In my house, every month, every week, every day really, is National Book Month. We are a family of voracious readers, so any excuse to peruse the bookstore or visit the library is high on our list of priorities. The month of October is celebrated as National Book Month for a reason; mid-October is when the finalists for the coveted National Book Award are announced. While you are waiting for that list of finalists to be added to your TBR pile, we thought it would be fun to throw a few series your way that you may not have read as of yet. With Fall just around the corner, having a new series to sink your teeth into might be just the thing to bring you joy. And books pair well with pumpkin spice lattes which also make a lot of us happy as well.
Back in 2009, Linda Castillo wrote the first book in her “Kate Burkholder” series, “Sworn to Silence,” and I’ve been hooked ever since. There are 11 books in the series so far with the latest just released in July and still available in hardcover. This mystery series features a strong female lead and delves deep into the history and culture of the Amish community. While it helps to start with the first book, you can actually just pick up any of them as the stories work well as stand-alone reads too. Here’s the most recent installment.
Paul Doiron is the author of the critically acclaimed Mike Bowditch crime series. What I like best about this series is the setting. Bowditch is a game warden/investigator and his work takes him out into the wilds of Maine and beyond. The stark, lonely wilderness is as much a character in these novels as the people who cross Bowditch’s path. As main characters go, he is infinitely flawed, but his struggle to do the right thing always rings true. There are ten books in the series and this is the latest one.
Nora Roberts is the queen of series books. For the most part, I’ve found her books to be entertaining, but still somewhat formulaic. That was until her most recent series, “Chronicles of the One.” Anyone who knows me, knows that I love YA. This series reads like a YA novel as it grabs you right on that first page and never lets go. Filled with magic, mystery, and suspense, I am really looking forward to the third and final book in the series which comes out in November. Here is the first book in the series.
Speaking of YA: If you enjoy this genre too, you simply must read the “Black Witch Chronicles” series by Laurie Forest. There are six books in the series and the author is already planning a follow up series set in the future. This series is really for anyone who enjoyed the Harry Potter books and their ability to hook your interest with a combination of fantasy and suspense. Here’s the first book to get you started.
If you enjoy science fiction, then check out “The Lady Astronaut” series by Mary Robinette Koval. There are two books before the series as well which give a very rich backstory on the lady astronaut who led the way to life on Mars after a cataclysmic event that began when a meteorite hit the earth, making it uninhabitable. The series starts here.
If quirky romances are your cup of tea, then check out this two-book series from author Helen Hoang, “The Kiss Quotient” and the sequel, “The Bride Test.” What I enjoyed most about these books are the main characters. The first book features a female mathematician with Asperger’s and the second a male Vietnamese American who is autistic. Equal representation for everyone makes these books stand out, but the stories are what make you hope that Hoang will write a third book.
If you crave historical fiction, then you simply must-read Kate Quinn’s series which started with the “Alice Network.” The real Alice Network was a group of brave men and women who infiltrated the German lines in France during WWI. In Quinn’s novel, a female spy and an American socialite are brought together through the network. In her follow-up, “The Huntress,” the author tells the story of an English journalist and a Russian female bomber pilot trying to track down a Nazi war criminal.
And finally, one of my favorite authors, Lisa Jewell. While her books are not a series per se, she is a prolific writer whose mysteries are not formulaic, not violent or gory, and most certainly not boring! Her latest novel, “The Family Upstairs,” comes out next month and is a gripping story told from several points of view and all surrounding the members of a family and what happened to them after they opened their doors to a charismatic man and his odd family 30 years earlier.