There are only a very few books by Diana Wynne Jones that I don’t own, and here they are and this is why:
1. The Time of the Ghost. Written in 1981, right before Diana Wynne Jones went on her crazy winning streak made out of amazing brilliance and win, between 1981 and 1986, this is my very least by a lot favorite of Diana Wynne Jones’s books. I have read it over and over, and I have never managed to like it.
2. A Tale of Time City. Because I have only started liking it recently, and I have not definitely settled down to Like It from Dislike It.
3. Eight Days of Luke. I.e., the book that apparently gave Neil Gaiman the germ of the idea for American Gods – it’s out of print and difficult to obtain, and I have not yet used it enough times to love it enough to take the time to bother finding it used. I should really check it out of the library again.
4. Dogsbody. No idea why.
Dogsbody is great. See, the being that establishes Sirius, the Dog Star, is convicted of having killed another luminary with his Zoi, an immensely powerful object that has now fallen to Earth and been lost. As punishment, he is placed in the body of a dog on Earth. If, during his dog life span, he can retrieve the Zoi, he will be reinstated; if not, he will die as a dog.
Really I just don’t know why I don’t own it. I own the entire Dalemark Quartet, which I like significantly less than Dogsbody (or Luke or even maybe Time City, now that I think about it.) Dogsbody, it’s fun and interesting, and it’s from the perspective of a dog without being cutesy. As a dog, Sirius cannot access his full luminary self – he wants to run around and sniff things and be a dog, and he has to fight these impulses and focus fiercely on locating the Zoi, the exact nature of which he struggles to remember. Where has it fallen, and who has it now? And if Sirius did not kill the luminary, then who did?
Also, Diana Wynne Jones? Not afraid of a bittersweet ending! Hello, Homeward Bounders? And while I’m on the subject, you are probably wondering what I was talking about before, when I said the thing about Diana Wynne Jones and her insane winning streak. Between 1981 and 1986, Diana Wynne Jones wrote all of my very favorites of her books. She wrote The Homeward Bounders, Archer’s Goon, Witch Week, Fire and Hemlock, and Howl’s Moving Castle. All between 1981 and 1986. Yummy.