June 14th, 2005

Tea-drinker par excellence

Book meme from pete_darby

1) How many books have I owned?

Thousands. I try not to get rid of any but I've just not got the storage. I've got about 200 French SF books in the attic let alone any English ones and all of Paula's books.

2) What was the last book I bought?

Havoc in its Third Year. It's quite a fun read about a depressing situation: religious persecution and the application of oppression, albeit set in 1603. I read it on my birthday on the trip to and from Leeds so in about 4 hours or so. It was good enough that I didn't do much else during that time.

3) What was the last book I read?

Faces under Water (Secret books of Venus I) by Tanith Lee. This is the first in her series of Venus (for which read Venice) novels each with an elemental tie-in. This first is about the misadventures of a rather belligerent (perhaps even FOOLish) ex-nobleman. It's a bit of a curates egg but is quite a nice adventure, even if the protagonist is curiously disempowered. It's good enough for my train ride each day. If you like her books of Paradys (i.e. Paris) then you'll probably get on OK with this.

Five books that mean a lot to me:
Viriconium by M. John Harrison - my favourite author, fires off in all kinds of directions and emminently re-rereadable.
Man with a Sword by Henry Treece - the story of Hereward the Wake, a true historical adventurer. This really got my imagination fired up when I was 9. Written for children but pisses all over Harry Potter.
The Dying Earth by Jack Vance - the master of baroque fantasy with a cruel turn of phrase. It's an inventive joy.
AD&D Dungeon Masters' Guide - possibly one of the worst game books ever produced, a complete mess of ideas that never really explains how to play the game. And yet ...
The Great Philosophers by Bryan Magee - the book of the TV series that really stoked my interest in the subject. It covers so much ground with a critical eye (and much more fairly than Scruton).

Actually it's pretty hard to limit it to five books. I've not mentioned Borges, Tolkien, Ings, Gibson, O'Connell, Isherwood, Leiber, Nye, Brewer's, ...