I can't believe this, but that's what you get for commenting on other people's sites! Thanks a lot Corpy.
Apparently, this one is about books. That's good. I am all about books. Usually they seem to be about things that are out of my league like IPod preferences or something like that.
Total number of books owned:
I have absolutely no idea - about 500 or 600 I guess. In one of my many moves, I lost a box of books so I keep discovering that a book is no longer "with me" (as they say in Arabic to differentiate actual physical possession from theoretical possession). And, I keep passing on paperbacks to other people and acquiring more. Also, I buy books for my kids and read them as voraciously as they do, so do they count as mine? That would bring it up to about 700, I suppose.
Last book bought:
For myself alone, not my kids: The Golden One by Elizabeth Peters. I have a very limited budget for books and even paperbacks in Cairo are expensive, but this mystery series about an Egyptologist family around the turn of the century is one of the few I actually am sufficiently invested in to keep buying the books. (For my kids: White Fang.)
I borrow books a lot more than I buy them because I speed read and go through them very fast. I recently borrowed The Feminine Mystique and The Second Sex. I am reading the De Beauvoir now having finished the Friedan and returned it.
Last book read:
Well, I read fiction the way other people drink coffee, and read nonfiction sort of simultaneously, so the last book I read was some fiction page-turner or other. I really am very addicted to reading. I am also not very discriminating. I can read bad fiction as well as good. I do recognize the difference though. Oh, I remember now! The last actual really well-written book I read was David Lodge's Nice Work, which was the third book in a trilogy of fun novels about academia (they make it sound like one long party, actually - he must be a secret recruiter for some university or other). My boss is loaning me his entire oeuvre little by little - so far I have read two trilogies and she just left another single novel on my desk this a.m.
Five books that mean a lot to you:
Hm. I hate these things, trying to isolate 5 books from the literally thousands I have read that mean more to me than others!
Oh damn it.
OK, this is not in order of priority. I could not prioritize these. And I know I will think of 5 others in a minute that were just as, or more, important to me as/than these, but let's fish or cut bait here.
1. Adam Bede by George Eliot.
2. The Lord of the Rings (I know, Patrick Nielsen Hayden said this first, but I did read this at the age of 9 or so and still can outquote my kids on arcane Tolkiana)
3. 100 Years of Solitude. Labyrinthine. Beautiful. Scary. Lyrical and full of word play.
4. Collected Poems by e.e. cummings.
5. The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. (A dark horse, isn't it. Read it and you will agree with me that it stays with you for a long time and gives you a profound appreciation for church bells.)
Tag five people to continue this meme:
I have no idea of how to "tag" someone but will try Jon at A Tiny Revolution, Leila at Sister Scorpion, Mark at WitNit who has probably already been tagged by a bunch of people, hmmm that's 3 - Wow, I really don't know that many people well, do I. Hmm, how about an Egyptian blogger, The Dumb North African. He seems fairly erudite.
Update June 9: And here is #5: Yakoub.
Update 2: The Dumb North African and Mark Alexander have responded so far!