Addictive Series – Recommendations Wanted!

As you may have noticed last week, I recently discovered the Outlander series. In addition to my review, I spent a good portion of the week tweeting things like “why did I wait so long to read these???” These tweets were almost always met with people telling me how they had been reading these books for 20 years and absolutely adored them, or how everyone in their life had recommended the books and they were really going to have to try them. I’m totally into them now, and actually ordered the next two books in the series when I was at The Bookstore on Friday.

Eventually, I got into a conversation about the books with @harperlibrary, who mentioned the Sookie Stackhouse novels as another incredibly addictive series. I actually have all or most of those, but haven’t read them yet, and I think I am going to wait until I get through the Outlander books to start that new series.

As we were talking, though, we were trying to come up with other series that people find just as addicting as Sookie Stackhouse and Outlander. Although I could think of a lot of middle grades and young adult series, I couldn’t think of much marketed to adults. For our purposes today, I’m counting a series only if there are 3 or more books, not simply a book and sequel.

So, what series do you love? Which series can you not put down? What should be next on my list when I make it through Outlander and Sookie?

54 comments to Addictive Series – Recommendations Wanted!

  • Most of my series addictions are mystery/thrillers. For the most part, they have the forgettable plots but with amazing characters, like the Lee Child (Jack Reacher) series, the Sue Grafton (Kinsey Milhone) series, or the Stephanie Plum series. Brain candy. Have you ever read the Anne Rice vampire stuff? Those are awesome, before our world was overrun with all these other vampire wannabes.

  • I agree with Sandy; the Jack Reacher series is quite addictive, particularly the audio. I’m also a huge fan of John Marsden’s Tomorrow series, again on audio. A new series I started a few months ago and I’m now hooked on is Karen Marie Moning’s MacKayla Lane series. It’s paranormal…and addictive!

  • I know you don’t read a lot of YA, but I thought Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instrument series a lot of fun and a very quick read. I read all three of the enormous books in less than a week. Of course, I was at the beach. I also loved the first two of Kristin Cashore’s books; Graceling and Fire. And I loved Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle trilogy. Josephine Bailey reads the series for the audio books and she did a fantastic job.

    For classics, I love Sherlock Holmes. Also Narnia and Lord of the Rings.

    Then, there is also Sara Donati’s series. I can’t remember which book it occurs in, but Jamie and Claire actually make an appearance; an unusal crossover for sure!

    I think Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden series is a lot of fun. James Marsters reads those and he’s fantastic. I love listening to those books.

    I know there is more, but that is all I can think of at the moment. Good variety though! lol

  • Love the Gabaldon series too. Currently listening to Dragonfly in Amber on Audiobook.

    My all time favourtie series is the Kinsey Millhone mysteries by Sue Grafton. I think they are officially referred to as the Alphabet Mysteries, because each one starts with a letter of the alphabet. The first being A is for Alibi. They are awesome!

    Great post thanks.

  • I love urban fantasy series myself, and Sookie is a great one. My personal favorite is the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews – it’s much heavier on the fantasy, but the character relationships are phenomenal. I’m not such a fan of Outlander personally, but I’ve seen so many great recommendations that I’m not surprised you love it!

  • I already know this is not your thing, but “addictive series” is how I feel about the Robert Jordan Wheel of Time books – I’ve been reading those for over 15 years. :)

  • The Millennium Trilogy, by Stieg Larsson. I devoured those books. I hate the fact that the series can’t go on.

  • Oh gosh. I don’t know why my mind is a blank. I’m in a million series (mostly fantasy or mystery): MC Beaton’s Hamish Macbeth, John Marsden’s Tomorrow Series, Patrick O’Brian’s Jack Aubrey series, ummmmm. I’ll come back if I think of more.

  • Most of the series I love are mysteries (there are just too many to list!), but I definitely agree with BethF about Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin series. Oh, I’ll pick out one series, that I like to call literary mysteries (the series starts in the 1920s, but that’s when it was written, too): Dorothy L. Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey series. Awesome!

  • I’m not a big fan of Sookie, but LOVE Outlander – Jamie and Claire being one of my favorite literary couples of all time.

    My other most favorit-est (as my 8-year-old would say)series is the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series by Laure R. King – book one is The Beekeeper’s Apprentice.

  • I love Marsden’s Tomorrow Series. It’s dystopian/YA but written to appeal to an adult as well. There are 6 books in it and then he wrote a follow-up series focusing on one of the main characters.

