Based on your comments, I would say that shelf by shelf is going to be a popular feature. I was surprised to see at least four people commented that they don’t keep their shelves in alphabetical order. That surprises me more than a little. Are they just all higgedly piggedly? Is it because I have mild OCD that I put mine in alpha order? Is it because I worked at a library in my formative years? I was actually kind of embarrassed about my shelves because they may be in alpha order by author, but they are not in alpha order by title by the same author. Thus my Atwoods, as you are about to see, are not in alpha order. Prior to moving out for our house renovation I always kept them in title order within author. Somehow I just haven’t gotten around to it since we moved back in. The other challenge I face is that when I own the entire output of a single author, my temptation is to put them in chronological order. You will see what that looks like in the coming months.
I don’t want to give away too much of what is to come, there are some anomalies for sure. But I will answer Liz Dexter’s questions: 1. In general my fiction is separate from my non-fiction. About 7 of the 35 shelves will be non-fiction. 2. Of course I keep some of my TBR books in various places in the library and next to my bed. But, most of them are intershelved with their brethren and sistren (I don’t think that is a word) that have already been read.
SHELF TWO : 34 books, 18, unread, 16 read, 47% completed
Atwood, Margaret – Bodily Harm (completed)
Atwood, Margaret – The Robber Bride (completed)
Atwood, Margaret – The Blind Assassin (completed)
Atwood, Margaret – The Handmaid’s Tale (completed)
Atwood, Margaret – Stone Mattress
Atwood, Margaret – The Penelopiad (completed)
Atwood, Margaret – Moral Disorder (completed)
Atwood, Margaret – Murder in the Dark (completed)
Atwood, Margaret – The Tent (completed)
Atwood, Margaret – Bluebeard’s Egg (completed)
(I realize that not all of these are fiction.) For a long time The Robber Bride was my favorite Atwood, now supplanted by the MaddAddam trilogy. Very different books indeed. Now that I have a bit of a penchant for vintage sci-fi, I am quite curious to re-read The Blind Assassin for it’s sci-fi novel within a novel. Handmaid’s Tale will be considered a classic until the end of human life. A few of you mentioned loving Alias Grace. My best friend would agree with you, but it is actually my least favorite–and I have read it twice. And, in case you don’t see them here or in the previous shelf by shelf, I have read all of Atwood’s fiction, I just don’t own them.
Auchincloss, Louis – Tales of Manhattan
Auchincloss, Louis – The Rector of Justin
Auchincloss, Louis – The Book Class (completed)
Auchincloss, Louis – The Embezzler
Auchincloss come from old New York money. I loved The Book Class and look forward to reading the others.
Austen, Jane – Northanger Abbey (completed)
As a loose rule I don’t keep easily obtainable classics, not enough space in my library for that. The only reason I keep this great old Signet edition is that I love the cover.
Auster, Paul – The Book of Illusions
Auster, Paul – Winter Journal
Auster, Paul – Timbuktu
Auster, Paul – In the Country of Last Things
Auster, Paul – Sunset Park (completed)
Auster, Paul – Oracle Night
I’ve read far more of Auster’s work then the one you see in the list above. Sunset Park and The Brooklyn Follies (which I loved), fall into the straightforward, easy-to-read Auster. Others of his, like Man in the Dark, while enjoyable, take a bit more effort.
Bagnold, Enid – The Loved and Envied
Bagnold, Enid – The Squire
Bainbridge, Beryl – The Dressmaker
Bainbridge, Beryl – An Awfully Big Adventure
Bainbridge, Beryl – Watson’s Apology
Bainbridge, Beryl – The Girl in the Polka-dot Dress
For some reason I think I like Beryl Bainbridge yet I’ve yet to read anything by her. I think I have a few more of her books floating around the house somewhere.
Baird, Irene – John
I bought this one solely for the title. I have since learned that Baird was born in England but emigrated to Canada in 1919 and wrote a seminal novel about Canada in the Depression (but this one ain’t it).
Baldwin, James – Go Tell it on the Mountain (completed)
Baldwin, James – Giovanni’s Room (completed)
I’ve read these at least twice each. Baldwin is a master that deserves even more praise than he gets.
Barnes, Julian – The Sense of an Ending (completed)
I’m not a universal fan of Julian Barnes’s work, but I really did love this novel. Brilliant, sad, and deep.
Barbary, Muriel – The Elegance of the Hedgehog (completed)
I’ve read Gourmet Rhapsody and it didn’t bowl me over so much that I immediately went and picked this one up. I think I also got tired of seeing its ubiquity in the blogosphere a few years ago. I guess I am waiting until it is vintage.
Barr, Damian – Maggie and Me
Got this as a gift from some UK friends. It seems to be a sort of coming of age memoir/novel with Maggie Thatcher somewhere in the background.
Bassani, Giorgio – The Garden of the Finzi-Continis
I watched the film version of this novel in my college Italian class and I think it may be in that giant 1001 Books You Must Read Books Before You Die book. When I saw this somewhat beat up copy I had a very strong desire to reacquaint myself with the story of the family of Jews in Italy during World War II. At least that is what I remember.
NEXT TIME: Bates through Bowen