- A book that changed your life. The wretched truth be told, the cursed LSAT guide I picked up in 1986. I wish I'd never touched it.
In more serious professional terms, I nominate Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel. Language, ecology, agriculture, technological change -- in one breathtaking package. In personal terms, Robert Penn Warren's All the King's Men. Still trying to progress from the Great Twitch to the Awful Responsibility of Time, now that I've moved farther from the stink of the didie and closer to the stench of the shroud.
- A book you've read more than once. Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome. There are other books that reliably develop the theme of a promising young man frustrated at not "making it" and then being utterly destroyed by his own choices. Jude the Obscure and The Natural belong in the same genre. But Ethan Frome is the rare book of this sort written by a woman, and its protagonist displays a unique talent for destroying the woman he loves. I've lost track of how often I've read it.
- Book for a desert island. For the sake of entertainment and enlightenment, probably James George Frazer, The Golden Bough. Since Ann also offered a practical suggestion, so will I: The United States Army Survival Manual.
- Book that made you laugh. People born when I last read this can now drink legally, but to this day I still chuckle when I think of The World According to Garp.
- Book that made me cry. I've been naming at least two in each category, so I'll continue the trend. Bernhard Schlink's The Reader and Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain.
- Book I wish had been written. Something called The Law Made Flesh -- jeremiad, do-it-yourself guide, and autobiographical confession rolled into one.
- Book I wish had never been written. Mein Kampf and the book that inspired Osama bin Laden (which title eludes me) come readily to mind .
- Book I am currently reading. Murray Gell-Mann, The Quark and the Jaguar. I put down Panarchy some time ago and need to pick it back up.
- Book I've been meaning to read. Either Stephen Jay Gould, The Structure of Evolutionary Theory or The Complete Adventures of Curious George. They both have been languishing on my shelf.
Editor's note: I suppose this is as good a time as any other to mention the latest technological development here at Jurisdynamics and its family of affiliated blogs. As a service to its audience, the Jurisdynamics Network offers interested readers the opportunity to obtain books and other items through the Network's Amazon Store.