Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I Own


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week we're talking about authors we own. I think this is especially interesting because it goes a step beyond asking which authors we read most often.

Who occupies the most space on our shelves? Which authors do we choose to buy rather than borrow?

My top ten "owned" authors are:


1. Jane Austen  Not only do I own all of her novels, I have multiple editions of every single one. A girl can never have too many copies of Pride and Prejudice, right?

2. F. Scott Fitzgerald  My husband gave me a beautiful leather-bound set of his novels several Christmases ago. Throw in the few paperbacks I already had, and that's nearly a whole shelf.

3. John Steinbeck  Not only is Steinbeck one of my favorite authors, he was also prolific. In addition to his novels, I also own Travels with Charley (two editions) and a couple volumes of his letters.

4. Willa Cather  Although I've only read a few of her novels, I've been collecting them for years.

5. Wallace Stegner  Crossing to Safety is my favorite novel. I've been on a mission to acquire and read all of Stegner's work.

6. Richard Yates  It started with Revolutionary Road and The Easter Parade. Then I wanted to know more about the author and turned to A Tragic Honesty: The Life and Work of Richard Yates by Blake Bailey - seriously the best literary biography ever. That lead to A Good School, Disturbing the Peace, Cold Spring Harbor, and The Collected Stories. Yates is a favorite, but there is an overwhelming sadness about his novels. I've taken a break and am now ready to read the rest of his work.

7. Edith Wharton  If Edith wrote it, I probably own it!

8. Henry James  Edith and Henry were such good friends, I can't help but think of them together. He occupies nearly as much space as Edith on my shelf and while I truly love several of his novels, I'm intimidated by his later works. The thought of page-long sentences just scares me.

9.  John Irving  The World According to Garp was something of a cult favorite back in the late 70's or early 80's. I've been buying and enjoying Irving's novels ever since... until I hit the wall in 2005 with Until I Find You. Maybe it's time to give him another chance?

10. Ann Patchett I've purchased and read every book she's written.

Honorable Mention:
Barbara Pym
Anna Quindlen
Wally Lamb
Stewart O'Nan
Richard Russo

And just for fun...

Who is the most unread author on your shelf?
For me, this somewhat dubious distinction goes to Ian McEwan. I liked Atonement and The Comfort of Strangers, but began collecting his novels after loving On Chesil Beach. I currently have four on my TBR (to be read) shelf.

What authors do you own?
Visit The Broke and the Bookish for more Top Ten Tuesday posts.



48 comments:

  1. You have a very intellectual list!! John Irving made mine too, but I realized when putting my list together that I seemed to own a ton of guilty pleasure books and a sports writer also made my list!!

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    1. Sarah - These just seem to be the books I hang on to... most others get passed on or donated to the library.

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  2. +JMJ+

    I love how heavy on the classics your list is! Jane Austen is the "heavyweight" of my classics collection, but I only have six novels by her, so she didn't make my Tenner.

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    1. Enbrethiliel - Classics and favorite novels are the only ones I seem to hang onto these days.

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    2. +JMJ+

      I hang on to nearly everything! =P I'm an awful packrat . . . but I like seeing books I read as twelve still on my shelves, you know? =)

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    3. Enbrethiliel - Oh, I totally understand! It's only been the last few years I've been able to get rid of anything ;-)

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  3. Oh, you have some beautiful leather-bound books! Lovely. I equated the books I "own" with the books I've "read" because I've bought the majority of the books I've read over the years. Many, many bookshelves in our house. :) And now, generally, I just "own" them on my Kindle. Irving is on my list, too--he actually tops it. I was surprised to realize I've read almost ALL of his novels over the years. And Austen is on my list, of course!

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    1. Leila - I seem to borrow most of my contemporary fiction now, although the kindle daily deals have me adding to my ebook collection far too often. I was surprised at the number of Irving's novels I've read. Have you read his last few? I gave up on Until I Find You and haven't read what he's written since then.

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  4. We have Jane Austen in common - though I have probably three or four times as many books about her as by her.

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    1. Lisa - I have quite a few books about Jane, too. That might be an interesting idea for a post sometime!

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  5. Wow, your books are gorgeous! I don't think I own a single Austen book.

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    1. Kathy - I haven't read any of her novels in a couple of years. It's definitely time to pick one up again!

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  6. This was such a fun prompt this week!
    I LOVE Stewart O'Nan and Ann Patchett, but neither one made it onto my top 10 list. Anna Quindlen IS on my list!

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    1. bookmammalmusings - Stewart O'Nan is amazing. I'm slowly working my way through his backlist. Wonder if he's working on a new book...

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  7. Trust you to be heavy on classics! I love the leather bound books. I've read several most of Fitzgerald's and Steinbeck's work but I'm not sure I've tried Edith Wharton and Henry James. It's an embarrassing hole in my reading education! Great list!

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    1. Katherine - I've always loved classics, but never had time to take literature classes (too much chemistry)... making up for lost time now :)

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  8. I've not read any Richard Yates yet, BUT - I bought Revolutionary Road just a week ago. :)

    The F Scott Fitzgerald collection looks absolutely beautiful :)

    I've got a few multiple copies of books, Zola more so, but there's different translations - it's NECESSARY! :)

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    1. o - Yates is an excellent writer, but his books are so sad. I think The Easter Parade is my favorite.

