Thursday, June 02, 2005

NDP Bloggers work quickly...

Only two days on the blog and I've already been tagged. Without any further ado...

Number of Books I Own: Probably a few hundred, spread through a house and an apartment. An eclectic collection of university textbooks (mostly political science, philosophy and law), sports commentary, humourous novels (prominently featuring Douglas Adams, Carl Hiaasen, and Bill Fitzhugh among others), and other random tomes.

Last Book I Bought: I don't often buy books in light of other options; the most recent one purchased was a how-to book on written advocacy. Maybe I should read that one before posting.

Last Book I Read: I'm currently reading Freakonomics, by Steven J. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. A fascinating application of economic principles to unexpected situations.

5 Books that Mean a lot to Me:
To start, this is a surprisingly tough category, as I'm not sure that I've kept track of the sources of a lot of the ideas that have influenced me most. In any event, off the top of my head...
1. Spider Robinson's Callahan series. A combination of solid sci-fi plots with relentlessly positive messages about the values of friendship and cooperation.
2. Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which mixes more philosophical discussion than I got out of my first three years of university with intriguing characters and plots. Not an easy read, but it's worth the effort.
3. Will Kymlicka's Contemporary Political Philosophy, the one university textbook that I go back and read again every year or two. A surface view of pretty much any political philosophy that can claim to be viable. While I disagree with some of the conclusions, the discussion is nonetheless worth a read.
4. Betty Crocker's Casserole Cookbook. A surprisingly deep exploration of the human condition, accompanied by the authoritative explanation of the origins of law, plus the Ham 'n Cheese Bake is great.
4. Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, one of the main incubators for my absurdist sense of humour.
5. A recent addition: The Efficient Society by Joseph Heath. An excellent analysis based on the twin theses that efficiency (broadly defined) is itself the most important end to be pursued through public policy, and that Canada is the world's most efficient society. What's not to like?

And for tag time, I don't see posts on this from CathiefromCanada, Canadian Cynic, No More Shall I Roam, My Blahg, or Trickle Down Truth.

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