The Reader in Me: Part II

Okay guys, this post was supposed to happen yesterday, but I’ve worked the last four days in a row and y’all don’t understand how sleepy I am as soon as I walk in the door. I’ve been doing a lot of sleeping during my time I should have been writing posts. Eh. Anyway, this will be the second half of the post I wrote on Saturday.

Also, I’m playing around with posting at a new time. I know probably every single one of you posts whenever you feel like, but I don’t. I strictly post between 9:30 in the morning and 12:30. Now I’m going to see about posting at midnight each night instead. Why? Because I think most of you who actually read my stuff will read no matter when I post and perhaps I’m opening my blog up to a greater audience by posting at the later time. Maybe. Okay, now on with the post.

11. Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person?

Absolutely. Not! Are you kidding me? No. Just no.

12. Which book has been with you to the most places?

I don’t travel. And I wouldn’t take my books with me if I did. Another question with no response.

13. Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad ten years later?

Well shit. How old am I supposed to be? I’m barely four years out of high school and I guess eight years out from my freshman year. I haven’t reread anything from high school because you all should know by now that I don’t reread anything. This set of questions is off to a wonderful start.

14. What is the strangest item you’ve ever found in a book?

Oh come on. This isn’t even fun anymore. What the heck am I supposed to find in a book? A corpse? A Mega Millions winning lottery ticket? Food? I’ve only ever found scraps of paper or notes in books, and I have to think that most people are the same way.

15. Used or brand new?

Definitely new. I have a handful of used books that stick out like a sore thumb on my shelf. At least they do to me.

16. Stephen King: Literary genius or opiate of the masses?

Never read him. I bet he’s closer to the genius side.

17. Have you ever seen a movie you liked better than the book?

There are some truly great literary adaptations. But do not fool yourself, you cannot make a movie better than the book. Why? Because even if you have a nice long 150 minute movie, you still have to leave out huge chunks of the book because you simply don’t have the time needed to adapt every facet of the work. So no, I’ve never seen a movie that I thought was better than the book.

18. Which book should never have been introduced to celluloid?

Along Came a Spider by James Patterson. This isn’t a knock on the book, I thought it was pretty good, but the movie did it absolutely no justice whatsoever. The movie looked thrown together at the last minute. And this was with Morgan Freeman as Alex Cross! And what happened after this trainwreck of a movie? They released a sequel made exactly the same way. Ugh. Thankfully no more came after. The more recent Alex Cross adaptation was a bit better, but still not very good.

19. Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry?

This is a little weird. No. I will say that I’ve read so long that I’ve finished reading with some weird noises coming from my stomach. Does that count?

20. Who is the person whose book advice you will always take?

I’m trying to figure out what this question means by book advice. Does it mean recommendations? I don’t think it means writing. So I’ll just assume it means suggestions. Okay. I don’t recommend books and I don’t want you suggesting any to me. We both win.

So that’s it! Another batch of questions found in the blogosphere and another batch conquered. Thoughts?

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What’s That one Series of Books you Won’t Forget?

In short, what’s your favorite series of books? Now I know this is not an easy question for any bibliophile out there to just answer without any thought. It isn’t for me, but hopefully by the time I reach the end of this post I’ll have an answer for you guys.

Let me first begin by listing some of the series that I read.

Spenser. Harry Bosch. Hunger Games. Karen Vail. Alex McKnight. Alex Cross. Will Trent. Grant County. Gears of War. Halo. Charlie Hood. Jesse Stone. Jack Reacher. Kinsey Millhone. Merci Rayborn.

As you can see, I read a lot of different series. I have several more on my shelf that I have yet to start. Now, let me see if I can narrow it down a bit. Merci Rayborn and Kinsey Millhone aren’t my favorite. I’ve only read two Jack Reacher novels, though both good, not my absolute favorite series. Charlie Hood is written by one of my favorite authors but isn’t the best series I’ve ever read. Jesse Stone and Spenser are both written by the same author and I’ve read more Spenser books. Will Trent and Grant County merge into one series later. Karen Vail…good but not great. Same goes for Alex McKnight.

