Welcome to The Bookshelf. Each week I feature an author or book blogger and talk about their bookshelf with them. It’s a light-hearted, book focused, Q&A.
This week I have my first blogger! I’m so excited to finally be introducing the blogger side of this feature and the blogger I’m introducing is so lovely and one I’ve met in person aswell, albeit quite briefly! Kate Coe blogs over at Writing & Coe where she writes reviews and also about the progress she is making on her own novels. She also blogs for SFFWorld, which I think is pretty damn awesome!
I hope you enjoy peeking into her bookshelf…and as always click on the books for more info or to buy…
What was the first book you remember having on your bookshelf?
I never really had my own bookshelf…my parent’s house is filled with shelves, and I browsed them all endlessly as soon as I could read. I remember Paddington, Enid Blyton, assorted fairy tales, Tom’s Midnight Garden, Look&Learn, The Jolly Postman…a lot of the books migrated to my room but it was an ever-changing selection, and I think my mother was convinced that the bookshelves moved in the night because I’d randomly change things around as I read! The first books that I bought for myself were Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, but even they weren’t ‘mine’ – my mother and aunt would eagerly borrow them as soon as I’d finished, and even now there’s usually a gap on the shelf where one’s on loan.
What was the most recent book you added to the bookshelf?
I’ve just bought a copy of The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison and was given a copy of A Little Knowledge by Emma Newman. Beyond that, my virtual bookshelf has Waters and The Wild by Jo Zebedee and Silversands by Gareth L Powell, with a whole stack more on my wish-list waiting for my next paycheck.
Which book have you most recently read from your bookshelf?
This is the point that I admit I read too much…I am a reviewer as well as a book blogger! From my review pile, it was The Heart of Stone by Ben Galley. From my personal virtual bookshelf, I’m part way through The Moon King by Neil Williamson – I read his collection Secret Language last year and adored it, and so far The Moon King is as good! From my physical pile of new books, it was Ursula Le Guin’s Left Hand of Darkness and from my actual bookshelf it was The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, in memory of a beloved friend.
Which 5 books from last year would you not let go of from your bookshelf?
The Vagrant by Peter Newman; a beautiful hardback copy of Naomi Novik’s Uprooted; The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett; The Midnight Queen by Sylvia Izzo Hunter (although this is a bit of a cheat, as it’s currently on loan to a friend); and The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers.
Which books are you most looking forward to adding to your bookshelf?
The Seven from Peter Newman; Peace Talks from Jim Butcher; Anachronism by Jennifer Lee Rossman; A Closed And Common Orbit from Becky Chambers; and I’m slowly collecting my own sets of Agatha Christie, The Dresden Files and Tintin, so more of those!
Which genre is most predominant on your bookshelf?
Fantasy, definitely! Second is probably classics – I’ve got a lot of the Penguin translations, which sit in a neat row on the top shelf. Third would probably be ‘other’, as I have a random line in poetry, philosophy, humour, science…and sci-fi and crime come in last, with very few examples.
Which genre do you wish you had more of on your bookshelf?
Classical studies. I studied Roman history at university and I still adore the period, but I find it so hard to pick up books that either present a new view on the period, or blend fact and fiction in a way that is still true to the sources (Conn Iggulden, I’m looking at you!). I recently picked up The Ancient Paths by Graham Robb which I absolutely adored, but I struggle to find anything to better Colleen McCullough in the historical fiction section. Anything by Tom Holland is certain to find a place on the shelf, though, and I really enjoy writers such as Naomi Novik, the Lady Isabella Trent series from Marie Brennan, and Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell from Susanna Clarke, who expertly blend historical periods with fantasy.
8. I also wish I read more classic novels…I’m trying to work my way through some in my 2017 Discoverability Challenge, but I have to admit that I mostly don’t enjoy the genres. I’ve read a lot of random things, and while it is good for me to get outside my genre once in a while, I have been known to throw books across the room – so I am a firm believer in reading the things I enjoy, rather than the books I ‘should’ be reading!
If your bookshelf could talk what would it say?
My bookshelves are ridiculously over-engineered, so I doubt they’d been complaining about the weight! I hope that they’d say they are loved. I’m a librarian as well as a reader; I despise broken spines or folded pages, but I also firmly believe that books should be read. My books are well-worn but very much loved and used.
What colour do you see more of when you look at your bookshelf?
Thanks to the chunk of Penguin Classics and Dresden Files, I think black’s winning it…with a side-note of red and white.
Can you share a picture of your bookshelf / favourite bookshelf?
About Kate Coe
Kate Coe is an editor, book reviewer and writer of fiction & fantasy. She blogs at writingandcoe.co.uk. and reviews for SFF World. In real life she lives with an engineer and lazy cat, and fills her spare time in between writing with web design, gaming, geeky cross-stitch and DIY (which may or may not involve destroying things). She also reads far fewer books that she would like to, but possibly more than she really has time for.
Want to take part?
If you are a blogger or author and would like to take part in The Bookshelf click here, and fill in the really short contact form to let me know! I’m currently looking for people to fill spaces through May.
I can’t wait to hear from you!