Saturday, August 12, 2006

Mountains and Mountains of Print

Whisky Prajer has recently listed Authors of Books of Which I Possess at Least Five Of. A mighty intimidating list!

Robert E. Howard?
Kem Nunn?
Rudy Wiebe?
Philip Yancey?

As I'd mentioned on his entry, this list leaves me somewhat embarassed. Understandable enough if I had not read any of these folks; everyone has personal preferences. But to never even have heard of them? Oh, the shame! Time to don the paper bag.

Before I do here's my feeble list of:
Authors of Books of Which I Possess at Least Five Of (in no particular order)

S.J. Perelman
Vladimir Nabokov
Italo Calvino
Lawrence Durrell
Jean Shepherd
Damon Runyon
Primo Levi
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Michael Ondatje
Richard Powers
Roger Angell
Barbara Kingsolver
Douglas Coupland
Robertson Davies
Peter DeVries (the largest qty of any author)
Mark Twain (#2 on the list)
P.G. Wodehouse
Jim Thompson
Don DeLillo
Cormac McCarthy
Mordecai Richler (#3 on the qty list)
Richard Russo
Richard Ford
Raymond Chandler (unlike WP, I can't throw out or donate Chandler nor Thompson. Yes, I know the ending. But the writing is so exquisite that I often return for re-reads)
A. J. Leibling
V.S. Naipul
Evelyn Waugh
David Sedaris
Vladimir Voinovich
John McPhee
Witold Rybczynski
Tony Horwitz
Andre Codrescu
Milan Kundera
Josip Novakovich
John Updike
John Barth (held unto for sentimemal reasons. I don't think his books hold up well over time, with the exception of "The Sot Weed Factor")
Alice Munro
Nick Hornby
Tim Cahill

I noticed when doing this biblio-inventory that there were quite a few authors whose books numbered in the 3's and 4's. For some, I'm waiting for their next new book; for others, I got tired of their same old shtick but can't make the necessary decision of selling/donating them. That's got to change soon.

Readers! How about your sagging bookshelves? What author(s) are causing you undue strain?

I like to find and read ALL the books by my favorite authors, even if out of print: Owen Barfield, Phillip K. Dick, G.K Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, Robert Louis Stevensen, Edgar Allen Poe, Vladimir Nabokov, Herman Melville, Soren Kierkegaard, Paul Valery, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Garbriel Marquez, Thomas DeQuincey, James M. Cain, Christopher Fry, John Lukacs, Immanuel Velikovsky, W. G. Sebald, Gustave Flaubert, Heinrich Boll.
I actually have a few of yours on my bookshelves, though certainly not 5 tomes of...

And I really like Andre Codrescu. I like to listen to his audio commentaries on NPR, too.
Am a proud owner of 5 or more books by Salman Rushdie, Umberto Eco, John Irving, J. K. Rowling, Tolkien, Robert Littell, Milan Kundera, Thomas Mann, Sue Townsend, Henning Mankell... Some time ago I discovered I can sell used books at Amazon, but I purchase and sell only those serving as simple means of entertainment...
Darn it - I missed Evelyn Waugh!! The reason? My youngest was so taken by those ancient Art Deco Penguin pbk covers at such a tender and impressionable age, that my entire Waugh collection has sat beside her bed since she was three!
A likely story, Mr. WP! I was tempted to list William Steig and J.K. Rowling, but as possession is 9 tenths of the law south of your border, I begged off. Otherwise, I would have included the Eyewitness book series.

Oh, geez, I forgot Barbara Tuchman, the author that made me fall in love with history again. All of her books, unfortunately for my ever-loving wife, are (and have been) keepers.
CP: It's hard (and that's a good thing) to read Codreescu and not hear his voice. His NPR commentary seems to be getting more infrequent, don't you think?

Alcessa: That's quite the varied list you have. Rushdie and Rowling. I'm asking the ignorant question here; what sort of books do Mankell and TOwnsend write? Thanks for dropping by! When are the Swedish Kayak Chronicles coming out?

there are so many unknown names on all of your lists that I simply had to escape into, like, ironically including some modern bestselling authors. Sue Townsend is British, she wrote the much loved "Adrian Mole Diaries" (A. Mole being your typical nerd, a self-proclaimed genius but not really intelligent) and she can do irony and wit really well.
Henning Mankell is Swedish and writes bestselling detective stories.

As for the Swedish Kayak Chronicles: I hated coming back because it was so much fun, and I'm still suffering :-) so I may not want to write about a lovely vacation in full length at all...

Did you visit Croatia this summer / are you planning to do so?
Unfortunately no trips to Croatia this summer. The usual culprits, noth enough time, money, or individual family calendar commitments scrubbed plans for this year. I'm hoping for a hit of Hrvatska in '07 or '08. Well, I'm at least crossing my fingers about that happening.
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