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 Posted:   Oct 15, 2013 - 9:18 PM   
 By:   John McMasters   (Member)

As a kid I loved Tom Swift, the Hardy Boys, and Nancy Drew -- also the Tarzan Books. The Lucky Starr books by Asimov were also terrific.

Then I discovered the Professor Challenger books by Doyle (The Lost World, etc).

Then the "She" books by H. Rider Haggard.

Then my all time favorite series of books and tales: Sherlock Holmes by Doyle.

Entering Junior High and High School years: Middle Earth tales by Tolkien, the Gormenghast books by Peake, the Mabinogion series by Evangeline Walton, the Arthurian tales by White, the Zimiamvian Trilogy by Eddison.

Also Darkover by Bradley. The Flat-Earth Cycle by Tanith Lee is astonishingly good.

I love the Marple and Poirot novels by Christie -- also the Roderick Alleyn mysteries by Ngaio Marsh are sublime.

Some of the greatest novels of our time, IMHO, are the series of "Sun" novels by Gene Wolfe -- indeed he may be the Mozart of our age.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 15, 2013 - 11:06 PM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)



Yer probably already well aware, Chris, of the venerated Mme. Atwood's latest conclusion to her
most recent sci-fi trilogy, no?




No, Neo, I wasn't, and I'm pretty sure that Mrs TG, the obtainer of such books, wasn't either. She'll be made up when I tell her. Gratitude.

C

 
 Posted:   Oct 16, 2013 - 4:21 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

The Executioner by Don Pendelton

Aka "Mack Bolan", see my insignificant contribution above. You have superb taste, Gary S.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 16, 2013 - 5:30 AM   
 By:   Timmer   (Member)

Gary S., you really read a lot of different series. Neat.

Madmovyman, I'm glad you read the Mallory books. O'Connell also has published two stand alones not related to Mallory, and both are excellent. They are Bone By Bone and The Judas Child.
Also, I too have read The Passage and The Twelve. I can't wait for the final book in this trilogy. (And I'm sure there will be several mini series dealing with this trilogy.)


I'm about 400+ pages into The Twelve ( Did you know, Joan, that it was you who indirectly pointed me to these Cronin books? wink ), I've heard talk it's going to be filmed.

 
 Posted:   Oct 16, 2013 - 6:38 AM   
 By:   OnlyGoodMusic   (Member)

"The Tripods" by John Christopher.



I LOVED this trilogy (later, there was a prequel too) during my adolescent days (though my absolute JC favorite was "Empty World"). Don't understand why they still haven't been able to develop this into a high profile series of films.

 
 Posted:   Oct 16, 2013 - 6:45 AM   
 By:   Michael Scorefan   (Member)

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy five book trilogy by Douglas Adams

Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

Wheel of Time (so far at least, I am still working on the series) by Robert Jordan and completed by Brandon Sanderson

Dragon Prince and Dragon Star trilogies by Melanie Rawn

The Millennium trilogy by Stieg Larson

Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Conan the Barbarian by Robert E. Howard

Any Dragonlance books written by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

I absolutely love Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs, by Thomas Harris, but Hannibal pretty much killed my enthusiasm for the series.

 
 Posted:   Oct 16, 2013 - 6:52 AM   
 By:   Michael Scorefan   (Member)

Back in elementary school, I loved the Choose Your Own Adventure and Dungeons & Dragons Endless Quest books.

For those unfamiliar, they're the types of books in which you have to make decisions as you go along, for example:


A giant lizard creature is clawing at your bedroom door!

To hide in the closet, turn to page 26.

To jump out the window, turn to page 32.


*turns to page 32*

Sorry, your apartment was on the 12th floor. You're dead.


I suppose they count as series of a sort, even though there's no continuity between volumes.





