Addicting Series – The Results

On Tuesday I asked you all to recommend some addicting series, and boy did you come through! By Thursday afternoon we had 49 comments (including a few replies of mine) for a total of 48 series recommendations. The most-mentioned series by far was “Outlander” which I am reading now, with seven mentions, followed by a handful of series which were mentioned 4 times. Apologies if any are mis-cataloged here, but I was going off either what people said or a very cursory Google search. Historical mysteries are listed with historical fiction. Without further ado, here they are:

Mystery/Crime fiction

  • M.C. Beaton – Hamish Macbeth series
  • Lee Child – Jack Reacher series (2 mentions)
  • Arthur Conan Doyle – Sherlock Holmes
  • Janet Evanovich – Stephanie Plum series (2 mentions)
  • Tess Gerritsen – Rizzoli and Isles
  • Sue Grafton – Kinsey Milhone series (2 mentions)
  • Martha Grimes – Richard Jury series
  • Charlaine Harris – Harper Connelly series
  • Arnaldur Indridason – Reykjavik murder mystery series
  • P.D. James – Adam Digliesh series
  • Faye Kellerman – Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus (2 mentions)
  • Laurie R. King – Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series
  • Stieg Larsson – The Millennium Trilogy
  • Jeff Lindsay – Dexter series
  • J.D. Robb – Eve Dallas/In Death series (2 mentions)
  • Dorothy L. Sayers – Lord Peter Wimsey series (3 mentions)
  • Alexander McCall Smith – Number 1 Ladies’ Detectives Agency series
  • Jacqueline Winspear – Maisie Dobbs series (2 mentions)

Historical Fiction

  • Sarah Donati – Into the Wilderness series
  • Ariana Franklin – Mistress of the Art of Death mystery series
  • Margaret Frazer – Sister Frevisse mystery series
  • Diana Gabaldon – Outlander series (7 mentions)
  • Sandra Gulland – Josephine trilogy
  • Patrick O’Brian – Jack Aubrey series (3 mentions)
  • Ellis Peters – Brother Cadfael mystery series (2 mentions)
  • Deanna Raybourn – Lady Julia Grey mystery series (2 mentions)
  • Penny Vincenzi – No Angel

Speculative Fiction: Dystopian/Science Fiction/Paranormal/Fantasy

  • Ilona Andrews – Kate Daniels series
  • Libba Bray – The Gemma Doyle series (YA)
  • Patricia Briggs – Mercedes Thompson series
  • Jim Butcher – Harry Dresden series (4 mentions)
  • Cassandra Clare – Mortal Instruments series (YA)
  • Jasper Fforde – Thursday Next series
  • Jeaniene Frost – Night Huntress series
  • Charlaine Harris – Sookie Stackhouse series (4 mentions)
  • Kim Harrison – The Hollows series
  • Robert Jordan – Wheel of Time series (2 mentions)
  • Stephen King – The Dark Tower series
  • John Marsdon – Tomorrow series (YA, 4 mentions)
  • George R.R. Martins – A Song of Fire and Ice
  • Lisa McMann – Wake series
  • Karen Marie Moning – MacKayla Lane series (3 mentions)

General/Christian Fiction

  • Jan Karon – The Mitford Years series
  • Sophie Kinsella – Shopaholic series
  • Debbie Macomber – Cedar Cove series
  • Brendan O’Carroll – The Mammy series
  • Francine Rivers – The Mark of the Lion trilogy
  • Ann B. Ross – Miss Julia (Christian fiction)

The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins – Thoughts on the Audio

The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, narrated by Carolyn McCormick
Published in print by Scholastic Press
Published in audio by Scholastic Audio

This is just going to be a commentary on the audio editions. I have previously reviewed the print versions of both “The Hunger Games” and “Catching Fire.” The following thoughts are completely spoiler-free.

When I first started listening to audio versions of “The Hunger Games” and “Catching Fire,” I was very disconcerted. There is pretty much no way at all that Carolyn McCormick’s voice could pass for that of a teenage girl. Don’t get me wrong, she has a gorgeous voice and I would love to listen to her read literary fiction, but it seemed very odd in the first person narrative of a teenager (incidentally, this is the second Scholastic Audio casting in a row in which I thought at least one narrator sounded far too old for their character – perhaps there is a dearth of narrators who can pass for teens?).

Although I had a hard time with such a mature voice narrating Katniss’s inner-most thoughts and giving voice to her words, McCormick did a fabulous job with the voices of other characters. Between “The Hunger Games” and “Catching Fire,” McCormick appears to have been given direction to actually do a voice for Katniss, instead of narrating in her own voice. Although it was still odd to hear Katniss’s thoughts in McCormick’s voice, it did help me believe her words as those of the teenager a bit better.

McCormick did a fabulous job with most of the voices, and imbued “The Hunger Games” and “Catching Fire” audios with the danger and drama of the books, so over all I would say these are highly recommended, even if her Katniss really had to grow on me. I can’t wait to get the audio of “Mockingjay” for a reread.

I borrowed both of these audiobooks from the library.

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Restoring Harmony – Book Review

Restoring Harmony by Joelle Anthony

Molly and her family have been living fairly successfully since the Collapse of 2031 ten years ago.  The live on a small island off the coast of Canada and are fairly self-sufficient on their farm.  Good thing, too, because when oil pretty much ran out during the Collapse all the big governments grabbed up what was left, so there’s not a whole lot left for things like transport of goods.  Not everything is easy, though.  Molly’s mother is pregnant and has high blood pressure and signs of gestational diabetes and the only doctor in town just died in a freak accident.  To make matters worse, it seems that Molly’s grandmother down in Oregon may have just died, but the family can’t be sure.

In order to calm Molly’s mother’s fears that her father cannot be doing well after the supposed death of his wife, and because Molly’s grandfather is a doctor and their island is sorely in need of one, Molly is sent to Oregon.  The trip is not an easy one.  First of all, since Molly is only 16 she is not legally allowed to cross the border by herself.  Law and order – as well as road and bridge upkeep – have declined precipitously since the Collapse.  In getting to Oregon, Molly meets a handsome young man who seems to be very sweet and helpful, but who also seems to have mysterious ties to something, and a surprising ability to come up with whatever goods are needed.

I definitely enjoyed reading “Restoring Harmony.”  Based on the writing, I would guess it is aimed at younger teens.  Not too young, though, as there is some violence and alcoholism.  Sort of that middle place between Middle Grade fiction and the more mature Young Adult fiction.  I loved Molly’s character, because she was hard working and smart, although sometimes things seemed to just fall into place too easily for her.

I can forgive some of the too-convenient events, however, because it was quite refreshing to read a dystopian novel that actually had currents of hope running throughout.  Yes, life was harder and certain things became more difficult after the Collapse, but there was still a strong current of love and family in Molly’s life, which was a nice change.

Joelle Anthony is one of the ladies of the 2010 Debutante Ball.

Buy this book from:
Powells.*
A local independent bookstore via Indiebound.*
Amazon.*

This review was done with a book received from the author as part of a One ARC Tour (i.e., I got it, read it, then paid to mail it on).
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.

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