I read a lot, perhaps too much. At times, I’ve considered that the time I spend reading would be more productive writing a novel, this blog, or something for my job.

I like reading series and following the stories through time, becoming vested in the trials and adventures of the characters. It’s a bit like a soap opera in that the essential being of well-drawn people becomes real and compelling to me. There are things to learn as well, maybe something from the content or the back-story or, perhaps, something about the craft of writing.

The first series I read was James Clavell’s Asian Saga Series, which I just learned from Wikipedia wasn’t labelled a series until after Shogun was published in 1975. I remember reading the novels according to their internal chronology, rather than the order of publication. I fully intend to reread most of them . . . soon.

I will likely read the Harry Potter series again one day. It was entertaining, compelling, and well-written.

I’ve read, in order, all of JD Robb’s In Death series, which is set in the 2050’s and 60’s. The books are entertaining, dramatic, and, be advised, romantic. They are not literary, nor are they especially unforgettable. They are very readable, though not rereadable, for me.

Janet Evanovich. She is a favorite or mine. I’ve read the first 15 of the 18 books in her Stephanie Plum series twice. I find them to be largely without a memorable plot, but overflowing with humor. I read. I laugh. Delightful. I’ll read again.

Just to be complete.

I’ve read the first four of Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series, which is about dragons in the time of Napoleon–I haven’t decided if I’ll continue with the remainder. The Yiddish word plupkee comes to mind. My ninety-five year old father-in-law, Henry, uses it to mean goes on and on and on and on. Which is the meaning to me.

I follow Linda Fairstein. She writes a compelling mysteries series set in New York.

Kathy Reichs series, the one Bones is based on, is excellent, though at times the continuing character development is wanting for my tastes.

I gave up on William Lashner because his protagonist annoys me.

J.A. Konrath has appeal, though the last one I read was written in present tense, a style I find off-putting. I’ll preview the next one and bypass it if he wrote it in that manner. That is, by the way, the reason I quit reading Patricia Cornwell after following her for years.

Others authors worth reading and following the series include Jonathon Santlofer (scarey), Jonathan King, Lee Child, Terry Goodkind (for fantasy), Robert Crais, Michael Connelly (of course), Barry Eisler (edgy), Jeff Lindsay (Dexter), and William Kent Krueger (though the publisher’s pricing policy has currently stopped me mid-series). There are more, but I’ve beaten the point to death.

Now, I’m rereading Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. The story starts in Scotland during the time of Bonnie Prince Charles. For a lover of historical epic novels–with a bit of romance, sex, war, and adventure mixed in–it is at the top of my heap. Gabaldon’s use of language is exquisite. Her portrayal of historical facts seems authentic. And, her characters live on the page. I savor every page.

What are you reading? What do you recommend for a lover of a character driven series? And, did I use plotka semi-correctly?