What a nice surprise! Matthew of Common Misadventures tagged me for an interesting meme about reading. Then, of course, I put off writing it for a few weeks because it actually took some thinking. But here goes...
My Reading: I used to be a voracious reader. When I was in high school, I read at least a book a week. I devoured as many of the classics as I could get my hands on, including things I would never read now (like Dostoevsky!) Despite thoughts of majoring in history or political science in college, I ended up majoring in English Lit -- so plenty more reading ensued.
Once I got out into the working world, though, I turned away from the classics. I pick one up occasionally, but I really prefer to read high-quality but easily readable recent fiction.
Although I read French fluently, I don't read in French that often. I think reading is a good way for me to keep in touch with my native language, and I also find much current French fiction soupy and too self-consciously intellectual. I will make an exception for one of the five books on my list below, though. I also know that I have just made a sweeping generalization, and anyone who wants to suggest a list of great recent French novels to read can feel free to do so!
Total number of books owned: Probably several hundred, but I don't buy all that many books -- other than cookbooks, which are a guilty pleasure! I had quite a collection of classics sitting back home in the USA but got rid of them a few summers ago.
Last book read and bought: The last book I read was Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes. I enjoyed the cultural observations, but had to skim over the endless details about house renovation.
The last book I bought was The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami -- but I haven't read it yet.
Five meaningful books: Not necessarily favorites, just books that have meant a lot to me and that come to mind...
Les Jeux Sont Faits by Jean-Paul Sartre
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
Ensemble, C'est Tout by Anna Gavalda
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingslover
Now for who to tag -- how about the last three people who have commented on And So Forth?