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Book Tag
04/06/2005

I've been hit by Andrew at Bound by Gravity, Don at All Things Canadian and Declan at Crawl Across the Ocean. Thanks guys.

I knew this was going to happen sooner or later. Every other blogger seems to have done it already, although there are under 10,000 instances of "book tag" found through Google. Who started this thing?

Number of Books that I own:

I think only about 200. (I didn't count.) I used to live in a small apartment, and whenever my bookcase would get full, I'd make a large donation to the library. Once I got beyond the need to collect, I realized I owned lots of books that I didn't need to own. If I ever really needed to see them again, I could visit them at the TPL.

Not that the Toronto Public Library is always good an accepting my gifts. In fact, just Thursday I tried to give them my copy of Freakonomics, and they said no... despite the fact that the system reports a 755-person waiting list.

Last Book Bought:

The last books I bought were Freakonomics and The Rebel Sell, both of which I've reviewed on this site.

The past year hasn't been a big book-buying year for me because I've been doing too much reading online and in magazines. I've also been using the library more for my entertainment reading. The last book I took out from the library, Thursday, was The Burglar Who Traded Ted Williams (a Bernie Rhodenbarr Mystery) by Lawrence Block.

Last Book Read:

When I started writing this post, the last book I had read was Requiem for a Mezzo. It was a decent murder mystery set in 1920s London, but written in the past decade. It took me a while to get through it and I owed the library a lot of money when I finally took it back.

The actual last book I read is now The Burglar Who Traded Ted Williams, which I finished last night. It's the second one I've read in the series (about a NYC burglar than ends up solving murders), and I enjoy the humour in Block's writing.

I like mysteries and thrillers when I'm looking for some entertainment, and -- if you don't mind another plug for the Toronto Public Library -- my branch has a shelf where I can just grab one and be pretty sure that it'll do. It's summer time, and reading a book in the backyard while watching the neighbour's racoons sunbathe is a much better way to spend time than reading blogs.

5 Books That Mean a Lot to Me:

Of the top of my head, it was actually hard to come up with five. But looking over the bookcase I was reminded of some good ones that had good reason to survive the library purges.

There Are Two Errors in The The Title of this Book by Robert M. Martin: I read this book early in university. It was a very fun, entertaining and intelligent introduction to philosophy, and almost convinced me to transfer out of engineering school before other factors intervened.

The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York by Robert A. Caro: I don't remember why I picked this book up, or what I knew about it when I did, but just reading the Introduction blew me away. It's biography and it's history, and it touches on several of my interests, but more than anything it is really an amazing story.

The Economy of Cities by Jane Jacobs: This is not the most famous of her books, but it is a brillant one. It has great insight into how the economy works, how it came to be, and how the way we arrange the world affects it.

The Efficient Society by Joseph Heath: As I mentioned in my recent review of The Rebel Sell, it is probably best to read the two books as a pair. I've said enough about these two in that review, but they've certainly influenced my worldview.

The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream by Paulo Coelho: The right book at the right time.

Tag 5 Others:

This has been done by so many others already. But, to get some tips on some interesting new books I'd like to hear from The Armchair Garbageman, Warren Kinsella, David Sucher, and Ikram Saeed. James Bow has already tagged himself, but I'd like to see him do it again while wearing his Transit Toronto hat.

UPDATE: Warren Kinsella has answered, and I wasn't the first to tag him. Look up his June 4 posting.

UPDATE 2: Ikram's book list is up.

UPDATE 3: Declan researched my question about who started this all.


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