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Thread: Book Series...

  1. #1
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    Book Series...

    I've been meaning to do this for months now and when I read my horoscope this morning it said I should do some writing (something about putting my creative juices to work). Thus I begin with this admission; I'm a book junkie. And so we are clear, not the self-help crap (just kidding, not about reading it, but it being crap), the non-fiction or the biographies that prattle on endlessly about nothing but themselves.

    I love, LOVE a great story teller; writers that can weave words into the fabric of a story and keep me engaged book after book. Writers that develop characters who become my new best friends. Writers who take me on a journey of the mind and paint a picture I can see as vividly as if I were there. Let me tell you, there's several authors out there who can do that.

    One of the most enjoyable aspects of a series is in the hunt. Finding an author who has 10, 20 or even 30 ongoing saga's is like suddenly engaging in a treasure hunt, with the reward being days, weeks and even months of pure pleasure. I've had my best successes in landing almost entire series on EBay and their bulk book lots. When I find a good portion (sometimes even all of them), I grab them, often at bargain prices. I then backfill what I'm missing at the Half Price Book Store at La Rhonde, at thrift stores or on Amazon where I can often buy a used paperback for 1 cent...unfortunately shipping is $3.99.

    I know, I could go to the Library (I do have my card), but I love owning books. I love the feel of them in my hand, knowing I can pick them up and reread them anytime (in this case memory loss helps). Best of all I have and will lend entire series to friends looking for something that will engage them for long periods of time (especially after surgery).

    For the record, I do own a Kindle Fire. I've tried mightily to adapt to reading books on it, but it's just not the same. I know lots of people who only read the online books and magazines, its just not for me.

    My goal here is to share some of the dozen or more series authors who I enjoy the most. Like a good book, I'm in no rush to post them. Hopefully others will share their favorites. The quest for ongoing new authors is tricky, because each of our tastes are different. I've had some suggestions that I had no interest in; others that got me started in an entirely new direction.

    There is a downside to series authors; the writer dies, or they get bored with the trying to keep the characters alive. Reading the final book in a series is almost akin to visiting an old pal in hospice; you know the end is near. You know the funeral is just around the corner and the finality of it is sadness and loss that is tough to take.

    And there-in lie the beauty of this thread, perhaps we can help each other find another new best friend, companions that will guide us down the path of enlightenment, through the trials and tribulations of the written word. Far better their angst than ours eh?

    I'm at book number 20 (the last in the series) of a character I've grown quite fond of. He's on wife number 3, is a recovering alcoholic and his massive friend is a walking time bomb. But enough for now, like all good books, something need be left to the imagination.

    To be continued.

  2. #2
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    I do use my library card and just re-order when I want to read a book again. Some favorites are Michael Crighton, John Sanford, the duo of Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child, and a newer series by P.J. Tracy. Not a fan of self help books but do read many non-fictions about nature, science and exploration.

    Just can't make the transition to reading on the iPad or Kindle.

  3. #3
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    I guess we are oddities A, I see lots of folks reading their Kindles and Ipad with what looks like nary a care in the world. Though I must say whenever I drive through the Bell parking lot there are tons of folks using that library. When there was talk of the County not paying the lease a year or so back, we looked at the numbers for both that one and Fairway and they were off the charts.

    I love all of Sanford's works. He was a feature column writer for the St Paul Pioneer Press named John Camp, back in my Minnesota days. His Prey series has been ongoing for years now. I really am enjoying his latest Virgil Flowers series, which is an offshoot from the Prey books. His Lucas Davenport character (Prey series) has a house on the Mississippi River Blvd less than a mile from where I grew up. Small world eh?

    Just curious, how many of you have heard of James Lee Burke? I'm on book 20 of his Dave Robicheaux series and have grown to really enjoy his writing style. His use of words is quite spectacular. Because the stories are so good I often find myself racing ahead and have to stop myself from missing the beauty of what he has written. He's very graphic and I suspect not for everyone's tastes.

    You may recognize the Robicheaux name because it was made into a movie starring one of the Baldwin brothers (maybe Alex). He plays a washed up New Orleans's police officer who sobers up and goes to work in the smaller New Iberia police department. He's also got 2 other shorter series but I haven't read them. If I start feeling a Burke fix, I may well pick them up.

    Anyone looking for a summer of reading, let me know and I'd be happy to let you borrow the lot of them.

