will Infect With This Meme:
Alan, Nathan, David, Ronda, The Rambler, Paige, Ari, Owen, Joshua, and Kevin Basil.