Tuesday 14 April 2020

Annual update on the series I read

I'm trying to get into the habit of doing an annual update post on the series I read and while we're in coronavirus lockdown seems like an ideal time to take a look at the list. It's not really for anything other than my own records and use but I always love it when someone comments with new recommendations for series to try. Also it's extremely useful to remind me that I haven't read a book from a certain series in a while. I notice it's been a year since I read a Kate Shugak book (Alaska based). Longer than that in the case of the Adamsberg books but I'll have to wait for the libraries to reopen before I can get the next one of those.

I've added two new series too, Mrs. Pollifax and Cork O'Connor, both seem very promising. And I have a couple of new ones to start, the Wiki Coffin series by Joan Druett and the Bell Elkins series by Julia Keller.

The 'I'll get back to them at some stage' list is still there too, and sometimes a series will shift off that and come back into circulation as in the case of the Sea Detective series by Mark Douglas-Home... I've just read book three in that series and it was 'excellent'.

So, series I read from on a regular basis:

Crime - currently reading:

Charlie Parker - John Connolly - (read 12... up to book 13)
Ruth Galloway - Elly Griffiths (read 11)
Lord Peter Wimsey - (read 11)
Bruno, Chief of Police - Martin Walker (Read 6)
Comm. Adamsberg - Fred Vargas (Read books 1, 2, 3, 4 and 9)
Kate Shugak - Dana Stabenow (read 9)
Armande Gamache - Louise Penny (read 9)
Simon Serailler - Susan Hill (read 3)
Rabbi Small - Harry Kemelman (read 2)
Maisie Dobbs - Jacqueline Winspear (read 7)
Nick Dixon - Damien Boyd (read 3)
Romney Marsh - A.J. MacKenzie (read 2)
Sea Detective - Mark Douglas Home (read 3)
Cadfael - Ellis Peters (reread 5)
DCI Dani Bevan - Katherine Pathak (read 1)
Imogen & Hugh Croft - Katherine Pathak (read 1)
Cork O'Connor - William Kent Krueger (read 1)
Mrs. Pollifax - Dorothy Gilman (read 1)

Also crime, but series I haven't read in a while but will get back to at some stage:

Montalbano - Andrea Camilleri (read 5)
Matthew Shardlake – C.J. Sansom (read 3)
Flavia de Luce - Alan Bradley (read 7)
Daisy Dalrymple - Carola Dunn (read 22)
Rizzoli and Isles - Tess Gerritsen (read 8)
Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes – Laurie R. King (read 5)
The Lewis trilogy - Peter May (read 2)
Gordianus the Finder - Steven Saylor (read 2)
Medicus - Ruth Downie (read 2)
Kate Burkholder - Linda Castillo (read 2)
Reverand Clare Fergusson - Julia Spencer-Fleming (read 3)
No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency - A. McCall-Smith (read 11)
Hannah Scarlett - Martin Edwards (read 6)
Jacquot - Martin O'Brien (read 5)
Enzo McLeod - Peter May (read 2)
Inspector Wexford - Ruth Rendall (read 2)

Where the next genre is concerned the problem is a different one. This genre just does not interest me as much any more. And yet when I do read something from it, I usually enjoy it and find it a refreshing change. So this list will remain and I'm not going to put stress on myself over it, just read from it as and when I fancy.

Sci Fi, Fantasy and horror - both adult and young adult:

Mercy Thompson - Patricia Briggs (read 6)
Jackelian - Stephen Hunt (read 2)
Rivers of London - Ben Aaronovitch (read 4)
Liveship Trader - Robin Hobb (read 1)
Astreiant - Melissa Scott - (read 2 1/2)
Hyperion - Dan Simmons (read 1)
Lady Trent - Marie Brennan (read 3)
Cloud Roads - Martha Wells (read 1)
St. Marys - Jodi Taylor (read 1)
Pern - Anne McCaffrey (read loads... ongoing)

My tastes have changed so much over the years it's incredible. Even over the last three or four years I've developed a taste for vintage crime that wasn't there before, suddenly wanted to know more about WW2, I'm reading much more in the way of non-fiction travel writing, and am just starting to dip my toe into the modern fiction genre that tends to involve family secrets and a lot of history. It's all great fun and let's face it... we all really need that at the moment.

Keep reading and stay safe.



DesLily said...

Wow... I never thought of "series" except for Pern. Most of the series I've read were Fantasy like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. I think I've read a number of books by the same author without knowing they were a series though .. lol.. duh.

Yvonne @ Fiction Books Reviews said...

Hi Cath,

I must admit that I don't consciously 'series read' and if I do, it doesn't tend to be in any chronological order - fellow blogging friends of ours such as Kelly, will probably be cringing right now, as I know she always tries to stick to reading a series in order.

For me, so long as there isn't too strong an ongoing back story to become involved with, and so long as a book can be read as a stand alone story, I'm happy to read them in whatever order they appear on my shelves!

To be honest 95% of my books read are stand alone stories, written by the same author, which is something entirely different, and I had no idea that my percentage in this category was so high!

I have read quite a few individual books from the series and by the authors you list, although I have to confess that I did struggle a bit with the Dana Stabenow book. I tried book #1 in the Kate Shugak series and just couldn't get into it. I guess I should have stuck with it, as you are now up to book #9?

Happy Reading :)


Mary said...

Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series is a favorite of mine. You may have already read them (20)--or even better, listened to the audiobooks. I used to drive/commute a 100 miles a day and listened to this series--on CDs then--more than once. Saved my sanity after hours in the car every day. My US library has them in both formats--ebooks or can download the audiobooks from home.

Lark said...

I love Vargas' Commissaire Adamsberg series! Such quirky mysteries. And Castillo's Kate Burkholder mysteries are another favorite of mine. Fun post. Makes me want to make a list of the series I'm currently reading. :)

Kay said...

