Thursday, January 17, 2008

13 Book Series

Hey, look! I finally added a Thursday Thirteen banner!

This week's list, a look at 13 book series that I've read or am reading.

1. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
I loved reading these books when I was a little girl. Mama came across them a while back, but I opted not to get them. I don't have shelf space for them, and I don't really think it's something the boys would get into.

2. The Sunfire Romance series
Big during the 80s, these were clean romance novels set in different historical periods. I remember I couldn't wait for my allowance and a trip to the bookstore to pick up the newest book. I had several of them, but not nearly all. I wonder what happened to them...

3. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
Billy introduced me to Lonesome Dove after we were married. He had read it in an honors English class in college that a friend had talked me out of taking. I devoured it - then found the sequel and the prequels and read all of them.

Dead Man's Walk tells how it all began. I couldn't put it down!

Comanche Moon, which just aired as a mini-series on CBS, was second. It was really good, too, but it took two tries before I could read the whole book. I came upon a very disturbing, graphic description of violence and had to put the book down for a year or so, then started over with it. The second time wasn't so bad since I knew what was coming.

The final book in the series, Streets of Laredo just wasn't as good for me. I read it and I liked it, but with some of the characters that I had come to "know and love" gone, it was difficult.

(I know, I let myself get too wrapped up in the characters I'm reading about sometimes, but isn't that the fun of reading a book?)

4. The Monk series by Lee Goldberg
Yes, that's Monk of the TV series. I found the first two books one day while browsing in a bookstore. I couldn't help but pick it up to read and before I knew it, I was laughing out loud in the aisle. I have the first three on my bookshelf. It's a series that I had to have; besides, I don't think the library carries them. The fourth book came out a while back, but I'm holding out for the less expensive paperback - which I just realized was released this month! Plus, they all need to be alike. I can't have 3 paperbacks and 1 hardback of the same series... :o)

5. The Mitford series by Jan Karon
These were good, but I got burned out after a while. I think a few more have come out since the biggest part of the series ended, but I haven't really been interested in reading them.

6. The Redemption series by Karen Kingsbury
This is an excellent series! I first learned of it through a daily online book club I'm a part of. I thought it was a good read, so I forwarded that week's excerpts to my sister Lindsay. She started reading the series and got me hooked. I started giving them to my mother-in-law for birthdays, Christmases, etc., and she's hooked. My mom read them all this year and passed them on to my Aunt Sue, who also got hooked. You'll fall in love with the Baxter family as you laugh and cry with them through 5 books.

7. The First Born series by Karen Kingsbury
Another excellent series which follows the families in the Redemption series but from a different point of view. I don't want to go into much detail or I'd spoil the first series for you. This series also has 5 books.

8. The Sunrise series by Karen Kingsbury
This continues to follow the Baxters and the other families introduced in the Redemption and First Born series. There are 4 books in this series, but I think only 2 are out. Maybe 3.

9. Sue Grafton's Alphabet Mysteries
These are really fun mysteries to read. I can breeze through one in just a few days. I've read up to K or L, and Grafton has only written through S or T. I hope to get back into these this summer.

10. The Miss Julia series by Ann B. Ross
Mama introduced these books to me. The title character is hilarious! If you've ever watched the movie Steel Magnolias, think of Miss Julia as 80% Ouiser (Shirley McClain's character) and 20% Clairee (Olympia Dukakis' character). I've got book 3 in my basket by my rocking chair, but I'm not going to let myself read it until I've finished the book I'm currently reading for my self-study program (that I will finish by April 11!).

11. Dave Pelzer's autobiographical series
Finally, some non-fiction on the list. Pelzer writes about his life as an abused child in A Child Called "It". In Lost Boy, he chronicles his experiences in the maze of the foster care system. Finally in A Man Named Dave, find out how he overcame his past to become a light of hope, "commended by several U.S. presidents and international agencies" (from an editorial review on

12. The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
I first read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe when I found it while wandering through the library at my grandmother's church one weekday while she worked. I don't remember how old I was or why I was there, but she let me in there and I spent quite a while lost in Narnia. I had pretty much forgotten about it until a few years ago. Billy bought me the complete Narnia series in one huge paperback book as a Christmas gift.

I read and loved The Magician's Nephew, which I had never heard of before. It tells how the wardrobe in the subsequent books came to be magical. I reread The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe after the movie was released. It was every bit as good as I had remembered.

I followed that shortly with The Horse and His Boy. I love the title, but the book was really hard to get through. For some reason, I just can't make myself skip any part of a book. Skim, yes; skip, no. So when I finally decided I needed to get through it, I plugged away again, skimming here, reading there. I read a chapter a day, and as I got toward the end, things picked up a bit.

I haven't started Prince Caspian yet, but I've heard it's much better than The Horse and His Boy. I'd like to read it before the movie comes out later this year.

I don't know which books follow Prince Caspian, but it looks to be quite a few. The book I have is a really thick one.

13. Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
A friend's daughter described these books to me a few years ago. One day as I was wandering through our public library (I seem to wander a lot in libraries, don't I?), I found them. My curiosity was piqued, so I checked out the first book and read through it fairly quickly. They're okay, not my favorite series by any means, but it looked like something Caleb would enjoy so I thought it'd be good to know what's there.

He saw the movie at Billy's parents' house a few months ago and loved it, and when I told him about the books, he got really excited about reading them. He's almost finished with the third book now; I've only read the first two.

Bonus: 14. The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
I know this is technically not a series, but rather one book in 3 parts. I haven't actually started reading it yet, either. I did read The Hobbit a few years ago. I really enjoyed it and had intended to go from there right into The Lord of the Rings, but I ended up needing a break from Tolkien. It was a tiring book. This year I'd like to at least start The Fellowship of the Ring. I think having seen the movies multiple times will help me get through them. I've heard it's got lots of detailed descriptions, which tend to lose me after a while. I think I may be doing some skimming in this series.

There's one series missing from my list (because I haven't read it and don't own it) that people either love or hate: Harry Potter. I haven't read them, but I'd like to, mostly just to see what all the fuss is about. I've read arguments on both sides of the issue, but I need to read them for myself to make up my own mind about them. Maybe this summer...

Caleb has also gotten into the book series thing:

1. Right now he's reading through Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. He's actually one book ahead of me.

2. The Magic Tree House (time travel, history, geography, science)

3. Geronimo Stilton (adventures of a mouse reporter)

4. Flat Stanley (adventures of a young boy)

5. The Magic Schoolbus chapter books (science)

6. Junie B. Jones (adventures of a kindergartner, then a first grader)

7. Ramona

8. Henry Huggins


Starrlight said...

Great list! Grafton is one of my favorites.

The Rock Chick said...

wow- great list! Really, Monk books? I haven't seen or heard about them! I will have to give those a try since I just finished reading all of Kathy Reichs books. I've been meaning to pick up Sue Grafton's books (I think I'm the only one who hasn't read hers) and I think I will give "A" a try!!!

Happy TT
Jessica The Rock Chick

AJ Chase said...

I like Monk and I saw one of the books at Borders while I was shopping. I didn't get it though because it was Christmas and I was supposed to be shopping for gifts but I was very interested. I used to read all of Sue Grafton's books but lately she's started doing a lot of really odd things that honestly make me reluctant to keep reading.

Nicholas said...

I haven't read any of those. I did start the first LOTR book but shuddered to a halt after 7 chapters. I keep telling myself I'll pick it up again but so far i haven't. I saw the Lemony Snicket movie which was a lot of fun.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Awesome choices! My #1 is reading a lot of those kids' series you mention at the end, too. He's having a lot of fun with them.