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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