Friday, June 10, 2005

My Book Report

Co-Blogger Glen threw down the gauntlet a couple of weeks ago, challenging me to answer four questions about my bookish habits. As a courtesy to him, I'll take up the challenge.

1. Total number of books I've owned. Thankfully, d addressed the same query recently, and counted 766 books in our household. I probably have another 200 or so at the office. I don't know exactly how many books I've owned over the course of my life; probably around 500.

2. Last book bought. Neal Stephenson's The System of the World (The Baroque Cycle, Vol. 3) (William Morrow & Company, 2004).

3. Last book read. I listen to a lot of books on tape, but I guess that those don't count as read books. I often read portions of books, too, a practice that fits within the letter but probably not the spirit of the present question. The last book I consumed visually and it its entirety: Henri Pirenne, Medieval Cities (Princeton University Press, 1969).

4. Five books that mean a lot to me.

Douglas R. Hofstadter, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid (Basic Books, Inc. 1979): The "Bible of Logic," as I called it, that I lugged around during high school.

Albert R. Jonsen, Stephen Toulmin, The Abuse of Casuistry: A History of Moral Reasoning (Univ. of California Press 1988): By resolving the false dichotomy between deontological and teleological moral reasoning, this book saved me from a lot of futile ethical rhetoric.

Richard Taylor, Freedom, Anarchy, and the Law (Prentice Hall, 1973): John Hospers introduced me to this calm yet vividly written argument against statism. The parable of "The Block," at page 18, forever changed my understanding of patriotism.

Bruce Benson, The Enterprise of Law: Justice Without the State (Pacific Research Institute, 1990): The single best source for the history and theory of polycentric legal orders.

Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon (Avon Books 2002): My favorite novel.

5. Pass this meme on to five people to post on their blogs. I'd rather not, thanks. Somebody has serve as a breaker, ensuring that this meme does not consume the blogosphere. You can call me, "Mr. Fuse."

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