1. Total number of books in your house?
I have no freakin' idea except that there's never space for them all and there seem to be more and more all the time. I'm always getting rid of books--either via Bookcrossing or just by donating them, but still they're everywhere.
2. The last book you bought was?
The Outlaw Sea by William Langewiesche. I haven't read it yet--I'm taking it on vacation with me.
3. What was the last book you read before reading this message?
Read as in finished or read as in I was just reading it last night before I went to bed but I'm not done with it yet? If it's the former, the book is The Panama Hat Trail by Tom Miller (which I mentioned yesterday). If it's the latter, then the book is Valverde's Gold: In Search of the Last Great Inca Treasure by Mark Honigsbaum. Both books are about Ecuador.
4. Write down five books you often read or that mean a lot to you.
The Red Orchestra by Gilles Perrault. The story of Leopold Trepper, the leader of an anti-Nazi radio espionage ring that the Nazis called "The Red Orchestra." This is the most awesome true spy story ever. Trepper is an incredible hero, but you've probably never heard of him because he was a communist.
Travels With Lizbeth: Three Years on the Road and on the Streets by Lars Eighner. After quitting his job and then being evicted, Eighner became homeless but wouldn't think of being parted from his dog. This is the tale of their travels and what he put up with to keep his dog. I completely identify with Eighner--I'd never give up my dog either--and this was one of the most moving memoirs I've ever read.
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. Do I have to explain this one? Is there anyone who doesn't already know this is possibly the funniest book ever written?
I'm going top have to say "a book by Michael Pollan" because I can't decide between: The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World, A Place of My Own: The Education of an Amateur Builder and Second Nature. He's a fantastic writer and he seems to pick things to write about that are exactly what I want to read. Here's a recent interview with him. More articles by Pollan: This Steer's Life, The Futures of Food, An Animal's Place.
The whole Harry Potter thing.
5. Who are you going to pass the stick to and why?
As they say around here: Like your undies, it's up to ya. (To say it correctly you have to stress the "to" in the last part.)