Reading goals: Series to read in 2021

Welcome, 2021! I’m so glad you’re here at last!

I’m not a big fan of new year’s resolutions, and I generally don’t set a lot of reading goals. My reading north star is to read whatever, whenever, according to my whims and moods (although I do try to keep up with my ARCs, more or less according to publication dates).

I do like to plan ahead at the start of a year when it comes to my series reading. A new year is a fresh start when is comes to starting a series that I’ve been wanting to get to. For me, series are most enjoyable when I can read all (or at least, a bunch) of the books in a row, or at least within a few months of each other.

Of course, all of this is subject to change as the year progresses. Still…

In 2021, my priority series to read will be:

The Modern Faerie Tales trilogy by Holly Black – I read (and adored) Holly Black’s Folk of the Air series in 2020, and now I want to read everything else she’s written! I’ll start with these:

The Plantagenet and Tudor novels by Philippa Gregory – of the 15 books in this historical fiction series, I’ve read 5 at random times over the last several years. Nine more to go! (I’m inspired, having watched the Starz TV series inspired by several of these books.)

The Expanse by James S. A. Corey: This was on my list last year too! I seem to manage to read only one book per year. I’ve read books 1 – 4 already, and want to keep going! Hopefully, I’ll read more than one in 2021. Next up for me is:

Emily of New Moon by L. M. Montgomery – I’ve been wanting to read this trilogy since reading the Anne of the Green Gables books a couple of years ago.

Inspector Gamache books by Louise Penny – I want to at least start this series this year. There are 16 books published so far! Seems daunting, but I want to give them a try.

Also for 2021, I want to either start, get back to, or revisit some of these others:

  • The Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowksi – I’ve read 3 books, 5 more to go
  • The Diviners by Libba Bray – I’ve read the first book, but at this point I’d need to re-read it before continuing (four books in all)
  • Wolfsong series by TJ Klune – I really want to read more by TJ Klune in 2021, and I’ve heard this series is great
  • Shardlake series by C. J. Sansom – I’ve been meaning to start this series for a long time, so maybe this will be the year
  • The Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny – this is a BIG maybe for me. I read books 1 – 5 of this series ages and ages ago, but I’ve always meant to go back and read books 6 – 10… which means I’d need to start over from the beginning. I remember loving it at the time — so yeah, maybe.

Are you planning to start any new series this year? If you’ve read any of the series on my “priority” list, let me know what you thought!

A look back: Series reading in 2020

Remember January? Those good old days when we left our houses? Didn’t think twice about breathing the same air as other people? Sigh…

Back in January, oh so long ago, I set myself some reading goals related to reading book series. And now that 2020 is about to expire (and good riddance!), I thought it was time to check in and see whether I met any of my series reading goals.

Here are the books I set as my priorities for 2020:

The Glamourist Histories by Mary Robinette Kowal – a five-book series:Status: DONE! I listened to the audiobooks, one right after another, and loved the individual books as well as the over-arching storylines. All-around excellent world-building and storytelling. I just wish there were more set in this world!

The Interdependency Series by John Scalzi – a science fiction trilogy:

Status: DONE! Such a fun sci-fi adventure. I’d been hesitant about reading these books, expecting them to be too much on the “hard” side of science fiction — but thanks to the author’s never-fail humor and snark, the books flew by and were totally entertaining.

The Expanse by James S. A. Corey: More science fiction! Prior to 2020, I’d read books 1 – 3, and my goal was to keep going.

Status: A little bit of progress… I read book #4, but didn’t go any further. Yet. I do intend to keep going with the series, and since the final book is due out in 2021, I suppose I’d better get moving!

Poldark by Winston Graham – 12 books in all, and as of the end of 2019, I’d read seven.

Status: Nope. I didn’t read any additional books in this series, and honestly, I doubt that I will. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read, but now that the TV adaptation has ended, I don’t feel all that invested in continuing (especially since the books from this point out supposedly focus on the next generation of characters).

Folk of the Air trilogy by Holly Black – a fantasy trilogy:

Status: YES, YES, A THOUSAND TIMES YES! Not only did I read the three books early in 2020, all right in a row, I ended up listening to all the audiobooks toward the end of the year. And I loved them so, so much! Such a great story, with fantastic characters.

