Anothermad tagged me, so I must respond:

1.  Total number of books I own?

I don’t know.  Hundreds.  Probably not quite a thousand.  Too many.  Too many.  Most of them are in boxes right now.  We need new bookcases.

2.  The last book I bought?

I bought three right before my vacation:  The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, Blind Alley by Iris Johansen, and Enemy Women by Paulette Jiles.

3.  The last book I read?

Did I read any of those books on my plane ride?  Of course not!  On the eastbound flight I read the book Sugar Daddy gave me for my birthday, The Jane Austen Book Club.  On the westbound flight I read the book my Front Royal friend bought for me,

Mystic
River.  After I finished

Mystic
River, I started to read Blind Alley, which was a fine diversion on a plane ride, when I had nothing better to do, but since hitting the ground, I have been strangely uncompelled to finish it.  It reads kind of like an episode of the X-Files, but without the smoldering sexual tension between Mulder and Scully, eh, who cares?

4.  Five books that mean a lot to me:

Little Women, Louisa May Alcott  I’ve read this book approximately 47 times.  I think that’s a realistic estimate.  I think I probably love it because I relate so well to Jo, but every time I read it I pray that it will end differently.  It never does.  Books are funny that way.

Life of Pi, Yann Martel  I heart this book.  Heart heart heart it.

The Power and the Glory, Graham Greene  Politics and religion, together where they belong (in fiction).

Complete Stories, Flannery O’Connor  This feels a little like cheating, but technically it is a book, so it’s okay.  Flannery O’Connor is my idol.

The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand  I first read this book in high school, and I couldn’t put it down.  Well, I could, but I didn’t want to.  It’s the fastest 700 pages I’ve ever read.  Although I consider
Rand’s philosophy totally immoral at its core, I have to admit that she’s a brilliant, fascinating psycho.  (And my inner libertarian has to admire her eloquent defense of capitalism, even though the philosophical path she takes is not exactly my own.)  I like this book better than Atlas Shrugged because it has a better ending.  Also, the obligatory treatise on Objectivism is only 40 pages long instead of 65.

This exercise has put me in a list mood.  So here are today’s lists.

STUFF I COULDN’T FREAKING CARE LESS ABOUT

1.  Tom Cruise’s love life

2.  Julia Roberts’ babies (OMG THEY’RE TWINS!  THEY’RE SO CUTE!  SHE’S LIKE THE FIRST WOMAN TO EVER GIVE BIRTH!  HOW DOES SHE DO IT???  IT’S SO AMAZING I CAN’T STAND IT!!!)

3.  Paris Hilton’s engagement to someone else named
Paris (When I become obscenely rich, I’m going to have twins and name them both
Montreal.)

4.  Who won American Idol (or Survivor or The Apprentice or Wheel of Fortune)

5.  Deep Throat’s true identity  (I liked him better as Hal Holbrook)

REPUBLICANS WHO NEED TO GROW UP

1.  (Former) Washington Gubernatorial Candidate Dino Rossi–Yes, the 2004 election was all messed up.  I understand your frustration–so close and yet so far.  (A Republican governor in the
Pacific Northwest–dare we dream?)  However, YOU LOST.  THEY SWORE IN THE NEW GOVERNOR ALMOST SIX MONTHS AGO AND IT WASN’T YOU.  It’s time to MoveOn.org.  Maybe you should devote the next four years to actual electoral reform instead of just whining about how unfair all of this was and demanding more recounts and manipulations of data until you get a result you like.  (This sounds familiar.  I’ve said this before.  When was it?  I’m sure I’ll think of it eventually.)

2.  Spokane Mayor Jim West–You used your office to get teenage boys to have sex with you.  You know what that makes you?  No, not the target of a witch hunt, Mr. Gay-Rights-Are-For-Child-Molesters-Not-Law-Abiding-Citizens.  It makes you a criminal.  What you did was illegal and wrong.  It’s indefensible.  Duh.  Duh.

SPEAKING OF DUH

The
California Landslides  At the risk of sounding heartless–which I’m really not, despite my weakness for Ayn Rand–I have to say that I still can’t figure out why people pay millions of dollars for homes that are built on a freaking cliff.  Yes, acts of God happen, but only mortal hubris builds a house on a freaking cliff.  I’m sure it’s a lovely ocean view when your home isn’t falling down around you and you aren’t running for your life.  That said, it is sad when people lose their homes.  I would hate to lose my home.  (That’s one of the reasons I didn’t buy a home built on a freaking cliff where they no longer insure for landslides.  But that doesn’t make it any less sad.)

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My tap recital is tomorrow night.  We had our full dress rehearsal last night.  The good news is that I had finally learned our routine.  I had it down cold.  The bad news is that you would never guess I knew the routine because I was dancing like Frankenstein, my legs were so stiff.  I don’t know why, but I was in pain the whole time.  Much of it was emotional pain, of course, because I really don’t want to dance badly in public.  It’s bad enough when I do it in private.  Fortunately, I spend most of my time in the back row where no one will be able to see me but my eagle-eyed husband, who’s going to make fun of me regardless of how I dance, so whatever.

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