Read The Whole Lot?

Now today is of course Thursday and by now those of you who pop by regularily would normally have seen me write a Booking Through Thursday but it arrived later than normal and so now you get two posts today instead of one after my earlier post about Tuck Everlasting, aren’t you the lucky ones? Today’s question is more of a theme and simply asks us to write about something we have wanted to discuss with a lot of fellow book lovers.

So I thought and thought about what there was that I have always wanted to discuss with you all. Was there one thing I have always wanted to discuss and haven’t yet? Well even though we do have lots of wonderful discussions on here there were actually a few (which is good as this blog would dry up sharpish if not), is reading the entire works of an author or an entire series. It will make sense I promise if you bear with me.

I love several authors such as Margaret Atwood, Susan Hill, Stella Duffy, Colm Toibin (very recently), Sophie Hannah, Daphne Du Maurier… the list could go on. I have never read all of any authors work, not even some of my favourites mentioned and the same applies with a series of books. I love all of the Isles and Rizzoli series of Tess Gerritsen’s, The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency, Miss Marple, Agatha Raisin (again I could go on)  but I don’t ever quite catch up with the latest books in these series or ‘the one book I haven’t read’ by a specific author… why?

Mainly I think it’s because I fear that the one I haven’t read, or the latest in the series is going to be the last one and that really worries me. If authors are living its less likely, once I read the last Daphne Du Maurier I can get my mitts on I won’t have any left so what would I do? How would I cope? It’s like with my sensation season, I am not reading all of them as then there would be none left, I have made sure some gems are still lying in wait to be discovered in years to come.

I also worry that an author I love might write a new book I don’t like, or have a real dud in their back catalogue. You can for give it once, maybe twice but then I would loose a favourite author. Mind you if they wrote that many books I didn’t like they wouldn’t be a favourite author would they? It is a worry and so I always leave one, or two, or ten. Is there anyone else out there who does this?

So that leaves me with lots of questions for you all and I am excited about the answers already, though I think its going to play absolute havoc with my recently whittled down TBR. Which series must I simply read? Which author’s entire works would you demand must be purchased and devoured now? Do you hold back on reading everything in a series or by an author or do you think life’s too short and if you love them read them now and not hold back? Who has finished a series and knows the agonising wait, or is enduring one now, for the next book? Who has read everything by an author and is now bereft not knowing which author to turn to next? I will leave the floor, or in this case the blog, open for you all to discuss…

24 Comments

Filed under Book Thoughts

24 responses to “Read The Whole Lot?

  1. Jessica Coleman

    That’s funny; I was just asking myself why I hadn’t read something by George Orwell just this morning. “The Road to Wigan Pier.” No idea why.

    I have done all the things you mentioned. I make a point to read every new book by certain favorite authors, like Stephen King, Anne Tyler, Douglas Coupland, and Nick Hornby. I’ve never been disappointed in one of their books, though I have torn my hair out in frustration when I hear a new one is in the works but not published yet. There really are only a handful of authors I like that much, though.

    I waited to finish The Lord of the Rings for something like a decade because I couldn’t bear to know I had finished it. Then it turned out I probably waited a bit too long. Certain books are much better appreciated when read at the right age or time of life.

    Making a TBR list helped with these painful dilemmas. This was a red-letter year because Nick Hornby, Douglas Coupland, and Anne Tyler *all* put out new books! I’ve got the first and I’m waiting breathlessly for the other two. It makes it a bit easier when you look at how many things you still desperately want to read. If you follow enough favorite authors, it’ll be all you can handle just trying to keep up!

    • I know what you mean about the wait for new books as a few authors who have released debuts I have loved then take ages to publish another (thats not meant in a demanding way but as a reader I just cannot wait) as yet I dont think I have got to the end of any of my fav authors books.

      We both have a love for Anne Tyler I see!

  2. If I love an author a lot, I frequently don’t read one or more of their books. I haven’t read Persuasion all the way through; there are two of Salman Rushdie’s books I haven’t read, and two of Mary Renault’s. It has been suggested to me that this is insane, so I’m glad to know I’m not the only one!

  3. I tend to stockpile the works of favourite authors and save some of them for a rainy day, especially if they are, um, dead (or, um, close to it). I would/am bereft if there is nothing left of theirs to read. A much-loved favourite author of mine has only two books left that I haven’t read and I am going to be so lost once I have but I am biting the bullet and reading them both (possibly; I still dither) soon, but more of that later…

    There is also the fear of not loving the other books as much as a favourite which explains why I have never picked up another DDM book in the fifteen years since I have read Rebecca.

    I tend to devour the work of writers who are quite prolific in publishing new titles and who -touch wood- have many miles on the clock yet; Neil Gaiman and Jasper Fforde spring to mind.

    • Hahahaha I think I possibly own all my favourite authors books and just dont read them… so I am also a stock piler like you. I currently seem to be picking up a lot of Anita Brookner and have only read (though loved) one of her books. Odd behaviour from me.

