My Most Owned Authors

Today we are going to look at my bookshelf and Kindle, count some books, and determine which author reigns supreme over my shelf space! (There ended up being only two Kindle books on this list, though, so it is a pretty solid representation of my physical shelves!)

I didn’t count manga series, although I do own three long ones; Hellsing with 10 volumes, Death Note with 13, and Fruits Basket taking the cake with 23 volumes. A bit of an arbitrary choice, I know, since I did count other comics and graphic novels. I just thought the list would be perhaps unduly ruled by manga authors if I added them in.

This post is linked at “Top Ten Tuesday”, a weekly book list meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish. All the links below take you to GoodReads.

Maija’s Top 10 authors according to the number of books owned

Courtney Crumrin

1. Ted Naifeh (23)
This came as no surprise to me! Ted Naifeh is my favorite comic artist. In addition to his own stuff, he has also illustrated comics and books written by other people. That, along with the fact that I own multiple editions of some books, explains his number one spot well.

  • The Courtney Crumrin series in color hardback format (4 – with still two left to buy)
  • The Courtney Crumrin series in b&w paperbacks (4)
  • Courtney Crumrin Tales (2)
  • Polly and the Pirates vol.1, plus two colored French issues in hardback (3)
  • Broom with a View (with Gayla Twist)
  • The Death Jr. series ~ written by Gary Whitta (2)
  • The Good Neighbors trilogy ~ written by Holly Black (3)
  • Gloomcookie vol. 1 ~ written by Serena Valentino
  • How Loathsome ~ written by Tristan Crane
  • Unearthly ~ written by Naifeh, art by Elmer Damaso
  • Illustrated short story collection, Alabaster ~ written by Caitlín R. Kiernan

2. Jim Butcher (21)

  • The Dresden Files series (13)
  • The Codex Alera series – haven’t read these yet! (6)
  • Side Jobs, the Dresden Files short story collection
  • The Dresden Files: Welcome to the Jungle graphic novel

3. Neil Gaiman (17)

  • The Absolute Sandman hardcovers (4)
  • Signed paperback of The Sandman: Season of Mists
  • Signed hardback of Sandman: The Dream Hunters
  • Signed illustrated paperback of Stardust
  • Neverwhere
  • Smoke and Mirrors
  • Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett)
  • American Gods
  • Anansi Boys
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane
  • The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish
  • The Wolves in the Walls
  • Coraline
  • Odd and the Frost Giants

4. C.S. Lewis (10)

  • The Chronicles of Narnia paperback boxset (7)
  • Some Narnia books in old Finnish hardcover editions (3)

5. Holly Black (7)

  • The Curse Workers trilogy (3)
  • The Good Neighbors graphic novel trilogy ~ art by Ted Naifeh (3)
  • Doll Bones

And the lower positions are pretty much tied:

6. Bryan Lee O’Malley (7)
7. Caitlín R. Kiernan (7)
8. J.K. Rowling (7)
9. Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman (7)
10. Gail Carriger (6) and George R.R. Martin (6)

Who is your most owned author? Tell me below, or leave a link to your post!


Current Reads: BookTubeAThon 2014!

I decided to take part in BookTubeAThon, a readathon taking place from July 14th to 20th, over at YouTube. Here’s a link to the official YT channel. I have been following several booktubers for two years now, but I have never made a video of my own. I decided to bite the bullet and film a TBR video for the readathon. It was so weird!

Watch me being awkward, or just check out the list of books I’m going to read, below.

My BookTubeAThon TBR

Hellsing, Vol. 1-10, by Kohta Hirano
The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde
Kingdom Come, by Mark Waid and Alex Ross
Hamlet, by William Shakespeare

This post is linked at “It’s Monday, what are you reading?”, a weekly meme that tells us what the blogosphere is currently reading. It is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. The links in the cover images take you to GoodReads.

Ship of Magic Review (2014 High Fantasy Challenge 4/10)

Ship of Magic
Ship of Magic

(The Liveship Traders #1)
By: Robin Hobb
First published in 1998
Book 4/10 of my 2014 High Fantasy Challenge

Description from GoodReads:
Bingtown is a hub of exotic trade and home to a merchant nobility famed for its liveships – rare vessels carved from wizardwood, which ripens magically into sentient awareness. The fortunes of one of Bingtown’s oldest families rest on the newly awakened liveship Vivacia.

For Althea Vestrit, the ship is her rightful legacy unjustly denied her – a legacy she will risk anything to reclaim. For Althea’s young nephew Wintrow, wrenched from his religious studies and forced to serve aboard the ship, Vivacia is a life sentence.

I really loved Robin Hobb’s Farseer and Tawny Man trilogies, so I was excited to start the Liveship Traders, a series that takes place in the same world, but follows mostly different characters.

Ship of Magic definitely reads like the first third of a longer story. In this book, the pieces are set, the backstories are told, and all the groundwork is laid for what will happen next. There isn’t really a finishing point; the book cuts off at the end and everything will be continued in the next one. All of this setting up means that the pace of the book is a bit slow – there are a lot of character moments, but it’s quite easy on the action. There were some times when I felt a bit bogged down, especially with the scenes dealing with people back in Bingtown.

I enjoyed the book, but didn’t form as strong a connection to the characters as I did with the other trilogies I mentioned above. Character work is where Hobb is very strong, so I can predict a lot more emotional reaction from myself in the later books, when I’ve grown more into these new characters. There were definitely times when I realized it had been a while since I’ve read a Hobb book. I would be all: “This is the part where he will win those guys over to his side!”, only to have the character fail. Yeah, the protagonists always have a hard time in Robin Hobb’s books!

