30 DoB Day 3: Favorite Series

So, today’s question on the 30 Days of Books list is:

Day 03 – Your favorite series

I thought about this question on and off over the weekend.  Sometimes the “on” was when I awoke last night about 3 a.m. and it kept clogging my thoughts instead of getting my brain to shut back down so that I could get back to sleep.  Anyway…

Toughie… definitely a toughie.  It would be easy to go with the series I indicated as the one I’ve read the most oftenThe Chronicles of Thomas Covenant – but that seems sort of like a cop-out, though it is certainly up there.

A few years ago, I might have said the Song of Ice and Fire series from George RR Martin was my favorite, but in the last several years, George and I have had a bit of a cooling off.  Also, I would consider Ursula K. LeGuin’s “Earthsea” trilogy pretty high on the list of fantasy creations – though much like the Star Wars movies, only stick to the original three.

A Wizard of Earthsea

More recently, the Harry Potter books have certainly been a great joy and would be an understandable choice.  JK Rowling managed to create (and more importantly) mature a wonderful world full of great characters to root for – and against.  And Steig Larsson’s “Dragon Tattoo” series has been immensely popular over the last couple of years – and would be a pretty reasonable selection, too.

For me recently though, I have really enjoyed the Bernie Gunther mysteries by Alfred Kerr, starting with his great set of three mysteries Berlin Noir.  When we first meet him, Gunther is a private detective in Germany in the early 1930s and over the course of several books, we follow his adventures before, during and after the Second World War.

Berlin Noir

Bernie is a classic hard-boiled detective who likes dames, smokes, and booze, and Kerr imbues him with a great blend of cynicism and humanity.  Bernie is one of the “good” guys but has enough grey areas in his thoughts and actions to make him a very compelling character.

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16 thoughts on “30 DoB Day 3: Favorite Series

  1. I just ran across a copy of Berlin Noir the other day and thought, “was it Steve who recommended this at some point?” I guess it was!

  2. Ah! It’s been a long time since I read the Earthsea trilogy (I didn’t bother with the sequels), but that is an oldie-but-goodie. But I don’t have as much patience with series-type novels as when I was a teenager and 20-something, maybe because I don’t have the time to wait on the installment. Even favorite comic books seem to run out of steam after a while: Batman has split off into so many sub-stories and genres (movie Batman, retro Batman, global/manga-influenced Batman), I finally gave up on following them all.

    I also must say that I admire your trying to tackle a 30-day series yourself. I haven’t tried NaBloPoMo because I fear I won’t have the time to post something daily, even though I’ve had several good ideas. (Martial arts movie tourney, anyone?) I’m looking forward to more suggestions, although I already have a list of over 20 books I want to read now!

    • I really didn’t like the newer Earthsea books — something in LeGuin seems to have changed over the decades — or maybe something in me has… ;)

      As for series, it is pretty hard to keep the same crew “fresh” — you can see it on TV, in movies and books all the time. I’m definitely in favor of series, even long ones that have defined arcs and endings.

      And as for the 30 days, I was looking for something to jumpstart my creative juices which have been flagging a bit recently, so while i definitely won’t do it over 30 consecutive days, I bet it’ll be less than 60, or 75… ;)

  3. hmm, favorite series, that’s a tough one. the series I own the most books in (Hiromu Arakawa’s Fullmetal Alchemist)? the series I track new releases from on Amazon months ahead of time (Scott Lynch and GRRM’s stuff)? the series I’ve re-read the most (three way tie between Scott Lynch, Steven Brust and Hiromu Arakawa)?

    Let’s go with the one that gave me the most personal satisfaction before, during, and after I read the two existing books in it: Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller trilogy. I just love everything that man does.

    • red — I really enjoyed “The Name of the Wind” a lot more than I thought I would when i picked it up, but I’ve felt so burnt by Martin that I think I want to see Rothfuss’ (Rothfuss’s?) final book on the horizon before I pull the trigger on the second installment — though everything I’ve heard is that it’s as good as the first.

      • waiting on the Rothfuss seemed a little easier, maybe because his cliffhanger’s aren’t as cliffhangery as Martin? I feel your pain on the waiting thing, doesn’t anyone do stand alones anymore? I feel like everything I pick up these days is a series.

  4. this one is tough. I am guessing a series is more than a trilogy. In that light, the only series I have ever completed was the Mary Stewart Merlin stories. I lost interest in the wheel of time all though I gor to book 10 or 11 before doing so. I am still interested song of ice and fire, but would have to wait for it to be completed.

    • budd — I think a trilogy can count as a series. Yeah, I also lost interest in WoT after “Path of Daggers” — was that #8, #9? I don’t recall — and yeah, I’m feeling sort of burnt by Martin’s long delays, so i would definitely hold off until Ice & Fire is finished.

  5. Pingback: 30 DoB Day 4: Favorite Series’ Favorite Book | Stevil

  6. Pingback: 30 DoB Day 15: Favorite Male Character | Stevil

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