That leaves these for me to decide on my favorite: Spenser, Harry Bosch, Hunger Games, Alex Cross, Gears of War, and Halo.

#6 Halo

I’m sure some of you are fans of the video games, but if you haven’t read the books then you absolutely should. It makes the storyline of the games look like nothing. My reasoning for putting this series at number six is because the books are written by several authors, which sometimes makes the Master Chief change from one book to the next. They’re all good books, and a couple of them are truly great. Three of them are ranked in the top fifteen of my list of best books read.

#5 Gears of War

Might as well get the other science fiction series out of the way, right? I have every book of the series and I’ve read all but one. One of these is actually the longest book I’ve ever read at just a couple of pages under 600. Again, I’m sure some of you are fans of the video games, but there is SO much more to the story than the games can possibly offer you. SO MUCH. Karen Traviss has done a phenomenal job writing these books and you definitely see all of the characters in the books exactly as they are in the games. I have one of the books ranked as the eighteenth best book I’ve read, which is very high, but the others fall a little short. Just an overall solid series.

#4 Alex Cross

James Patterson has his critics for the way he writes and publishes, BUT the guy can entertain his readers like no other author I’ve ever read. Sure, his stories are sometimes farfetched and unbelievable, but you only think that AFTER reading the book. His way of writing two-three page chapters keeps you wanting more. He literally has you on the edge of your seat while you read. I believe the Alex Cross series is the only one of his that he writes alone. Four of these books rank in the top nineteen books I’ve ever read. Alex Cross has been adapted to film three times and none of them have matched the quality of the books. This is a series for every reader of crime fiction.

#3 Spenser

This is where I start having to nitpick just to continue the list and not declare a tie. I started the series late (it began all the way back in the 70s). I started the series after having read every available book of the Jesse Stone series a couple of years ago. Suffice it to say that I couldn’t buy the books fast enough. Spenser is a former boxer turned Boston PI. He’s smart, witty, and loves to cook. He has a set of values that you rarely read in detective fiction. He’s always looking to help someone. Always. There isn’t much more for me to tell you. Start the series.

#2 Harry Bosch

Man this is tough. I’m sitting here going through the books of the two remaining series and I can’t come up with anything negative for either one! The Harry Bosch series by Michael Connelly was started in the early 90s. We’ve seen him age and adapt in real-time. It’s a wonderful thing to read. He’s a detective working with the LAPD and he takes every homicide victim to heart. Every one. You’d think that they were all family, and it just so happens that one of them was. Bosch is the guy cop shows try to show on screen. He’s the guy who never treats any one case differently than another. He’d solve every case if he could. He provides justice to those who need it most. If for some reason you haven’t started this series and you read crime fiction, then start it.

#1 Hunger Games

AND THE WINNER IS………..Hunger Games! I’m not trying to follow in everyone’s footsteps. I’m not. Yes I know the first two movies have begun a mega-blockbuster series. Yes I know millions of readers have declared their love for the series. Yes I know that there are similar YA series out there that many would argue are better. The thing is that I don’t care. I started this series at the beginning of 2012. I had no expectations because I honestly had no idea what the heck it was. I didn’t have a blog and I was unaware of the hype surrounding the series as the first movie’s release date neared. That first chapter, the one in which Katniss does the unthinkable and volunteers from District 12 to participate in the annual Hunger Games so her sister doesn’t have to, brought tears to my eyes and goosebumps down my arms. What author can accomplish that so early in a book?! The rest of the book flew by as I couldn’t stop reading. The second in the series, Catching Fire, managed to outdo its predecessor. I will admit, though, that the third book wasn’t quite on par with the first two. It was a great book and one couldn’t possibly predict how the series played out, but the other two were unforgettable.

So there you have my list, now tell me which series of books has left its mark on you permanently?

*All of the covers are the first books of their respective series.  By clicking on any cover image you will be redirected to the Amazon product page of each book.*