Saheli*: Musings and Observations
Friday, June 17, 2005
 
Book Meme

I've been tagged for another booke meme. Twice, actually, though I didn't catch the first one because I was traveling, via 201K. And now by Kevin Powell.

Number of books I own: Hmm. I'm not sure how to answer this, since I'm not sure exactly what books I own (vs. the books my sister or parents own) nor do I have access to all my books right now for counting purposes. But taking a Fermi-estimate stab, I'll guess 800. A lot of that stems from the fact that I rather like to keep textbooks, and I have a lot of them.

Last book I bought: Um, this is is somewhat predictable. Michelangelo and Raphael in the Vatican. We could only crane our necks for so long, you know.

Last Book I read: Fury, by Salman Rushdie.

Books That Mean A Lot To Me. Oh boy. That's really tough, because there are too many. I'm not going to interpret this as a top five kind of thing, though, and I'll leave out obvious and "most important" ones. (Kevin, a Lutheran Pastor, cites The Bible; I'm leaving out The Gita--that should help you calibrate the differences in our approach.)

Genius, by James Gleick: The biography of Feynman was influential not so much in its portrayal of Feynman, but in its portrayal of the culture of theoretical physics. There's a lot of texture in this book.

The Chosen, by Chaim Potok. It was assigned in 8th grade and I finished it the day I got it. It was revealing in its ability to open up a fairly alien world to me at an age when I could particularly relate to the characters. So reading it was a real literary experience in the sense of feeling connected to a universal human condition. It was also sort of moving in its description of theology as a precise, careful, but inspired practice. This is on Kevin's list as well, interestingly.

The Magic Mountain, by Thomas Mann. Easily the best book I had to read in college, and by far the most optimal combination of difficult and rewarding. It's such a detailed map of culture and philosophy and psychology, and a poignant rendering of the struggle between Apollonian and Dionysian tendencies. Whether you read it as an allegory or a description of its times, it's really ideal novel, I think. It fed my affection for the shattering of overly rigid dichotomies.

War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning
, by Chris Hedges. I read this when I was just starting out at Columbia. It's a short little book, concise, gruesome, and very intelligent. Hedges has had the sort of horrific journalistic experiences with war that dinners honoring War Correspondents can't help but romanticize, and Hedges delves into that romantization and its roots in the addictive nature of war. His concrete, bloody descriptions of modern upheavals and socio-politics are informed and illuminated by deep reflections from the Bible and the Iliad.

In the Skin of a Lion, by Michael Ondaatje. This was a novel that sort of blew me away. It's not that the story is so fundamental and universal as my other favorite novels--To Kill a Mocking Bird, Bleak House, The Great Gatsby--nor that it was small and simple and simply executed very well. It was medium, exactly right, less than a man's life, but more than an incident--clearly, it was the story that the main character would tell of his own life, with all the right amount of intersections with supporting characters. And it was executed so very well. The shifting points of view and perfectly necessary nonlinear narration, the lyrical descriptions, the rousing action--it all renewed my faith in the novel. No bloodless prose here.

Tag: Five more! Wow that's a lot. They may not like it, and I haven't been a good enough blog reader lately to make sure they haven't already done it, but here goes: Zwichenzug, The Super Six Sepia Mutiny Crowd, (one of them should bite, right?), Thennavan, Climateboy, and the literary Indeterminacy.

Update: Thennavan passes, Indeterminacy has already done it (and provides some more great titles in the comments) and Zwichenzug takes up the challenge. Update II: Renee takes the initiative with a list that may send me to the bookstore and Thennavan puts out the mother of all memes. Taran at KnowProse also has a neat list.
 


<< Home
Saheli Datta started this when she was a journalism student at Columbia in New York. Now she lives in the Bay Area. *Old people call me R. New people, call me Saheli. Thanks! My homepage. Specifically, my links. Email me: Saheli [AT] Gmail [dot] Com

ATOM FEED



Spring 2006: Guest Bloggers!
Colin!
Rishi | Scott | Emily
Echan | Robert | ToastyKen

MAIN:ssrdatta.blogspot.com
Email me!
Ways to help the Tsunami Victims Here

Want this badge?

