7.29.2014

Top Ten Tuesday: the top ten authors represented in my collection

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature of The Broke and the Bookish

This week's theme: 
Ten Authors I Own The Most Books Of 
(or, if we're being grammatically correct: 
Top Ten Authors Represented in My Collection)

I have more than 300 books in my personal collection, about 75 (or 25%) of which have not yet been read. My TBR pile is two shelves deep and growing. I'm a mess. So I'm using LibraryThing.com to pull this information. 

1. Jane Austen (14)

Yes, I know what you're going to say: she only wrote 6 books! WTF?? Slow down, grasshopper. First of all, she did more than just write 6 novels. Second of all, in some cases I have multiple editions of one novel because that's the kind of crazy person I am. Thirdly, because she's officially listed as an author, LibraryThing is counting Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters as Austen books. 


In case anyone's counting, there are two different editions of Emma, three different editions of Persuasion, four different editions of Pride & Prejudice (including the Marvel graphic ed. and the Zombies version, and then two editions of Sense & Sensibility (one of which is the Sea Monsters version). 
The other items are her Letters, one single edition of Mansfield Park, and a bound version of Abbey that includes Lady Susan, The Watsons, and Sanditon as well. 
#addiction

2. Brian Jacques (9)


I own the first 9 books in the Redwall series (by publication, not by chronology). I'm still missing (and will look forward to at Christmas....): The Long Patrol, Marlfox, The Legend of Luke, Lord Brocktree, Taggerung, Triss, Loamhedge, Rakkety Tam, High Rhulain, Eulalia!, Doomwyte, The Sable Quean, and The Rogue Crew

3. Stephanie Barron (9)


These are the "Being a Jane Austen Mystery" books. I have #'s 1-7, 9, and 11. I'm still without a copy of (#8) Jane and His Lordship's Legacy, (#10) Jane and the Madness of Lord Byron and (#12) Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas

4. Charlotte Brontë (8)

Again, I know what you're thinking - but she wasn't that prolific! Actually, five of these titles are from her juvenilia, published by Hesperus. 


If anyone wants to purchase a copy of The Professor for me, I'd be much obliged. 

5. C. S. Lewis (7)


The Chronic--what!--cles of Narnia

6. Ian McEwan (7)


Aesthetically, I'm upset that my copy of Atonement does not have the same cover concept as the other books, but I'm enjoying that, in the order they're in above, there's a through line of title placement. My inner aesthete is happy. I just finished On Chesil Beach a few weeks ago, but that was a library copy. I also have, sitting on my desk, library copies of Solar and Sweet Tooth. On my wish list are First Love, Last Rites; The Comfort of Strangers; The Child in Time; Black Dogs; Saturday; and The Children Act

7. Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson (combined total of 10)


I can't really include one of these without the other, so they've been slapped together here. Since five of the books are joint ventures, it works out to eight Pearson books and seven Barry books: two comedic works, the first three books from the Kingdom Keepers series, and the five Starcatcher books.

8. Alexandre Dumas (6)


This is pretty self-explanatory. I'm just glad that the D'Artagnan romances have been split up as they are. The last three (Vicomte, Louise, and Mask) were originally one volume (no, thank you). 

9. William Shakespeare (5)

The only reason he's edging out Lillian Hellman is that my Hellman collection consists of two books - a standalone actors' version of The Children's Hour, and a copy of The Complete Plays which takes care of the rest...


All of these editions are pretty old. The first one on the left is a 1931 edition of Hamlet which we found among my grandmother's belongings. The others all came from my office's "lending" library (read: dumping ground) and include a 1959 ed. of The Tempest, a 1963 ed. of Macbeth, a 1967 ed. of King Lear, and that 1966 ed. of Othello which seems to be a bit of a find - I dug around the interwebs for an image of the cover you see there, but could only find one (on Amazon, not in a Google search). 

10. Jack Kerouac (5)




So all-in-all the 10 most-represented authors on my selves account for about 25% of the books on my shelves. According to LibraryThing, there's one author with four books, another five with three books, and then about nineteen with two, accounting for another 18% of my library. That means that more than 50% of the books on my shelves are by individual authors. I can't decide whether that's cool (as in hey, I must like a wide variety!?) or if that's disappointing (as in oh, my curatorial skills suck). I have to think about this. 

7.22.2014

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 characters I'd want with me on a deserted island


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature of The Broke and the Bookish

This week's theme: Top Ten Characters I Would Want With Me On A Deserted Island 
(pick based on however you want...skills they would bring, their company...or pure hotness factor :P)

1. The entire family from Swiss Family Robinson (which, btw, not their name).

2. Captain Wentworth...because firstly, I needed an Austen guy in here somewhere and secondly, he's handy with the ocean and stuff. 

3. The Woodsman (The Book of Lost Things) and if he's not available, I'll take the Huntress. But she needs to understand boundaries - no animal/human head swapping!

4. Matt Hooper (Jaws) for obvious reasons.

5. Lennie (Of Mice and Men) because he's handy. Maybe a little too handy, but we'll address that later. 

6. Edmond Dantès (The Count of Monte Cristo) another handy guy to have around. He's good at escaping stuff, right? 

7 & 8. Hawkeye Pierce and Hot Lips Houlihan (MASH) more obvious. 

9. Hermione Granger (Harry Potter) hopefully with her handy dandy bag full of a steamer ship and food. 

10. The Mariner (Waterworld) OK maybe this one doesn't completely count because the book (which I read) was based on the screenplay, but he's got GILLS and he's Kevin Costner. Soooooooooooo obviously he's coming with, the end. 
Your argument is invalid. Good day. 

7.21.2014

Review: On Chesil Beach, by Ian McEwan

On Chesil Beach
by Ian McEwan
Anchor Books
2007
(203 pgs)
2007's On Chesil Beach exemplifies what I admire about Ian McEwan's writing - the simplicity, the matter-of-fact straightforward style of his hand is beautifully displayed in this 200-page novella.

Edward and Florence have just been married, and have arrived at an inn on Chesil Beach for their honeymoon. The reader is immediately thrown into an extremely intimate setting, one that becomes all the more uncomfortable when the internal monologues and histories of these two characters are brought to light.

Separated into chapters, McEwan deftly alternates between their individual past and present. perspectives, giving his reader the sense that we know a little too much - even more than one does of the other. Their combined story, though it will only take an avid reader an hour or so to finish the book, reads like a five-act Shakespearean tragedy, filled with those slight betrayals which always bring a tragedy to its unpleasant climax.

McEwan has never been one to shy away from explicit naturalism (Enduring Love) and this story, though tantalizingly brief, is no exception. But that gritty sort of treatment is, unlike in the case of many of McEwan's contemporaries, never gratuitous - rather, it always plays into the larger metaphor at hand. In this case: an all-embracing criticism of inaction and the failure that follows. And instead of giving the reader the romance that one might want out of this kind of story, instead the author embraces the melancholy of reality and is absolutely merciless in rending one's idyllic image of happiness and reconciliation in two.
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