      Regrading Rebecca I know what you mean, other Daphen work is amazing just not quite so amazing, I am leaving My Cousin Rachel till last as have been told that is almost as good as Rebecca.

  4. Zee

    I’ve read all of J.D. Robbs books (but not all of Nora Roberts) and all of the Harry Potter books except Beadle the Bard and I think on of the reasons I haven’t read that one is that fear that you describe. What if it doesn’t pull me in like the others? What if it makes me look differently on the other books? Scary!

    The In Death books by J. D. Robb however I HAVE to read the next one when it comes out. I haunt the mailbox when they have been released (I have the next two on pre-order already). I have an incurable desire to find out what happens next.

    • Oh I have read whole series hoorah, I forgot all about Harry Potter and have even read the Beadle the Bard one… hoorah! Thanks Zee for reminding me of these books, how could I forget Harry Potter?

  5. I agree with Claire and you about saving books for a “rainy” day; there’s a couple of authors who are dead of whom I can’t bear to read the last book by them that I hav yet to read.

    I would definitely say you should read all of DDM. Not all of the books are as good as the Big Four (Rebecca, My cousin Rachel, Frenchman’s Creek, Jamaica Inn) but they are all very good in their own ways.

    • I think if the author is dead we have good reason to hold off as there wont be more, if its a modern author it should be fine, I am just very impatient.

      I plan to read all of DDM and am ploughing through now and again My Cousin Rachel will be the last one I read.

  6. I love to stockpile favourite author’s works eking them out at one or two a year. Paul Auster is my number one, although I’m catching up on him and will not have any left to read soon. The other is Michael Connelly whose Harry Bosch LA police procedural novels are superb if you like that sort of thing – and I do!

  7. This has reminded me – I need to do some work on my being-a-completist page.

    http://lizzysiddal.wordpress.com/long-term-reading-projects/on-being-a-completist/

    In theory (and given time) I’d read everything by a favourite. Once finished, I can look forward to re-reading. Some works hold up and some don’t – there’s no need to feel bereaved – there’s plenty of quality new discoveries to be made.

    So, I ask myself why am I still waiting to read Phillip Reeve’s “A Darkling Plain”. It was because I couldn’t bear to finish his Mortal Engines series. Now he has published a prequel, I don’t know whether to read that or the final chapter! Oh, the trials of being a bookworm!

  8. I think you ought to read each and every book by Cimamanda Ngozi Adichie. There are oly three, as of now!

    And Murakami too. My personal goal!

    Booking Through Discussions

    • I have read Chimamanda’s Half A Yellow Sun and have both the others on my TBR pile I may read one soon and leave another until I know she has another one out if that makes sense?

  9. I’ve lost authors off of my favorites list … Vikram Seth is the one who comes to mind. I adored A Suitable Boy, liked An Equal Music the first time through but then I read The Golden Gate and didn’t like it at all. Then I went back and re-read An Equal Music and ended up not liking it anymore either. So I think I will just re-read A Suitable Boy sometime in the near future and just stick with that book as a favorite but not him as a favorite author. It was a disappointing experience though.

  10. I have a fairly obsessive personality. Hence, if I like one book by an author, I’m inclined to go out and find a few other books by the same author… I always wonder, what if there are other books by the author which are better? I may or may not like it, but, I’d rather give it a go, and see how it pans out. Similarly, if I’ve absolutely hated an author, I’m less likely to go out and try another one of their books.

    I’ve read all the Mary Higgins Clarks out there (barring the latest one, and the ones she’s co-authored), and enjoyed all of them. I’ve literally just discovered Daphne du Maurier (read Rebecca), and am now actively going to seek more books by her. And another newly discovered favourite is Angela Carter.

    Authors like Coetzee and Cormac McCarthy are always on my wishlist, and I reckon I should read a couple of their books every year, at least, just because I love their writing styles.

    • I am totally with you, if one book is excellent I will fairly quickly get another. If one book is appaulling I won’t be likely to touch the author again unless someone who’s book taste I quite trust really sings its praises.

      Cormac McCarthy and Angela Carter are authors I must read something by!

  11. Most of my favorite authors are dead, and I’m inclined to collect everything I can find, either to read or to stockpile. There is one Molly Keane book I’ve owned for 12 years and never read – it didn’t appeal so much to me at the time, but now it’s unread because I like to know there’s still 1 left to go. I find with living authors discovered when I was young that I’ve often outgrown them, or they out grow me, or that they only seem to have one really good book in them, so I’m trying to learn patience and wait for a while before deciding how much I want a book. Generally though I just tell myself you can never have to many books and just go on collecting whatever takes my fancy with an occasional effort to impose some sort of pattern and discipline on the shelves.

    • I like the tale of the Molly Keane book, I am still yet to read anything by her but I simply must!

      I wish I had your patience with books I dont operate like that sadly I just buy whatever takes my fancy which is dangerous and must be stopped.

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