In case you didn't hear, the amazing Beverly Cleary passed away a few days ago just shy of her 105th birthday. Her Ramona books were one of the earliest series that I enjoyed. The only earlier precursors might be the Mercer Mayer Little Critter books and the Frog and Toad books by Arnold Lobel.
News of her death put me in a nostalgic frame of mind and I started thinking back to all of the book series' I have enjoyed over time, as well as to the ones I still haven't gotten around to reading. I also started thinking about the ones I would highly recommend versus the ones that might be a waste of time.
As a middle and high school student, I enjoyed several different variations or series of Nancy Drew. Then I discovered Christopher Pike and several of his horror series such as the Chain Letter and The Last Vampire before discovering and becoming consumed with R.L. Stine's Fear Street series. Other author series I pored over in those years included L.J. Smith's The Secret Circle and Vampire Diaries as well as the Sweet Dreams romances by multiple authors.
It would be so very difficult to pick the best book series ever written. You could argue genre, timing, in-depth creation of worlds, redefining characters, the number of generations who have enjoyed it, and so much more. Finding a new series to fall in love with has led to an all weekend binge for me in several cases. Some of the more popular series that I have enjoyed included Twilight, Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Sherlock Holmes, and more. Here are a few I've missed, but hope to try soon:
1.) The Brigid Quinn Series by Becky Masterman - the story of an FBI agent tracking down a notorious killer who murdered her colleague, this four-part crime series as been highly recommended to me.
2.) The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher - this fantasy series includes 16 books showcasing vampires, demons, and magic.
3.) Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan - this series based on Greek mythology has been in my TBR pile for a while. Students have often claimed the series is funny, and full of heroes, love, adventure, and characters I will never forget.
4.) The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis - while I did read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe as a young girl, I never picked up any of the other books in the series. It might be time for a revisit.
5.) Outlander by Diana Gabaldon - I was visiting Scotland when they first began filming the television series version. I watched a few, but I didn't care for them. However, as is usually the case, I have been informed the books are so much better and the series did not stay faithful to them.
There are so many more series that I have enjoyed, and many more that I have yet to try - more than I wish to cover in this one blog post.
How about you? What was your first series? What is your favorite? Do you have one to recommend as a "must read" or even as a "must avoid" series?