I used to love these as a kid. Cave of Time was still my favorite. I also had a couple of the TSR books, including the Top Secret volume second from the left. Although it was fun, I was never fond that the character I was playing was a kid. The game the book is tied into was a James Bond type role playing game, so make my character a spy! I had a similar objection to the Indiana Jones choose your own adventure book that TSR released. Instead of playing Indy, you played some 10 year old nephew.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 16, 2013 - 8:26 AM   
 By:   Joe E.   (Member)

I think my favorite overall series has to be Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and its sequels. I have several favorite individual books, many of which are parts of series and a few of which aren't, but Hitchhiker's is probably my favorite overall series, in terms of how much I've enjoyed each individual book and how many times I've gone back to them. I could see J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-Earth books or Vernor Vinge's "Zone of Thought" series becoming favorites as well, but I'm not yet sufficiently acquainted with enough of the books in either series to say yet; I do love what I've read so far, though. And I love Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey and enjoy 2010: Odyssey Two, though I'm embarrassed to have to admit I haven't read all the others. Yet.

When I was in my teens I was pretty fond of Harry Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat series, though I haven't read all of those books, either. More recently I've begun enjoying Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter / Barsoom books, but again I haven't read all of them yet.

There are a number of book series derived from movies and/or TV series that I've read a great many of, and while I know such "media tie-ins" aren't exactly generally regarded as respectable literature, I must say I've enjoyed a lot of those, too, particularly certain "sub-series" within franchises, such as Brian Daley's Han Solo novels, L. Neil Smith's Lando Calrissian books and Timothy Zahn's Thrawn trilogy for Star Wars. There are now a lot of Star Wars books I haven't read, though, and a lot I haven't loved, so I'm not sure I could say whether Star Wars books overall constitute one of my favorite series, though I probably could have at some time in the past. The same is true of Star Trek books generally (my favorite individual one of which is John M. Ford's How Much for Just the Planet?). Most of all I also have tremendous affection for the 1990s Bantam series of Indiana Jones novels by Rob MacGregor, Martin Caidin and Max McCoy, even though I actually don't much enjoy the two by Caidin. (Of course, the Hitchhiker's and 2001 books could also be considered media tie-ins, in a sense, as the former originated as a radio show and the latter was written in conjunction with the movie, but they're obviously very different sorts of things from these others.)

 
 Posted:   Oct 16, 2013 - 8:50 AM   
 By:   LeHah   (Member)

I'll second Robert E Howard, as he is my favorite author of all time.

The only other book series I'll mention is Susan Cooper's brilliant The Dark Is Rising Sequence, which is probably the only fantasy series thats just as good as Tolkien or Lewis. Just avoid the movie.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dark_Is_Rising_Sequence

 
 Posted:   Oct 16, 2013 - 9:24 AM   
 By:   gone   (Member)

easy... Patrick O'Brian's 'Aubrey-Maturin epic'

Starts with Master and Commander and proceeds through 19 more sequels.

O'Brian is the best storyteller and most literate author ever... #1 in my 'book'!

 
 Posted:   Oct 16, 2013 - 10:01 AM   
 By:   mastadge   (Member)

O'Brian is the best storyteller and most literate author ever!

A great storyteller for sure, but what does "most literate author" even mean?!

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 16, 2013 - 10:29 AM   
 By:   Jon C   (Member)

My early childhood was misspent reading Encyclopedia Brown's detective tales....

You're not the only one.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 16, 2013 - 10:34 AM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

I can't believe how many of these series I've never heard of, and I guess that is my bad.

Yes, Timmer, I remember that you picked up the first Cronin book on my recommend. The Twelve is quite a ride, and I can't wait for the final novel.

I'm pondering reading Atwood's futuristic trilogy. She is not an easy read, but she is a marvelous writer.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 16, 2013 - 10:53 AM   
 By:   Jon C   (Member)

I enjoy many of these series, but I have to also mention

The Repairman Jack series by F. Paul Wilson. Besides, it gives me an excuse to mention The Keep, which is an excellent book and an excellent soundtrack, if crappy movie.

 
 Posted:   Oct 16, 2013 - 10:56 AM   
 By:   mastadge   (Member)

I'm pondering reading Atwood's futuristic trilogy. She is not an easy read, but she is a marvelous writer.

