I wish I had all the time in the world - and a photographic memory - so I could read all of the books that have ever been written and be able to write a review on all of them, so I could share my love for the written word with you.
Unfortunately, I don't have all the time in the world and I can't read a mile a minute (I'm quite a slow reader, considering how much I read), nor do I have a photographic memory. So, instead I'm going to share those that fall outside of my Pinterest Reading Challenge, Book of the Month, and Audio Book Extras in a monthly form.
The following are just a few authors that were born this month and some of my favorites written by them. This is by no means a complete list. You'll find some classic authors as well as some that are new and up-and-coming. Some are legends while others are as green as the spring grass. Some are dark and mysterious and others are bright and bubbly. And some lost and almost completely forgotten or today's bestseller. All are completely different, and yet each have very one big thing in common: Love for telling a story.
I hope you enjoy this month's Birthday Authors, and maybe find a new read while you're at it!
January 3 - J.R.R. Tolkien
John Ronald Reuel Tolkein (January 3, 1892 - September 2, 1973) was an English writer, poet, phiologist, and university professor who is best known as the author of the classic high-fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. (source)
My Favorite: The Hobbit
In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort. (source)
January 12 - Jack London
John Griffith "Jack" London (January 12, 1876 - November 22, 1916) was an American novelist, journalist, and social activist. A pioneer in the world of commercial magazine fiction he was one of the first writers to become a worldwide celebrity and earn a large fortune from writing. He was also an innovator in the genre that would later become known as science fiction.
Some of his most famous works include The Call of the Wild and White Fang, as well as the short stories "To Build a Fire", "An Odyssey of the North", and "Love of Life". He also wrote about the South Pacific in stories such as "The Pearls of Parlay" and "The Heathen", and of San Francisco Bay area in The Sea Wolf. (source)
My Favorite: The Call of the Wild
Life is good for Buck in Santa Clara Valley, where he spends his days eating and sleeping in the golden sunshine. But one day a treacherous act of betrayal leads to his kidnap, and he is forced into a life of toil and danger. Dragged away to be a sledge dog in the harsh and freezing cold Yukon, Buck must fight for his survival. Can he rise above his enemies and become the master of his realm once again? (source)
I have only read a couple of Jack London's books, and it has been many years since I've done so. This is one author in which I need to explore more!
January 19 - Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809 - October 7, 1849) was an Aperican writer, editor, and literary critic. Poe is best known for his poetry and short stories, particularly his tales of mystery and the macabre. He is widely regarded as a central figure of Romanticism in the United States and American literature as a whole, and he was one of the country's earliest practitioners of the short story. Poe is generally considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre and is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction. He was the first well-known American writer to try to earn a living through writing alone, resulting in a financially difficult life and career.
Some of Poe's most noted works are The Fall of the House of Usher, The Masque of the Red Death, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Tell-Tale Heart, "Lenore", "The Raven", and The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, Poe's only complete novel. (source)
My Favorite: "Lenore"
"Lenore" originally began as a different poem, "A Paean", and was not published as "Lenore" until 1843.
The poem discusses proper decorum in the wake of the death of a young woman, described as "the queenliest dead that ever died so young." The poem concludes: "No dirge shall I upraise,/ But waft the angel on her flight with a paean of old days!" Lenore's fiance, Guy de Vere, finds it inappropriate to "mourn" the dead; rather, one should celebrate their ascension to a new world. Unlike most of Poe's poems relating to dying women, "Lenore" implies the possibility of meeting in paradise.
The poem may have been Poe's way of dealing with the illness of his wife, Virginia. The dead woman's name, however, may have been a reference to Poe's recently dead brother, William Henry Leonard Poe. (source)
January 25 - Virginia Wolfe
Adeline Virginia Woolf (January 25, 1882 - March 28, 1941) was an English writer who is considered one of the foremost modernists of the twentieth century and a pioneer in the use of stream of consciousness as a narrative device. Born in an affluent household in Kensington, London, she attended the King's College London and was acquainted with the early reformers of women's higher education.
Having been home-schooled for part of her childhood, mostly in English classics and Victorian literature, Woolf began writing professionally in 1900. During the interwar period, Woolf was a significant figure in London literary society and central figure in the influential Bloomsbury Group of intellectuals. She published her first novel titled The Voyage Out in 1915. Her best-known works include the novels Mrs Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, and Orlando, and the book-length essay A room of One's Own, with its dictum, "A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction." (source)
Sadly, this is the one author on this list that I have not read any of their work.
January 27 - Lewis Carroll
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (January 27, 1832 - January 14, 1898), better known by his pen name Lewis Carroll, was an English writer, mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon, and photographer. His most famous writings are Alice in Wonderland, its sequel Through the Looking-Glass, which includes the poem "Jabberwocky", and the poem The Hunting of the Shark - all examples of the genre of literary nonsense. He is noted for his facility at word play, logic and fantasy. (source)
My Favorite: Through the Looking-Glass
This 1872 sequel to Lewis Carroll's beloved Alice's Adventures in Wonderland finds the inquisitive heroine in a fantastic land where everything is reversed. Looking-glass land, a topsy-turvy world lurking just behind the mirror over Alice's mantel, is a fantastic realm of live chessmen, madcap kings and queens, strange mythological creatures, talking flowers and puddings, and rude insects.
Brooks and hedges divide the lush greenery of looking-glass land into a chessboard, where Alice becomes a pawn in a bizarre game of chess involving Humpty Dumpty, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the Lion and the Unicorn, the White Knight, and other nursery-rhyme figures. Promised a crown when she reaches the eighth square, Alice perseveres through a surreal landscape of amusing characters that pelt her with riddles and humorous semantic quibbles and regale her with memorable poetry, including the oft-quoted "Jabberwocky."
This handsome, inexpensive edition, featuring the original John Tenniel illustrations, makes available to today's readers a classic of juvenile literature long cherished for its humor, whimsy, and incomparable fantasy. (source)
From one bookaholic to another, I hope I’ve helped you find your next fix.