As a kid, I was obsessed with baseball statistics. But now that greedy owners and overpaid players have made me sick of pro sports, I've switched my obsession to author-related statistics.
For instance, I don't know how many home runs Herman Melville hit in 1851 (probably just a few because it's hard getting around on a fastball with a harpoon). What I do know is that Moby-Dick didn't sell out its initial printing of about 3,000 copies.
Then there are personal reading statistics. You, as a visitor to HuffPost Books, probably peruse many novels. So I thought I'd ask which authors you've read the most books by, while offering my own top 12.
I arbitrarily limited my list to novels -- leaving out short-story collections and nonfiction books I might have read by the same authors. (No wisecracks, please, about whether Travels With Charley was fact or part-fiction!) My list includes the authors' names, the number of novels I've read by each of them, and my three favorite novels (in rank order) by each of them. If you have different favorites by those authors, I'd like to hear about that, too.
1. Charles Dickens, 14. David Copperfield, Dombey and Son, The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club
2. John Steinbeck, 13. The Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden, Tortilla Flat
2. Colette, 13. The Vagabond, Claudine at School, The Shackle
4. Willa Cather, 12. My Antonia, The Song of the Lark, Death Comes for the Archbishop
5. Margaret Atwood, 11. The Robber Bride, Alias Grace, The Blind Assassin
5. Stephen King, 11. From a Buick 8, Misery, The Tommyknockers
7. Sir Walter Scott, 10. The Heart of Midlothian, Old Mortality, Quentin Durward
7. Alexandre Dumas, 10. The Count of Monte Cristo, Georges, The Three Musketeers
7. L.M. Montgomery, 10. The Blue Castle, Anne of Green Gables, Emily of New Moon
10. Jack London, 9. Martin Eden, The Call of the Wild, White Fang
11. Cormac McCarthy, 8. Blood Meridian, All the Pretty Horses, The Road
12. Herman Melville, 7. Moby-Dick, Pierre, Typee
12. Mark Twain, 7. Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
12. Emile Zola, 7. Germinal, Ladies' Delight, The Beast in Man
12. Erich Maria Remarque, 7. The Night in Lisbon, Arch of Triumph, All Quiet on the Western Front
12. J.K. Rowling, 7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
There are other authors, such as Barbara Kingsolver, who I like enough to have read all their novels but who haven't written enough of them to make my list. And, of course, one-novel geniuses such as Ralph Ellison (Invisible Man) and Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird) are in the "quality not quantity" rather than "quality AND quantity" camp.
Unlike some baseball sluggers, all of the above authors hit literary home runs without the use of steroids.