Once again, the wonderful Kristen of We Be Reading is hosting Diana Wynne Jones March! She’s put together a fantastic schedule of events for the month. If you’re a Diana Wynne Jones fan or interested in becoming one, make sure to stop by her blog every day this month to see what she’s got going on over there.

To kick off the month, she’s asking people to post pictures of their collection of DWJ books. Fortunately, since I haven’t yet organized my books onto bookshelves in my new apartment, all of my Diana Wynne Jones books were pre-strewn about the floor. Here they all are:

DWJ books


1. My big sister got me that copy of Changeover. Don’t you wish you had a big sister as good as mine?

2. That is the third copy of Fire and Hemlock I’ve owned. If (slash when) some publisher decides to reissue it with a better cover than the cover I’ve got, I will probably purchase that copy to replace this copy. This will continue until I own the One Best Copy, as is my constant goal for every book I have ever loved.

3. The most recent purchase by me is A Tale of Time City, which I only bought a year or two ago. It’s not my favorite of her books. You may post your arguments in its favor in the comments.

4. I bought that hardback copy of Howl’s Moving Castle at the thrift store when I was in college and gave it to my then-boyfriend, because I wanted him to love Diana Wynne Jones. When we broke up, there was a heated debate in my family as to whether it was acceptable for me to ask him to give it back to me. I did ask for it back in the end, not because I felt it would be okay by Emily Post standards, but just because I really, really, really, really wanted it. He was perfectly gracious about it because he is a nice person.

5. I don’t know where my copy of Unexpected Magic has gotten to, but I have not seen it in several years. I really want it back. What have I done with it? I want it back.

6. Those paperbacks of Deep Secret and A Sudden Wild Magic were acquired on my first-ever trip to London, in 2005. I have hated virtually ever cover Deep Secret has ever had, and I do not hate this one. Thanks, Waterstones!

7. Diana Wynne Jones wrote a lot of books. I wish she had written a hundred more, and given enough time, she could have. She was endlessly inventive, trying something new in every book she ever wrote. She’s been one of my favorite authors for more than a decade, and I wish I’d written to her when she was still alive to thank her for the many hours of happiness her books have given me.

33 thoughts on “DWJ March: ALL MY BOOKS”

  1. Beautiful post, Jenny! I have wanted to read a Diana Wynne Jones book ever since you hosted a Diana Wynne Jones event a couple of years back (I think). I got ‘Fire and Hemlock’ recently – I think it is the same edition which you have. So wonderful to see the pictures of so many of your Diana Wynne Jones books in your post! Which books of Diana Wynne Jones would you recommend to a newcomer of her works to read first? I am thinking of reading ‘Fire and Hemlock’ first and then probably read ‘A Tale of Time City’ or ‘Dogsbody’ next, but because you are the expert, I thought I will ask you. (Also you have also said that ‘A Tale of Time City’ is not really your favourite).

    Happy Diana Wynne Jones month! Happy reading!

    1. I always recommend Charmed Life or Howl’s Moving Castle to newbies — just because those are two fairly accessible books that it’s easy to love right away. Whatever you read, just be aware: You will not love that book the first time you read it as much as you will love it when you reread it. This is just how DWJ books are. She’s better on a reread.

      Anyway, of the books you’ve got, I’d actually start with Dogsbody. It’s got all the deep weirdness of Diana Wynne Jones without the slightly bewildering ending that Fire and Hemlock has. Also, since F&H is my favorite favorite of her books, I’m loath to tell you to start with that one knowing that none of her others would ever live up to it. :p

      1. Thanks Jenny. I will add ‘Charmed Life’ and ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’ to my ‘TBR’ list and try to read one of them first. Nice to know that ‘Fire & Hemlock’ is your favourite favourite DWJ book 🙂 I will read it carefully and give it the time and attention it deserves. I agree with you on reading the best book first – it is so hard to like others as much after that. Happy DWJ Month!

  2. I’ve only read (and re-read) the Chrestomanci books so far, though I have a copy of Time City on the TBR stacks (so I can’t argue for or against it yet!)

    1. And did you like them? Did you read all of them, even the more recent ones, or just the original four? What was your favorite? (I love Witch Week the best.)

  3. I lent my Fire & Hemlock out and I really want it back! *cries* I really regret that. 🙁 And, Howl’s Moving Castle got ruined in our move and I haven’t found a replacement copy yet. 🙁

    1. Oh no! That sucks! I think I’m at the point now where I just wouldn’t loan out Fire and Hemlock. I love it too much and I am miserly about lending books in any case.

