And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Edgar Allan Poe
I am encased in an enormous tortoiseshell scarf with a cup of tea on one of those sunny, bitingly cold winter days, I have spent much of the morning reading what you might call "intellectual" literature, and I am about to do some thing which you may consider extremely tedious. If you are not one for long lists you may skip over this post entirely.
I am of the opinion that you can learn a lot about a person by the books they read; I am also of the opinion that learning what books my friends read is very entertaining busybodiness. That is my indulgent side talking. The other side of me would like to strike a blow in favour of non-fiction (fiction seems to do all right on its own), and assure my friends who yet have a wariness of non-fiction that it is not only educational (an odious, painful word) but it can be highly entertaining. I don't read it just for the research value (which is a great way to ruin a book which would otherwise happily be your friend) but for the simple fact that I enjoy it. It is true that non-fiction is sometimes harder for an imaginative mind to get in to, but I don't think we should let laziness inhibit us from exercising our minds on a material which doesn't immediately offer up grand images without our having to stir out of our lethargic stupour. And the more you work at it, the easier it becomes for non-fiction to excite your own genius. So, in case you haven't guessed, I am about to give you my library in toto. Again, if you are not one for long lists, don't be bothered. If you are interested in seeing what I read (and perhaps catching a new author or two) please stay! I've made rough categories for my books, but please know that some genres must necessarily overlap. I've done my best to choose the greater of shared genres in which to place any one book. (Titles with links lead to my Goodreads reviews.)
The Princess and The Goblin, The Princess and Curdie, The Wise Woman and Other Stories, The Gray Wolf and Other Stories, At the Back of the North Wind, Phantastes by George MacDonald; The Chronicles of Narnia, The Space Trilogy, Till We Have Faces, The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis; The Dark is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper; The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, The Children of Hurin, The Shaping of Middle Earth, The Book of Lost Tales (volumes One and Two), Unfinished Tales, Roverandom by J.R.R. Tolkien; A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, The Farthest Shore, Tehanu, Tales From Earthsea, The Other Wind by Ursula K. Le Guin; Tales of Goldstone Wood by Anne Elisabeth Stengl; The Riddle-Master of Hed, Heir of Sea and Fire, Harpist in the Wind by Patricia A. McKillip; A Wrinkle in Time, Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters, An Acceptable Time by Madeleine L'Engle; The Mark of the Star by Liz Patterson; King Arthur and His Knights by Molly Perham; Martin the Warrior, Redwall, Loamhedge by Brian Jacques; Legends of the Guardian-King Series by Karen Hancock; The Sword in the Stone, The Once and Future King by T.H. White; The Worm Ouroboros by E.R. Eddison; The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells; The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills by Mary Stewart; The Brothers Grimm; The Devil's Hunting Grounds, Cold War in Hell, Highway to Heaven by Harry Blamires; Pilgrim's Progress, The Holy War by John Bunyan; Rewards and Fairies by Rudyard Kipling; Dracula by Bram Stoker
A Pillar of Iron by Taylor Caldwell; Kidnapped by Robert Louis Steveson; The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy; Beric the Briton, The Dragon and the Raven by G.A. Henty; Ben-Hur by Lew Wallace; Tristan and Iseult, Flame-Coloured Taffeta, Warrior Scarlet, Outcast, The Eagle of the Ninth, The Silver Branch, The Lantern Bearers, The Shining Company, Sword Song, Frontier Wolf, The Shield Ring, The Capricorn Bracelet, Heather-Oak-and-Olive, Sun Horse-Moon Horse, Dawn Wind, Sword at Sunset, The Witch's Brat, Simon, The Flowers of Adonis, The Mark of the Horse Lord, Knight's Fee, Blood Feud, Bonnie Dundee by Rosemary Sutcliff; Watch Fires to the North, The Long Pilgrimage by George Finkel; Sir Gibbie by George MacDonald; The Soldier's Cross by Abigail Hartman; The Wrestler of Philippi by Fannie Newberry; The Spanish Brothers by Deborah Alcock; The Cross Triumphant by Florence Kinglsey; Resolute by Robert Pollok; The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper; Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott; Roanoke Hundred by Inglis Fletcher; Time and Chance, When Christ and His Saints Slept by Sharon Kay Penman; Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz; The Golden Warrior by Hope Muntz; Bloodline by Katy Moran; The Silver Chalice, The Darkness and the Dawn by Thomas B. Costain; Master Skylark by John Bennett; All Things Bright and Beautiful by James Herriott
