Do or Do Not.

Meme: Favorite Books

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My friend Amy over at Beauty Joy Food (any of you into natural foods really, really need to go read her blog) has tagged me with the Favorite Books Meme. She did hers on cookbooks, which makes perfect sense given that her site’s about food. I’m not gonna do that, because the totality of my favorite cookbook list would likely consist of the menu at Olive Garden.

(I’d love to see her responses to this meme with non-cookbooks…she’s well-read, a helluva writer and a smart cookie. Nudge nudge, Amy.)

Here we go…

1. Total number of books I’ve owned:

Oh, god, I don’t know…somewhere between 800 and 1,000, I’d guess. Sounds like a lot to me, but I know plenty of people who’ve probably owned way more. And I certainly can’t say I’ve read each and every one of those books.

If I add comic book trade paperback collections and graphic novels, add in another 100 or so.

2. Last book(s) I bought:

Last book I bought for me: Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. Really, really interesting book about our ability to jump to snap decisions and the good and the bad that go along with those decisions.

Last book I bought for someone else: The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower by Stephen King, for Terry for Mother’s Day.

Last book bought for me: Code Complete (Second Edition) by Steve McConnell. Fascinating book about software design and construction which will hopefully help make me better at the day job until I can safely give it up.

3. Last book I read:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Yup, that’s right, I’d never read it–or any of the Harry Potter books. I’ve been perfectly happy to allow myself to be surprised when I saw each of the movies. But since I’ve been considering the idea of writing some Young Adult fiction, I thought it would be a good idea to read the most successful YA books of all time.

(That last statement is pure educated conjecture; if I’m wrong about it, please feel free to slap me down.)

4. Five books that mean a lot to me:

  • A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. My favorite novel ever. As much as I’ve enjoyed so many books over the years, this was the only one that had me counting down the hours until I got off work so I could go home and read more of it. Just an amazingly beautiful, haunting and heartbreaking work of fiction.
  • The Adventures of Kavalier and Klay by Michael Chabon. Chabon shined a light on the early years of the comic book industry, an insanely creative time so very few people know much about–myself included. He treated the art form with love and respect and wove an intricate story that subtly integrated elements of the standard superhero origin with real, grounded, decidedly non-superheroic characters. Classic.
  • The Preacher series of trade papeerbacks by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon. Not only was this one fabulously irreverent and entertaining series, but it provides the exact structural template for The Most Excellent Comic Book Series I Will Write Eventually Someday. (I think that title will likely change before publication.)
  • On Writing by Stephen King. Big Steve gives out some great writing advice in this book, as to be expected. Meaningful to me for the insights into the creative process of this man who’s entertained me and inspired me so much over the last twenty years. Even though I may not write horror, Stephen King’s storytelling will always be a tremendous influence on my work.
  • Gun Monkeys by Victor Gischler. The book itself is good but not great–it’s his first published novel, though, so by no means do I mean that as an insult. What’s inspiring about this book to me is that it’s the first novel ever published by someone I know. I don’t/didn’t know Vic well at all–I only had one class with him in college and went to some of the same English-major type of functions he did. I never actually got the chance to talk to him, but Terry and Amy both knew him pretty well. And just knowing that this guy who was once in one of my college classes is now a successful author at a major publishing house…it makes the dream seem more attainable. (That’s certainly not saying “if he can do it, I can do it”–it’s always been very obvious that Vic’s both immensely talented and quite driven. He certainly deserves all of the success he finds. And the more success he finds, the more inspiration I’ll take from that success.)

5. Which 5 people would you most like to see fill this out in their blog?

I don’t have an enormous readership here yet to know who to pass this along to, but I’d like to see what the following people who might actually read this have to say (anyone not interested in playing follow-the-meme, I won’t be offended if you don’t pick the thread up):

  • Saundra at Secrets and Lies. She’s a professional writer and filmmaker and seems to be an avid reader so I’m sure she’d have some interesting answers. UPDATE: You can find Saundra’s responses here!
  • Tim at Hello Cleveland! because he’ll likely have a predominantly comics-oriented response, and I have a feeling he’d pick some pretty cool books to throw in there.
  • Brian at The B-Log. His responses would probably be quite varied and his discussions of the books would probably be quite funny.
  • Jeff at Muse of Fire because he’ll likely have a far different set of responses from most of the others, being a professor of English and all. UPDATE: Read Jeff’s responses here.

Amy already tagged everyone else I likely would have tagged. Thanks, Amy. ;)

(No, seriously, thanks…like you, I was also a Blog Meme Virgin. Thank you for popping my cherry.)

Written by Allen

June 14th, 2005 at 11:43 am

4 Responses to 'Meme: Favorite Books'

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  1. This is funny–the person who tagged ME was a virgin, too. Glad I could be the one to deflower you, LOL. Thanks for the compliments, too–maybe I will post my non-food answers. Maybe you’ll just have to keep reading my blog to find out if I do (Nudge, nudge right back at ya!) I CAN tell you Owen Meany would be on my top 5, too. Glad to see you kept the thread going!


    15 Jun 05 at 7:46 am

  2. So happy to hear that Vic is published! I didn’t know him very well, either(through James, Terry and Amy.) Wow, that’s great. Good for him! I’ll have to read his book.


    15 Jun 05 at 10:26 am

  3. Not only is he published, he’s published three times over: his newest book, Suicide Squeeze, just came out this year. Seems to be getting really good reviews from what I’ve seen. All three of ‘em are available on Amazon.


    15 Jun 05 at 10:31 am

  4. Okay, Allen, I did it. It’s my first “meme,” as well. I even went over to Wikipedia to see what a “meme” is. I’m such a nerd (or is that geek ;->)

    Jeff Newberry

    15 Jun 05 at 10:28 pm

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