Top Ten Tuesday – Ten Authors I Own the Most Books From


It is a while since I’ve done a Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and The Bookish)but Ten Authors I Own the Most Books from appealed so here it is.

1. Terry Pratchett – 35. It was always obvious that Pratchett was going to win. I love the discworld books although I have got a bit behind with them and haven’t read the most recent ones.
2. Margaret Atwood – 18. My favourite author.
3. Ian Rankin – 14. Mostly the Rebus books but a few others. I don’t own the whole series of Rebus books otherwise this would be a bit higher.
4. Julian Barnes – 9. Another favourite although I haven’t loved everything I’ve read by him.
4. Ian Banks – 9. A bit hit and miss but he has written some of my favourite books – The Wasp Factory, for example.
6. Irvine Welsh – 7. I started to read Welsh for my MPhil and I love his early stuff.
6. Ian McEwan – 7. Most of these were read for my MPhil and I loved some and hated others. The Child in Time is one of my favourites.
8. Kate Atkinson – 6. The Jackosn Brodie series and a couple of others.
9. Angela Carter – 5. I thought I had more than this. I need to read some more I think.
9. Martin Amis – 5. Again, a MPhil read and not a favourite.

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Worlds We’d Never Want to Live In

Top ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week we are talking about fictional worlds we would not want to live in.

In no particular order:

1. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood. This is one of the first dystopia that I read and still ranks as one of the scariest. The humiliations that the handmaid’s go through are almost beyond imagining. Atwood’s nightmare world is frighteningly convincing.

2. 1984 – George Orwell. I read this at school. I am sure that it is at least partly responsible for my own political convictions. It is a shame that things like room 101 and big brother have been stripped of most of their meaning by imbecilic television programmes.

3. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley. I often feel like the savage in this book when I look at modern culture. I feel a little lost and confused when I see the things that people do, watch, listen to, post on social media.

4. Mad Addam series – Margaret Atwood. I haven’t read the third book of this series yet but the first two were really disturbing. As with The Handmaid’s Tale, you could really see the roots of reality in this book. Take it as a warning, folks. This is where we could be headed.

5.  Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – Philip K. Dick / Bladerunner. It is particularly unsettling not to be able to tell if someone is human or not. Even more frightening is the idea that you might not even know yourself. This one eats at the very heart of the reader.

6. War of the Worlds – H. G. Wells. Oh, I know, the Martians get it in the end but up until that point, there really is no stopping them. I can’t help feeling this is what  it would be like if any aliens found us. Why travel across space and time, if you’ve not already conquered everything nearer at hand?

7. The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins. I’ve not read the rest of this series either. I liked the idea of the games and the different sectors more than I liked the way the story played out. You know everyone would watch it, that’s what makes it seem real.

8. Animal Farm – George Orwell. Another early influence on me politically. I imagine I’d be like poor old Boxer. Well-meaning but ultimately useless. I’d soon be carted off to the equivalent of the glue factory.

9. The Road – Cormac McCarthy. This is probably the bleakest book I have ever read. Some unnamed catastrophe has caused society to break down. McCarthy really captures the way that it would go once those rules were gone.

10. Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro. This is another book where I liked the idea better than the execution. Children being bred purely for their organs is a chilling – and not unlikely – idea that gets to the heart of the issues surrounding cloning.

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten new to me books.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and is a weekly top ten.


I’ve read a lot of new (to me) authors this year. Here are the ones I enjoyed the most. 

1. Josh Lanyon – Come Unto These Yellow Sands, Snowball in Hell. It’s not often I read two books by the same author back to back. An excellent combination of LGBT issues and detective fiction.

2. Jeffrey Eugenides – The Virgin Suicides. As with a number of authors on this list, I can’t believe I didn’t read this earlier. Difficult reading at times but definitely worth it.

3. Simon Lelic – Rupture. A detective novel that explores the idea of responsibility.

4. Ben Goldacre – Bad Science – A must read for anyone who is sceptical about alternative medicine.

5. Ira Levin – Rosemary’s Baby. One that has been on my to read list for a long time. Superbly creepy.

6. Patrick McCabe – The Butcher Boy. Disturbing first person narrative of madness and neglect.

7. Iain Pears = An Instance of the Fingerpost. Interesting historical fiction with four different narrative voices adding clues to the mystery.

8. Peter Lefcourt – The Dreyfuss Affair. Funny and touching story of the romance between two baseball players.

9. Suzanna Kaysen – Girl Interrupted. An interesting contrast wit The Bell Jar.

10. Michael Moorcock – An Alien Heat. Amusing and well observed science fiction.

The end of the Eclectic Reader Challenge 2013 – really, it is the end this time.

So, I have finished another twelve books for The Eclectic Reader Challenge. And it has been very enjoyable and made me read things I wouldn’t normally which I guess is the point. And I’m definitely not going to do it again this time but I’m glad I did it twice as it meant I explored genres even more closely then I would have done.

It’s hard to pick a favourite genre because often one of the books I read for a genre was great but the other not so good. I enjoyed both the books I read for GLBT very much so that was definitely a winner. I would say that Romantic Suspense is my least favourite genre but I did discover a writer I really enjoyed in Josh Lanyon and have since read another of his books so I can’t really complain about it.

I will definitely take part in the challenge next year as I have really enjoyed changing my reading habits and discovering new and interesting authors.

Here is a list of what I read in each category and the rating I gave them on Goodreads and you can judge for yourself which I enjoyed the most.

  1. Translated fiction – The Prague Cemetery – Umberto Eco 3/5, Venus in Furs – Leopold von Sacher-Masoch 3/5
  2. Historical mystery – The Moonstone -Wilkie Collins 4/5, A Test of Wills – Charles Todd 3/5
  3. Romantic suspense – Come Unto These Yellow Sands – Josh Lanyon 4/5, Awaken – Katie Kacvinsky 3/5
  4. Made into a movie – The Virgin Suicides – Jeffrey Eugenides 4/5, Election – Tom Perrotta 2/5
  5. New Adult – The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins 4/5, The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky 4/5
  6. Urban Fantasy – Stardust – Neil Gaiman 3/5, Something Wicked This Way Comes – Ray Bradbury 4/5
  7. Dystopian – The Testament of Jessie Lamb – Jane Rogers 3/5, The Road – Cormac McCarthy 5/5
  8. Memoir – Girl Interrupted – Suzanna Kaysen 4/5, It’s Only A Movie -Mark Kermode 5/5
  9. LGBT – The City and The Pillar – Gore Vidal 5/5, Rent Boy – Gary Indiana 4/5
  10. Action Adventure – The Zombie Room – R.D. Ronald 2/5, The Lost World – Arthur Conan Doyle 3/5
  11. Humour – A Walk in the World – Bill Bryson 4/5, I Can Make You Hate – Charlie Brooker 5/5
  12. Published in 2013 Levels of Life – Julian Barnes 5/5, The Painted Girls – Cathy Marie Buchanan 3/5