Expat Yank tagged me with this while on vacation, and I’m just getting around to it. Here goes:
1. Total Number of Books I Own: No idea. Probably about 1000-1500 not counting gaming books or comic books. There are a lot of books I had when I was younger that I just can’t find. And I had around 200 of my dad’s old S.F. paperbacks for a long time but returned them because I felt guilty about taking them with when I moved out. Then he threw them away.
2. The Last Book I Bought: Either America’s Secret War by George Friedman or one of the 76 DOCTOR WHO paperbacks I bought on eBay. I’ll be excerpting the Friedman book soon on MO, and I swear the Doctor Who books are for my kids. Mostly.
3. The Last Book I Read: The Battle for Middle-earth: Tolkien’s Divine Design in “The Lord of the Rings” by Fleming Rutledge. This is the best LOTR analysis I’ve ever read. Unfortunately, the author insists on also making numerous analogies to the invasion of Iraq, and they don’t really seem to hold up. But that’s worth overlooking.
4. Five Books That Mean a Lot to Me: Well, this is a hard one. And as I’ve thought about it I’m surprised that fiction seems to really have made the biggest impression.
1. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. Listing that is probably a cop-out, as I’m sure many others have it on their list also. But I don’t think I can overstate the influence that the adventures of the Hobbits and their companions had on me, especially at more-impressionable younger ages. I’ve probably read it two dozen times (maybe more), but the cock crowing at dawn during the Siege of Gondor still brings a tear to my eye.
2. Incredible Victory by Walter Lord. The Battle of Midway. Some of the info is a bit outdated, since more has come to light in the years since it was written. But it’s a classic.
3. Red Storm Rising by Tom Clancy. From the back in the days when the “techno-thriller” genre wasn’t a wasteland of copy-cats. I was simply in awe.
4. Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad. It’s hard to pick this over HEART OF DARKNESS, but there it is. I once wrote a screenplay based upon this story set in turn of the (last) century Alaska, and despite an obvious need for revision, looking back at it I still think it’s pretty good.
5. Into Thin Air : A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer. Before I read this, I listened to the audiobook. I believe that my jaw hung open the entire time. Unbelievable.
So there you have it. Certainly not a complete picture in any way, but a glimpse into the mystery of Murdoc. Now go get counseling.
In the spirit of spreading the madness, I invite five other bloggers to participate in the book thing: James Rummel, A.E. Brain, Frank Warner, Chris Hall, and Airborne Combat Engineer. Participation is entirely voluntary. If you don’t want to, let me know so that I can badger you about it. If you’ve already played this game, let me know so I can badger someone else.
Now I’ve got to go finish THE TALONS OF WENG-CHIANG…