My Favorite Book Series
Reading has always been a huge part of my life. My mother, an aspiring children's book author, taught me early to love the written word. She would read me stories when I was little but as soon as I was able, I wanted the book in my hands. While other kids were watching tv or playing sports I most likely had my nose stuck in a book. I remember the summer after fourth grade, I bet my mom I could read 100 books over break. I won. I read everything I could get my hands on. I read Jane Eyre and Little Women for the first time that summer. Along with a host of Judy Bloom and Beverly Cleary books. But I really enjoyed reading series. I loved being able to follow the characters from book to book, watching them progress. I read the Little House on the Prairie series, Encyclopedia Brown books, Hardy Boys, The Baby-Sitter's Club and Louis L'amour novels. With that in mind, I decided to write a hub about my favorite series of all time. I hope you enjoy it.
Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery
Anne of Green Gables has been a favorite series of mine since I was ten years old. The main character, Anne Shirley, is just so lovable. Written by Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables was meant for readers of all ages but is mainly considered a children's book now. When we first meet Anne, she's on her way to Green Gables where she believes she's going to live with Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, middle-aged siblings who never married. The Cuthberts believe they are getting a boy orphan to help Matthew on the farm. At first, Marilla is determined to send Anne back but Matthew falls in love with the little girl and puts his foot down. You can't help but love this character; she's smart, wistful, wonderfully imaginative, eager to please yet she has a terrible temper. You laugh and cry with her as she laments her red hair and freckles and the effort she puts into being good for Marilla and Matthew is really very sweet.
There are eight books in the series and they follow Anne through her life as she grows and matures and has a family of her own. I think every little girl should read at least the first book in this great series!
Nancy Drew Mysteries by Carolyn Keene
The first Nancy Drew book, The Secret of the Old Clock, was published in 1930. They created the series in response to the female reaction to the Hardy Boys stories thinking that young girls would respond favorably to a female version. Carolyn Keene is actually a pseudonym. There have been many, many ghostwriters who worked on this series, starting with Mildred Wirt Benson. These books were among my favorite growing up; I actually owned the entire, early hardcover versions. Unfortunately, in one of my family's many moves, they were lost somehow. I think back and want to cry. Nancy Drew was a 16 year old girl detective who would solve mysteries with the help of her two best friends, Bess and George. She lived with her father and their housekeeper; her mother having died years before. I think Nancy Drew was my first female hero. I started reading these books when I was 8 or 9 and I would re-read them over and over. I loved that she always got to the bottom of things, no matter what she had to do. I never read the 80's revamp of Nancy-The Nancy Drew Files. I guess I've always believed if it's not broke, don't fix it.
Nancy Drew Movie Trailer
Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was published in the US in 1997. J.K. Rowling was a struggling single mom then. Now, she's one of the richest women in the world. I was late to catch on to the Harry Potter craze. However, once I started reading the books, I was completely hooked. It's the story of an 11 year old orphaned boy who finds out he's actually a wizard. Not only is he a wizard, he's a famous wizard with a deadly enemy. You follow Harry as he enters the world he really belongs in, makes some wonderful friends and faces his destiny. Each book is better than the one before it with just one exception, in my opinion, (Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows). I have read these books so many times now that I can tell the story without consulting the books at all. And I still enjoy reading them. I get completely caught up in the story. Who doesn't want to believe there's magic in the world? It's always fun to escape into another reality with a great story like this one.
This series really helped make reading fun again for kids and adults. If you haven't read these books, do yourself a favor and go out and pick them up. I guarantee you'll enjoy them.
For more on my take on Harry Potter see my hub, Harry Potter books vs movies.
Women's Murder Club by James Patterson
I've been a fan of James Patterson's books for a long time. I've read all the Alex Cross books, another great series, by the way, and I just love the way he writes. 1st to Die was published in 2001, the first of the Women's Murder Club books. There have been seven more books to date, Patterson writing with a variety of partners. These books revolve around four women who are all at the top of their game in their respective fields. In 1st to Die, we meet Inspector Lindsay Boxer, Assistant DA, Jill Bernhardt, Chief Medical Examiner, Claire Washburn and aspiring crime reporter, Cindy Thomas. The girls form the Women's Murder Club to help solve the Bride and Groom murders without all the bureaucratic bs that can go along with criminal investigations. After reading this book, I was completely hooked. I absolutely love the characters, especially Lindsay Boxer. The best thing about the characters is how human they are; how you watch them grow from book to book, as individuals and friends. These books just keep getting better and I would recommend them to anyone who likes strong women and suspense.