Having been tagged with the book meme by Jeana
, here are my answers:
Number of books I own: Far, far too many. One year and one day ago, when two history degrees wed, the combined literary power became a library of truly horrific proportions. My husband, bless him, proceeded to arrange our books according to topic, alphabetically by author or chronologically by topic, whichever was called for by the section. In addition to my guilty fiction habit, we have extensive philosophy, music, history, political, biology, and Christian literature sections. The works of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkein, and the other Inklings figure largely in the collection, as well as works on United States Military History and, well, knitting.
Last book I read: Vet in Harness, by James Herriot. Herriot is the shrewd Glasgewian veterinarian who was the subject of the BBC's All Creatures Great and Small. His books are pithy and amusing, just the sort of thing to pick up and put down during the summer.
Second-to-last book: The first three chapters of "America's History," Bedford-St. Martin's Press, in preparation for the first week of AP US History in September. My review: Flowing in the slightly stodgy manner of upper history textbooks, beautiful color plates, nice chapter reviews.
5 books that mean a lot to me:
1. The Bible. Particularly the New King James. I just don't like the NIV, never have. It seems somewhat halting to me, particularly when reading aloud. That, and it features some particularly wimpy synonym choices. "Transgressions" just sounds so much more important than "sins." I'm not against all new translations, though. I particularly like the New Living, which seems quite well done, flows beautifully, and is easily understood by the average 15-year-old.
2. Moral Man and Immoral Society
, by Reinhold Niebuhr, which explains so beautifully why nations are small and petty things compared to divine morality. Not that nations should be abolished, or that Christians should forswear allegiance to their countries, but that only individuals, not societies, may serve God. A godly man in power may lead a nation to act in godly ways, but there is nothing inherently godly about the nation, just about the man.
3. The Screwtape Letters
, by C. S. Lewis. There are some things that are best taught through story, and mans relationship to God and to sin is very well portrayed here. That and it's just a good story.
4. The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass
, by Adrian Plass. The church isn't the building, it's the people.
5. The Joy of Cooking
. Sorry, but I'm a hopeless domestic. And really, without good food, what's the point? You'll note that I've linked to the 1931 facsimile edition, not the new version. The new version has been completely ruined by taking out all the chattiness and inserting things like recipes for Pho. The real help in the Joy of Cooking isn't the recipes, though those are reliable, it's the faultless advice included in every chapter. Well, that, and where else in this day and age can you learn how to pickle onions and make Jefferson Davis pie? Really--I mean it--I wouldn't be nearly so successful a cook, or, indeed, a human being, without this book.
Now...tagging...hmm...the only other blogger I really know is my husband
, and I'm not sure if he'll go in for this sort of thing. We'll see.