Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I’ve Read the Most

icon4-tttTop Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the image to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is: The Top Ten Authors You’ve read the Most Books From.

If you’re experiencing dejá vu right now you can be forgiven. We did a similar list (Authors we OWN the most books by) last year, and because I’m lazy and would like to save some time I’m going to re-use that post – the answers are pretty much the same.

The only additions I would make is that I’ve read at least 3 more Bateman books listed, and maybe 4 more Stephen King ones but didn’t keep them. I would also add Alice Hoffman and Susan Hill to the list – I’ve read at least 5 each of theirs.

Here was my original post

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Ooooh I liked this one! There’s something really satisfying about having multiple books by the same author. I particularly enjoy my Derek Landy shelf because I have them all in hardback and they’re beautiful!

Firstly, here is my main bookshelf in all its glory. It’s actually quite tidy at the moment.

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1. Darren Shan (16)

  • The Saga of Darren Shan (12)
  • The City Trilogy (as D.B Shan (3))
  • Lady of the Shades

2. Derek Landy (10)

  • Skulduggery Pleasant (9)
  • The Maleficent Seven

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3. William Shakespeare (9)

  • Hamlet
  • Othello (2)
  • King Lear
  • Twelfth Night
  • The Tempest
  • The Complete works of… (2)
  • Tales from Shakespeare

4. C.S Lewis (8)

  • The Chronicles of Narnia (7)
  • That Hideous Strength

5. Scarlett Thomas (7)

  • Dead Clever
  • Bright Young Things
  • Going Out
  • PopCo
  • The End of Mr Y
  • Our Tragic Universe
  • Monkeys with Typewriters

6. Rachel Caine (7)

  • The Morganville Vampires (7)

 

7. R .L Stine (6)

  • Assorted Point Horror (6)

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= Philip Pullman (6)

  • His Dark Materials (3)
  • Sally Lockhart (2)
  • Clockwork 

=Stephenie Meyer (6)

  • Twilight (5)
  • The Host

8. Stephen King (5)

  • The Shining/Doctor Sleep (2)
  • Needful Things
  • Cujo
  • Under the Dome

9. James Frey (4)

  • A Million Little Pieces/ My Friend Leonard (2)
  • Bright Shiny Morning
  • The Final Testament of the Holy Bible

10. Bateman (4)

  • Mystery Man (4)

I could keep going with the 4’s for a while  but I won’t. I also felt like I should have included Alice Hoffman and Susan Hill because I’ve read so many books by them, but for one reason or another I haven’t kept them all.

I’m especially interested to see if everyone else’s owned and read books are as similar as mine. Do you keep most of the books you read? Feel free to leave a link to yours 🙂

The Curse of Crow Hollow by Billy Coffey

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Title: The Curse of Crow Hollow
Author: Billy Coffey
Series: N/A
Edition: Digital ARC, 414 pages
Publication Details: August 4th 2015 by Thomas Nelson
Genre(s): Horror
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free advanced copy in exchange for an HONEST review.

Goodreads // Purchase

Everyone in Crow Hollow knows of Alvaretta Graves, the old widow who lives in the mountain. Many call her a witch; others whisper she’s insane. Everyone agrees the vengeance Alvaretta swore at her husband’s death hovers over them all. That vengeance awakens when teenagers stumble upon Alvaretta’s cabin, incurring her curse.

Now a sickness moves through the Hollow. Rumors swirl that Stu Graves has risen for revenge. And the people of Crow Hollow are left to confront not only the darkness that lives on the mountain, but the darkness that lives within themselves.

Review

I finished this book last week and I’m still not quite sure what I think about it. What I am sure about though, is that Billy Coffey is a talented writer.

Crow Hollow is a small southern town with a secretive, tumultuous past. When a group of teenagers celebrate a birthday in the mountain’s mines, they disturb the equilibrium between the town and the resident weirdo, old Alvaretta Graves.

The younger generation in Crow Hollow grew up swapping fanciful stories about Alvaretta ‘the witch’, but most of them think it’s just small-town superstition… little do they know that their parents know a lot more about the mysterious Alvaretta than they could ever imagine.

I can’t even go into what I liked and disliked about this book without first saying just how much Coffey’s style reminded me of Stephen King. It was uncanny, and actually really distracting because that’s all I could think about the whole way through!

The Curse of Crow Hollow is narrated by a local who is introducing an out-of-towner to Crow Hollow and the events that recently occurred – it was very Needful Things, but worked well.

I loved how a very simple plot of ‘teens partying goes wrong’ becomes something much more complex. There’s superstition, politics, secrets and confessions, and Coffey brings it all together with some great scary moments and well executed spooky atmosphere throughout.

