This week's Top Ten list from The Broke and the Bookish is "Ten Authors I Own the Most Books From." Ok, this is an interesting topic. I'm going to equate books I've "read" with books I "own"--for me anyway, those are about the same, because I've never used the library as much as I should.
Another caveat: I decided to interpret this list as authors that I've read/owned as an adult, or at least from high school onward. If I were including my childhood books, this would be a completely different list, topped by Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, and Astrid Lindgren (Pippi!). And also Tove Jansson, a Finnish writer and illustrator who produced the wonderful series of "Moomin" books for children.
Looking over this list, it strikes me that the authors I've read the most are not necessarily my favorite authors. Some of these are authors I would consider my favorites, certainly ... but in a few cases, I just happened to read many of the author's books because they were available or the author suited that particular stage of my life.
Ok, then, here is my list . . .
John Irving: I have read 12 John Irving novels! I haven't read his latest, In One Person, and there appears to be one other that I missed. I started out with The World According to Garp in high school, and I just kept working my way through them. When I was in graduate school, I particularly appreciated some of his earliest books, like his absolutely hilarious The Water-Method Man (well, it's hilarious to graduate students, anyway, because it involves the main character making up an Old Norse poem for his dissertation!) These are some of my favorite Irving novels:
Anne Tyler: I wouldn't consider Anne Tyler a favorite author, honestly ... but she was quite prolific during the 1980s and '90s, and my mother or I would usually pick up the latest Tyler whenever it hit the bookstore. A Tyler novel, in those days, was familiar and reliable, I suppose, and easy to read. I would estimate that I've read 11 or 12 Tyler novels, and I may be seriously undercounting (she published 19). My favorite Tyler novel:
Chris Bohjalian: Well, Chris Bohjalian IS certainly a favorite author of mine. Bohjalian is a gifted storyteller, no question, and I always feel like I have a strong emotional connection to his characters. These are my favorite of his novels, including his most recent, Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands (which I have just read and need to post a review for...):
J.K. Rowling: Rowling's Harry Potter books were written for children, of course, but I read them as an adult. I've also read The Casual Vacancy. My favorite Rowling books:
Jane Austen: I am certainly guilty of reading all of Austen's novels ... all at least twice. Favorites:
Margaret Atwood: I've read a lot of Atwood, and loved most of it. The MaddAddam trilogy, I confess, isn't something I connected with. My fave Atwood novels:
Philippa Gregory: I have read far TOO MUCH Philippa Gregory. I started with The Other Boleyn Girl, and then I kept reading Gregory's Tudor fiction, even when I started to find her books boring and formulaic. Please--someone stop me before I read another one! This was my first, my favorite, and really the ONLY Gregory I would recommend to anyone:
Tracy Chevalier: I have read all of Tracy Chevalier's novels. I can't say I loved them all, but certainly most of her novels have been what I would consider good, solid reads, and a few have been excellent. Here are my favorites:
Jane Smiley: I haven't read a Jane Smiley book in quite awhile, so I was surprised when I realized that I've read five of her novels. My favorites:
Geraldine Brooks: I love Geraldine Brooks and her intelligent and emotionally resonant historical fiction. I do hope she'll publish another novel soon. My favorites:
Do any of these authors appear on your most owned/most read list?