I have been tagged by Patrick Dubreuil at www.toutlemondeenparle.blogspot.com to play a little game, so here are my answers:

NUMBER OF BOOKS THAT I OWN : Probably between 500 and 600. I don't bother counting anymore, I'm afraid. And I give books away every year, in addition to donating some to libraries. If I had kept every book I've ever owned, I would probably have close to 2000 books in my collection.

LAST BOOK I BOUGHT : Well, during the last week of my vacation, I stopped by Chapters and bought a bunch of them: THE YEARS OF SALT AND RICE by Kim Stanley Robinson, NEVERWHERE by Neil Gaiman, AMERICAN GODS by Neil Gaiman, THE AMBER SPYGLASS by Philip Pullman, PERDIDO STREET STATION by China Miéville, and THE SCAR by China Miéville.

LAST BOOK I READ : FOOL'S FATE by Robin Hobb. As I mentioned in my book review, taken as a whole (Hobb's 3 trilogies) this tale ranks among the best fantasy series of all time.

FIVE BOOKS THAT MEAN A LOT TO ME : Honestly, for a guy who reads as much as I do, it is simply impossible for me to answer this one in a manner that would even remotely scratch the surface of what I am attempting to convey. . .

1- Reading Weis and Hickman's DRAGONLANCE CHRONICLES and LEGENDS during my first year of junior high. I wasn't even good enough to read in English back then, and needed to keep that French/English dictionary close by. This is the tale that introduced me to the fantasy genre. And the rest, as they say, is history!

2- FINGERPRINTS OF THE GODS by Graham Hancock: This quest for an as-yet-unidentified civilization was a pure delight to read. Hancock's books are always thought-provoking, and the amount of research that goes into each one is nothing less than staggering. I love his work.

3- DIGITAL FORTRESS, DECEPTION POINT, ANGELS AND DEMONS, THE DA VINCI CODE by Dan Brown: Last year I spent nearly 4 months touring traveling around Europe. All in all, I visited 14 different countries during that span of time. And if anyone ever tells you that traveling by train is a lot of fun while in Europe, you have my permission to hit him!;-) Hell, I was on the verge of opening my veins by my 3rd or 4th train ride. What was initially meant to kill time sort of became an intrinsic facet of my entire traveling experince. I read Brown's four novels on the train and loved every minute of it. I know there are a lot of haters out there, but this author definitely knows how to write a story that will keep you turning those pages. ANGELS AND DEMONS simply blew me away. So much so that I did not want to reach Strasbourg (Sorry, Ulrike!!!). Those books were pure, unadultered fun!;-)

4- THE WHEEL OF TIME by Robert Jordan: For my money, still the best fantasy series of all time. I've been on this since 1992 and can't quite believe that it's still going!!! I love this series so much because it's the only thing that somehow can excite me in a way that almost makes me feel like a kid again. And at 31 years of age, this feeling is priceless. Only Star Wars could also make me feel this way. And now that it's more or less officially over, this saga of titanic proportions is all I have left.:-) How bad am I!?! Well, when a new volume comes out, I put everything on stand-by and become a recluse. Don't try to get me out until I'm done with the book. I will never forget when I told my then girlfriend Edith that when the new Jordan novel would come out, she wouldn't hear from me for a couple of days. She thought I was kidding, and was quite shocked to realize that I wasn't. She made quite a scene (as women are prone to do!!!), and something had to give. So I called in sick at work in order to finish the book!;-)

5- TIGANA by Guy Gavriel Kay: To put it simply, this novel just might be the best fantasy book I have ever read.:-)

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