The concept of sentient wood was very interesting, and really helped bring a unique feel to the world. The whole concept took a while to get used to, but I soon found myself liking all the sentient wood characters! I’m very interested in what will happen to both of the more major liveship characters: Vivacia and Paragon. Out of the human characters, I most like to follow Wintrow and Althea. I do also have a penchant for Amber, for reasons. That isn’t to say that the rest of the characters, like Althea’s mother Ronica, aren’t interesting, but I admit I would have much rather been reading for example about Wintrow than Ronica, and Althea than Kennit.

I will definitely continue on with the trilogy; it would not do to leave the story unfinished! In fact, I already bought the second book. I won’t be starting it immediately, which means I didn’t absolutely love the book and the ending didn’t leave me on the edge of my seat. I can see myself picking it up after a month or two, though, to find out what happens to Wintrow, Althea, and the liveships. I’m also very intrigued to learn more about the Rain Wilds!

Despite the slow pace, I was won over by the world-building, solid writing, and intriguing liveship characters. I’m rounding my 3.5 star rating up to 4 out of 5 stars.

Next up in the challenge
I might pick up The Lies of Locke Lamora, or, if I don’t feel like starting another series, I might go with the stand-alone fantasy classic, The Last Unicorn.

Current Reads: Classics (#AYearAThon July)

The theme for this week is Classics over at the #AYearAThon, and so I picked up the two classics I own but haven’t read from my physical TBR shelf.

This post is linked at “WWW Wednesdays”, a weekly reading meme hosted by Should Be Reading. As usual, the book covers in this post link to GoodReads.

I recently finished

Brave New World
Brave New World

By: Aldous Huxley
Genre: Dystopian classic
First published in 1932

Far in the future, the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing, and recreational sex and drugs, all its members are happy consumers.

I just finished the book this morning. It was interesting, but I didn’t much care for the main plot elements. The ideas & concepts were clearly the carrying force of the novel. The authors foreword (better to be read after finishing the novel), written in 1946, was also very interesting. There were a couple of things in the book’s future that seemed funny and endearing in our modern day, like a large government facility storing all their information in “eighty-eight cubic meters of card-index”.

What is up next


By: Daphne du Maurier
Genre: Gothic literature classic
First published in 1938

Last night I dreamed I went to Manderley again…

Rebecca was the other classic sitting unread on my shelves, so that is what is next on line. I will start it today. I know absolute nothing of it apart from it being a gothic romance/mystery, and I like it that way! I want to be surprised.

Other possible reads

These are the classics & modern classics I have currently on loan from the library. If I have time left this week, I’ll choose from one of these.
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd A Wizard of Earthsea Hamlet Cat's Cradle
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin (reread)
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

I will be very happy if I manage to knock those two books out of my overflowing physical TBR shelf! The library books are just a nice bonus if I get to that. Can you recommend which one of them I should read first? Happy reading, everyone!

The Last Wish Review (2014 High Fantasy Challenge 3/10)

The Last Wish
The Last Wish

(The Witcher #1)
By: Andrzej Sapkowski
First published in 1993
Book 3/10 of my 2014 High Fantasy Challenge

Geralt was always going to stand out, with his white hair and piercing eyes, his cynicism and lack of respect for authority… but he is far more than just a striking-looking man. He’s a witcher; his sorcerous powers, enhanced by elixirs and long training, have made him a brilliant fighter and a merciless assassin. Yet he is no ordinary murderer: his targets are the vile friends that ravage the land. But first appearances are often deceptive. Not everything monstrous-looking is evil, and not everything fair is good… and in every fairy tale, there is a grain of truth.

The Witcher is a Polish fantasy book series that has had two successful computer games based off of it, with a third one on the way. I haven’t played the games myself, but I do have some basic knowledge about them. So when I started reading The Last Wish I knew that the main character was a white-haired Witcher (basically, a monster hunter) called Geralt of Rivia. This first book is a collection of interwoven short stories based on fairy tales.

I went in expecting monster-hunting adventures in the sword & sorcery vein, and that is pretty much what I got. I was surprised, though, because I enjoyed them a lot more than I thought I would! The book was a page-turner for me: the writing was just very easy to read, and I breezed through every short story. They were all in all pretty straightforward stories, but the added fairy tale elements definitely upped the interest level for me. I recognized Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Beauty and the Beast, with some interesting plot twists. The rest incorporated some well known fairy tale elements, but I couldn’t pin down any particular one.

While there wasn’t a particular story that really stood out to me as a favorite, I had fun reading all of them but one. My least favorite was the title story, The Last Wish. The plot advancement wasn’t as good as in the other stories, and I didn’t find the relationship between Geralt and Yennefer to be written that well. It was a bit too melodramatic at times for my taste, and some turns of phrase made me roll my eyes.

The biggest problem I had with the book was its problematic depiction of women. It pretty much played straight the old sword & sorcery tropes of women as either monsters or priestesses. I except to find that short of stuff in older sword & sorcery books, but it was a bit jarring in a newer book.

Overall, I found The Last Wish an easy read, and Geralt is an interesting character to follow. I’d recommend the book if you feel like reading old-schoolish sword & sorcery with a bit of a modern twist. I give the book 4 out of 5 stars.

Next up in the challenge
I’ve already finished Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb, so a review of that will follow.