Got tagged by Mark of the Biomes Blog for the book meme that's going around. (I think I got the nod from someone else when TVB was on hiatus. Jovi, was that you? Sorry!)
Number of books I own: Oh, boy. Hard to estimate. Approaching 1,000, but that's a wild guess.
Last book I bought: Bought these three at the same time:
>>Jeffrey Eugenides' Middlesex, an epic novel about a Greek immigrant family's experience in the United States; sprawling and fascinating. Here's the first sentence: "I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974." How can you not keep reading after a sentence like that? The first page is here.
>>Erik Larsen's Devil in the White City, a nonfiction account of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, which, believe it or not, was plagued by a serial killer. Reads like a novel. The first page is here.
>>Ian McEwen's Atonement (a novel; haven't read it yet).
Last book I read (for the first time): Middlesex.
Comfort reading: I don't know how "comforting" it is, but the book I find myself rereading the most would be Walter M. Miller Jr.'s A Canticle for Leibowitz, a bleak yet somehow hopeful science-fiction classic I first read in high school. It still holds up. Please don't read the sequel. Ugh.
Five books that mean a lot to me:
>>Willa Cather's Death Comes for the Archbishop. Simple, and very moving. The first page is here.
>>Other than Middlesex, the one book that just knocked me for a loop in the last few years would be Nicholas Christopher's A Trip to the Stars. It's hard to describe, so read the Publishers Weekly write-up on the Amazon page linked here. It's about identity, and fate, and coincidence, and features some of the most poetic writing I've read in a long time.
>>Norton Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth. This was probably most responsible for getting me hooked on reading when I was a kid. I kept taking it out of the library over and over.
>>Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles. Bradbury's writing hasn't aged terribly well, IMO, but he was my favorite writer when I was a teen. I read everything of his I could get my hands on.
>>Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book. Why? Because it's 90 freaking degrees out, that's why.
I'm supposed to pass this on to other people, but I think I'm the last person to do this, and Freddie the Dog isn't much of a reader.