You've got some great series on your list, Cath. Yes, I'm one of those series readers that likes to go in order - not sure I've always been that way, but I came to that in the last 20 or 25 years. I do find that I can only really keep up with 15 or 20 series and stay up with them. Several have dropped off my radar and by the wayside. Some because I got weary of them and some I just kind of moved away from when new ones took my interest. I did notice that Sara Paretsky has a new book in her long-running series - it's either just out or is coming out. It has been years and years since I read one of her books. But then that just makes me want to start at the beginning again and read the whole series. Ha!

Sam said...

Wow, Cath, that's a LOT of series. I've never tried to compile a similar list, but I can't imagine coming very close to a list that long. It's also kind of surprising that so many authors write series now - and in the past, I suppose. I wonder sometimes how some authors can go so many years writing the same character and others seem to get burned out on a series after four or five books. I have a friend who is shutting down a series right now on book nine - and it kills me because I love the character. He has described his new idea for a series to me, and while I'm hoping for the best, I just don't think it will replace what he's giving up. (He will remain nameless because I haven't said anything like that to him.) I guess readers miss a series more than the author doing all the work misses them.

Judith said...

Hi Cath,
Thank you! I'm printing out your lists for ideas of crime series to try next, when I'm in the mood for a new one to try. Ken is always seeking new series, and reads many more crime series novels than I do. (Right now he's already gone on to Boundary Waters by William Kent Krueger, the novel that comes after Iron Lake. He LOVES it.)
Hope you have more and more sunshine coming! (We're struggling to get some right now.)

Cath said...

Pat: It's funny but I thought you read loads of series but now I think about it I can only think of one or two, Anne Perry's William Monk is one isn't it?

Yvonne: I must admit I try to read a series of books in order too. Just occasionally though it doesn't matter. I realise the Cadfael books could be read out of order for instance, and also the vintage crime books I read based on one detective, those can easily be read out of order and I do. But modern series are slightly more difficult because the author tends to give their detective a life. LOL

I sometimes think that readers are either series readers or they aren't. I know I am but that's just me. 'Your mileage may vary' as they say. We're all different.

That first Kate Shugak book is not the best of the series, it put me off reading any more for years. A real shame.

Mary: Thank you for your recommendation. I read the first book in the Aubrey/Maturin series years ago after loving the film when it came out. I found myself confused by all the nautical terms but quite enjoyed the book. For some reason that was as far as it got, so I really need to try again as I know how popular they are with a *lot* of people. I love how they saved your sanity on your long commute!

Lark: Another Adamsberg fan! What a superb series that is. I'm a list person so listing the series I read and keeping an eye on it is second nature to me. :-)

Cath said...

Kay: Yes, I'm an 'in order' sort of a person too. Especially with modern series where authors nowadays give their detective a back story which to my mind can often be as interesting as the mysteries. Ruth Galloway springs to mind for that, but there are more. I'm thinking I get weary of series too and sometimes I don't get very far into them before that happens. I had to look up Sara Peretsky on Fantastic Fiction. Her series sounds very interesting, I see it's been going since 1982! Might see if I can find that first one at the library when it reopens.

Sam: Yes, it is rather a lot of series isn't it? LOL When I first made the list *years* ago I was kind of shocked but now I'm more laid back about it. Yes, a lot of authors do write series now... possibly more in the crime genre than any other although the fantasy/horror genre would be well represented too. Yes, it is interesting how some authors are happy to write the same characters for donkey's years and others burn out quite quickly. It would be nice to talk to some of them about this issue, perhaps I need to attend one of these crime writing conventions. Sorry to hear about your author friend and his wrapping up the series you like, that's quite sad for you.

Judith: I feel quite chuffed that you're printing out my list for ideas for you and Ken. I think I'm going to love Boundary Waters too, pleased to hear that Ken loves it.

It's all sunshine here at the moment although colder right now. Seems so odd that we're having one of the best springs in years but we can't venture beyond our own gardens. Oh, well.

TracyK said...

I love it when you do this list. I really want to do one, I should start right now while you have inspired me.

You have several on your list that I want to continue: Bruno, Chief of Police and Armande Gamache (I just finished one of those and have the next one to read soon). Matthew Shardlake and Rizzoli and Isles. And I want to catch up on the Clare Fergusson series. And the Kate Shugak series; I have only read one, I have several more on my shelves.

I am also glad to hear that you like the Cork O'Connor series.

Cath said...

Tracy: I love doing the list if I'm honest. I usually try to keep it updated but this time found I hadn't for about 6 months. Interesting to see which numbers had changed. I would certainly be interested in seeing which series you're reading at the moment! And I see we like a lot of the same ones.

Margaret @ BooksPlease said...

Last year when you did this I thought it was a good idea and began to draft a post listing the series that I'm reading. But I didn't finish it! Maybe this year I will. I know I've made progress with Reginald Hill's books but no idea where I am with others.

You're doing really well - it puts me to shame!

Cath said...

Margaret: I think that's one of the reasons I do this list... otherwise I have no clue where I am with any of the series and I find it really helpful to know at a glance.

Susan said...

This is a great idea! I might steal it from you, Cath. I'm in the middle of SO MANY series right now. It's tough to keep track of them all and exactly which book I'm on. I'm proud to say I am caught up on Julia Keller's Bell Elkins series, although that may be the only one :) I also enjoy the Ruth Galloway series and the Armand Gamache series. I'll have to look into some of your other crime series as I'm always looking for great new ones to check out.

Cath said...

Susan: Oh yes, please do steal it. I love hearing about the series that other readers love. Yes, that's one of the resons I do it, to keep track otherwise 'all would be chaos'. LOL