Books, fiction

Top Ten Authors I Own the Most Books Of.


1. Agatha Christie I own a lot of cozy mysteries: almost all the Cadfaels, a lot of Ngaio Marsh, plenty of Dorothy Gilman, a fair amount of Margery Allingham, almost all of Dorothy L Sayers, a few Laurie R King’s (until I decided to get rid of them because the series was descending in a way that started annoying so much I couldn’t appreciate the first ones as much anymore, nor could I see the point in keeping a few books in a series I would never finish) … but unquestionably, it is the Queen of Crime who holds the top spot on my shelves. Her books literally spill off the shelf that holds them.

2. Brian Jacques. I own the entire Redwall series, and have doubles of some of them (paperback and hardcover), plus I have the three Flying Dutchman books. I’ve packed away most of the paperbacks for now, while we’re in a small apartment with limited shelf space, but I still have the hardcovers displayed. The quality of the Redwall series might have gone slightly downhill with the later books, but I still love them all. (Except the Legend of Luke – as much as I love Martin and Gonff, the disjointed nature of that book was a disappointment – and Loamhedge, which leaves me cold every time I read it, though I can’t pinpoint why, exactly.)

3. Lloyd Alexander. I don’t own all of Lloyd’s books – yet – but they do take up significant space on my shelves. As well they should. The Prydain Chronicles, all save The High King, which I’m saving to buy as celebration for finishing Magic in Disguise, are in place of honor on my living room shelves, along with The Chronicles of Narnia and the Lord Peter Wimsey books.

5. LM Montgomery. I have almost all Maud’s books, including the short story collections. I don’t have the Pat books, because I hate them, and I’m missing one or two short story collections, but I still have enough to take up plenty of room. (And Cathy, I have the chunk of sandstone you sent me from PEI sitting atop the box set of Anne books!)

6. Maud Hart Lovelace. All the Deep Valley books! All the Betsy-Tacy books (including hardcovers of the first two on the kids’ shelves), Emily of Deep Valley, and the joint edition of Winona’s Pony Cart and Carney’s House Party. If she’d written more about Deep Valley, I’d own those, too.

7. Elizabeth Enright. I have all of her books except the picture books. Like with Lovelace, if she’d written more, I’d own them too.

8. Michael A Stackpole. Technically these are in my boxes, not my shelves. When I (sadly) sold off most of my Star Wars EU collection, I kept all the Stackpole, Allston, and Zahn novels. Out of those three, I only have original novels from Stackpole. I haven’t read anything by him in years, but his books taught me an enormous amount about world-building and writing in tight third-person POV. I owe him a lot.

9. CS Lewis. All the Narnia books – between Carl and I we have three box sets of Narnia, one hardcover and two paperback; we bought a stunningly beautiful illustrated copy of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe at a used bookstore recently to give to Joy for her seventh birthday; I also own a couple Narnia companion books. Then there’s Till We Have Faces (also on my living room shelves), the Space Trilogy, and a goodly selection of his nonfiction work.

10. Miss Read. I’ve been slowly collecting Miss Read’s Thrush Green series over the years; once I complete that, I’ll begin on the Fairacre books. Nothing is better on a chilly fall or winter night than curling up with one of those and a cup of tea. They are my go-to reading for when life is getting overwhelming or bleak.

I realized, writing this list, how rare it is for me to only own one or two books by an author (unless that’s all he or she has written). Usually I don’t buy anything until I find an author I really like, and then I buy everything I can by him or her, rather than scattering my affections across many different authors. There were plenty more I could have added to the list … Austen, Gaskell, Dickens, Eager, Nesbit, Wrede, Cooper, all the cozy authors I mentioned in the first point … really, it would be harder for me to find an author whose books I don’t own a wide selection of than vice versa.

A creature of habit, that’s me.

Check out The Broke and the Bookish for more lists!

7 thoughts on “Top Ten Authors I Own the Most Books Of.”

  1. I used to own almost all of Montgomery’s books, and then I left them in Oregon for my sister. Still haven’t started rebuilding that collection!

    1. Honestly, I have to let long stretches pass between LMM readings now, because sadly I have come to find her kind of treacly, but there’s still something incredibly comforting at looking at my shelf and seeing her books stretching so far across. Kind of an “all’s right with the world” feeling, just by looking at them.

      1. I agree–I want her books because they’re a comfort to me, not necessarily because I want to reread them all now. (Much like Elizabeth Goudge.)

  2. Hey! Great post! But now my curiosity is piqued–why don’t you like the Pat books? I’ve always had mixed feelings about them… sort of a love/hate thing. :) We should discuss them sometime and compare notes. :)

    1. I had a terror of house fires when I was a kid, so I’m sure that contributed to my dislike of at least Mistress Pat – but mostly it’s Pat herself. I find her/the stories really morbid and grim. I don’t mind the first one as much, but even there poor Jingle breaks my heart, and Pat’s attachment to Silver Bush has always struck me as unhealthy. And I really, really hate the fact that Hilary is only a consolation prize of sorts – that she only agrees to marry him after Silver Bush is gone and her family’s moved on and she’s lost everything she ever clung to.

      Pat strikes me as the dark side of Jane (Superior Jane of Lantern Hill!) – while Jane loves her family and her home deeply, she never lets them become an obsession. She has seen in Grandmother and Aunt Irene both how dangerous it is, to cling so tightly to something you love that you end up destroying it and yourself. So Jane stays grounded, whereas Pat’s upbringing in a family that coddled her fear of change and too-passionate love for home/family leaves her emotionally stunted and tremendously unhealthy.

      That’s my psychological insight for the day!

  3. +JMJ+

    I wanted to love the Redwall series as well, but I got bogged down in the middle of Mattimeo. I’m really not sure why. Redwall was great and Mossflower was even better–and I bought Mattimeo together with Mariel of Redwall because I had thought I’d virtually inhale both of them as well. I really should give the series another try soon, because I do love Jacques’s fictional world.

    1. Mariel of Redwall is my absolute favorite book in the entire series, and Mariel herself is my favorite protagonist, even above Martin. (Shocking, I know!) Mattimeo does get a little weird/creepy; I can understand how it could get hard to finish. The good news is that Mariel is chronologically before Redwall and Mattimeo, so if you wanted to you could read that first. And follow it up with Bellmaker, which is its sequel and another cracking good tale!

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