Stop Me Before I Hurt Myself

Posted by Ryan Jerz on Friday June 3, 2005.

Damnit! Seriously, Dave. There is something you should kow about me. I don’t DO memes. Everyone knows that. Well, at least two people know it, but they had to go to bed at 8:30 tonight so I can’t have them wallow in pity with me as I prepare to actually do the first meme of my life. Seriously.

The meme in question is some thing about books or something. Check it here (that’s the second link to the same article). Books come and go in my life. I read them off and on. When they’re on, I go through them like a fat kid on Ding-Dongs. When I don’t, it takes me more than a month to read my copy of Wired (I know, not a book, but the rate is sad). Memes away!

How Many Books Do You Own? 112. I totally made that up. See, this is why I don’t do memes. I really don’t want to count my books. It’s late, I just got back from running, and the Dodgers just won to avoid losing their fourth straight. It’s beer-thirty.

What is the Last Book You Bought? Photographic Composition by Tom Grill and Mark Scanlon. I really feel I need to strengthen my photo composition. This has helped so far, and I’m working on it slowly.

What is the Last Book You Read? Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. A classic that I first read in college and have now read four times. Every time I read it I am at a time when my appreciation of romanticism is in a different place. It’s also cool to read my old notes I made and laugh at my references to things in German classes.

Name five books that mean a lot to you. Ooh baby. This has to be a great one for everybody. Here goes, in no particular order.

  1. 1984 – by George Orwell. I like both this one and Animal Farm, but this one is far better. I have read it over and over. Orwell’s understanding of totalitarian states was spot n, but he gets no love for his far-advanced understanding of technology. microphones and cameras everywhere? Who the hell knew? Orwell knew.
  2. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl – by Harriet Jacobs. I had to read this one for a class on women during the Civil War period. Couldn’t put t down, literally. I’m not a fast reader, so one Saturday I was up until about 3:30 am finishing it. Then I was so adrenalized form my interest in it I couldn’t sleep. Unbelievable tales, sometimes trite and elementary, but riveting nonetheless.
  3. The Bluest Eye – by Toni Morrison. Having read Beloved and enjoying it, someone, I think it was a professor (man, I was one of those tools that made everyone look bad when I returned to school) recommended this to me. It was far and away better. Even if it was on Oprah’s Book Club.
  4. The Homebrewer’s Companion – by Charlie Papazian. Chuck is the brewer’s brewer, and brewing is cool. I constantly refer back to it for tips I may have forgotten, recipes, and general fun reading. Anyone interested in brewing should check it out.
  5. On the Run – by Maury Wills and Mike Celizic. Maury Wills was the best base stealer of all time. He was the National League MVP in 1962. He is a Dodger legend. And my wife often worked with his daughter when she was in advertising. One night, I got a call when they were out to dinner, and she asked me if I knew who Maury was. I asked her if she was kidding. Then she told me that Wendy, whom she’d known for a while, was his daughter. I couldn’t believe it. That Christmas, much to my surprise, I opened a present that contained a signed copy of the book (out of print, but found by the resourceful Christy Jerz and bought up, along with four others using Maury’s own credit card) and a signed ball. I treasure them. Maury’s family isn’t so fond of the book, as it details a very troubled time in his life. Maury also sent a great letter back to The Boy after The Boy wrote hme. What a guy, and that’s why this book might mean more to me than any other.

There you have it. A freaking meme done by me. Hope you’re happy, Dave.

Ryan JerzRyan Jerz is an all-around good guy who wants people to eventually refer to him as "that dude who climbs mountains."

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