June 22, 2005


Paul from Flown To The Roll tagged me for this meme, which seems to be sweeping the MOB.

Total number of books owned, ever: Shelves, boxes, crates and piles of them. They're everywhere.

Last book I bought: I replaced a long-lost copy of Modern Times by Paul Johnson, actually..

Last book I read: The Boer War by Thomas Pakenham. It's a very detailed social and military history of a war with some interesting parallels with Iraq.

Five Books that mean a lot to me:

Modern Times and
The Gulag Archipelago - Both played a key role in my becoming a conservative.

Crime and Punishment - Not just a crime scene and a good detective story, but an amazing commentary on the human condition, sin and redemption. A dire, dingy tale capped with immense joy. Hard to describe my love for this book.

Parliament of Whores - While reading Andrew Sullivan showed me what a blog was, I think it was P.J. O'Rourkes classic snarky screed about government - perhaps the best primer to libertarian-conservative politics out there, more accessible than Hayek, less BS than Ayn Rand - that has always been my inspiration as an amateur conservative pundit.

And the original Hitchhiker's Guide - no book has ever been such an escapist joy.

Not the most academic of lists, but what are you gonna do?

OK, who to tag? Practically everyone's been tagged so far...

Saint Kate from the MAWB Squad.
Dementee from Kool Aid Report
Wog from Wog's Blog
James Phillips from Infinite Monkeys
And let's step outside the MOB for...
Miss O'Hara (and I'll just cross my fingers and hope she reads this...)

(I'd tag Sheila, but it'd be redundant - 80% of her blog is on the subject anyway...

Posted by Mitch at June 22, 2005 06:53 AM | TrackBack

I read Crime and Punishment in the last year or so and I wasn't all that enthralled. Maybe it's the whole Russian novel thing. I'm not saying it's not a great novel, just not one of my favorites.

Posted by: Sandy at June 22, 2005 10:24 AM

I read "Heart of Darkness", "Crime and Punishment", and "The Gulag Archipelago" in succession while overseas when I was 20, and, in combination with what I saw overseas, these books changed my view of human nature, and thus the nature of politics.

On a lighter note, "Parliament of Whores" is a fun read with a serious message, along with having a terrific last sentence. For something entirely fun, I'd recommend Joe Queenan's "Red Lobster, Blue Lagoon". The genesis of the book began as Queenan, a Manhattan resident, walked under the marquee of "Cats" for the zillioninth time, and thought to himself, "I know nothing of this musical. How bad could it be?" The author then begins a quest to discover how awful (he determines that John Tesch is, in fact, the Antichrist), and occasionally how strangely appealing (he goes to a Barry Manilow show in Branson, and discovers a lovable has-been) American popular culture is. The book is a hilarious, laugh out loud, survey of everything from dining out, to television, movies, music, books, and more.

As far as recent reads, I finally got around to reading Brookhiser's biography of Washington, and found it to be very good.

Posted by: Will Allen at June 22, 2005 10:37 AM