To Rule the Waves by Auther Herman; Annals of Imperial Rome, The Agricola, The Germania by Tacitus; History of the English Church and People by Bede; Everyday Life in Prehistoric Times, Everyday Life in Roman and Anglo-Saxon Times by C.H. B. and M. Quennell; Europe in the Middle Ages by Warren O. Ault; Albion by Peter Ackroyd; Dew on the Grass by Eliuned Lewis; The Auxilia of the Roman Imperial Army by G.L. Cheeseman; Roman Life by Mary Johnston; Roman Britain by H.H. Sculland; The Book of the Ancient Romans by Dorothy Mills; Plutarch's Lives; The Republic by Plato; The Roman Way by Edith Hamilton; Handbook to Life in Ancient Rome by Adkins; The Roman Mind at Work, The Greek Stones Speak, the Mute Stones Speak by Paul MacKendrick; The Twelve Caesars by Suetonius; Selected Works by Cicero; Roman Society from Nero to Marcus Aurelius by Samuel Dills; Greece and Rome by National Geographic; Mary Queen of Scots by Antonia Frasier; The English Revolution: 1600-1660 by E.W. Ives; The Struggle for the Constitution by G.E. Alymer; The Protector by J.H. Merle D'Aubigne; Oliver Cromwell by Theodore Roosevelt; Prince Rupert by Charles Spencer; Bonnie Prince Charlie by Moray McLaren; A Bully Father by Joan Paterson Kerr; When Trumpets Call by Patricia O'Toole; Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris; The World of the Celts by Simon James; The Master of Game by Edward of Norwich; Roman Britain and Early England by Peter Hunter Blair; 1759, 1066 by Frank McLynn; Endurance by F.A. Worsley; Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan by James Todd; A History of the English Speaking People by Winston Churchill; Arbella by Sarah Gristwood; Illustrated English Social History by G.M. Trevelyan; The Normans by R. Allen Brown; Letters of Marque by Rudyard Kipling; The Art of Medieval Hunting by John Cummins; The History of the Britons by Nennius; Not a Tame Lion by Terry W. Glaspey; Cities and Cemeteries of Etruria by George Dennis; Daily Life in Ancient Rome by Jerome Carcopino; A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken; Dame Margaret by Earl Lloyd George; The Princes in the Tower by Alison Weir; The Age of King Arthur by John Morris; The River of Doubt by Candice Millard; The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom; The Everlasting Man by G.K. Chesterton; Tarquinia and Etruscan Origins by Hugh Hencken; The Reformation, The Age of Faith by Will Durant; The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady, The Nature Notes of an Edwardian Lady by Edith Holden
Christianity / Philosophy (often, though not always, coextensive in my library)
The Life of God in the Soul of Man by Henry Scougal; The Kirkbride Conversations, The Christian Mind by Harry Blamires; The Weight of Glory, A Mind Awake, A Grief Observed, Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, The World's Last Night and Other Essays, Present Concerns, The Four Loves, The Problem of Pain, The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis; The Chronicles of Narnia and Philosophy by Bassham and Walls; Centuries by Thomas Traherne; Human Nature in its Fourfold State by Thomas Boston; The Confessions, The City of God, Concerning the Teacher, On the Immortality of the Soul by St. Augustine; The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis; On the Incarnation by Athanasius; The Tome of St. Leo; The Improvement of the Mind by Isaac Watts; Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss; The Mystery of Providence by John Flavel; Glorious Freedom by Richard Sibbes; Morning by Morning and Evening by Evening by Charles Spurgeon; Is God Really in Control? by Jerry Bridges; Basic Writings by Anselm; The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs; The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer; To the Rising Generation by Jonathan Edwards; The Fundamentals by Torrey; Philosophy and the Christian Faith by Colin Brown; Philosophy: Who Needs It? by Ayn Rand; Essays and the New Atlantis by Francis Bacon; The Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus; God the Center of Value by C. David Grant; Orthodoxy, Tremendous Trifles, Manalive, The Napoleon of Notting Hill by G.K. Chesterton; This Momentary Marriage, God's Passion for His Glory by John Piper; The Whimsical Christian, The Mind of the Maker, Letters to a Diminished Church by Dorothy Sayers; Meditations by Marcus Aurelius; The Prince by Machiavelli; The Way of Life by Lao Tzu; Logic by Gordon H. Clark; Signs Amid the Rubble by Lesslie Newbigin; Deliver Us From Evil by Ravi Zacharias
Poetry / Mythology (often, though not always, coextensive in anybody's library)
