Thanks a lot, Dave :) I've been tagged. At least it's a subject I like.
-Total number of books owned: No way to say for sure, since my cache of hardbacks & paperbacks is in storage in Chicago, with the exception of the few titles I planned to read this summer and a couple of textbooks I planned to revisit in preparation for b-school (as if that's really going to happen). I would guesstimate my library is around 250.
-Last book I purchased: For someone else, The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss, a board book for my friend's son for his first birthday party this afternoon. For myself, God's Politics by Jim Wallis, a book I picked up at Costco based on a recommendation from my hairdresser. I really like his ideas, but it's not a book I can read in one sitting, so I'm reading it a chapter or two at a time in between other books.
-Last book I read: Since I traveled this past week (and I always read more when traveling) I've read two. Like Dave, I read State of Fear by Michael Crichton on the way to Chicago, based on a recommendation from my dad (plus he had a hardcover copy so I didn't have to buy it). I liked it, it was a fast read and I liked his critique of the media/propaganda circus. Coming back to Seattle, I read The Enemy by Lee Child. It was just OK. The plot was pretty good and I liked the twists (although I saw a couple coming, which takes some of the fun out of it). What I didn't like was the actual writing/language. It was done in the first person, and I've found that with first person books, I either love it or hate it depending on the primary character's voice and the way the author writes that voice. I could see some of the reasons behind why the author wrote him the way he did, but I didn't find myself enjoying it or really rooting for him. I just wanted to know what happens next and that kept me turning the pages.
Five books that mean a lot to me (in no particular order):
-The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay: Race relations, poverty, coming of age, perseverance & triumph...this book covers it all and it's a great story. Plus, I love books set in foreign places.
-Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel: A fairy-tale-esque romantic novel slash cookbook. Kind of a fable. Better than the movie, I've read it at least 5 times.
-The Autobiography of Henry VIII by Margaret George: The first historic fiction book I ever read that got me hooked on the genre. I'm blown away by the amount of research she did to stay accurate to the history while giving us a fictional insider's perspective on the man who had 6 wives (and beheaded two of them!)
-What Color is Your Parachute? by Richard Bolles: The ultimate career planning & job hunting book, updated annually.
-The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein: I love all of his books, and they remind me of being a kid and visiting my grandparents (who gave me & my brother The Giving Tree, A Light in the Attic, and Where the Sidewalk Ends). This one is my favorite because of it's message about giving and loving unconditionally.
On that note, I'm going to *give* everyone a break and not tag anybody. But it's not a purely altruistic move, because as I stated from the outset...I hate chain letters and the like. So really I'm being a spoil-sport and breaking the chain. Neaner, neaner.