This week the group will be sharing our favorite book series with you. We have guest blogger James Garcia Jr., author of Dance on Fire here on Friday and David has a guest for us on Wednesday as well.
I'm having a hard time choosing with this topic. A few years ago I could have told you hands down it was Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series, but after Flirt and the disappointing ending to Bullet (not to mention the laborious detail to clothing, every person's placement in the room throughout the whole book, and the multiple, group sex scenes), I think I have finally passed the point where I will no longer buy her books in hardcover.
I've bought her books for over a decade, way before her work ever went straight to hardcover, and while book sixteen looked like it might be getting back to an actual plot over constant characterization, I think I'm finally over my crush. She's a damn fine storyteller, but I'm getting a little sick of Anita with all her infinite ever-increasing powers and never-ending new bed-partners. And this latest story arc I don't really care for—saving the world from the mother of all vamps with love and sex. I get it, really, I do. She has to sleep with all these men, it's her condition. I just don't care for it anymore.
I'm a monogamy type of chick and I don't need a fantasy world to escape in where I can dream of exotic far-from-real-life partners, I like real men. Some of us don't have repressed sex lives we need to explore through the pages of a book, but I digress.
I've noticed my reading tastes have changed over the years. Doesn't everyone's? At any point from junior high through college I could have said it was tie between Lord of the Rings, Terry Brooks' Shannara series, Anne McCaffrey's Dragon Riders of Pern, or Katherine Kerr's Land of Deverry series as my be-all favorites. Or in high school it might have been V.C. Andrews' Flowers in the Attic series vying for the top with anything by Stephen King.
Jim Butcher's current hit with The Dresden Files certainly would rank up at the top of books I buy in hardcover right now—and for me, that really is the deciding factor. Do I love the story, and the world created, enough that I will spend the extra cash and get it the moment it comes out? And with Butcher the answer is a resounding yes.
The same can be said for Charlaine Harris' work - all of her work. She's done four series and stand-alone titles throughout her career and I love everything she's ever written. She has character driven plots, the best kind, but the books all make for a satisfying read and never leave you hanging, or wanting to write a "fan" letter to her and arrogantly tell her she needs a better editor and a new storyline (which I felt this last week while reading Bullet).
I'd be hard-pressed, as this rambling blog can attest, to picking one series and one series only, as my favorite. And I could go on and on and list more here that I thoroughly enjoy and do buy in hardcover - or paperback - the moment they are released. Books are my one true vice, which is also why my formal living room was turned into a library through nine months of custom carpentry work I will never do again, even if I was paid.
I may be reading a lot of NYT Bestsellers, but I also read a lot of authors who are new. Good storytelling never gets old and— no matter the medium—will never go out of style. But, like that perfect pair of comfortable high heels, you have to search endlessly in the sea of available items to find it.
Who do you read and what do you love about their books? I'm always looking for more to feed my addiction!