ARCHIVES
01/01/2003 - 02/01/2003 / 09/01/2003 - 10/01/2003 / 10/01/2003 - 11/01/2003 / 11/01/2003 - 12/01/2003 / 12/01/2003 - 01/01/2004 / 01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004 / 02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004 / 03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004 / 04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004 / 05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004 / 06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004 / 07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004 / 08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004 / 09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004 / 10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004 / 11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004 / 12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005 / 01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005 / 02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005 / 03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005 / 04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005 / 05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005 / 06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005 / 07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005 / 08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005 / 09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005 / 10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005 / 11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005 / 12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006 / 01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006 / 02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006 / 03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006 / 04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006 / 05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006 / 06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006 / 07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006 / 08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006 / 09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006 / 10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006 / 05/01/2010 - 06/01/2010 / 09/01/2014 - 10/01/2014 /


Blogs I Read (Or Try To)
113th Street
american footprints(Nadezhda & Praktike)
ANNA's Diary
Apartment Therapy
Armchair Generalist
Back To Iraq 3.0 (Chris Albritton)
Dave Barry
The Bellman
Mine's On The 45 (Brimful)
Campaign Desk (CJR)
ChennaiCentral
ClimateBoy
Combing the Sphere
Crooked Timber
Daily Dose of Imagery
The Daily Rhino (Bong Breaker)
Dark Days Ahead
The Decembrist
Brad DeLong
Atanu Dey on India's Development (Deeshaa)
Daniel Drezner
Ennis
Ephemera
Cyrus Farivar
Finding My Voice
Forsv
Neil Gaiman
Ganesh Blog
Geeky Chic 2.0 (Echan)
Geomblog
Green Ink!
Heliolith
Alexandra Huddleston
Iddybud (Jude Nagurney Camwell)
Indeterminacy
India Uncut
InSpiteOfEverything
Intel Dump: Phillip Carter et al
The Intersection (Chris Mooney)
Jesus Politics
John and Belle Have a Blog
Mark A. R. Kleiman
KnowProse (Taran Rampersad)
1Locana
Maenad (Nori Heikkinen)
Scott McCloud
Mind Without Borders
Electrolite: Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden
Corey Pein
Political Animal(Kevin Drum, formerly Calpundit)
Kevin G. Powell
QuakeHelp (South Asian Quake)
Radiation Persuasion (Nick)
Reneebop
Rhinocrisy
Scott Rosenberg(Salon.com)
Rox Populi
Felix(&Rhian)Salmon
samVaad
Nick Schager
Idea Spout: Daniel Sanchez
Sepia Mutiny
Amardeep Singh
Snarkmarket (Robin Sloan & Matt Thompson)
South-East Asian Earthquake and Tsunami Blog
SreeTips: New To Sree
Steprous (Bear)
Robert Stribley
Subjunctive.net:klog
Talking Points Memo: Joshua Micah Marshall
Tech Policy
TiffinBox
A Tiny Revolution
To The Teeth
TreeHugger
Unfogged
VatulBlog
Venk@
Manish Vij
Vinod's Blog
War and Piece
Nollind Whachell
Wonkette
WorldChanging
Matthew Yglesias:Old
Yglesias:Tpmcafe
Zoo Station:Reuben Abraham
Ethan Zuckerman
Zwichenzug



Some Categories

Blogs focusing on policy, politics, and national security:
Armchair Generalist
Back To Iraq 3.0 (Chris Albritton)
The Decembrist
Brad DeLong
Daniel Drezner
Eschaton(Atrios)
Green Ink!
Iddybud (Jude Nagurney Camwell)
Idea Spout: Daniel Sanchez
Informed Comment: Juan Cole
Intel Dump: Phillip Carter
The Intersection (Chris Mooney)
Irregular Analyses
Jesus Politics
Mark A. R. Kleiman
Liberals Against Terrorism(Nadezhda & Praktike)
Political Animal(Kevin Drum, formerly Calpundit)
Talking Points Memo: Joshua Micah Marshall
War and Piece
Wonkette
Yglesias:Tpmcafe

Photo Blogs
Daily Dose of Imagery
Ephemera
Alexandra Huddleston
Radiation Persuasion (Nick)
TiffinBox

Columbia Journalism Folks
Apartment Therapy
Back To Iraq 3.0 (Chris Albritton)
Campaign Desk (CJR)
Ranajit Dam
Cyrus Farivar
Alexandra Huddleston
InSpiteOfEverything
Corey Pein
Nick Schager
Zoo Station:Reuben Abraham

Literature, Fiction and Entertainment
Dave Barry
Neil Gaiman
Electrolite: Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Scott McCloud


A Note on Comments
Haloscan is not very good at counting comments. If a comment thread is more than three months old, and you think there might be comments, please click the comments link even if it indicates zero comments. It won't display the true count properly. Thanks!


A note on permalinks
I find that a lot of people don't know about permalinks. When you want to have someone read a specific blog entry, then you should find that blog entry's permalink, click on that, and send them the resulting browser address. Otherwise they will just be sent to the blog in general, and between your reading the blog entry and your correspondent's or audience's getting to it, a whole slew of material may have pushed the entry off the front page. In this blog, the permalinks are the timestamp at the end of the entry. (Feel free to frequently send your friends and family permalinks from my blog!)







Weblog Commenting and Trackback by 
HaloScan.com Powered by Blogger