  4. #4
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    I don't own, nor do I plan to own, a Kindle. I don't have an Ipad either. Not that there's anything wrong with it. I do like to read financial articles and news items on my phone, which now explains the neck pain.

    I don't even like sitting at my laptop reading a downloaded pdf. I want hard copy that I can underline, highlight in yellow and dog-ear the pages. I read articles on medical coding (once a week) and skim two monthly magazines on the same.

    I think the last series of books that I read was Little House on the Prairie many years ago. I look forward to someday being able to read fiction and not feeling guilty about it, lol. I can't see myself ever getting into Vampire or Zombie series novels. I started reading The Hobbit many years ago and I just couldn't stand it. Someone told me I gave up too soon.

    Looking at my reading pile here I have the following, none of which have been read in their entirety:

    Step by Step Excel 2010
    A History of the United States
    The Fred Factor

  5. #5
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    Every 2 weeks I order about 8 books from Bell Library.
    They email me when books are in and let me know when they are due.
    I have a file with author and their books. When I have read one, I cross it off.
    It's a very big file!
    Recently I am enjoying fiction books about Australia.
    I like hearing about authors that I have not read.

    My daughter-in-law gave me a Kindle. I didn't like it.
    Much prefer to sit with a book. BTW. I get large print books.

  6. #6
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    I have a bunch of Alaska tour/cruise material and a Frommer's book on the coffee table. It's on the bucket list.

  7. #7
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    Current read is Mary Stewart's "Merlin Trilogy" which is 919 pages of rather small print. I did buy the book as I knew it would take longer than it would allow on library renewals. I read other library items as they come in and donate any purchased books back to the Friends of the Library.

  8. #8
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    Whenever I see other people's list of books to read, I always feel a touch of guilt (must be that Catholic thing eh?). You guys read stuff I wouldn't begin to even pick up. I'm stuck on the story tellers whose works of fiction are far more predictable and way easier to read. I never want to have to work/think too hard when reading. I want to take a trip of the mind by men and women who lead me along a very simple path.

    I hate authors, who in the first 3 chapters, introduce me to 25 new characters. You know the ones, where you have to go back and reread just to try and keep people straight.

    I've read series for years now, but was never a collector till I came across one of my favorites. The oddity was it was a series that started in 1964, and it looked like some of the old paperbacks my grandfather read. The Deep Blue Good-by introduced me to a writer who was a master craftsman with words. Saying he was a wordsmith would not do him justice. The beauty of his writing was in how he took the time to develop a story.

    Today, authors like Patterson (who I read a lot of) and others, kill 10 people in the first 20 pages. John D. MacDonald was a lot like watching a slow moving river idle lazily by. There was no rush to get to the meat, his words were carefully chosen to take you on a journey and relish it every step of the way. There's 20 some books in the series and I was in pig heaven when I found all of them. He died in the mid 90's and when I read his last, I was in mourning for months (just kidding).

    Travis McGee was his main character and lived on a houseboat, aptly named the Busted Flush he won in a card game. It was in docked in Florida which provided an awesome backdrop for his antics. He was a "recovery specialist," helping people who had been screwed by unscrupulous creeps and if he got back their money/property, he got half of it. He was the precursor of all kinds of characters similar in nature.

    Again, anyone wanting a summer of great reading, let me know and you are more than welcome to borrow them.

  9. #9
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    Clearly this thread is for those with too much time on their hands (said with a smile). For the handful of us who love to read, or even those who like to write (me), I'll continue till I'm bored with it all.

    Here's a curve ball for you all: While my tastes tend to fall toward male authors with predominantly macho male characters, here's a couple that may surprise you. I really enjoyed the Janet Evanovich series with Stephanie Plum. She's a female bounty hunter from New Jersey and the story lines are just plain fun to read. The series starts with One For The Money and is now up to like 19 or so. I have all or most for anyone interested.

    Another fave female author is Sue Grafton. Kinsey Millhone is a private detective in California and she has been working through the alphabet series for so long I don't have most of those early books. The great news is I just saw X is now out (or coming out soon). Again, fun reading with some interesting twists along the way.

    There's way more but that's for another day.

    Another fave female is Sue Grafton and Kinsey Millhone series.Unfortuantely this series

  10. #10
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    Because you are MN folk you may want to try the 6 book series by P.J. Tracy which are set in MN. It's called the Monkeewrench (6 books) series and quite good reading with an interesting cast of characters. Its a mix of mystery, crime and cyber-crime.

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