Top Ten Tuesday – Most Owned Authors

Top Ten Tuesdays

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish and this week the theme is the top ten authors I own the most books from.

Now, if I was being really honest, the top two would probably be Enid Blyton and Francine Pascal (I was OBSESSED with Sweet Valley High when I was young!) but since those books are all packed up somewhere safe and cannot be counted, I thought I’d go for the more grown up options! I’m not sure this list is indicative of my favourite authors of all time, but they have all been my favourite at some point in my life!

I’m also glad that the title for this week says ‘own’ and not ‘read’ because, as we all know, I have quite a few unread books in my collection!

So here goes.


1 - 5

1. David Mamet – 28
He’s in at the top spot with a grand total of 28 books/ plays read. I adore Mamet’s work, including his essays and novels, and although his latest plays haven’t been just so exciting, I will forgive all for the wonders of Speed The Plow, Oleanna and American Buffalo
Favourite Mamet? Glengarry Glen Ross


2. Joyce Carol Oates – 24
I’m actually surprised that Joyce here was pipped to the post for the Number 1 slot as she is my favourite author ever and incredibly underrated in my opinion. A wonderful, accessible and incredibly prolific writer.
Favourite JCO? Blonde


3. Don DeLillo – 17
I first read Underworld 15 years ago and it totally changed what I felt fiction could be. From the epic to the intimate, DeLillo explores the American way of life like no other author.
Favourite DeLillo? Underworld


4. Martin Amis – 14
I was surprised to see Martin Amis in my top five, as it has been a long time since he has written anything I have enjoyed, however I studied his work at University and his early novels are astonishingly clever. Lionel Asbo is waiting in the 746 so we’ll see if he can have a return to form.
Favourite Amis? London Fields


5. Gabriel Garcia Marquez – 13
The wondrous, magical world of Gabriel Garcia Marquez has enthralled and astounded me since reading Love in the Time of Cholera as a romantically inclined twenty year old. His was a true loss this year.
Favourite Marquez? One Hundred Years of Solitude


6 - 10

6. Chuck Palahniuk – 13
I know I posted a rather scathing review of the last Chuck Palahniuk I read, but his earlier books really are unique. And scary. And hilarious. And often disgusting. But I’ve read 13 of them, so he didn’t manage to put me off!
Favourite Palahniuk? Survivor


7. Margaret Atwood – 13
A joint entry with Chuck, I actually thought Margaret Atwood would have been higher on my list. While I’ve read most of her novels, I’ve yet to try her short stories and poetry. From science fiction to historical, Atwood never misses.
Favourite Atwood? Alias Grace


8. Henning Mankell – 12
Forget Steig Larsson, for me the Master of Scandi Crime has always been Henning Mankell with his Wallander series. Never just straight crime novels, his books examine issues of immigration, international politics and economics and feature one of the most interesting lead characters in Kurt Wallander.
Favourite Mankell? One Step Behind


9. William Faulkner – 11
In my final year at University, I took a course in the Literature of the American South on a complete whim and my love affair with William Faulkner began. The use of form in books like The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay dying has been often imitated but never bettered.
Favourite Faulkner? Light in August

10. Paul Auster – 11
Joint last place goes to that magician of reality Paul Auster, with his beautiful cover jacket photograph and his tales that mingle existentialism, detective stories, magic realism and coincidence. Always questioning the nature of identity and always hitting the spot.
Favourite Auster? The Music of Chance


So there we have it, my top ten. Special mention should also go to John Irving and Armistead Maupin, both with a score of 10 who nearly made the cut.
Do any of these authors appear on your lists? Who is your number one?

Top Ten Tuesday

Cathy746books View All →

I am a 40 something book buying addict trying to reduce the backlog one book at a time!

36 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Wow, I think you listed more books here than I have in my entire collection! I have Light in August on my to-read shelf, but I’ve been a little too intimidated to pick it up. I might have to try it this fall. 🙂


  2. great post. i’d have to go around the house and look (and count) but i suspect that my number one is probably William Shakespeare (I have all his plays and poetry), followed by John Banville/Benjamim Black, followed by Stephen King (I don’t have all his books, but I have a lot, and they seem to have accompanied me through the years, even though I know I’ve thrown some away at times), followed by Dickens. Like you, I have lots of Enid Blyton so she may well be number one (if I could find them) and also a shed-load of Agatha Christie (again,if I could find them).


  3. The only writers on my bookshelf who appears on your list is Margaret Atwood with three novels and Martin Amis with two. My number one is Virginia Woolf if you count biographies she wrote and biographies about her and that comes in at 47 books.


  4. Like you, I have lots of books from my childhood and teen years that I could count (yes to Francine Pascal) but John Irving would win on my grown-up bookshelves.


  5. What a great post! I love your writing style. My number one (in terms of ownership) would be Patrick OBrian with his gorgeous portrayal of an enduring friendship, next is John Steinbeck the champion of the underdog then Margaret Atwood and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. My list is biased towards the books my husband has bought because I tend to give away most of my books if I buy them or borrow them so our collection isn’t an accurate portrayal of my reading interests. Like you I fortunately don’t have to disclose that I read every one of the Sweet Valley High, Flowers in the Attic, Nancy Drew and Babysitters Club books (sigh, what a misspent youth! ).


  6. This is a fun list! Now I am curious who I own the most of, but it would be too much work to figure that out (my books are unorganized and in several different places). I like that you give us your favourite from each author. And, you have inspired me to try Joyce Carol Oates. I own a couple but haven’t read them. Maybe I will start with Blonde.


    • Blonde is pretty epic, a fictional telling of the life of Marilyn Monroe. We Were the Mulvaneys is probably her most famous, but I would just recommend them all to be honest! Her short stories are great too!


  7. Fun post. Though if I seriously tried to do this exercise, it would take me a week! Our collection is scattered throughout the house and is seriously disorganized. But off the top of my head (and disregarding some of the old classic writers like Shakespeare, Dickens, Austen, etc.) here are some: Penelope Lively, David Lodge, Joyce Carol Oates, Barbara Pym, Kate Atkinson, Carol Shields, Hemingway, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Tom Wolfe, David McCulloch (does non-fiction count?).


  8. Love Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I guess I’d have to include him too, although I haven’t read as many as you. I’ve read all the books published by Toni Morrison and Anne Patchett. Almost everything by Rowling and am making my way through Jonathan Tropper, Dennis Lehane, Chris Bohjalian and Christopher Moore.


  9. I always enjoy reading most owned authors blogs from book bloggers (gee, mouthful there…). I have tried to read several Joyce Carol Oates books, but I just can’t get into her prose. And didn’t care much for Don Delillo’s The Falling Man. I do very much enjoy Atwood and have several of her books in my collection. Fun post!


  10. This is a very impressive list! I agree – good job it’s ‘own’ and not ‘read’ as mine would probably look slightly different as well! I’ve not read any Faulkner or Oates but really want to and I love both Paul Auster and Don DeLillo – such unique writers.


  11. This is a staggering list and filled with all the modern greats. You’re more of a high brow reader than I am. I’ve read at least one book from all of the writers but the only one I return to is Paul Auster. I currently have The New York Trilogy (a gift from a friend) under my bed ready for me to re-read.


    • Oh I’m not always high brow, I mean I’m currently reading Hollywood Wives by Jackie Collins!! I fully intend to reread some Auster when I have time, it has been many years since I read The New York Trilogy…..


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