A tale of three Kates

As I was pondering my selection for my kick-off Shelf Control post this week, I realized that I seem to have a problem with Kates. Looking at my shelves, I found that I have three authors whom I tend to accumulate books by, but whose books I haven’t actually read.

Why do I have all these books by these authors when I haven’t read a single one? Because my mind works in weird ways. Kind of like this:

  • Hey, this book looks interesting! Maybe I should buy it.
  • But wait! This author has a bunch of books out.
  • So, if one sounds interesting to me, probably the others will too.
  • Hey look! Here are the other ones RIGHT HERE.
  • What the heck. I just know I’ll love one, so odds are I’ll love them all.
  • … and suddenly, I have the complete works of an author on my shelf, and I’ve never read a single one.

So, back to the Kates. I think it’s quite funny that among my hundreds of unread books, I own:


… four books by Kate Morton


… three books by Kate Grenville

… three books by Kate Mosse (not shown: the Kindle edition of Citadel)

And yet, I have yet to pick up a single one of these to actually read. My book group even picked a Kate Morton book for discussion earlier this year — and I didn’t end up participating that month!

I know I really do want to read the Kate Grenville books, and plan to do so once I’m caught up, once and for all, on my ARC backlog. As for the others — well, time will tell. I suppose I had a reason for buying all these at the time, but the fact that I haven’t truly wanted to start any might mean that I’ll just always have something else I’d rather spend time on.

Have you read anything by any of these authors? Are there any of their books that you’d especially recommend?

And in more general terms — has this ever happened to you? Have you ever bought multiple books by the same author without having read any, just because you assumed you’d enjoy them? Please tell me I’m not alone!

16 thoughts on “A tale of three Kates

  1. Lol, An Abundance of Kates.
    I’m always wary that I won’t like the other books in a series or by an author so I tend to just purchase the first and then go from there.

    • An Abundance of Kates — love it! Yes, your approach is much more sensible – try one and then see about the rest. But I do tend to get carried away when it comes to books, especially when I find a good deal!

  2. Kate Morton is one of my all-time favorite authors — I hope you don’t give up on her just yet! She is one of very few authors where I have all of her books AND I’ve actually read them all — a rarity! I highly recommend every single one of them — I read them in the order they were written, but there isn’t any need to because they are not in any way related (other than genre, style, etc.) I honestly don’t think I could pick a favorite to start with first though — they are all so good. Morton has a bit of a tragic streak in her writing though, so I would say you need to be ready for that when you pick up one of her books, but otherwise they are just fantastic historical fiction (and she always has the dual narrative, past/present thing going on in her books, which I love!)

    • But on a more general note, I do do this same thing all the time — I think for me, the compulsion to pick up all of an author’s book (or all of a series) instead of just starting with one is a fear that if I do get started and love the first book, I’ll never get around to the next ones if I don’t have them already on hand — I’ve read a book #1 for bookclub and then been dying to read the next one, but since I didn’t already have it, I started something else and by the time the next one arrived, the excitement had petered out. On the other hand, I’ve also bought all the books at once and then NOT wanted to continue and that’s just a waste…so I don’t know what to do about this conundrum either! lol

      • Thank you for the words of encouragement! I’m not giving up on Kate Morton — I’m just finding it a bit daunting to have four of her books staring at me from my shelves! I know that each book has really sounded like something I’d enjoy, so maybe I just need to push myself over the hump and dive in to any one of them.

        I’m glad to know we share book buying habits! LOL. The other one I kind of did this with recently was The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. I really liked the first one, and then when I went to our library’s big annual sale, I saw that they had copies of most of the rest of the series… and since all books were $2, I ended up buying #2 – 10 in the series. And, needless to say, haven’t touched them since. Oh well. But like you say, at least I’ll have them when I want them!

  3. I’ve read all of the Kate Morton books you have and Kate Mosse’s trilogy and enjoyed them all. I think my favourite from Kate Morton’s books was The Distant Hours but definitely my favourite from Kate Mosse’s trilogy was Sepulchre; the atmosphere of the book reminded me a lot of Zafon’s The Shadow of the Wind. I highly recommend Kate Mosse’s trilogy because she really brings the Carcassonne region to life and the historical stories are interesting. But I also enjoy Kate Morton’s novels too 🙂 Happy reading!

    • Thanks for the recommendations! Maybe I’ll give The Distant Hours a try to start with. After posting this, I realized that I have read one Kate Mosse book, The Winter Ghosts, and loved it.

  4. Lol This is totally my thought process. I’ve done the same for so many authors… it boggles the mind. I haven’t read any of these (except for Kate Morton). I really loved The Secret Keeper! I enjoyed it far more than The House at Riverton. 🙂

    • Good to know! I’ll bump The Secret Keeper and The DIstant Hours to the top of the list… for whenever I finally do get around to reading some of these. 🙂

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