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The books I still treasure

While discussion the Wraeththu books with Baranduin, I wondered if I'd ever find someone who liked all the same books as me.

So: without comment: my favourite authors, or those I just have a whole heap of books by.

I'm looking round the study so this won't be scientific. And yes, I have read all of them!

Top shelf (so not that handy)
Rowland, Laura Joh
Eyre, Elizabeth
Peters, Ellis
Yates, Dornford
Johns W E (Yes, a few surviving Biggles books!)
Peters, Elizabeth
Barnes, John
McCaffrey Ann
de Lint, Charles
Rice, Anne,
Bradley, Marion Zimmer
Lackey, Mercedes
Niven, Larry

Second from Top - some real favourites here
Heyer, Georgette,
The Water Margins - a one off, but loved for its TV serial with the beautiful Hu Sang Niang
Keenan, Joe
Maupin, Andre,
Raven, Simon
Heyer,Georgette again (mysteries this time)
Stewart, Mary
Dunnett, Dorothy - the Johnson Johnson books
van der Wetering, William
Marshall, William (Yellowthread Street)
Gemmell, David
Pratchett, Terry

These shelves are getting shorter - my husband insisted on shelf space for his books on mountaineering and exploration.
Third from the Top
Still more Historical Heyers,
Sundry Greek literature in translation,
some oddballs - "The Mouse God", "The Once and Future King",George MacDonald Fraser's The Pyrates and Sharon Penman. Not quite flavour of the month, most of them.
Melville Ross, Anthony
Winton, John,
Harris, John
Robinson, Derek
Gilbert, Michael,
Kellerman, Jonathan (used to enjoy them but tended to find the later ones less enjoyable)
Constantine, Storm
Kay, Guy Gavriel,
Gentle, Mary - including Grunts and Ash

Next one down
McCullough, Colleen - the Roman books only
Bradshaw, Gillian
Renault, Mary
Tarr, Judith - the Lord of the Two Lands
Norman, Diana
O'Brien, Patrick,
Hill, Reginald
Hambly Barbara,
May, Julian,
Scott, Melissa,
Donaldson, Stephen - but only Mordant's Need

Next one
Dunnett, Dorothy - historical fiction that I recommend to any who could appreciate it, and that includes my friends here
Price, Anthony
Sutcliff, Rosemary,
Caudwell, Sara
Adams, Douglas
Pears, Iain,
Pearce, Michael,
Manning Coles
Sjohwal and Walloo
Fforde, Jasper

One up from the floor, and largely occupied with history books (some dating back to 1953), but does include Xenophon's Anabasis and Xenophon on the Horse.
Davis, Lindsey
Saylor, Stephen
Cherryh, CJ
Duncan, David

And at the bottom - the large books, with lots of pictures, generally of mountains and glaciers and base camp. But also
Farnol, Jeffrey
Broster, D K
Rowling JK
Bujold, Lois McMaster

This is not exhaustive- there's others out there somewhere, like Rudyard Kipling. Or the classics, but this is my tatty paperback, books I've collected over the years, including lots of second-hand books, that I have loved at least once in their lives, and which now live sheltered and protected.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 8th, 2005 06:49 pm (UTC)
'...including lots of second-hand books, that I have loved at least once in their lives, and which now live sheltered and protected.' what a nice way of putting it!

My top shelf is Mary Renault, Tolkein and the Narnia Chronicles basically - as I have such an intense love of these, they often tend to knock off all the others! Seriously, your list is very interesting and eclectic. It's a great idea for a journal post, I think I'll go away and think about mine now...

I noticed you'd put down Ellis Peters, have you any other medieval fiction you can recommend, as I'm researching and reading all things medieval at present. I'm working on a medieval fantasy novel and would find it very helpful and interesting to know - as I have a long way to go... Thanks!
Sep. 8th, 2005 07:55 pm (UTC)
For a start, it all depends what you mean by mediaeval. Of the books I own, I'd recommend a couple of Diana Norman's: The Morning Gift, set about the same time as the Cadfael novels, and Daughter of Lir, which is in Ireland in the time of Henry II. She did write a couple earlier than that - Fitzempress' Law and King of the Last Days, also Henry II, that I read from the library but couldn't find my own copy. Elizabeth Eyre's books are set in Italy, sort of early Renaissance. Dorothy Dunnett's Niccolo series is late 15th century, so more renaissance than middle ages, but covers a lot of ground and are pretty good (though I'm actually a Lymond lover myself). I suppose you know about Ellis Peters' alter ego Edith Pargeter, who wrote less fun histories - about the Welsh, I think. And Sharon Penman wrote this big book "When Christ and the Saints slept" about the Stephen/Mathilda wars.

Even Georgette Heyer wrote mediaeval - Simon the Coldheart is set in a time of armour and damsels, but I'm not sure of its actual time, The Conqueror, and My Lord John (Duke of Bedford, brother to Henry V)which is soooo full of scholarship, and hardly progresses at all.

There are a few mysteries set in mediaeval times. Can't remember all the names (and I think a lot of them are written by the same person just using a series of noms de plume). Bernard Knight, Michael Jecks - you can probably track down some of them through amazon, though I find most of them pretty much the same. Some people have recommended a series set in the Borders in the 16th century, but that's probably a bit after your time (and I can't remember the author either). Hits head repeatedly.

If you're going to write mediaeval fantasy, have you had a look at Guy Gavriel Kay. He's done some - Song for Arbonne set in an AU Provence, Tigana in an AU Italy... Great books, too!
Sep. 8th, 2005 08:28 pm (UTC)
Ooh, you've given me lots to look into, thanks very much, and I'll look out for these. I'm interested in the late medieval period, so your suggestions are very helpful. And Cadfael is a very comforting read, I think, for those cold winter nights that are coming all too soon...
Sep. 9th, 2005 04:25 pm (UTC)
Another recommendation for a mediaeval fantasy is Mary Gentle - particularly Ash, which has lots of accurate period stuff and a rather weird fantasy. And there's also her Grunts! (with Orc Marines) though that has nothing to do with the Middle Ages.
Sep. 8th, 2005 07:29 pm (UTC)
Oh, I do love lists of books! there are a lot on there that are on my own shelves (my top shelf would have Mary Renault, Tolkien, John Fowles and Susan Fromberg Schaeffer ... and possibly a few others :-)

There are also a lot that I don't recognize, which is great, nothing I like more than searching for new authors in book stores and on amazon.com.
Sep. 8th, 2005 08:06 pm (UTC)
I used to love going round bookshops, but nowadays I tend just to look for the books I read when I was young, or new books by authors I still like. I don't even experiment in the library like I used to ;-) When I worked in London I'd generally pop into the library every couple of days, it was so close.

For me, the top shelf is for books I don't need immediate access to - sometimes it's hard to get a book down from right up there. Favourites live on the middle shelves, where I can grab them for comfort any time I want them. Mary Renault is there, with my little head of Alexander. My Tolkien is in the living room, on the classier bookshelves, with Kipling and the classics, which are generally in less battered condition. Oh, and quite a few John Keegan books about battles, and the World Wars.

At the moment I couldn't really recommend anything on my shelves, but they tend to fall into categories: historical; naval and war books; detective stories and thrillers; science fiction and fantasy. And some of those in combination, of course: historical detectives, fantasy thrillers, sci-fi war books...
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )



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