1 – Total number of books I’ve owned
I count about 660 (which will be closer to 670 after my Latin books get here!), plus quite a number in boxes and on shelves at my parents’ house, and that great physics textbook I regret selling when I was young and stupid (it now costs $125). I’d guess I’m pushing 1000.
2 – Last book I bought
Two library sale books: Writing for Your Life and Cold Mountain. This is after vowing not to buy any more library books because they are usually not keepers. Sigh.
3 – Last book I read
Papal Sin: Structures of Deceit. It’s basically a challenge to the modern Church to exercise intellectual honesty in the tradition of Augustine, a great opponent of the spirit of deception.
4 – Five books that mean a lot to me
The Bible, especially the NRSV. It’s a privilege to read it. For a word-oriented person to practice a Word-oriented faith is, well, heavenly. The count above includes 8 bibles and 2 two-volume lectionaries!
The dictionary. A reader’s best friend. My favourite is a pocket school dictionary from the 50’s with lots of archaic words, etymology, and an excellent Latin glossary at the back.
Violence Unveiled: Christianity at the Crossroads by Gil Bailie. This is a popularization of René Girard’s theory of mimetic desire, violence, and Christ’s role in ending violence. I can’t overemphasize the importance of Girardian theory for understanding religion, Christ, human violence, and what those three have to do with each other. This is where I’m coming from, as a Christian.
Nonviolent Communication by Marshall B. Rosenberg. As one of my godmothers (yes, I have same-sex godparents!) puts it, René Girard explains the “why” of Christianity, Marshall Rosenberg explains the “how.” If you interact with human beings, you should read this book.
5 – Tag 5 people and have them do this on their blog
Hey, that’s only four things about books! How about a bonus question?
Bonus – My five hardest working books
Well, I will take the easy way out and not tag anyone but I especially invite those who surf in on Google from all over the world to take up the challenge. Don’t forget to ping!