Monday, October 8, 2012

Musing Monday..The Sequel!

To those of you in the USA, Happy Columbus Day!
Now hit the sales.
Right after we check out this week's Musing Monday....

This week’s musing — courtesy of http://ladywithbooks.wordpress.com– asks… Do you have a favorite series? Do you have a favorite book out of that series?

At first I thought,  "I am not a big series fan.." But, of course, as I mused..and I do muse about these questions...I realized that was a lie.
I have always been a fan of series and I guess I always will.

I have mentioned before that when I was a teenager, I was a big fan of Rex Stout's Nero Wolf series. I looked it up. There are 33 books and 39 short stories in the series, and while I may not have read them all, I bet I read most of them. And it was not the only series. Who was the detective that was always making sandwiches and eating them over the kitchen sink? Then there was Sherlock Holmes...Agatha Christie...and more..

And then one of my all time favs...The whole Tolkien Middle Earth series. Start with The Hobbit, move on to The Lord of the Rings..wind up with Silmarillion and the other lesser..in terms of length, not quality..works.A delight for a lifetime!

Present day, it is not different. I will happily read a free standing book, but many in my favorite genre. mysteries, thrillers, police procedurals and such, are parts of series, so series it is for me.
The first that came to mind is those written by Karen Slaughter. Actually she writes several series, but since they overlap to a degree, I consider them one Great Big series. And all great books!

But what others?
Who can remember?
Well, happily, once again, my dear Library Thing came to the rescue. Did you know they have a way, just one of many way cool things you can do there, that you can bring up a list all the books in your library as part of a series? So cool...
So I found I have many and I will just list a few of my tops loves..

  • All Creatures Great and Small- one I read years ago but still love.
  • Anna Pigeon Mysteries by Nevada Barr...love the different National Park settings.
  • Clare Ferguson by Julia Spencer-Fleming..Clare is a great character.
  • Jane Rizzoli/Maura Isles by Tess Gerritsen..read my last review for more on that pair.
  • Odd Thomas by Dean Knootz..first 3-4 books were excellent. I am a Big Knootz fan.
  • Ruth Galloway by Elly Griffiths..Ruth is one of my favorite characters of all time.
  • Shetland Island Quartet by Ann Cleaves..love these books, love the setting. Love.

Yes, these are just the top of the pile. I could really go on.
And on.
Seems I love good series a lot more than I thought!

But I also have some issues with series. Often, I think they start out great and then something happens. Maybe I just get bored with them. Maybe they become too much of the same thing. Maybe the author get a bit complacent. Looking at that Library Thing list, I saw many where I read maybe two in a series and then no more and that is just a few of the reasons why.
The best series, like Slaughter's, are willing to change things up and keep things fresh. The characters have to evolve. Big things have to happen. Yes, you have to be willing to do something like kill a main character off. That is one of the strengths of Slaughter's series, that the cast is big enough to do that, yet we still were involved enough with each of them to really be upset when it happens. I have read that her next book will have Lena Adams back. Hope that is true because the oh-so-damaged Lena is great!

Still, maybe even the best series has a certain lifespan. And that bring up the bravest thing a good writer of a good series can do. Even if they have a successful series on their hand, even if the publisher is clamoring for one more, a really brave writer knows when it is time to wrap a series up and move on to something else. Go out when the series is on top and don't keep it going until even the loyalist fan give up on it. Wrap it up with a Big Bang! Create another one for us please, another great bunch of characters, another great setting, another great premise that lets you explore a whole new bunch of ideas! We, your fans, will still be there!



23 comments:

  1. I enjoy series too but don't have the time to keep up with them anymore. :/

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  2. Great post, as usual. I'm usually not a series reader so my response didn't take much time to answer today's muse.

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    1. Oh, I can go on and on, even if I have little to say on the subject! :-)

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  3. i was a big fan of nevada barr's series with anna in the national parks .. started off great but for me it petered out when her sister and her sort of boyfriend hooked up ...

    i am however addicted to elizabeth george's detective lynly series and john sand ford's lucas davenport series ... go yes, and louise penny's inspector gamache series ...

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    1. It is one series I have not read in order. I pick them by the Park.

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  4. After I wrote my post, and triggered by your mention of Police Procedural, I recalled another series favorite: Kate Atkinson's Jackson Brodie series.

    Here's MY MUSING MONDAYS POST

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    1. yep, I have read a few of them...very good.

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  5. As I read your commentary today, I remembered the All Creatures Great and Small and how much I enjoy reading those. And of course Agatha Christie how could I have forgotten her, so many series I've forgotten about. Bad me!!!

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    1. I totally get it.
      Without Library Thing, I would be lost.
      so many books...so little memory left in my brain.

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  6. The only one I have read in your list is the Anna Pigeon Mysteries and I have not read all of those. I did like them so don't know why I have not kept up with the series. Thanks for visiting.

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    1. i have not read them all either. I read all the ones in colder places first..I like the cold...

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  7. All Creatures Great And Small is on my TBR list. I remember my roommate told me about that series a long, long time ago (like in 2001) and I forgot all about it until recently!

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    1. t's a very nice series..especially if you like animals.

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  8. I really like the Odd Thomas series, I just picked up the latest book. And I have the "Interludes" to read, too!

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  9. It's true, sometimes series can decline as we read on.

    http://carabosseslibrary.blogspot.com/2012/10/musing-mondays_8.html

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  10. The Anna Pigeon mysteries are excellent!

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    1. I need to check out some more of them.

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  11. I really want to read the Rizzoli/Isles books and the Emily Griffiths books. They look so good.

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    1. ..love the Emily Griffiths ones..

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  12. I don't know these, too and yeah, they're sound interesting. Will see to it! Thanks for stopping by!

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  13. I agree -- a good series needs to mix things up and be willing to have their characters develop and grow and perhaps even die. Too many series feel like you are reading the same book over and over and over.

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  14. I haven't read any of these but it sounds like fun! A dectective who eats sandwiches over his kitchen sink? O.o

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