The topic of this week's ToT brought first this thought to mind: TEN! I don't know TEN book series. That was followed by this thought: UGH!!! Book series. I loathe them. I mean, aren't they just money makers for authors to get suckers like us invested in people that don't even exist to the point that our anticipation for the next book has us re-reading the previous books in the series and starting to believe these characters are our real friends? SUCKERS!!! I hear all the writers cackling away ("suckers, suckers, ahahaha! SUCKERS! Mama needs a new Louis Vuitton bag! Daddy needs a BMW!") as they start their fifty-third installment of their series. Lately it seems all books are part of a series. I'm tellin' ya. When I see 'book 1 in the blah-blah series' I move right along these days. I need time for all my stand alone novels and there is so much good non-fiction that I can read and not have to remember every detail in five years when the next book comes out. I'm over it.
I do like the way books in series look on book shelves, though. So orderly and so neat.
And maybe there is a series or two (or fifty, who's counting?) that I'm addicted to. Okay. I do love some book series, but it has to be really good to get me to start a new one, because I could be reading only serial novels and never finish if I live to be a million. I really like when someone I know is also reading the series. It feels more fun and a little bit more real, the way we talk about the characters and join reading groups and message boards to go on and on about FAKE PEOPLE, PEOPLE!!! But unlike stand alones, these people go on and on and sometimes never age, they are outliving us all and we talk about them like they are real because like mosquitoes in summer, they keep coming back.
Of my girls, Meg is a huge series reader. She will find a series that is new to her and read every book published to date, back to back. She blazes through them. She has introduced me to some good ones.(Gee, thanks Meg.) I asked the girls what their favorite series were, both as young readers and as adults. Meg and Erin both mentioned (although they admit the books aren't great literature or anything) Confessions of Geargia Nicolson, which apparently you cannot read in public unless you are wearing Depends. One of them made that mistake, I won't say which one and maybe at my age it would be a mistake to read them at all. (I'll let you know.) They have also both read Game of Thrones, I read the first one and would like to read them all, but here I go having to reread so I can figure out who is who and their relations in that endless list of characters. Meg likes the Ryria Revelations as well. Erin sped her way through Odd Thomas making me add those to the list of "want to read". (SEE!? Again with sucking me in!)
Anyway, knowing how I feel about series I didn't think I could come up with ten. Then I started thinking and BAM! They just kept coming! I mean, I am a writer's dream SUCKER! So many series. What is wrong with me? And I'm just like everybody else, I get excited when a new book is on the horizon and I 'like' the authors' facebook pages and read their blogs and curse them when they make me wait five years to find out what happened to Jemmy and......
Anyway, here is my list of series that I've been reading most recently or as a grown up. I have not read anyone else's list, so any overlap (of which there will be tons for sure) is coincidental.
- Amelia Peabody. Elizabeth Peters created a family that I wanted to be a part of, added them in with actual historical people, dropped them in the desert and watched the dead bodies appear. There is so much humor and love in these books. I listened to them and Barbara Rosenblat will forever be Amelia in my head.
- Flavia de Luce. I'm in love with this little girl (the books are written for adults). BUT! Here is another thing these writers do. They start a series in 2009 when they are like SEVENTY YEARS OLD! I never should have started it, I'll just be so sad when there sill be no more Flavia books. Just like I am about:
- Bloody Jack. The final installment of this series comes out this month, L. A Meyer finished it before he passed away last summer. Some of these books are better than others, but I have laughed so hard at some of the situations young Jacky Faber gets herself into. Another girl I love. These are written as Young Adult, but the themes can be very grown up and the books are a wonderful, light-ish diversion from deep thinking. Meg flew through the audiobooks and I've whispersynced them. (whispersync, a new verb) Narrator Katherine Kellgren makes these books even more than they are in print, which is still hysterically funny.
- Her Royal Spyness. Formulaic, funny, fluff. Comedic murder mysteries with a heroine and her love interest who haven't managed, yet, to get together, but are in lerve so we root for them. The narrator of these books, Katherine Kellgren is again, genius.
