I've been doubly tagged by Tom Benjamin and Mike Chen to contribute to a book listing that has been circulating, so here's my list before I depart to the lake for the Canada Day weekend.
Surprisingly enough, while hockey dominates most of my extracuricular activities, this doesn't extend to my literary material. Too be honest, book snob that I am — a degree in Literature will do that to one — I don't think anyone has yet to produce the definitive hockey book/novel. (Although I certainly hope other's book lists turns up a few gems).
As for hockey-related reading material, I'd recommend Russ Conway's Game Misconduct and Calgary Herald columnist Bruce Dowbiggin's book Money Players: How Hockey's Greatest Stars Beat The NHL At Its Own Game. Both are well worth the jacket price.
1) How many books do I own?
The majority of my library sits in boxes in dad's basement in Kamloops, but I'd roughly estimate I have around 150 titles. Nowhere near the likes of Benjamin and Off Wing's Eric Mc, but that's to be expected considering they are roughly twice my age (just kidding, of course, fellas).
2) Most recent purchases?
Because of work, the last six months have been consumed almost entirely by newspapers and magazines. The last (decent) books I bought were Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, The Great Shark Hunt by Hunter S. Thompson, and The Face of War by Martha Gellhorn. All pieces of excellent journalism, if you're into that sort of thing.
3. Currently Reading
There's been a crumpled copy of Philip K. Dick's Confessions of a Crap Artist under my bed for months. I suppose that counts. And I keep meaning to get around to more of the Tim O'Brien catalogue.
4. Books that meant the most?
I love the classics. I studied contemporary literature, namely American and UK authors from the 20th century, so it's a matter of picking favourites from favourites. Raymond Carver's short story collection Cathedral. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner. The Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway. O'Brien's harrowing tales of Vietnam in The Things They Carried. Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the inspiration for the Blade Runner film. Samuel Beckett's Watt and Murphy. And I was always a sucker for two well-worn classics, Albert Camus' The Outsider and J.D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye. It's hard to leave it at just those, but I'll spare the excess space.
5. Who's next?
John at Boltsmag, PJ at Sharkspage and well-read colleagues, non-hockey bloggers Pevans at Man Bites Dog and Anders Davidson at deepfriedgold. Let's have 'em fellows.
Let my (brief) holiday begin! Knowing my luck, the CBA will be signed while I'm away. If that's the case, I trust you're all in good hands with the others.