I also really liked the mystery surrounding the parents and what they ‘did’ to Alvaretta in the past. It was interesting to see their reactions when you find out that their children are basically being punished (in some pretty horrible ways) for something they did – it reminded me of A Nightmare on Elm Street a little bit.

The other King-esque trait was the abundance of characters, but unfortunately this is what let it down for me. I didn’t feel the vast amount of characters were developed enough, and I never really cared about any of them individually, which considering what happens to them, is pretty bad, and my interest really waned because of that.

Despite not loving the characterisation (or the whole Christianity thang going on), I really enjoyed Coffey’s style. It made for a really intriguing, atmospheric read, and I’d certainly like to see more from him.

unicorn rating 3

This Month in Books: July 2015

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July was a bit of a bitch to be honest. I got into a severe blogging and reading slump and came pretty close to throwing in the towel. I love blogging, but I started this when I had a boring office job, and I was able to manage most of my blog admin at work. But now I work in an environment that is really full on and has no internet access anyway, I’m really struggling to keep up.

I feel bad for not reading my favourite blogs, replying to emails and comments, as much as I used to, but it’s just not possible.

However, I had a good think about it and I’m not ready to give up, the pros definitely outweigh the cons and I’m trying to go easy on myself. If I only post twice a week, so what. If it takes me a year to write that review I promised, so what! I officially declare this as a pressure-free zone!

In July, I caught up on a lot of reviews, but got very little reading done…I blame the summer. I’m really looking forward to Autumn and long nights indoors hibernating away. Summer is too busy for my liking. LOL.

Anyway, on to the stats!

July 2015 Stats

Total Posts: 16 (+2 from last month)

Books Read: 4 (- 3)
The Ring of Morgana ~ Donna Hosie
Horns ~ Joe Hill
Kiss Kiss ~ Roald Dahl
Dinner with a Vampire ~ Abigail Gibbs

The Breakdown:
Genres: YA (2/4); Horror (1/4); Romance (1/4); Short Stories (1/4)

Formats/Sources: Advance Copy (0/4); Digital (1/4); Hardback (0/4); Paperback (3/4); Owned (2/4); Borrowed (2/4)

Most Surprising: The Ring of Morgana
Most Disappointing: Kiss Kiss
Most Exciting: Horns
Most Swoon-worthy: Dinner with a Vampire
Most Beautifully Written: Horns

Reviews: 7 (+2)

  • There is no Dog by Meg Rosoff, 2/5 (View)
  • A Few That Got Away: The Testimony of a Hanged Man/ Kiss Kiss/ Badjelly the Witch – Various (View)
  • The Ring of Morgana by Donna Hoise, 4/5 (View)
  • Horns by Joe Hill, 4/5 (View)

Most Viewed Posts

  1. This Week in Books 22.07.15 (View Post)
  2. TTT: Top Ten Hyped Books (View Post)
  3. TTT: Celebrating Diversity (View Post)

Guest Posts, Promos and Other Highlights

  • Book Promo: The Water Travelers by Daniel Waltz (View Post)
  • An Over-Due Apology (& What’s Coming Up)! (View Post)
  • Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Book Nerds (View Post)

Awards

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August Releases

Here’s my pick of the August releases:

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What are you looking forward to this month?

This Week in Books 05.08.15

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Welcome to my weekly post, where I sum-up what I’ve been up to in bookland the past week.

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Now: Wonder Light ~ R.R Russell

I’ve only just started this, but it’s adorable already.

Then: The Curse of Crow Hollow ~ Billy Coffey

I finished this at the weekend, but I’m still not sure how I felt about it! My review will be up next week, hopefully!

Next: ???

It’s back to the review request pile, so the next one will be Prophecy of Stones by Mishka Jenkins.

New on the Shelf

(Linking up with Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews) and Friday Finds hosted by A Daily Rhythm.

Purchased: The only book I bought this week was a pre-order. One of my favourite musicians is Patrick Wolf, and he is releasing his first book of poems and art. Eeeeek can’t wait to get my hands on it!

ghostregionmock_copy_2_grande“I belong, here in the ghost region, all alone on the shore, this changing line between land and sea, between a cease fire and a war”

A new book written by Patrick Wolf, a collection of poems, journal entries and reflections from of the period between Lycanthropy and The Magic Position when Patrick Wolf produced and wrote the album “Wind in the Wires” a decade ago from the age of 21. Recently uncovering many volumes of poetry, streams of consciousness, drawing and prose, Patrick has curated and translated them into a portrait of a time of adventure and misadventure he has entitled “The Ghost Region”. Inspired in form by the freeform of Ferlenghetti’s “A Coney Island of The Mind” and Virginia Woolf’s “The Waves”, this is a beautifully made 93 page perfect bound book. The front cover is one of a series of paintings made near Lands End during a lyric writing retreat in 2003. Within the book are previously unseen drawings and self portraits from this time.

