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Thu, Jun. 9th, 2005, 05:09 pm
Media Memes

Book and music memes, tagged from boffo9 and cygnia respectively.

I'm currently obsessed with the following songs:

- "Dancing in the Dark," Bruce Springsteen
- "Mushaboom," Feist
- "Paper Moon," Ella Fitzgerald
- "Nubian," Raquy and the Cavemen
- "Hey Mama," Black Eyed Peas
- "Un Bel Di," Puccini (from Madame Butterfly)

. . . and if that's not some radical variety, I'm not sure what is. -g-

I'm curious what gamerchick, rscott, psychick, bneuensc, boffo9 and, of course, maastrictian are currently listening to. Yes, this is part of the meme, so get crackin', folks!

As for books:

1) Total number of books I've owned:
I currently have 3,023 catalogued books in the apartment. I probably have another 50 or so that haven't been catalogued yet, and another 800-ish at my parents' house. That total doesn't include comics, though I find even graphic novels take up a lot less space (and require ongoing attention to series, which is why I catalogue them separately).

2) The last book I bought:
Technically speaking, I bought Swan Bride. It's a bit of a long story: I ran into the author in the bookstore she now runs in Springdale, Utah, and she gave me a whole bunch of free books. Unfortunately, the only one she didn't have was the first one in the series, so even though romance really isn't my thing, I had to get the first book for completeness. And now you know why I have a serious book problem. The last book I bought of my own choice was Steven Johnson's Everything Bad Is Good For You, though that's more of a research purchase than something I'd necessarily read for fun. (Get me ranting on Johnson some other time, okay?) Before that, I bought a whole bunch of silly John Sandford novels, and I really can't pretend I did anything other than read them as soon as I got them home from the store. Man, the guy can write some good bad thrillers, let me tell you!

3) The last book I read:
I'm almost done with Gormenghast, and since that's three novels in one I figure I can count it. Otherwise, the last book I completed was The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov, which I highly recommend to anyone who's an aspiring writer. Looking at how bad some of Nabokov's early works were should give you hope!

4) Five books that mean a lot to me (in no particular order):

The Lord of the Rings, J. R. R. Tolkien: I've read this series every single year since I was eight years old. I love the characters, the difficulties and dangers, the elaborate world, even the sometimes-overblown writing. I can't imagine getting a year older without going back to these one more time, since every time I read them, I find something new.

The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas: This is probably the single book which has most influenced my writing and storytelling style. It's a story of high adventure, but one that uses the dramatic elements to convey a moral message. The overlapping plotlines and the tragic structure are also things that I find showing up in my own work pretty much all the time.

Main Street, Sinclair Lewis: This is one of the books that gave me the courage to break away from the conventional life my family expected me to lead. It tells the story of a woman who wants more than the life she's given, but doesn't quite know how to get out. The pity I felt for the main character, and the fury I felt on her behalf, helped me blow the windows off my own cage.

Why So Slow?, Virginia Valian: This was the book that got me into game design, even though it's actually got nothing to do with games. A powerful indictment of how our current science-and-technology environment treats women, this book made me want to find ways to make science and technology appeal to girls. Games ended up being how I wanted to do it, even though now I'm more interested in play for other reasons.

Necessary Dreams, Anna Fels. This is the only book on the list that I've read for the first time within the past year (and the only one I've read only once!), but it's already been a major influence on my life. It's an analysis of ambition and why ambition is psychologically necessary for human beings - and how women's ambitions are systematically squashed in subtle, undramatic ways. I'm a very confident woman, but reading this book still helped me see the ways in which I sell myself short on a regular basis.



5) Tag five people and have them fill this out in their LJs:
hakamadare, chaiya, whytcrow, thran, eclectician: that's all you.

Thu, Jun. 9th, 2005 05:14 pm (UTC)
boffo9

Crap! How, in my book postings, could I have forgotten Dumas! it must be those damned beetles and their telephone sidekicks!

Thu, Jun. 9th, 2005 06:05 pm (UTC)
bneuensc

I'd like to hear you rant on Johnson. The excerpts I've read have been very interesting.

Thu, Jun. 9th, 2005 06:43 pm (UTC)
psychick

Hm, Necessary Dreams sounds fascinating. I'll get to doing my own thing once I get home. ;-)