      And, yes, different different translations - a must!

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  9. I would add an "amen" to your list. Love Richard Yates and Wallace Stegner. Not sure why I don't have any of RY's books on my shelf...perhaps it's the sadness factor in his stories...there are some books that are magnificent but, because of that bleakness/sadness quality of the book, I doubt I could bear to reread. I'd put Things They Carried on that list.

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    1. Deb Nance - Yates and Stegner, love them both. Nobody writes like that anymore. I bought The Things They Carried at a library sale not too long ago, but haven't read it yet.

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  10. Edith and Henry (sigh). When I first read a volume of their letters to each other, years and years ago, I expected great literary thoughts, but mostly there was kvetching (mostly from Henry). I think that's when I fell in love with the two of them together. :)

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    1. Audrey - I really must read their letters. It would be perfect to buy a copy at The Mount!

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  11. Oohhhh... Those pictures are breathtakingly beautifully. Seriously, I caught my breath looking at them. Wonderful list! New follower via Twitter, Bloglovin', and Pinterest. :) My TTT: http://escapingrealitybookreviews.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/ten-authors-i-own-the-most-books-from/

    ~Lynette D @ Escaping Reality -- One Book at a Time

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    1. Lynette - Thank you, and it's nice to meet you! My husband bought both of those sets for me... I just love them!

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  12. I love this meme--I'm with you on Austen and Fitzgerald (although I have the paperbacks from the 70s and 80s, not any nicely bound copies). Also, Steinbeck.
    My Wharton is growing, but I don't "own" her yet.

    Henry James might be the author who owns me--lots of James but I haven't actually read much (just Turn of the Screw, and Wings of the Dove >30 years ago!).

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    1. JaneGS - Those well-worn old paperbacks from the 70's and 80's are still on my shelf, too. I just can't part with them! Wing of the Dove is one of the "scary" James novels I've been avoiding. Daisy Miller, Washington Square, and especially Portrait of a Lady were wonderful.I've read Turn of the Screw a few times and always have a different interpretation.

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  13. If those pictures are taken of your book collection, they are beautiful copies! I love them. I like Ann Patchett and Austen is a must have. I own all of her books.

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    1. Heidi - Yes, those books are mine... both sets gifts from my husband. I loaned several of my earlier Ann Patchett novels and never got them back. Ended up replacing them, :-(

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  14. Your Austen & Fitzgerald sets are gorgeous. I haven't read Yates or Stegner but maybe one day.

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    1. Cat - They are both excellent writers. Hope you decide to give them a try one day!

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  15. I love that very colorful collection of Fitzgerald. I own several of his as well but would love a pretty edition! McEwan is another author that I collect but haven't read (except Atonement). Lots of classics on your shelves!!

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    1. Trish - There are still a few of the those Fitzgeralds I've yet to read.... one day soon, I hope!

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  16. Wonderful list! I might have to look for some of these authors. A fun meme and I wish I had time to join in. Grandkids are here and my time online is so limited. Maybe after they go home!

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    1. Peggy Ann - Enjoy the time with your grandkids! You can post your list after they're gone :)

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  17. Impressive list!! Sad that you never got your loaned books back. It's happened to me too and it makes me sad.

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    1. Vicki - I rarely loan books anymore except to my mother or sisters. If I let friends borrow one, it's usually a title I won't mind parting with...

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  18. I wish most of my books weren't packed away in boxes so I could participate in this exercise. Having said that, I now realize that my number one author must be Anita Brookner since I own all 24 of her novels. Pym and Murdoch must be close seconds.

    What are you waiting for on the Cather? Get readin'!

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    1. Thomas - I know I need to read those Cather novels! It seems like I've been stuck on new releases most of this year, but that's going to change soon...

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  19. I have a bad habit of buying additional copies of Jane Austen's novels!

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    1. Melissa - I may actually have 4 copies of Pride and Prejudice!

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  20. My top "owned" authors are: Virginia Woolf, E.M. Forster, Jane Austen, Elizabeth Bowen, the Brontes, Charles Dickens, Barbara Pym, Nancy Mitford, Edith Wharton. What a fun exercise!

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    1. Sunday - Isn't this fun? I own most of Forster's novels, but forgot about him when I made my list :(

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  21. Very impressive list of classics!

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  22. Cather, Austen, Twain, Dickens, Patchett, Doctrow - although I will admit that I have a lot of some of them but haven't read many of the ones I do have.

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    1. Lisa - Own and read are definitely two different categories!

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  23. Such classic authors! And beautiful editions. I have the whole Harry Potter series and I own every Harlan Coben book and lots of Brenda Joyce and John Sandford. I own many Charles Dickens but have only read A Chrsitmas Carol at this point! His others are so long :)

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    1. Stacy - It may be a few more years before you have time to read more Dickens ;-) I find that most of the books I actually keep on my shelf these says are classics... and a few books/authors I love.

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