Saturday, January 25, 2014

Five great series books you can read more than once.

These are all great books and I think you'll like them too.

These are great books, and can be read more than once. I'm aware that young people often see movies more than once. Very young people see their favorite movies a lot more times than that!

I am the same way with some great series books. If you have not tried these series books or authors, and want something new to try, you can try these. They are not in any particular order.

#1. The Alphabet Mysteries by Sue Grafton. Starting with A is for Alibi, these popular mysteries star Kinsey Milhone, a private investigator in California. I really like these books, mostly because Kinsey is such a funny, entertaining heroine. She doesn't take any nonsense, is very clever, and doesn't mind "bending the rules" to get evidence or find things out. AND she gets paid in advance. I found Sue Grafton's official website today, and I think I will sign up for updates here.

#2. The Lord of the Rings saga - - otherwise known as the Hobbit Series or Middle Earth books. If you have seen the movies, it's OK. Start out with The Hobbit and then continue on to the main three books, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, and the Return of the King. There are more books out there, but these are the main ones. I think I have read this series at least three times. It's excellent. And it's always fun to read the book, then see the movies. Again. This Lord of the Rings Wiki page is pretty good. Watch out for spoilers though. There are LOTS of other pages to discover for this wonderful series. One of the best is hosted by the Tolkien Society. While you're at it, the One Ring site and the Tolkien Online pages are good too.

#3. Patricia Cornwell's Scarpetta series is about Dr. Kay Scarpetta, renowned Medical Examiner. What is great about this series is not only the mysteries and the hunts for serial killers. It's the relationships and the history behind them that make these stories great. You get to know Kay (like Kinsey, above) as real, multi-faceted people with both public and private lives and backgrounds. Dr. Scarpetta has helped to raise her niece, who turns out to be a technical and computer genius. She is in love with Benton Wesley, an FBI profiler, and she works with a gruff, emotionally damaged policeman named Pete Marino, who secretly (or not-so-secretly) is in love with her, but won't admit it to himself. As you read more about these characters, you grow to really like them - a lot. And they grow in the series too. Patricia Cornwell has her own site here.

#4. The Miles Vorkosigan Series, by Lois McMaster Bujold, is an exciting space saga science fiction fantasy about Miles, born to a privileged family, but injured in an attack on his mother before he was born, resulting in brittle bones and short stature because of it. Luckily, he receives medical treatment, but must try a lot harder than his peers to prove himself. He has inter-planetary adventures aplenty, that are enthralling. There are several companion books to this series, but they start out with Cordelia's Honor, about Miles' parents. I actually have not read this one yet. Two related books can be read before this one if you want to. You can also read them out of order, which I did. The first Miles Vorkosigan book I read was The Vor Game, but if I were starting over (again) with these, which I plan to, I would start with Barrayar or Cordelia's Honor (Shards of Honor and Barrayar). You can find out more about the Miles Vorkosigan universe on the Vorkosigan Saga Wikipedia page.

#5. The Wild Card Series Books, R.R. Martin, Editor. These books/anthologies have just been republished after a long (10-year) stretch, but are books about an alternate universe in which superheroes have adventures. They are co-written by different authors, which makes them super interesting and hard to put down. They often talk about incidents from different points of view too. You must start at the beginning for this series to keep things straight. The first book to read is Wild Cards #1. One good thing about this series is that when you find the original books, they are very collectable. I just have paperback copies of SOME of these, but I am on the lookout for 1-5 again, and will be reading this series again in a few years. The stories here are not like any you may have read before. They also have great interpersonal relationships and "what-if" scenarios. It's an awesome series, co-written by some of the "who's who" of science fiction. You can find out more at the Wikipedia page. On Amazon, they have a great description of this series. Here it is: "There is a secret history of the world—a history in which an alien virus struck the Earth in the aftermath of World War II, endowing a handful of survivors with extraordinary powers. Some were called Aces—those with superhuman mental and physical abilities. Others were termed Jokers—cursed with bizarre mental or physical disabilities. Some turned their talents to the service of humanity. Others used their powers for evil. Wild Cards is their story."

I have attached links to buy books from these series from Amazon if you wish. I like getting either new or used books at Amazon.

Of course, you can also shop around at other fun new or used bookstores to find them. My favorite bookstore right now is in Nashville, and it's called McKay's Used Books. You can trade YOUR books there for store credit, which is also fun.


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