The Rock Chick tagged me to do this one. Hoo-ray! The only thing I like to collect more than yarn and knitting gadgets is books, books and more books. I can't pass a bookshop without falling in, then stumbling out hours later with my arms loaded down. One of these days the ceiling of the dining room is going to collapse from the sheer weight of all the books in the loft above. At least when that happens I won't have to get up from dinner to get a book to read with my tea.
Last book read: Philip Roth's The Plot Against America, for the Knit One, Read Too group.
Where it came from: Amazon
Books read per year: It's hard to know. I usually have multiple books going at any one time, so it's hard to keep track. I sometimes dip in and out of books; read part, move to something else, especially with non-fiction. I also listen to books on my Ipod. Probably in the 15-25 range, not counting medical reading.
Favorite genre: That's a little like asking a parent which one is their favorite of their children. In fiction, I like the obvious: memorable characters, difficult situations, great scene descriptions. But I love writers who are able to do this in a fresh way; who write the kind of scenes that make you stop and re-read, and go back even years later to find just that perfect passage that brought a character or place alive. In non-fiction I am a sucker for history books. I'm not much into traditional romance novels or spy stories. Or horror. I can live without Stephen King quite happily.
Five favorite books: This is another difficult one. It shifts with time and life-changes. Only five??
Soldier of the Great War, by Mark Helprin. I keep buying this book and giving it away to people to read; I'm like an evangelist coming to your door pushing religious tracts with this one.
Undaunted Courage; Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West, by Stephen Ambrose. This is the story of the famous Lewis and Clark Expedition, but told in a way that makes you feel like a part of the adventure, except no bugs and sand in your food.
Young Men and Fire, by Norman Maclean. Though the subject matter is depressing (the Mann Gulch fire in Montana in 1949 that killed thirteen smoke jumpers), this is written in such a riveting fashion that you can't put it down. It's even more eerie when you hike up to the site of the fire after reading the book. Maclean also wrote A River Runs Through It.
A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L'Engle. I love everything she has written, but this is my favorite.
Angle of Repose, by Wallace Stegner. Anything of his could be on this list.
The Lymond Chronicles, by Dorothy Dunnett. Now this is really cheating. Not only is this number six, it's actually a series of six books. If you like historical fiction, pick up the first of these novels and settle in for the winter. Or summer, whatever. These books have adventure, romance, history, great characters, and are whole flights of stairs above what passes for historical romance by most writers. Maddeningly addicting!