Now that it’s been established that meme means “Internet chain letter”, I’m happy enough to embrace the concept. Mark Bahnisch sent me the Book meme, which most of you will have seen already.
Total number of books Iâ€™ve owned
I haven’t counted, but I imagine it would be several thousand
The last book I bought:
“End of Poverty, The : Economic Possibilities for Our Time” (Jeffrey Sachs) I’ll probably try and review this soon. For the moment, I’ll just say that it’s the most plausible case for optimism about the possibilities open to us that I’ve seen for some time
The last book I read
“The Flight of the Creative Class: The New Global Competition for Talent” (Richard Florida) Again, more to come on this one soon.
Five books that mean a lot to me
This is a pretty hard one. I’m a voracious reader, but I’m also quite promiscuous, so I’ve been influenced a little by lots of different books. More generally, my mind is full of bits and pieces that I can’t recall where they came from. The Internet has been great in this respect. Anyway, here’s my list
George Orwell, Collected Essays Although adulation of Orwell is a bit of a cliche in the blogosphere and elsewhere, he really is worth it. If he were alive today, he’d be the greatest of bloggers
Raymond Williams “Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society” I’ve mentioned this before and a reader pointed out that there’s an updated version (a collective effort). I’ll try to track down the (rather lukewarm) review I read
Ursula Le Guin “The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia” I reread this not long ago, and it was mentioned on this list also.
Anthony Trollope“The Warden” As an archbishop is supposed to have said, there’s no better way of spending a Saturday evening than in bed with a good Trollope. I love all the Barchester novels, but The Warden is the original and best
“Work for All: Full Employment in the Nineties” (John Langmore, John Quiggin) Some of it stands up well after ten years and some does not, but working on this book it certainly made a big difference to me. It was my first significant participation in public policy debate in Australia, and I haven’t let up since.
As with most chain letters, I think everyone has already had this one, but I’ll flick it on anyway to Jason Soon, Gianna, and Kim Weatherall. I’ll keep the remaining two places for commenters on this post (those who actually have a blog will have to wait another 15 seconds for the meme to propagate to them).