  • I was addicted to the Sookie series but after about book 4-6, I just could not take the series anymore because there really was not any depth. The gabaldon books will give depth (Some people thing too much at times but for me it never reached that point). My addictive series have to keep the characters and storyline growing otherwise… boredom!

    So, the other series that comes to mind is George R.R. Martins – A Song of Ice and Fire. But I know that you do not like epic fantasy so that one will be out for you.

    Karen Marie Moning Fever series with MacKayla and Barrons is good. It gets mixed reviews but for something light that does keep somewhat of a flow forward with growth, it works. Actually, for this series, what works best for me is the audio. My gosh, the narrators are wonderful and the man does a fantastic Barrons.

    If something else comes to mind, I will let you know.

  • I might have to try this series – I have wanted to try it but believe it or not… I have been told by so many people that I won’t like this series (so I’ve stayed away).

  • I’m now on book 5 of Sookie Stackhouse and I’m loving it!

    If you like fantsy I’d say Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan, Dragonlance by Margaret Weis and Belgarion by David Eddings. Also Anita Blake and Merry Gentry by Laurell K. Hamilton and Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice.

  • I have to agree with many before me and say back when I used to take the luxury to just read series books they would be mystery series and I would read one right after the other. (Rizzoli and Isles, Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus, etc) Series DO mainly seemed confined to genre fiction. (a conversation I recently had with Nicole!)

    For Christian fiction I found the Mark of the Lion series really addictive even though the last book isn’t as strongly connected to the first two.

  • Seconding the vote for Sayer’s Wimsey books. Love him! Love Harriet!

    Margaret Frazer’s books are another series (medieval mysteries with a dash of religion) that I keep going back to.

  • How about Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series? They have the same urban fantasy meets mystery flair as the Sookie Stackhouse books with a lot of humor mixed in. Plus, there’s the added bonus that they’re set in Chicago!

  • Definitely the Lord Peter WImsey books by Dorothy Sayers. I also love Jan Karon’s Mitford series, Alexander McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies’ Detecive Agancy books, and P.D. James’s Adam Dalgliesh mysteries.

  • Some of my favorites: The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, the Mercedes Thompson books by Patricia Briggs, the Hollows series by Kim Harrison, the Lucy Valentine series by Heather Webber only has two books right now but the next one comes out in February 2011.

    I’ve been told so many times that I should read the Outlander books but I still haven’t managed to start them yet!

  • I love love love the “Dexter” series. Part dark comedy, part police procedural/mystery. I read the first one about three years ago, and every time a new book comes out, I have to order it from (as it comes out three months earlier there) and I NEED it as soon as it hits the shelves!
    If you even remotely like the Showtime spin-off, read the books, they are amazing.

  • The Outlander series were great. I also look forward to reading the Sookie Stackhouse ones. Try out a Stephen King series.

    • Do you have any specific recommendations as to series by Mr. King?

      • Ruth Ann

        I think she is referring to the “Dark Tower” series. I have read a lot of Stephen King, and I think that is the only real series he has written. There are seven books – not science fiction – but alternate universe stuff. I found it very compelling. The only other Stephen King “series” is “The Green Mile” (there was a movie based on it).

  • Thrilled to see The Sisters 8 listed under “Related posts” – the letters we get from kids on that is like nothing I’ve ever seen!

    In terms of YA series, I love Lisa McMann’s books; and for adult I love the Martha Grimes mysteries featuring Richard Jury.

  • I adore Outlander (though I have to say Echo is my least fave). Sookie was fun. You should try Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress with Cat and Bones. Yum!
    I’ll have to check out the Fever series by Moning.

  • I’m with a few of the others: the Tomorrow series. Though I haven’t heard the audio of it…I imagine that’d be a great audio!

  • There are two series that I would recommend: The Aubrey/Maturin (“Master and Commander”) series by Patrick O’Brien and, The Dresden Files by James Butcher (narrated by James Marsters.) I started reading the Aubrey/Maturin series in print and have stuck with it in print (so I can’t speak to the audio;) but the Dresden Files, despite production flaws (including some booth/mouth noise and egregious mispronunciations in some of the books) are amazing. James Marsters *is* Harry Dresden and makes for a better audio than print (IMO.) The Aubrey/Maturin series is often described as “Jane Austen for men.” It’s written in period style so very well that it is hard to belive it was written in the twentieth century! It features a sea captain on his maritime adventures… The Dresden FIles are something completely different! It’s about a wizrd who practices in Chicago in the present time. Part Urban Fantasy, part detective mystery, pure fun!