Netgalley: I was approved for The World According to Anna by Jostein Gaarder which was my WoW pick last week. So happy I got approved for this one. More info here.

I’m Waiting On…

(Linking up with Breaking the Spine)

The Poison Artist ~ Jonathan Moore

I can’t remember where I came across this book, but it sounds soooo good! It’s not out until next year though 😦

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A tale of desire, obsession, and deadly mystery, with echoes of Vertigo.

Dr. Caleb Maddox is a San Francisco toxicologist studying the chemical effects of pain. After a bruising breakup with his girlfriend, he is drinking whiskey at the speakeasy House of Shields when a hauntingly seductive woman appears by his side. Emmeline whispers to Caleb over absinthe, gets his blood on her fingers, and then brushes his ear with her lips as she says goodbye. He must find her.

As his search begins, Caleb becomes entangled in a serial murder investigation. The police are fishing men from the bay, and the postmortems are inconclusive. One man vanished from House of Shields the night Caleb met Emmeline. When questioned, Caleb can’t offer any information. But he is secretly helping the city’s medical examiner, an old friend, understand the chemical evidence on the victims’ remains. Caleb’s search for the killer soon entwines with his hunt for Emmeline, and the closer he gets to each, the more dangerous his world becomes.

The Poison Artist is a gripping literary thriller about obsession and damage, about a man unmoored by an unspeakable past and an irresistible woman who offers the ultimate escape. Expected Publication: January 26th 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

So, that’s my week in books, now how about yours?

If you still do a similar WWW post (or just want to join in, leave your link/answers in the comments, OR why not tweet using #TWIB, and I’ll come and visit!

Top Ten Tuesday: Inspired by Fairy Tales

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is: ‘Ten Fairytale Retellings I’ve Read/Want To Read (or you could do fairytales I want to be retold or fairytales I love).’

Love, love, love, love, love fairy tales! My top ten features books that have been inspired by fairy tales, which I have read in the last 2-3 years. Most of these aren’t actual retellings but a mixture of lots of different fairy tales.

Cinder/ Scarlet/ Cress

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Poison

w1A brilliant, twisted, spirited anti-fairy tale from the amazing Chris Wooding.

Poison has always been a willful, contrary girl, prone to being argumentative and stubborn. So when her sister is snatched by the mean-spirited faeries, she seeks out the Phaerie Lord to get her back.
But finding him isn’t easy, and the quest leads Poison into a murderous world of intrigue, danger, and deadly storytelling. With only her wits and her friends to aid her, Poison must survive the attentions of the Phaerie Lord, rescue her sister, and thwart a plot that’s beyond anything she (or the reader) can imagine. . . .

The Darkest Part of the Forest

ng2Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.

At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

Until one day, he does…

As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?

Blood Red, Snow White

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It is 1917, and the world is tearing itself to pieces in a dreadful war, but far to the east of the trenches, another battle is breaking out – the Russian Revolution has just begun…

Blood Red, Snow White captures the mood of this huge moment in history through the adventure of one man who was in the middle of it all; Arthur Ransome, a young British journalist who had first run away to Russia to collect fairy tales.

Told as three linked novellas, part one captures the days of revolution but retells the story as Russian Fairy Tale, with typical humour and unashamed brutality. Part two is a spy story, set over the course of one evening, as Ransome faces up to his biggest challenge, and part three is a love story, full of tragedy and hope, as every good Russian love story should be.

Princess Bride

800388What happens when the most beautiful girl in the world marries the handsomest prince of all time and he turns out to be…well…a lot less than the man of her dreams?

As a boy, William Goldman claims, he loved to hear his father read the S. Morgenstern classic, The Princess Bride. But as a grown-up he discovered that the boring parts were left out of good old Dad’s recitation, and only the “good parts” reached his ears.

Now Goldman does Dad one better. He’s reconstructed the “Good Parts Version” to delight wise kids and wide-eyed grownups everywhere.

What’s it about? Fencing. Fighting. True Love. Strong Hate. Harsh Revenge. A Few Giants. Lots of Bad Men. Lots of Good Men. Five or Six Beautiful Women. Beasties Monstrous and Gentle. Some Swell Escapes and Captures. Death, Lies, Truth, Miracles, and a Little Sex.

In short, it’s about everything.

Beauty

fairyt3When the family business collapses, Beauty and her two sisters are forced to leave the city and begin a new life in the countryside. However, when their father accepts hospitality from the elusive and magical Beast, he is forced to make a terrible promise – to send one daughter to the Beast’s castle, with no guarantee that she will be seen again. Beauty accepts the challenge, and there begins an extraordinary story of magic and love that overcomes all boundaries. This is another spellbinding and emotional tale embroidered around a fairytale from Robin McKinley, an award-winning American author.