- The Molly Murhpy series. This, like HRS are written by Rhys Bowen. Not quite as humor filled, and not necessarily great fiction, I've fallen for the characters (DAMN, YOU RHYS BOWEN AND YOUR SNEAKY SERIAL ADDICITING WAYS!). (I will not read her Evan Evans series, I won't! I'm putting my foot DOWN!)
- Three Pines Mystery series. Louise Penny has created a town that is nearly a character in her books and a Chief Inspector who is so calm and introspective that reading her books is like going home. These books aren't as light as some of the series I've mentioned, but they aren't action filled either. No gun fights or car chases (not really anyway) and the town is stuffed with quirky characters that love each other. So quaint I want to live there. The narrator of these novels, Ralph Coshum became Armand Gamache for me. Sadly he passed away recently and I think I'll read any future books. I won't replace his voice with another in my head.
- Harry Potter. Nobody personifies 'suck 'em in with a series' better than J. K. Rowling. I mean! Not only did she write a series, but she brilliantly managed to cross age barriers selling not just to children and not just to adults but ALL THE PEOPLE! And now what. She's a gazillionaire. Seriously, when Deathly Hallows came out my family of five bought FIVE COPIES! of a hard cover because not one of us could wait three days for another to finish the flippin' book. And yes, we have multiple copies of each book in hard and soft cover (I found a bunch in many rooms in my house). The Campbells purchased a room in the Rowling castle. Rowling, you owe me. And now!? Am I reading your Cormorand Strike written by Robert Galbraith aka YOU!!!!!???? Well, yes I am, you money grubbing...... You should give me a copy of every book.
- Outlander. If you don't know I can't describe them here and you either love them, hate them, or even in the craziness and stuff Gabaldon does that you want to throttle her for (at least she didn't kill Dobby off. Stupid Rowling), you keep coming back to see where Jamie goes next. I know, Claire. Blah, blah. It's Jamie we want.
- The Dublin Murders Squad. This series is slightly unusual in that while there are cross over characters from each book to the next, it doesn't follow one main character through all the books. While each could be read as a stand alone I recommend reading them in order starting with In The Woods. That was my least favorite of the series, most people loved it. I'm glad I picked up her other books, because she is really great at getting into the minds of flawed and damaged people.
- Mary Russell series. I started this series, loved it, but then put it on hold because I wanted to be 'in on it' when references were made to Sherlock Holmes' cases. I went and read the entire Sherlock Holmes series (even a long dead writer sucked me in) and now am ready to get back to Holmes and Russell together.
And as further proof that I AM NOT A VICTIM to serial authors and their devious ways, bonus series: Nina Borg, pretty good. Nadia Tesla. Nadia is a strong female character and not bogged down with a lot of overly emotional crap. She thinks, she gets the job done and she has history that is drawn out over the books. Next one comes out in December (sucker). Dr. Siri Paiboun, read this, it explains it nicely. Lord of the Rings. Although I didn't become a major fan of the films, so no Comic Con for me. The Once and Future King novels. I loved these and want to read them again. Maisie Dobbs. The Gaslight Mysteries. Charlotte and Thomas Pitt Mysteries. The Millenium Trilogy. Harry Hole. Richard Castle's Nikki Heat. I could continue (it's true, there are more) proving that I'm the biggest sucker of them all. It's embarrassing really.
And ten more, I read these as a kid or read them with my kids. Bonus! but no linking fest.
- Gone Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright
- Anne of Green Gables.
- Chronicles of Narnia (a passionate favorite of Erin).
- Nancy Drew.
- Angelina Ballerina.
- Little House on the Prairie.
- Little Women and Men, etc.
- Pippi Longstocking.
- Betsey Tacey.
- Peter Rabbit.
- Winnie the Pooh.
EDITED TO ADD: There is a website that is still in progress that lists book series, all their books in order. It is called, practically, Books Series in Order.
Twenty-three. I refuse to read any of the posts of participants in Ten on Tuesday. I'm being strong. I will NOT let you suck me into another series! (Ignore that loud flushing sound you hear, it is NOT me being sucked into another series. No sirree-bob.)