Wednesday, June 22, 2005


Since Clap Clap asks so politely... I hate this kind of thing, just like I hate "What's your favourite colour?" (what colour am I wearing today?) or "What famous person would you like to meet?" (nobody. Apart from Clap Clap, of course). I might just be able to settle on Mingus as my favourite musician, but have zero interest in meeting him. More related to this questionnaire, I really should make Beaneath the Underdog "the next book I'm going to read" one day. So, although I have no idea who this could possibly interest, here goes:

Total number of books I own:
Most of them are in boxes, as I've moved 7 times since 1996, and the ones in my house tend to be mixed up with IVN's, while who knows how many are somewhere in my parents' basements, but I'd guess somewhere around two-three hundred (I guess comic books don't count).

Five books that had a big influence on me:
Hmm, this is going to be difficult. Here's a fanciful, and thus weak (in the sense of not really adhering to its title) list:

1984 & Animal Farm, George Orwell: I was obsessed with them during the summer of 1995 and still refer back to Animal Farm regularly, especially when pondering the (d)evolution from the French Revolution's guillotining of the aristocracy to the Fifth Republic's President occupying the former's palaces. Georges Brassens also has a song about a courageous little white horse (aka "the most poignant song ever") that reminds me of AF. The two books are so closely associated in my mind that I'm not sure whether this counts for one entry or two.

Adventure Stories For Boys, ???: I remember the big yellow writing on the blue cover and particularly the story involving one Toledo Steele, who had a cane that hid a long sword-like blade. He was cool.

Sun Certified Programmer & Developer for Java 2 Study Guide (Exam 310-035 & 310-027), Kathy Sierra, Bert Bates: Admittedly, I didn't read it by choice and it makes no claims to being great litterature, but it's essential to why I do what I do and why I work where I work.

Social Theory of International Politics, Alexander Wendt: Simply because it's the only academic book I read cover to cover in my four years of university and the pair of degrees they produced. It's an interesting experience though: it allows you do discuss and disagree in detail with the big-timers.

Last book I bought:
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, J.K. Rowlings: I can't wait for it to arrive.

Last book I read for the first time:
Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert: I found it lying on a bookshelf, I have no idea where it came from, and figured I should read it. I felt all high-schooly, but better late than never. It's cruelly funny, sometimes beautiful, often painfully opaque (what are all those objects/clothes/etc. he endlessly describes?) and it was nice to read something in French again. Right before that came Michael Chabon's excellent The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, which fits right in with my recent re-watching of the greatest super-hero movie of all time, The Incredibles.