Beowulf; The Ballad of the White Horse by G.K. Chesterton; The Complete Works of William Shakespeare; A Man for All Seasons by Robert Bolt; Paradise Lost, Complete Poems by John Milton; Idylls of the King by Tennyson; The Lays of Ancient Rome by Thomas Babington Macaulay; Sohrab and Rustum by Matthew Arnold; The Song of Roland; Poems by William Cullen Bryant; Gilgamesh; The Divine Comedy by Dante; India's Love Lyrics by Laurence Hope; The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam; Prince of Annwn, The Children of Llyr, The Song of Rhiannon, The Island of the Mighty by Evangeline Walton; The Book of Conquests by Jim FitzPatrick; The Mabinogion; Mythology by Edith Hamilton; The Viking Gods from Snori Sturluson's Edda; The Prose Edda by Snori Sturluson; The Babylonian Genesis by Alexander Heidel; Gods and Fighting Men by Lady Gregory; The Tain; Poems by C.S. Lewis; The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun by J.R.R Tolkien; Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; Le Morte D'Arthur by Malory; The Iliad, The Odyssey by Homer; The Serpent's Teeth by Ovid; Antigone, Oedipus Rex by Sophocles; The Aeneid by Virgil; A Selection of His Stories and Poems, Departmental Ditties and Barrack-Room Ballads, A Choice of Kipling's Verse by Rudyard Kipling; The Book of Flower Fairies by Cicely Mary Barker
Lord Peter Short Stories, Whose Body?, Murder Must Advertise, Strong Poison, Gaudy Night, In the Teeth of the Evidence, The Five Red Herrings by Dorothy Sayers; Father Brown Stories, The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton; The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens; The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
A Break With Charity by Ann Rinaldi; My Side of the Mountain by Jean George; Children of the River by Linda Crew; The Endless Steppe by Esther Hautzig; The Witch of Blackbird Pond, The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare; The Dog of Bondi Castle by Lynn Hall; Mara Daughter of the Nile, The Golden Goblet by Eloise Jarvis McGraw; The Fiddler's Gun by A.S. Peterson; Carry On Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham; The Story of Sir Launcelot and His Companions by Howard Pyle; The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen; The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett; Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes; A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter; Not Regina by Christmas Carol Kauffman; Augustus Caesar's World by Genevieve Foster; City: a Story of Roman Planning and Construction by David Macaulay; The Crimson Fairy Book, The Yellow Fairy Book, the Green Fairy Book, The Orange Fairy Book by Andrew Lang; Enemy Brothers by Constance Savery; Captains Courageous, The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling; Flame Over Tara by Madeleine Pollard; Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen; Irish Folk Tales by Henry Glassie; The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame; Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott; The Little Lame Prince by Dinah Maria Mulock; The Fairy Caravan, Jemima Puddle-Duck by Beatrix Potter; Chucaro: Pony of the Pampas by Francis Kalnay; Justin Morgan Had a Horse, King of the Wind, Sea Star by Marguerite Henry; The Great and Terrible Quest by Margaret Lovett; Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin; Hittie Warrior by Joanne Williamson; Flash of Phantom Canyon by Agnes V. Ranney; The Wild Mustang by Joanna Campbell; Nabob and the Geranium by Judith Miller; English Fables and Fairy Stories by James Reeves; Sam Pig and the Dragon by Alison Uttley; A Gathering of Days by Joan W. Blos; Archimedes and the Door of Science by Jeanne Bendick; Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo; The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P. Kelly; Guardians of Ga'Hoole: the Journey by Kathryn Lasky; Skald of the Vikings by Louise E. Schaff; The Door in the Wall by Marguerite de Angeli; The Ides of April by Mary Ray; Alice in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll; The Lamplighter by Maria S. Cummins; Sir Knight of the Splendid Way by W.E. Cule; Fables by Aesop; The Gammage Cup by Carol Kendall
Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion by Jane Austen; Watership Down by Richard Adams; The Heir of Redclyffe by Charlotte Yonge; Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte; Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens; Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
First Principles of Verse by Robert Hillyer; Anatomy by Henry Gray; The Concise British Flora in Colour by W. Keble Martin; Elements of Style by Strunk and White; The Element Encyclopedia of of Magical Creatures by John and Caitlin Matthews; Character Naming Sourcebook by The Writer's Digest; The Discarded Image by C.S. Lewis
The Help by Kathryn Stockett; Mystery and Manners, The Complete Stories by Flannery O'Connor