Sunday, May 22, 2005

Books I have read

I did this for music a month or so ago, and now here's the book one...

Total number of books owned:
No idea. I only have about ten up here in Canberra with me, but at home? Over a hundred, at least. I'd say too many, but you can never have too many books.

The last book bought:
This is kinda embarrassing, but it's a book called 'Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity' by David Allen. I'd heard very good things about it from various places, and I figured that it's about time I get myself into some kind of organised state, otherwise it's unlikely I will survive another two years at university and, you know, life. And I had a gift voucher left over from my birthday, so I figure it was really free money and I haven't actually lost anything by buying it. Of course if I could only find the time to read it now...

Before that it was a book called Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear. It looked like it was going to be another Mary Russell-esque book, which is always good in my mind. Turned out to be an unreadable bit of trash, with one of the most annoyingly-perfect heroines ever to be put in print. I didn't even get halfway through.

The last book read:
Armadillo, by William Boyd. Bloody good, even if it did keep me up far too late at night finishing the damn thing.

Five books that mean a lot to me:
1. Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton - I still cry every time I read this book.

2. The Singing Sands by Josephine Tey - you can keep your Agatha Christies and your Margery Allinghams. For me Josephine Tey will always be the one, and The Singing Sands is possibly my favourite of all her books, with its incredibly vivid descriptions of Grant's claustrophobia and his cousin's property in Scotland where he goes to 'rest'.

3. A Monstrous Regiment of Women by Laurie R King - I could never make a list of books without at least one Laurie R King on there. Whilst The Beekeeper's Apprentice is what started it off for me and was an incredible book itself, it's the second one in the series that I keep going back to, and which contains phrases like "Holmes, who burned me with compassion" that are burned into my brain. The series has gone downhill lately, but I have high hopes for Locked Rooms, which will be released later in the year.

4. The Snow Geese by William Fiennes - my mum gave me this book to take to Canada, because Canada features prominently in the story. I'm glad I didn't get around to reading it until a few weeks before I came home, because the other prominent feature of the novel is homesickness. It's an incredible book though, not something I would normally read, but I'm very glad I did. Even if it did make me feel just a tad homesick!

5. The Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - these were the ones that started it all for me, my obsession with mystery stories et al. I have at least three different editions of the stories at home (my first complete set that I bought in Canada, a reproduction of the Strand magazine editions with the original pictures, and the incredible and lovely recently released annotated edition) and while I don't read them as much now as I used to, I do 'dip in' occasionally.

So yeah, that ended up being much longer than I thought it would, but it was also kinda enjoyable! Rock on waffling about books for half an hour!

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