I've heard mixed things about the first two, but such excellent things about the third that I'm considering reading them anyway to get to it. (But I've also heard it can be read independently so I may just do that!)

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 16, 2013 - 11:07 AM   
 By:   Jon C   (Member)

Other series I enjoy
Bond - Flemming and Gardner
Reacher - Lee Child
Shannara - Terry Brooks
Narnia - Lewis
Chronicles of Prydain - Lloyd Alexander
Conan - Howard
Doc Savage - although I stopped after about 150
Tony Valentine and Jack Carpenter series - Jim (James) Swain
Dune - only the Frank Herbert ones though
LOTR
Barsoom - Burroughs
Word and the Void - Terry Brooks
Isaac Asimov - anything
Bone - Jeff Smith (Its not just for kids!!)
Belgariad - David Eddings
Mistborn - Sanderson
Thieves series by Richard Doetsch
Sigma Force - James Rollins
Cotton Malone - Steve Berry

I could go on and on. There are so many excellent books out there.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 16, 2013 - 3:06 PM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)



And Lest We Forget (how many before the Bronze Agers remember
that in grade school wink !?!), we gotta share



this wonderful trilogy about a romance that (being the immensely imaginative artist-writer Mr. Bantock is) you get to open and read the envelopes, letters and correspondence from its hopeful beginning to its we-ain't-gonna-spoil-it-for-ya finish (tho we gotta admit, Joan, this would be right up your Romantic alley!!!). smile

 
 Posted:   Oct 16, 2013 - 4:03 PM   
 By:   gone   (Member)

O'Brian is the best storyteller and most literate author ever!

A great storyteller for sure, but what does "most literate author" even mean?!


His command of the English language; with respect to sentence/paragraph construction, ability to describe events & places, sly injected humor, and much else.

If you have read O'Brian you will know what I mean. Perhaps I should have phrased it "most literate author I have ever read" so as to not exclude those few who might have been at his level.

When I skim through various modern day bestsellers, they are mere comic books with respect to the technical and artistic writing skills of the authors. In some cases the story line may be enough to compensate.

 
 Posted:   Oct 16, 2013 - 5:40 PM   
 By:   mastadge   (Member)

When I skim through various modern day bestsellers, they are mere comic books with respect to the technical and artistic writing skills of the authors. In some cases the story line may be enough to compensate.

No, you're right. The no-style style is in vogue. Books that are essentially padded screenplays, with prose precisely functional enough to string the dialogue and action along. But there are stylists to be found yet.

Anyway, I realized I forgot to answer the question. Maybe it's too big to answer. And many of my favorite series are old favorites and may not be favorites if I revisited them. But here are two that I suspect will always hold a special place in my heart:

Matthew Stover's Acts of Caine: four books so far, thoughtful, rich science-fantasy meditations on violence and war and atonement. As vulgar as they are beautiful.

James Sallis' Lew Griffin novels, just wonderful character-based mystery/detective novels. Very literature, too, to continue that discussion.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2013 - 5:17 AM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

His command of the English language; with respect to sentence/paragraph construction, ability to describe events & places, sly injected humor, and much else.

If you have read O'Brian you will know what I mean. Perhaps I should have phrased it "most literate author I have ever read" so as to not exclude those few who might have been at his level.


What sets O'Brian apart for me isn't the story as much as the telling. Other authors have plughed the same furrow (perhaps I should say ridden the same wave) - but his recreation, or invention, doesn't matter to me, of the speech patterns and mores of the day are endlessly readable. Whilst I normally gallop through books to see what happens, I linger over every page of O'Brian for fear of missing a surprising similie, an irony, a wry joke, a beautiful turn of phrase.

It's that quality that brings me back to the books time and time again, with no worry that it'll ever be stale.

To have one such book is fantastic; to have a shelf-full, from Master and Commander to Blue at the Mizzen plus The Final Unfinished Voyage of Jack Aubrey (a must if you're a fan and haven't come across this yet) is practically a miracle.

 
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