Those are all the series that I set as my goals at the beginning of the year. I also ended up reading one additional trilogy, not on my original list:

The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club by Theodora Goss: A fabulous trilogy starring the cast-off daughters of famous fictional men — the daughters of Dr. Jekyll (and Mr. Hyde), Victor Frankenstein, and more. The books are clever and funny, and feature strong, amazing women having great adventures. Totally delightful.

So, farewell to 2020! And onward to 2021!

Did you read any series in 2020? Any particular favorites?

Check back in January, when I’ll set a new batch of series reading goals for the new year.

 

Reading goals: Series to read in 2020

I always see a new year as a clean slate for my bookish dreams.

I tend not to set specific reading goals, other than keeping up with the books I buy and the never-ending ARCs waiting to be read.

But where I do like to plan ahead at the start of a year is with my series reading. A new year represents a chance to tackle a series that I’ve been wanting to get to. For me, series are most enjoyable when I can read all (or at least, a bunch) of the books in a row, or at least within a few months of each other.

Bearing in mind that none of this is written in stone, since my reading plans change with my changing moods…

In 2020, my priority series to read will be:

The Glamourist Histories by Mary Robinette Kowal – a completed five-book series:

The Interdependency Series by John Scalzi – the 3rd book in the trilogy will be released in April, so this might be a good time to get started!

The Expanse by James S. A. Corey: I’ve read books 1 – 3 already, and need to get back into the story! Watching season 4 of the TV series is helping a lot with my motivation! Next up for me is:

And who knows, maybe I’ll keep going. There are 8 full novels in the series so far, all over 500 pages, so I have my work cut out for me.

Poldark by Winston Graham – 12 books in all, and I’ve read 7. My understanding is that book #8 jumps ahead quite a bit and takes place after the events of the complete TV series, so I’ve been less eager to move forward with this one. Still, I really should see how it all works out!

Folk of the Air trilogy by Holly Black – I just bought myself a copy of The Cruel Prince, and assuming I like it (and why wouldn’t I?), I’ll want to read all three books!

 

That’s it for my 2020 priority list… but wait, there’s more!

I still have my eye on a bunch of series/trilogies/what-have-you that I intend to read… eventually. Maybe 2020 will finally be the year… and maybe not. My will-get-to-at-some-point list of series includes:

  • Kitty Norville urban fantasy series by Carrie Vaughn
  • Parasitology trilogy by Mira Grant (because even though the subject is totally icky, I think these are her only books that I haven’t read yet, which is unacceptable!)
  • Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness
  • The Last Policeman trilogy by Ben H. Winters
  • Wayward Pines books by Blake Crouch
  • Inheritance trilogy and/or Broken Earth series by N. K. Jemisin

Are you planning to start any new series this year? If you’ve read any of the series on my “priority” list, let me know what you thought!

Reading goals: Series to read in 2018

Another year, another chance to set reading goals… that may or may not be at all realistic. But hey, a reader can dream, right?

I’ve moved away from setting too many reading goals over the years. I don’t participate in reading challenges (other than Goodreads), because I know that I’ll just end up feeling frustrated and resentful if I tailor my reading to a list or set of “requirements”, rather than just reading whatever the hell I feel like. I’m definitely a mood reader — I want to read whatever I want, whenever I want, no deadlines or commitments!

BUT… I do have a few reading goals, chief among which is the desire to dive into several series that I’ve had my eye on for a while now.

In 2018, my priority series to read (or at least start) will be:

Old Man’s War by John Scalzi – six books, starting with Old Man’s War:

Lady Julia Grey by Deanna Raybourn – five books and a bunch of novellas, starting with Silent in the Grave:

Question for those who have read this series: What’s the suggested reading approach? Read all the novels first? Are the novellas necessary? Do they come at the end, or in between, or… ?? Help!

Newsflesh by Mira Grant – four novels and assorted shorter works, starting with Feed:

Again, looking for advice on how to proceed: Read the original trilogy, then the story collection, then the 4th novel?