The Looking Glass Wars

fairyt2Alyss of Wonderland?

When Alyss Heart, newly orphaned heir to the Wonderland throne, flees through the Pool of Tears to escape her murderous Aunt Redd, she finds herself lost and alone in Victorian London. Befriended by an aspiring author named Lewis Carrol, Alyss tells the violent, heartbreaking story of her young life. Alyss trusts this author to tell the truth so that someone, somewhere will find her and bring her home. But he gets the story all wrong. He even spells her name incorrectly!

Fortunately, Royal Bodyguard Hatter Madigan knows all too well the awful truth of Alyss’ story – and he’s searching every corner of our world to find the lost princess and return her to Wonderland, to battle Redd for her rightful place as the Queen of Hearts.

The Looking Glass Wars unabashedly challenges our Wonderland assumptions of mad tea parties, grinning Cheshire cats, and a curious little blond girl to reveal an epic battle in the endless war for Imagination.

The Book of Lost Things

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High in his attic bedroom, twelve-year-old David mourns the death of his mother, with only the books on his shelf for company. But those books have begun to whisper to him in the darkness. Angry and alone, he takes refuge in his imagination and soon finds that reality and fantasy have begun to meld. While his family falls apart around him, David is violently propelled into a world that is a strange reflection of his own — populated by heroes and monsters and ruled by a faded king who keeps his secrets in a mysterious book, The Book of Lost Things.

Taking readers on a vivid journey through the loss of innocence into adulthood and beyond, New York Times bestselling author John Connolly tells a dark and compelling tale that reminds us of the enduring power of stories in our lives.

The Dark Heroine: Dinner with a Vampire by Abigail Gibbs

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Title: Dinner with a Vampire
Author: Abigail Gibbs
Series: The Dark Heroine #1
Edition: Paperback, 549 pages
Publication Details: October 11th 2012 by Harper Voyager
Genre(s): YA; Paranormal Romance
Disclosure? Nope, I bought it second hand.

Goodreads // Purchase

One moment can change your life forever…

For Violet Lee, a chance encounter on a darkened street draws her into a world beyond her wildest imaginings, a timeless place of vast elegance and immeasurable wealth – of beautiful mansions and lavish parties – where a decadent group of friends live for pleasure alone. A place from which there is no escape…no matter how hard Violet tries.

Yet all the riches in the world can’t mask the darkness that lies beneath the gilded surface, embodied in the charismatic but dangerous Kaspar Varn.

Violet and Kaspar surrender to a passion that transcends their separate worlds – but it’s a passion that comes at a price…

Review

It’s been quite a while since I read a vampire book, the last one was The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black – which was A-Mazing – so Dinner with a Vampire had a tough act to follow and while it didn’t even come close, it was entertaining!

On a night out Violet Lee gets separated from her friends and witnesses mass murder on Trafalgar Square. It doesn’t take long for Violet to figure out that the murderers are not altogether normal. They’re fast and strong, and dress a bit odd, and of course they can’t let her go because she’s seen too much – you know the deal.

She is basically captured and given the choice to become one of them or become their food…

It’s not the most original plot, let’s face it, but to say it’s only about that would be an injustice, there is quite a lot of other, interesting stuff, going on as well.

I was really torn with this book to be honest. I couldn’t stop reading, but so many things infuriated me along the way. Violet is this feisty, smart-mouthed girl, who doesn’t seem to care a great deal that she’s being imprisoned by vampires, or that she’s away from her sister who is suffering with cancer. It made it hard to warm to her.

One of the first things she does after she’s captured is steal all of Kaspar’s (the vampire prince) condoms because she’s sick of hearing him have sex every night. It was obviously supposed to show her feisty side and the first signs of jealously or something, but it was just a bit odd, and felt quite juvenile in terms of plotlines.

This is also a book in which things don’t quite ring true at the time, and you just think the author is a bit crazy, but eventually it does all come together and make sense. I applaud Gibbs for doing that well, it was one of the reasons I couldn’t stop reading but it was so frustrating.

I found Gibb’s writing a bit hit and miss too. She sets the scene very well, and I loved the descriptions of the vampires and the hunters at the beginning, but it definitely got a bit muddled in places, mainly because of the alternating points of view. I really didn’t think we we needed Kaspar’s narration!

However, I liked the whole prophecy thing, and the romance was pretty hot, apart from a major anti-climax towards the end – I mean, I won’t give away spoilers but just know that something really pissed me off!

Meh, I don’t know if I’ll read the next one…maybe if I find it in a charity shop like I did this one.

unicorn rating 3