  • I read the first 8 books of the Stephanie Plum series (over a couple of years) and was kind of over it. Someone recommended I listen to them so I may try that. There’s the very light Cedar Cove series by Debbie Macomber. And I really liked Brendan O’Carroll’s bawdy “Mammy” series – Angelica Huston made the film version of the first book.

  • This is not a new series at all, but I read the whole series on Brother Cadfael, by Ellis Peters – see here:
    I loved them very much, the author did a great job of integrating serious historical research into full of suspense stories, with interesting characters. She managed to vary the stories and plots very much from one book to the other.
    I was soooo disappointed when I got to the end of the last book, and when the author is dead, no hope to get another sequel!

    On the other hand, still in the historical novel genre, though not mystery, i tried Philippa Gregory’s book. I read 2 and had to stop the 3rd one, because it was all very much the same way of writing and same plots. I was disappointed by her writing, whcih deteriorated after The Other Boleyn Girl, I believe

  • The Lady Julia Grey series by Deanna Raybourn is definitely addictive – and the fourth one is coming out soon!

  • Riva

    My “have to read them all” series (well, besides Outlander, but you’re already reading that) is the Eve Dallas series by Nora Roberts (writing as J.D. Robb). The first one is Naked in Death. Not at all like her usual romances, these are about a NY Homicide detective set in 2059. Not really sci-fi (I guess the most far out thing is the casinos on the moon – but that’s just in one book), these are police procedurals with a little extra. Dallas is married and there is a little romance (it IS Nora Roberts) but the thrust of each book is about the mystery. And, the characters actually grow and change. They don’t stagnate over the 30 (so far) books in the series. Hope you check them out!

    • Bri Meets Books

      In Death is the series I was coming here to recommend. I never read romance but these are Law and Order + futurustic + romance and I love them.

      I’d just love to see a show of these books! I wonder who they’d get to play her husband. Hmm.

      • Bri Meets Books

        ..Futurustic? So what’s that…futuristic meets moderate furnishings that are homemade? Yeesh Bri. Talk about hitting update too early!

  • Seconding the Brother Cadfael mysteries.

    Miss Julia is a southern series that’s not a mystery, but has a sweet charm.

    Charlaine Harris has another great mystery series, based in Shakespeare Arkansas.

    I quite enjoyed the Shopaholic Series.

    Arnaldur Indridason writes the best Icelandic mystery series! The best.

  • I’m loving these responses, although I can see them being very dangerous to my wallet. Are you going to compile a list for your readers? 😉

  • It’s hard for any series to live up to the Outlander series for me. I just loved them! Although I devoured the 3 books in Vincenzi’s No Angel series and would recommend them to absolutely anyone!!

  • Liz

    For mystery series I’ve enjoyed the Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus series by Faye Kellerman–you are compelled to keep reading to see how the characters and their relationships develop. In addition, the Maisie Dobbs series is a great mystery series without blood and gore. Although it is not for everyone, I loved the Thursday Next Series by Jasper Fforde–as a book lover this fantasy about what goes on inside books was really enjoyable and the author was so detailed in how all of the books tied together. I’m excited to try some of the other recommendations!

  • Pam

    Karen Moning’s Fever series is one I could not let go of this year. I read them all and am desperately awaiting the last. She really knows how to kill you with a cliff hanger.

  • Holy cow, that’s a lot of recommendations! Wow! I’m totally taking notes.

    As for me, I like historical novels, so I’d have to say Sandra Gulland’s Josephine B. trilogy (fictionalized diary of Josephine Bonaparte…I was enthralled) and Ariana Franklin’s Mistress of the Art of Death series (kind of 12th century CSI with a feisty female lead).

  • I have to echo Pam and say the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning is WAY addictive. The last book is being released this January, so it’s a perfect time to start!

  • My (almost) 13 year old is a huge Sookie Stackhouse fan, but I’ve yet to steal one of her books and have a look!

  • Lisa

    If you haven’t read them already …

    1. The Bronze Horseman trilogy by Paullina Simons. (These are my all time favorite books! It follows Tatiana and Alexander from WW2 til the present. Their relationship sucks you right in!)
    2. Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati. (I haven’t read these but they are often compared to Outlander.)
    3. Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel. (Again, haven’t read them but I’ve heard they are great.)
    4. Tea Rose trilogy by Jennifer Donnelly. (I am reading the first book now and enjoying it a lot.)

    Also if you type in “Books like Outlander” you can find a lot of discussion boards that have great recommendations. I have an entire reading list that I’ve made from reading these message boards.

    Happy reading!

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