Top Ten Authors Represented on My Shelves

July 29, 2014 Top Ten Tuesday 27


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week’s topic is Top Ten Fourteen Authors I Own the Most Books By.  

So what you need to know is that I worked at a bookstore for 6 years, working my way up from bookseller to manager. During that time, I made very good use of the employee discount… and started a habit of collecting my then-favorite authors, in first edition hardcover whenever possible. (Not all the hardcovers mentioned below are first edition, but a lot of the Lackey and Eddings titles are, and some of the McCaffreys.) After I left the bookstore in 1990, I kept buying first editions and hardcovers when I could. 

I’ve also haunted used bookstores most of my life – since 10th grade, anyway. So I’ve amassed quite a collection of my favorite authors over the years. Living in the same house for the last 20 years has meant I could hang on to the ones I enjoyed and hoped to re-read. (Hence why we have so many bookshelves. I really do live in a library, of sorts.)

  • Mercedes Lackey. I own almost all the books set in and around Valdemar or in that world; the Bardic Voices series; the Elemental Magic series; and the Tales of the 500 Kingdoms series. I’ve also got several of the Alta/Joust series, three of the Diana Tregardes, and one or two short-story collections. Oh, and the Obsidian Mountain trilogy (with James Mallory.)
  • Anne McCaffrey. All the Pern novels she wrote by herself, the Talent series, and the related Gywn/Lyon series. The Ship Who Sang and The Ship Who Searched (the latter with Mercedes Lackey). Restoree, Get Off the Unicorn, and a few other standalones. And some of the Pern books she wrote with her son Todd.
  • L. M. Montgomery. The entire Anne Shirley series, the Emily of New Moon series, the Pat of Silver Bush books, the Story Girl books, and five or six standalones. Mostly paperback.
  • David Eddings. Almost everything he ever wrote, in hardcover. The Belgariad is in 2 volumes (book club edition), but all the others are first release and usually first edition.
  • Tamora Pierce. I’ve built up quite a collection of her books, too — all the Tortall books except the short-story collection, all the Circle of Magic, and some of the later Circle books. But the prizes of my collection are the four Protector of the Small books in hardcover — all signed by the author.
  • Ngaio Marsh. I think I’ve managed to find all of the Alleyn mysteries, most of them used.
  • Agatha Christie. I don’t have them all — but I have all the Marples and Tommy-and-Tuppence books, and a healthy smattering of Poirots and standalones. Of course, the actual number of volumes isn’t as high as it could be, because a lot are in 2- or 3-book omnibus editions. (Mostly used.)
  • Ellis Peters. Most of the Cadfael mysteries, almost all of the Felse mysteries
  • Dick Francis. I’ve got almost all his early and mid-career books, but I’m missing a few of the later ones (and that’s OK.)
  • Laurie R. King. The entire Russell-Holmes series. I started with paperbacks, but have been replacing with hardcovers as I’m able to find or afford them.
  • Mary Balogh. I’ve bought everything she’s written since I first discovered her (at the beginning of the Slightly series), and a fair number of the books that came out before that, but not many of the original Regencies.
  • Mary Jo Putney. Another author whose backlist I’ve been working on since I first discovered her.
  • Julia Quinn. Most of her titles.
  • Jayne Ann Krentz / Amanda Quick / Jayne Castle. If you count her pseudonyms as one author, I’ve got about 25 of her books.

J. K. Rowling didn’t make the list — because I’ve got considerably more than 7 by each of the authors above. Same with C.S. Lewis and Tolkien. Other runners-up include Catherine Aird, Nancy Atherton, Mary Stewart, Margaret Sutton (the Judy Bolton mysteries), Katherine Kurtz, Madeleine L’Engle, Robert Heinlein; Robyn Carr. . .

What authors are most represented on your shelves?

27 Responses to “Top Ten Authors Represented on My Shelves”

  1. abibliophilesstyle

    I used to have almost everything by L. M. Montgomery but I cleared out a lot when we lived in a smaller house (I gave them to a friend’s daughter who I knew would love them). I still have all the Anne books, Jane of Lantern Hill (a first edition that my parents bought on P. E. I.), the Story Girl books, and a The Blue Castle. I actually have 3 copies of Anne of Green Gables. I’ve got a lot of Lemony Snicket (my kids love his stuff as much as I do) and Robin McKinley (my husband gave me 9 McKinley books last Christmas).

    • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

      I’ve got a lot of McKinley as well, but she’s not nearly as prolific as the authors above, so it doesn’t add up to enough to make the list! As for Montgomery, I might consider letting go of some if we moved, but like you, I’d hang on to the Anne books, Jane of Lantern Hill, and the Blue Castle. And wow – you have a first edition Montgomery?!

    • abibliophilesstyle

      Yep. It’s not in particularly great shape, but it’s definitely a first edition. My parents went to P. E. I. for their 25th wedding anniversary and brought it back for me. They didn’t even know it was a first edition!

    • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

      What a treasure! I got to visit PEI about 4 years ago. I bought my first ereader for the trip, and loaded it up with public-domain classics, including all the L.M. Montgomery books in public domain (which includes most but not all of the Anne books.) I read the Anne books during the vacation!

    • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

      I love the Cadfaels, though it’s years and years since I re-read one. When and if you try Lackey, check with me if you like – there are books that work well to start with, and books that work better if you’ve read one or more previous trilogies.

