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Day By Day© by Chris Muir.


Wednesday, June 08, 2005

the online book challenge from rob

so here i am, innocently reading my email when i get this challenge. and i can't refuse, because it's about books, dammit.
i'll have to figure out some means of getting back at rob.

You answer (in a blog post) the following questions, and "tag" (i.e., pass on) this challenge to five other bloggers.
(Bonus points for Amazon/Borders links to the books in the questions.)
(1) Number of books you own: honestly, i don't know. just a wild assed guess, between my wife and me, probably several thousand. i know that i have at least 500 military history books, and that's only one genre.

(2) Last book bought: The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini

(3) Last book I read: The Devil's Secret Name, by Jim Morris

(4) Five books that mean a lot to me: ok, this is going to be the tricky part. most of the books that mean a lot to me were some of the first books i read. why? because they were either milestones, or shaped me and my future.

  1. Johnny Tremain by Ester Forbes and Lynd Wood. this was the first BIG book i ever read by myself. it was almost 300 pages long, and to a 4th grader, that was an accomplishment. the fact that the book was about the revolutionary war and it's time helped. i think i read this in about 4 nights. didn't get much sleep, and i think i used all of my dad's batteries. i think this book probably set me down the path of public service. no joke.

  2. "You Were There on the Nautilus", author unknown. This book, read when i was in the 5th or 6th grade started my life long love and fascination with everything submarine. it was one of quite a few juvenile adventure books like "you were there with jimmy doolittle". you get the picture. they were actually pretty informative, and i can't really say i have a lot to disagree with what i read in them, compared to what i've learned since.

  3. sorry, but the next one is not a book, but an author. in the summer between 7th and 8th grade, i read the entire collection of Zane Grey. my dad had a book club set with all of his novels. i read them all. something like 30 or more. the two that i remember to this day were Riders of the Purple Sage and Under the Tonto Rim. in this modern day and age, moms across the country would throw their hands in the air and wail that some poor malleable mind was warped by a western writer. all i can say is i'm glad i read them when i did. i learned some pretty important lessons in those books. honesty, courage, self-reliance. anyone with a kid in middle school might consider a couple of zane grey books. you could do a lot worse.

  4. The Making of the Atomic Bomb, by Richard Rhodes and it's companion Dark Sun; The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb by the same author. since i'm a science geek, and chemistry and physics were my easily pushed buttons, these books are a natural. the science, politics, intrigue, and human egos are fascinating. since the making of both the atom and hydrogen bombs were a basic underpinning of late 20th century american society and it's interactions with the world since 1945, understanding more about them seemed like a good idea. both are excellent reads. and edward teller was an ass. brilliant, but an ass.

  5. About Face: The Odyssey of an American Warrior, by David Hackworth. one of the saddest things i've experienced as an adult was the slide into asshattidness (dare you to find that in the spell checker) that hackworth exhibited in the last couple of years of his life. when i first read this book (it had been in the bookstores exactly 5 minutes before i bought it. the clerk was still pulling copies out of the box to shelve) i was bowled over. this man was an american hero with almost no peers. to say he was a warrior's warrior doesn't even come close. he was intelligent, bold, brave, brash, and brilliant on the battle field. having grown up as an army brat, i'd heard a lot of the same stories from my father and his buds about korea. since i'm a military history junkie, (mainly strategy and the motivations behind the battles) hack filled me in on some harrowing and dangerous actions i'd either heard about or read somewhere else. his no bullshit straight to the heart of the matter of leadership showed in his writing. he may be gone, but his books will forever be a part of any true martial library.

dayam. i haven't even scratched the surface. there are more books on my "they changed my life, or they changed my way of thinking, or they simply entertained the hell out of me" than i can list. since i've averaged between 2 and 5 books a week since i was 10, and i'm 50 now, you can imagine how many books i've read. right now, for instance, i'm reading the kite runner, Gringos:A Novel, by Charles Portis, rereading Street Without Joy, by Bernard Fall again for like the 15th time, and for brain nachos, a sci fi book Fallen Dragon, by Peter F. Hamilton. i'll probably finish them all by sunday, and then it's on to the next pile waiting for me to explore.

and so to the passing of the challenge:

here ya go guys: pigboat sailor
my amigo Dwardo
and last, but certainly not least skippy-san the far east cynic, who doesn't have an email link, so i'll just have to go beat him up on his own turf....

i think i've picked a couple of great characters to do this one. i'm really interested to see what comes up.


Blogger Skippy-san said...

Noted. I wish I knew more about HTML code so I could put it in a good way. You're the 3rd person to tell me that. However since I am a trackback junkie, this works for me.

Challenge accepted. Since I like to read a lot, this may take a while.

6/8/05, 10:47 PM  
Blogger Skippy-san said...

Slide into asshattedness? Is that the same as going over to the Dark Side?

6/9/05, 3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

*grumble, grumble*

Okay. I'll get to it this weekend. At least I'll try.

6/9/05, 9:31 PM  
Blogger Skippy-san said...

This one has really taken off. Check out Expat at Large's blog and Yankee Sailor's blog and follow the links. Makes for interesting reading.....

6/12/05, 6:35 PM  
Blogger PigBoatSailor said...

Eeek. Sorry it was so late, but I am done. Check it out.

6/28/05, 9:22 AM  

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