Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Tuesday Favorites: Book Series Edition

Since I have way more than five favorite books, and since I think favorite books is a cheesy way to use Tuesday Favorites, this week I'm going with my Five Favorite Series. I've been in a bit of a reading binge and I can't think of anything else but books, so I'll share with you some of what I've been reading. I'm going to try to steer clear (ever wondered why those words aren't spelled the same? It's driving me nuts just looking at them.) of ones I think you would obviously know and try to get you to branch out in your reading. Seriously, you're hitting a rut here.

One of my favorite past times of old (re: before kids) was going to the library and just browsing for hours. Hours. And people who say you can't judge a book by it's cover are wrong. Wrong. Because I can tell you right now that if you are looking for a light chicky beach read then you should walk away from the book with robots and spell scrolls on the cover. I'm just saying, is all. Anways, here are some series I could read over and over again. And have. Many times.

5. Lori Wick. The lady writes so many series that I can't really just pick one out. If you are a girl (I swear to you, no guy would willingly read these), and you are looking for a good Christian series where all the books are mostly the same and all the characters are intrinsically good and they all end up happily every after no matter the tiny emotional problem they had to face, well, then Lori Wick is for you. She is easily one of the most prolific Christian fiction writers out there, and you'll never be lacking in reading material. Now, I like a good thought provoking book as much as the next gal, but sometimes you just want to lay back and enjoy a good period piece with no worries about the end.

4. Harry Potter - J.K. Rowling. Ugh, I know. Everyone knows Harry Potter and the awesomeness, but seriously, if you've been under a rock or didn't want to bend to peer pressure (possibly the worst reason to not read a book), then get thee to a library and check one out. Any of them. It's probably best to go in order, but if the sheer size of the series boggles your mind then jump right in. I won't tell.

3. Gods & Generals, The Killer Angels, The Last Full Measure - Jeff & Michael Shaara. I just put the titles of the books because they aren't technically a trilogy. Michael Shaara wrote The Killer Angels, and his son, Jeff, wrote the prequel and sequel. These books center around the generals and colonels of the Civil War, taking you into their perspective and motivations. They are, without exception, some of the most well crafted novels I have ever read and the best historical fiction out there. If you ever thought history was boring (Shame on you.) you won't after reading these.

2. Stephanie Plum Mysteries - Janet Evanovich. I'm telling you these are some hilarious books. I don't think I have laughed so hard, ever, and that I've probably read the whole series five times. Each time a new book comes out, I feel the need to start at book one all over again just to revisit my old friends before I hear what new things they are up to. And really, you have nothing to lose. After all, how can you go wrong with Rex the Hamster, Cluck-in-a-Bucket, and Lula the zaftig former prostitute turned sidekick bounty hunter in spandex? Hilarity ensues.

1. The Mark of the Lion Trilogy - Francine Rivers. Now, in Christian Fiction Francine Rivers is hardly an unknown. She's pretty much a heavyweight in the genre and almost everything she writes is gold (with the notable exception of Leota's Garden and Redeeming Love, both of which I detest. Sorry, guys, I know one of you out there thinks Redeeming Love is beautiful, but I am totally squicked out by it. Also, I know I have now said squick twice). One of the best things she has ever written is the Mark of the Lion Trilogy. The first two books are my favorite books of all time (tied with Pride & Prejudice, of course). They are more powerfully convicting than any sermon I have ever heard and again, it's easy to believe that you are reading about real people. The series is set only a few years after Christ died and follows a Jewish girl as she becomes a slave in a Roman household and struggles to share Christ with them. Seriously, if you read one thing this year, this should be the book. Oh, also, the first one hundred pages are depressing as all get out and a bear to get though, but I swear it gets better :)


Maude said...

Hi, Kristen!
Thanks for the suggestions. I'm looking forward to checking out _The Killer Angels_.

Lori Wick: I once heard someone describe her works as "Christian p*rn," and I haven't been able to read her since. I can see how the term fits -- she draws you into an appealing, unrealistic, dramatic, over-simplified world. Suddenly the life you're living seems too drab, too complicated, too whatever. (I'd also put Janette Oke's works in that category.)

Francine Rivers: Love her, love the Mark of the Lion, completely agree with you on _Leota's Garden_ and _Redeeming Love_. I remember when I'd start one of her books for the first time, I'd always feel the need to "gird up my loins" for the inevitable pounding of my emotions that was about to ensue.

My favorite Christian author is Beverly Lewis. Have you read her?

Katrina said...

The Mark of the Lion series tops my list, too! Amazing! Unfortunately, I loaned out my copies months ago and have yet to get them back. (Don't you hate it when that happens?)

Kristen said...

I've never read Redeeming Love, but heard it was the greatest thing. Why don't you think so??

Unsinkable Kristen said...

I didn't care for either of the main characters (they thoroughly irritated me) or the story line. I know that it is based on Hosea, but I didn't like it as a fiction work. Tons of people I know love the book, I just couldn't stomach it.

Nicole McIntyre said...

I love your list! I'm apparently going to have to try the Stephanie Plum Mysteries, since they are the only thing on your list that I don't own and adore! I love,love, love Francine Rivers. The Mark of the Lion are my favorites, but "And the Shofar Blew" really rocked my socks off.

Calamity Jean said...

Great List!

I read the Mark of the Lion trilogy forever ago and still go back to it every few years. When I read the 1st book for the first time I felt like I had found a true treasure. I wanted everybody I know to read it and love it as much as I did.

You know how much I love Stephanie Plum. So funny! I usually take a break until I am behind by a few books and then read them all in one weekend.

Jen S said...

I have to agree about HP. If you like that, try "The Lightning Thief" by Rick Riordan. It has a lot of neat mythology in it, and it has a great story. I also like "The Tail of Emily Windsnap" by Liz Kessler. Just so you know, neither are Christian, but I think you'd enjoy them!

Maude said...

My husband and I have been reading _The Killer Angels_. We really like it so far! Have you seen the movie "Gettysburg"? It's based on that book. It's one of our favorite movies, and many of the lines are taken word-for-word out of the book. My hubby has been reading it aloud to me, and some of the accents from the movie have been creeping into his voice as he reads. Thanks for the recommendation!