Via Another Damned Medievalist and the Cranky Professor, a book meme that I spent some time thinking about.
Total number of books I own This is a bit of an imponderable, since pretty much all my books are currently in storage somewhere in the wilds of Somerville. But, when I retreated from the rodent-infested studio apartment in January, I found that I had crammed, into that one 10x12 room, 35 boxes of books. 5 of those book boxes were full of my science fiction, fantasy, and mystery novel collection. 2 were full of "real" literature. The rest were history books, cookbooks, my back issues of Cooking Light, and reference material (dictionaries, etc.). How I had fit all that into that little room, I cannot say. All I know is my Gentle Giant movers actually quailed a bit when they saw the stacks of book boxes. I acquired a lot of my history books when my undergraduate advisor retired and boxed up part of his library and shipped it to me. That moment of generosity was the beginning of my book-acquiring insanity. I also have books (mostly European history, biography, all my German books, and popular fiction) at my parents' house.
Last book I bought The fourth installment in Charlaine Harris's Southern Vampire Series, Dead to the World. I got it last night at a small independent bookstore in Shockoe Slip called the Fountain. Pure brain candy, people. If you've spent the day watching microfilm whiz by your eyeballs, something entertaining that you don't have to think about is just the ticket.
Last book I read Camille Townsend's Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma. There's a surfeit of Pocahontas/John Smith/Jamestown books coming out right now, and that will only get worse as 2007 approaches. If you'd like to read something short, yet scholarly and insightful about the encounter between Virginia's Tidewater Algonkians and the English, this is an excellent book. I really enjoyed it. Next on my list of 2007 books to read is Helen Rountree's Pocahontas, Powhatan, Opechancanough: Three Lives Changed by Jamestown. I'll report back when I'm done!
5 books that mean a lot to me
1. The Chronicles of Narnia. Yes, I know that's actually 7 books but I'm counting them as 1 book today. No, I don't plan on going to see the movie. I did see the Royal Shakespeare Company version in London in 1999. That was fabulous. But I just don't trust Hollywood to do right by C.S. Lewis.
2. Pride and Prejudice. 'Nuff said there.
3. Jane Eyre. I adore this book. I first read it in the fifth grade and I have reread it every year since. What a love story.
4. Death Comes for the Archbishop. I like anything by Willa Cather, including My Antonia and another favorite, The Professor's House. But Death Comes is just beautiful. I love it at the end when the Archbishop tells his assistant that he shall not die of a cold, but that he shall die of having lived. We should all be able to look back at our lives like that.
5. The Hobbit. I also read that one for the first time in fifth grade. Wonderful book. Better than the Lord of the Rings trilogy. If a movie were to be made of The Hobbit, I doubt I would see it.
There's no history on that list, which is OK by me. I could give you a list of the 5 history books that mean a lot to me, but I really, really, should get back to this conference paper.