In past years, I wrote a blog post listing all the books that I had on my shelves by my most-owned and read authors. The plan was to publish such a post every year, in order to evaluate if there were any changes. As the differences weren’t that significant from one year to the next, I discarded the idea of doing it annually.
My shelves look slightly different now, since I’ve unhauled not only many books from my childhood, but also more recent ones that I didn’t enjoy that much. However, instead of just listing the titles of the books that I read by my most-owned authors, this time I decided to reveal my favourite book by each of the most prevalent writers on my shelves. The list below features seven authors. Four of them I read and own six books by, the others more than that.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
I read and own eight books by J.K. Rowling. A number that increases to nine when adding the work that she wrote under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith. My favourite is still Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. In the third book in the series, Harry, Hermione and Ron investigate Sirius Black, whom they believe is an ally of Voldemort. It also explores Harry’s family history.
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
I’m not totally sure that it’s fair to include George R.R. Martin on this list. The only reason why I’ve read and own seven books by him is that, in the editions that I bought, A Storm of Swords and A Dance with Dragons are each split up into two books. But, since there are seven separate books by him on my shelves, I decided to include him regardless. A Game of Thrones, the first book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, is my favourite. The plot is enthralling and the characters multifaceted. Set in the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos, it starts when King Robert Baratheon, who sits on the Iron Throne, invites Lord Eddard Stark to be his Hand.
Livro Sexto by Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen
There are seven books by the Portuguese author Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen on my shelves, including collections of poetry and short stories. Although I enjoyed the majority of them more or less equally, the poetry collection Livro Sextois probably my favourite. It features one of the poems that I cherish the most – ‘Para Atravessar Contigo o Deserto do Mundo’.
Os Maias (The Maias) by Eça de Queirós
I keep on my shelves six of the seven books that I’ve read by Eça de Queirós. My favourite is still the first one that I read by him – Os Maias (The Maias in the English translation). It comprises two interconnected strands. One focuses on the relationship between Pedro da Maia and Maria Monforte. The other is about the love story of Carlos da Maia and Maria Eduarda. But this Portuguese classic is also a novel of manners, as it explores topics connected with life in Lisbon in the 19th century, including moral decay, idleness and political corruption.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
I’ve read and own six books by Jane Austen. My favourite is also the first one that I read by her – Pride and Prejudice. I read the translation into Portuguese more than ten years ago, but I plan to (re)read the original version next year. Elizabeth, the heroine of the novel, is playful, intelligent and witty. She tends to judge people at first impressions, however. One of them is Mr Darcy, who is proud and struggles to give less importance to social status.
In almost just three years, Daphne du Maurier became one of the authors that I read and own the most books by. After reading six books by her, Rebecca remains my favourite. In fact, it is one of the most captivating and atmospheric novels that I’ve ever read. The narrator is an unnamed young woman who married Maxim de Winter. When their honeymoon came to an end, they moved to his family home, Manderley. There, she became even more haunted by the shadow of his deceased first wife, Rebecca.
Another author whom I read six books by is José Saramago. My favourite is O Ano da Morte de Ricardo Reis (The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis in the English translation), which is a marvellous example of intertextuality. Ricardo Reis, one of the many heteronyms created by Fernando Pessoa, is transformed into a real person. After many years living in Brazil, he returns to Lisbon at the end of 1935 and finds the country subdued to a dictatorship.
Have you read any of these books? What authors do you own the most books by? Tell me in the comments!