  2. Elisa Bergslien

    Ack – I forgot about Anne McCaffrey! And weren’t there only three Diana Tregardes ? I thought the other things were short stories and retreads of previously published material. Yep I thought I was missing authors.

    Oh well. I just thought it was funny how many people I saw listing Rowling, Tolkien, etc. Authors with less than a dozen books are lightweights here 🙂

    Nice to see someone else with double digit collections.

    • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

      There are three Tregardes, plus a novella or two and several short stories. I think one of the novellas is a retread.

      I agree with you on the Rowling, Tolkien, etc. I love them – it’s funny how many authors I love didn’t make the cut for today’s list simply because they didn’t write enough books!

      Yeah, I’m a book hoarder! (Well, not quite. A collector, yes.)

  3. Anne Bennett

    I think it is really neat to see the lists this week because, to some degree, they represent what we read as children (or to our children). So often we are busy focusing on the here and now that we forget to look back on the special books that built our literary foundation. Here is my list and you will see that I have several books that were special to my children (and me) while they were growing up. MyTTT-Anne@HeadFullofBooks

    • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

      I hadn’t thought of that, but of course you’re right. The L.M. Montgomery books were favorites of mine growing up. Christie I discovered in middle school, followed immediately by Ngaio Marsh (and Sayers and Tey, but they didn’t write as many books so they didn’t make the list.) McCaffrey is another high-school discovery. But I didn’t discover Tamora Pierce until I was an adult – or any of the others on the list, either!

    • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

      She’s great, isn’t she? Always entertaining! I’ve read at least 50 of hers, but half of them came from the library. I’ve been buying the ones I want to re-read as they show up in the Friends of the Library booksales.

  4. Rita_h

    I wish I had books by the authors you’ve mentioned, but I don’t own books by any of them 🙁 Hmm, I need to google some of these authors and see if their writing style is something I can appreciate. I too worked in a bookstore, but only as manager of children’s dept. for a year or so before moving on to another job. When I worked there, I used my discount and bought many books for my 3 little grandkids.

    • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

      Love that employee discount! When Barnes & Noble opened in our nearest city, I almost considered applying for a job there. But it’s a long way to go for a near-minimum-wage job.

      I think you might like Dick Francis – but read his earlier books first. They’re almost all standalones, so order doesn’t matter much, but I found some of the late-career ones harder to like.

  5. Katherine P

    I love Laurie R. King but I’m so behind on her books! I do love Balogh and Quinn and I’ve just discovered Krentz. I’m loving River Road and can’t wait to read more of her books. I have the Marsh’s and you know I have the Christies. I think I’ve only read one or two Peters but I think I’ll definitely have to fix that.

    • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

      I’m caught up on Laurie King (well, the Mary Russell series; I haven’t read her other ones.) If you read any Ellis Peters, you should know that she wrote two series — the Brother Cadfael mysteries set in 12th-century England — and the Felse series, which is a bit looser and features either Inspector George Felse, his son Dominic, or his wife Bunty – or all three. Sometimes Insp. Felse isn’t the main character, even in a book where he’s the detective. But I like them. She wrote some standalones, too, of which my favorite is Never Pick Up Hitchhikers. Have fun, and let me know how you like them!

  6. Becky LeJeune

    I didn’t even bother to count my Agatha Christie titles. Like Anne Perry it’s another part of my collection that was inherited from my grandmother. She had multiple copies of some of them. I on the other hand only bought about 4 of the titles myself so figured it didn’t count in the long run 🙂

    • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

      I guess I would have counted them if I had read them all, but if you don’t really consider them “yours” it makes sense not to count them. I used to have a bunch of Anne Perry’s Charlotte & Thomas Pitt mysteries, but I let them go years ago because I wasn’t re-reading them. The Christies I’ve hung on to, because I do re-read a bunch of them every now and then.

  7. Lory

    My list would have looked very different before I did a shelf purge some years ago. I also used to have so many Anne McCaffrey, L.M. Montgomery, and Madeleine L’Engle. I had to choose my favorites because I just didn’t have room, alas.

    • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

      If my husband and I ever move, I will have to do a major pruning, too. I had about 3 bookcases full of books when we moved into this house over 20 years ago. Now it’s more like 18 (well, some are my daughter’s and some are everyone’s.) I know I wouldn’t move them all, but I’d probably take at least half with me. I’m also starting to replace some of the paperbacks with ebooks that don’t take up any physical space.

  8. Bea

    Oh, fun list. I have a ton of Dick Francis, Sharyn McCrumb, Kelley Armstrong (has her own bookshelf and own Kindle folder), Patricia Briggs (has her own bookshelf), JRR Tolkien (3 copies just of The Hobbit), JD Robb/Nora Roberts, Lynn Kurland, Anne McCaffrey, and Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant.

    I used to have a bunch of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books but I gave them away; same with Laurell K Hamilton.

  9. Enbrethiliel


    Julia Quinn made my list, too. I have a lot of Romances, apparently! =)

    I read the first Brother Cadfael book and then got distracted from Mysteries. I do wish that I were more drawn to this genre, because there are so many consistently good writers and classic titles.

    • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

      Mystery is one of my favorite genres – well, British mystery, cozy mysteries, and some non-cozy American mystery authors as well. But I’m also a big romance and fantasy reader — which makes my collection huge. 😉

  10. Stephanie Shepherd

    I’m jealous of your collection! Lots of authors I love as well. I loved David Edding’s books when I was a teenager and have been thinking about re-reading them. How recently have you read them? Is the Belgariad still awesome on a re-read?