Five Things About Books

Three of my favourite bloggers (Talimida, Susan, and Steve) have picked up on a great book meme, and I happily accept their open invitation to play along.

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 Tracker by Tom Brown Jr. See here for a brief explanation of how this book (and his others) rocked my world.

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

Highroads Dictionary, my bedtime reading companion“Highroads” Dictionary (aforementioned)
Plants of Coastal British Columbia
Christian Prayer
People’s Companion to the Breviary
CCCB NRSV Lectionary

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!

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6 comments on “Five Things About Books

  1. Talmida says:

    Oooo, I was tempted to include a dictionary but I couldn't decide which one! I love the OED, but the print makes me crazy, even WITH the magnifyer, so I've switched to the 2-volume Shorter Oxford……
    And that Highroads? Is that really old? I think we have a Highroads Reader hanging around my mother's house – something she used at school.
    Now what would my 5 hardest working books be….hmmmm

  2. susan says:

    My lovely goddaughter has two godmothers as well!

  3. Sylvia says:

    Ooo, I want a Shorter Oxford! It seems like an excellent compromise between content, legibility, and affordability.
    The Highroads Dictionary is 1955, I believe. Just old enough to have old words we don't use any more. Maybe there is a reader that goes with it, that wouldn't surprise me. It's got lots of lovely celtic designs on the cover.
    And Susan, one of my godmothers is a Sister. 🙂

  4. Maria says:

    I stumbled upon your beautifully designed site and was enjoying myself until I came across a startling contradiction – you profess to be a Christian, but glorify shows such as The L Word. This confused me and disturbed me, to be perfectly honest. It is stated quite clearly in the Bible that homosexuality is wrong. Yes, Jesus came to preach love, but some harsh truths still remain – with the coming of Jesus, God did not suddenly change His mind and decide that it is now okay to practice same-sex relationships. I want to state that I am not posting this to offend or insult you, but I believe that the truth should be spoken.

  5. Sylvia says:

    Hi Maria. I don't want to go into too much detail here because it's off topic but you raise a valid question. As far as I know, homosexuality as we understand it today is not mentioned in the bible. There was not even a word for it in Greek (I don't know about Hebrew), though it certainly existed. There is mention, in the stories about Sodom and elsewhere, of the sexual exploitation of young males (boys or adolescents) by older men. These were not love relationships, but rape or prostitution.
    Please see Dignity USA's FAQ for more answers to your questions.

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