ruthless compassion (aroraborealis) wrote,
ruthless compassion
aroraborealis

agaran invited me to do this one:


1. Total number of books I've owned.

I have no idea. Lots, but not as many as many of my friends. Enough to make a brief acquaintance say, "Wow, are these all your books? And... you've read them all??" (Yes, that was, no doubt, part of the reason we were so briefly acquainted.)

2. Last book I bought.

La Otra Historia by Filóchofo. This is a cartoon (but factually correct) retelling of the history of Guatemala from just before the Europeans came in to a year or two ago. It's in Spanish, and it has some entertaining drawings and some puns that I get (and probably lots that I don't, yet). Filóchofo is a well-known political cartoonist in Guatemala, recently wrote his first novel, and drew/wrote this book with a sharp eye to the complicated political dynamics of the country (and, naturally, the US, which has its fingers in the pie and has for ages.)

3. Last book I read.

I'm in the middle of (re)reading Dawn by Octavia Butler. I love love love Butler's writing because it's incredibly inventive, the characters are heroically real: I can relate to them, though I often disagree with them, and I don't know anyone like them, but it's not a stretch to think I could. This one, in particular, leaves me with a lot to chew on. I like it.

4. Five books that mean a lot to me.

The Survivor by Terence dePres. This is beautifully written and excruciating. It's an ethnography of the death camps of WWII, and, in many ways, while painful and ugly, is also uplifting and inspiring. What's at the root of survival in extremity?

Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver. Kingsolver writes lyrical prose with characters who feel real and inspiring. I'll pick up this book (or almost any other by her) for comfort or just to take a deep whiff of some gorgeous writing.

The Deed of Paksennarion by Elizabeth Moon isn't great literature by any stretch, but it's got some hidden tidbits of life wisdom packed into a great adventure story with a fantastic heroine. This is another book that counts as "comfort food" for me.

Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson. I actually haven't read this one in years, but I'm due to reread it. The story isn't specifically located, but I know where it is, because I've been there (yes, it's a fictional place, but if you've been where I have, you'll know it, too) and there's a character in it who, I believe, has snuck up on me to be the person I'm becoming, at least in part. I may reread this and change my mind, though, so don't hold me to it.

this space left deliberately blank because a fifth isn't springing to mind, but it will, no doubt, some other time :)


I'd like to invite qwrrty, snowy_owlet, istemi, and hawkegirl to jump in on this one if they'd care to.
Tags: books, memes
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