Each Separate Dying Ember

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

Historical Fiction

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

Literary Fiction

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

On Literature

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

12 ripostes:

  1. My, this is quite a list! To look at mine in comparison would be similar to looking at an inch next to a mile. ;D
    But, I am slowly making my way through some new books lately. I started The Tales of Goldstone Wood two days ago, and I think I'll have finished "Heartless" by tonight (I'm loving it so far! <3). When I finish the series, I also want to read "The Last of The Mohicans", finish "Les Miserables" (you simply must read this one) and finish The Lord of The Rings series (I'm about 100 pages into The Fellowship of The Ring).
    I had to read Watership Down for school and didn't find it quite intriguing, but it was definitely a well written work of literature! I guess it just wasn't my style. :)
    Also, have you read "The Giver", "Gathering Blue", "Messenger", and "Son" by Lois Lowry? I would classify them as children's literature, but they are one of my favorite series. <3


  2. I've never read Lois Lowry. I heard about those books after I was past that age, so...no, I've never read them. Sorry! Too bad you didn't like Watership Down. I watched the film quite a lot as a child because apparently nothing could scare me, not even the Black Rabbit of Inle, and I loved it so much that I read the book. BOY can that book give you the shivers. Shoo, what a story...


  3. Does this list constitute your proprietary library, or might there be some borrowed items included? Just kidding, sweetheart; you have laid the foundation for a solid literary collection. Spurgeon had over 12,000 volumes in his;I think Churchill lost count...

  4. Nope! I very fairly left out all the books I don't actually own. Which is a lot. Unfortunately the list of books I haven't read far outweighs the list of books I have read, and I've just added Travels by Marco Polo to my list of books I want to purchase and read.

  5. Jenny dear! How could you even think this post would be boring for us? I found it A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!! I appreciated how you put them all under different subjects... so well-organized, I should like to do a post like that sometime =D. My Dad's library is a HUGE one... Sarah may have told you his ipad holds about 3,000 books alone, another thousand on his kindle I believe (or there about), and then there are the books on his shelves (six large/tall bookcases) PACKED with books: though predominately they are non-fiction books of theology, devotionals and books of spiritual instruction and exposition with spices of philosophy and Christian apologetics and medical and nutrition books among them as well. So anytime, I can look among his treasure trove of faith and theology in the written word... I will find no lack of reading supply there! I like how your dad mentioned Spurgeon and Churchill's library collections. One can never have too many books is my firm belief!!

    For myself, I am slowly trying to grow my personal library, small as it is at this stage and predominately works of fiction and Christian biography. I already have a fair collection for Tolkien and C.S. Lewis and Rosemary Sutcliff (though I still have many books of theirs that I'd like to purchase and read still) but I should like to try reading and owning more books by G. K. Chesterton and Charles Dickens, Augustine, Ravi Zacharias, and randomly Beorwulf (which version/translation should I be on the hunt for by the way?) Lately I've been bemoaning the fact that I've found so little historical fiction worth reading that's wholesome, pure and inspiring if not definitely Christian. Any good ideas? I've been especially on the hunt for something set in the early part of the twentieth century (WW2 period etc, etc,)...

    And as a side note in regard to this post of yours, I opened up my goodreads account and typed up all the 'historical fiction' books and read reviews/synopsis etc, and added some on my 'to read' list!! Thank you, I shall sure to check some of them out, as well as other works you've mentioned in this post! So, curiosity kills the cat... have you read all these titles yet, or are they simply the titles invading the space on your bookshelves?

  6. Read them all? Oh no, not by a long shot. I've read maybe a third of my library. As for Beowulf, the translation I read was by Burton Raffel, but I also have Seamus Heaney's famous translation as well as two copies in the Anglo-Saxon - mostly for the fun of it, as I can't read Anglo-Saxon myself (though I have picked up a few introductions to Anglo-Saxon, though I haven't got round to looking at them yet). I know Seamus Heaney is spoken of highly, and he's probably easy to get hold of, but my heart is still with my first translation.

    I hope to do a post on what I've read in the year 2012 early in the month of January, so stay tuned for that!

  7. Goodreads FTW! I had thought that I would add all the books I owned but hadn't read to my "to-read" list, to use as a sort of reading queue, but quickly realized that would be a depressingly large number. So many books! So little time!

    That said... I have been wanting to read Flannery O'Connor for ages (as a foil to Faulkner and Vonnegut); I might have to borrow that collection from you.

  8. I've put Mystery and Manners in my I'm Absolutely Going To Read These This Year list for 2013. That one was a birthday gift from Anna; the Complete Stories was a birthday gift from Abigail. I don't expect I'll be disappointed in them but I have no idea what I'm in for.

  9. Goodness, what a collection you've compiled, Jenny! I felt rather like a stranger in a large party searching through the masses for a familiar face, but was pleasantly surprised that at least a third of these titles were not foreign to me. Reading countless snippets of Adamantine has spiced my interest in Beowulf; I believe it's on my tutorial's reading list for next year, but I don't know what translation they use. I also really need to read some Rosemary Sutcliff sooner or later; it would be something of a scandal for me to continue reading The Penslayer without doing so. :P I've only read one, The Light Beyond the Forest from her Arthurian Trilogy, and I cannot remember a great deal about it, as 'twas many years ago. I'm currently reading three books, though, and have several others waiting anxiously on the sidelines, so Sutcliff shall be added to my extensive to-read list. I could liken my books to dozens of magnificent steeds: I want to ride them all, but can only do them justice by taking them one at a time (riding two horses at once would be quite a sight, would it not?).

    My own library is shamefully small, as I often pull from others' bookshelves and the all-helpful public library. I have a great appetite for the classics, so my shelves are populated primarily by Homer, Shakespeare, Austen, Dickens, Alcott, Gaskell, Lewis, Tolkien, Orczy, Hugo, and Dumas, among others. I also still have the well-worn copies that lit my childhood, among which number my Little House series, the covers of which practically fall apart at the touch. Most of the history and theology I read is taken from my father's extensive library, which fills a whole room in our basement.

    I can't wait for your post about the books you read in 2012! Which reminds me that I need to write up on of those soon . . .

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. *I need to write up one of those soon, not on of those soon. I also need to preview my comments before I publish them. :P

  12. Well Great Scot. What a bally lot of books this is! You can think quite spot on that I just added 5 new Wodehouse titles to my library. Hroom hroom. I like your list. A great deal. You kiddos will have the pick of the lot, I think. I can just see them acting like Lewis of whom it is said, took down Paradise Lost at age 9 and conquered it. Great Scot indeed.