October Daye by Seanan McGuire – 11 books and counting, plus short fiction too, starting with Rosemary and Rue:

Peter Grant series by Ben Aaronovitch – six novels and another on the way, starting with Rivers of London (Midnight Riot):

 

That’s it for my 2018 priority list… but wait, there’s more!

I still have my eye on a bunch of series/trilogies/what-have-you that I intend to read… eventually. Maybe some will make it into my 2018 reading pile, but then again, maybe not. It all depends on my reading mood! My will-get-to-at-some-point list of series includes:

  • Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness
  • Illuminae books by Amie Kaufman
  • Anything/everything by Tamora Pierce (by order of my beloved daughter)
  • The Last Policeman trilogy by Ben H. Winters
  • Wayward Pines books by Blake Crouch
  • Inheritance trilogy and/or Broken Earth series by N. K. Jemisin

I can’t forget to mention that I’m committed to continuing a few ongoing series as well, including:

  • The Expanse series — next up: Cibola Burns (#4)
  • Poldark series — currently on #7 (The Angry Tide), then continuing on with #8 (The Stranger From the Sea)

… and in the “don’t hold your breath” category, it would be lovely to be able to read the next books in the Outlander and A Song of Ice and Fire series, but I’m fairly certain we won’t see either one in 2018!

Are you planning to start any new series this year? If you’ve read any of the series on my “priority” list, let me know what you thought!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Best/Worst Series Enders

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week.

For this week’s topic, I have some books that are definitely “best”, one that I’d consider “worst”, and a few that are problematic yet utterly memorable, so I’ve added a best/worst category:

BEST:

1) First Lord’s Fury by Jim Butcher (Codex Alera). I love the seemingly never-ending Dresden Files series, but with Codex Alera, Jim Butcher shows that he knows how to wrap up a story with style. Totally terrific.

2) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling (Harry Potter series). Even though the whole Elder Wand business was a bit more convoluted than seemed necessary… and I thought they’d never get out of that tent… by the end, I was satisfied and uplifted by this dramatic, emotional, and sharply delivered finale.

3) Timeless by Gail Carriger (Parasol Protectorate series). Loved.

4) Tempest Reborn by Nicole Peeler (Jane True series). Loved this one too.

5) Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games). I could quibble about minor details, but why bother? Mockingjay is powerful and painful, as is fitting for this brutal series.

6) Y: The Last Man, volume 10: Whys and Wherefores by Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man). Not that the final volume is somehow more spectacular than the series as a whole. This is just my way of paying tribute to a graphic novel series that’s simply excellent from start to finish.

Best/Worst:

All of these are problematic for me, in one way or another, and yet each totally works as the conclusion to a series.

7) The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman (His Dark Materials). I love this trilogy as a whole, but I did find parts of The Amber Spyglass a bit too full of mumbo-jumbo for my liking. (How’s that for vague?) Still, the end of the story for Lyra and Will is so heart-breaking — and yet so perfect in its own way — that I’ve never really gotten over it. Something that leaves such an indelible impression belongs on a top 10 list for sure!

8) Them or Us by David Moody (Hater series). This entire series is so bloody and disturbing that I don’t quite know what to do with it. It’s certainly powerful and hard to put down, but seriously upsetting to nth degree. This 3rd book provides a convincing conclusion to the trilogy — but it’s hard for me to just put it on my “best” list, simply because it’s in no way an enjoyable reading experience.

9) Specials by Scott Westerfeld (Uglies). Okay, I know that there is actually a fourth book in the series (Extras) — but I never felt the need to read it, since it seems like an addendum rather than flowing with the story of the first three books. I liked the Uglies series quite a bit, but felt that each book was a little less intriguing than the previous one. Overall, though, it’s a terrific trilogy (like I said, for me, it’s a trilogy!), and I thought Specials really tied it up very well.

Worst:

10) Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stackhouse). This is a series that should have ended several books before it did, and it shows in the finale. Nothing much of any import actually happens. An epilogue in an earlier book would have sufficed, really, to let us know what ended up happening with all of the characters. If we still cared. Which I mostly didn’t.

What series do you think ended spectacularly? And which ones were a total bomb? Let me know, and leave me your links so I can check out your top 10!

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