Monday, April 8, 2013

Musing Monday...Order in the Court!


 Woohoo, another week is starting,
so let's check out the questions at Should Be Reading...

Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…
• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it!

• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

I have a rant today, brought on by a book I just finished, and one I am going to read shortly. But both suffer from the same issue. They are part of a series, but book in that series that are bring translated and released in the US out of order.
Really, what are publisher thinking??

The first example, the book I just finished is Blessed Are Those Who Thirst: A Hanne Wilhelmsen Novel by Anne Holt.
A good book and a series I like.
But... the first book in the series that I read, and I believe the first published in English in the US, was the last in the series, 1222. Now, you see, the problem here is that by the time 1222  takes places, a HUGE event has occurred in our heroine Hanne's life, and we have missed what happened.

Then I went back and read the first book, Blind Goddess, at that time the only other one in English. Reading it and having read the last book, you can not help but think about what you know will happen to Hanne in the future, although it has nothing to do with this book. It is almost like reading the ending of a book, something I know most of you would never do. But, in this case, what else can you do? I believe there are 10 book in the series, only three which have been translated and are available in the US. So we meet Hanne in the beginning, then many years later, a changed woman, with a BIG gap in the middle.

Another confusing example is the books of Jo Nesbo.
Worse yet, it appears that some were translated into English, published in the UK, but not available at the same time in the US. I tired (OK, not too hard) to make a list of his Harry Hole series, the order they were written in and when they became available in the US..and I got totally screwed us. Some are available in the UK, or Canada but not in the US, so I lost track of which edition the date published referred to and gave up.

Maybe this is why, while I have read a couple in this series and liked them, I do not love them. I read somewhere that the first, The Bat, presents a young Harry Hole. I would love to meet that young Harry Hole and follow his story. After searching around a bit, I see I could get a Canadian edition from a third party..but it is all a bit too complicated.

Now I just got a review copy of The Redeemer, which will be published in May, the 6th in the series. At least I think it is the 6th...or the 4th..
Which might be fine if they have not already translated the 9th, and I read that.
And found out some rather shocking events.Which I would rather not know when I read the earlier books.
Honestly, it all makes my head spin a bit.

Both of these are examples of series that I think should be read in order. The life of the main characters, their development, is important to the series. That is not always true in a series, but with these two it is. But they are also, sadly, for some unknown reason examples of books published in the U.S. all out of order.
Really why?
For a reader, it drives me nuts. 
For a publisher, I think it is very bad business.
The whole appeal of a series is getting to know the characters, watch them as they develop, as their lives change. Jumping all around that is very difficult, if not impossible.
And bad for business.


  1. I am with you that is very bad business for a publisher. Why in the world would you publish a series in any translation out of order? Now I understand some books have a reading order and a chronological order (Narnia series) but it does not sound like that is the case with these.

  2. I agree! I'm very much a person who prefers to read series in order and this would really bother me. Why would they release the books out of order? Doesn't make sense to me.

    1. no, it makes no sense and I really would love an answer.

  3. i, too, have been reading the jo nesbo harry hole series .. lucky for me the 2 i have read so far are in order but the references to the past are annoying ... have you read Elizabeth George's Lyley series? the 3rd book (I think its was the 3rd) is actually a prequel to the entire series ... it was confusing to read it at that point (after 2 others that happen in the present) but to anyone who wants to read her books, i always say read #3 first

    1. I read one or two of the Lyley series and did not love it. another series I should have read from the beginning..which would be book 3, right. or just read something different.

  4. I sometimes try not to read series books, unless they are stand alone books also. If I am really interested in reading a series, I sometimes get a few books in the series and then read them in order back to back. But, all-in-all I like a book that has a beginning and an ending. But, what am I talking about, my current read is a book in a series, however, each year or six months a new one is released in the series. And each book is a stand alone book as well.

    1. i think it is hard for a series that is character driven not to be read in order. either that or the author has to spend TOO much time explaining the back story.

  5. I'd never thought this would be an issue: what possible reason could publishers have for translating a series of books out of order? Unless possibly they thought the first and last volumes would sell much better than the second one, for instance. There's little worse than starting a series, only to realize you can't finish it!

  6. I need to read books in order, this would drive me nuts.

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  8. I would find this extremely annoying and agree that is bad business by publishers. Here's my musing:


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