  4. pretty books! I sometimes think about upgrading my DWJ books to better copies, but then I figure I want books I can read…for the past two years, for instance, I’ve been eyeing the 1st edition of Homeward Bounders at my local used bookstore, but though I have enough in credit to get it, it would seem Artificial on the shelf, because I wouldn’t want to risk reading it (with concomittent spillage, bendage, etc….)

    1. I’m not fussed about first editions. Mainly what I want is sturdy copies with covers I like. It’s hard to get that combination! They keep getting reissued in paperback, when I’d rather have hardback, but the older hardback editions tend to have silly covers.

  5. Nice! I should have pointed out which of mine are from England–I bought a bunch on a trip right after I got married. I, too, gave (well, lent) Howl’s Moving Castle to a boyfriend in order to teach him to love DWJ, but I wound up marrying him. And, I REALLY wish I had Changeover. Sigh.

    I like Tale of Time City. It’s not my all-time favorite or anything, but I do like it. I wish butter-pies were real. I particularly love Jonathan’s father the Sempitern and his anguished glares. “This girl is not the right size!”

    1. I hope your copy of Unexpected Magic turns up. Where else will you read Everard’s Ride? I couldn’t find my (British!) copy of Homeward Bounders for years, but it turned up in my sister’s bedroom…

      1. Did he end up loving Diana Wynne Jones?

        I’m sure I’ll come to love Tale of Time City. I haven’t yet, but that doesn’t mean a thing when it comes to Diana Wynne Jones.

        I REALLY WANT TO READ EVERARD’S RIDE. And I just want the book back, also! My grandmother wrote in it when she gave it to me!

  6. Beautiful, my dear! I’m so happy you have all of your books! Starting last night when I saw Kailana’s post go up, I have just been smiling and, quite frankly, been on the verge of tears because of everyone’s wonderful collections. I love the variety and all of the titles and the thoughts of reading and re-reading all of these books. I love every time someone says that a copy is about to fall apart from love. I also want to go out and buy all of the used copies at my local bookstores and find them new homes with readers who need to discover the magic and wonder of DWJ.
    As for Time City, I think my mistake the first time was going into it thinking about it in a fantasy way. When I read it the second time in a sci-fi frame of mind, I liked it much better. But, I’ll work on getting you to love this one if you can help me figure out why so many readers seem to love Witch’s Business. I thought it was okay but not one I might love.
    (And I hope you find your copy of Unexpected Magic. Mine didn’t make my picture but at least it was where I thought it was.)

    1. I totally want to buy up all the used copies and redistribute them to the correct audiences. At all of these posts of DWJ books, I’ve wanted to offer to send copies to fill the gaps that people mention in their collections. If only PaperbackSwap had all the DWJ books instead of just a few!!

      I forgot about Witch’s Business! DWJ’s fiction for younger readers isn’t generally my cup of tea, so I probably forgot about it slightly on purpose.

    1. I don’t think so. I’ll have a look for it next time I’m over there, but I haven’t seen it in a while. :/

      1. I think I usually see it floating somewhere around the house when I come home. So…check there, check my old bedroom…I’m sure it’s somewhere in mom and dad’s house.

        1. Haha, Anna, it was on the tiny bookshelf above your bed! I never thought to look in your room, because I didn’t think you were DWJ’s biggest fan. I SCOURED all the other bookshelves trying to find this for Jenny!

  7. My sister is a huge fan of DWJ so in typically sibling fashion I have avoided her completely. I’m not sure I’ll pick up one of her books any time soon, but maybe when I am raving her genre again I’ll consider her.

  8. Oooh, pretty! I really wanted to join in and do this, but alas, my collection is still spread across two countries 🙁 On an semi-related and happy-making note, I recently persuaded our Head of Children’s Services to order a bunch of extra copies of Fire & Hemlock for the library, so I’m feeling very pleased with myself 😀

  9. I so really need to work my way through my DWJ collection of books I HAVEN’T read. Knowing there is a finite amount makes me scared to do so. So more often then not I re-read! I want to re-read the Dalemark Quartet sooner or later… but then I want to go into one of her worlds not knowing what to expect.

    Maybe I should read one during March… even if I just re-read Dogsbody for the 100th time.

    Or get hold of Changeover… or her other rarer books.

  10. Oooh I’ve just found this and am in the process of expiring from envy at your DWJ collection and so many nice copies too! I have a few and they are all bad 1980s paperbacks from my youth, except for Wilkins’ Tooth and Fire and Hemlock, which has the same cover as yours albeit hardback and which I bought purely because you wrote that it was brilliant. And you were right! You are the ambassador from the land of DWJ. So I am going to start buying more DWJ. Heh heh.

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