My Favorite Book Series
- April 12, 2021
- The Glambassador
Last week I heard that my favorite author, Diana Gabaldon, had finally finished the ninth book in my favorite series, Outlander. I like to re-read the series before a new book comes out, and I know that it’s still quite a ways off, so I should have time. I like to reacquaint myself with the story and say hello again to the characters that I’ve come to know and love.
And this got me thinking that I’d like to share with you some of my favorite book series. Now, I’m not going to rank them in any particular order because, well, I just can’t say which series I like better than another (aside from Outlander, which remains at the top for all time).
I tend to gravitate towards series of books rather than one-off novels. I love to get really close to the characters and I get attached to them and want to hear more of their story.
I also listen to Audiobooks rather than read a physical book. But in most cases, I’ll still buy the book, because well, books are awesome, and I love to have the physical item to keep on my bookshelf. I have been an Audible member for many years, click here to try Audible Plus yourself.
But listening to books is my preferred way to consume them. There is something about having a story told to me that reaches me deeper than anything I can read myself. I get distracted easily, and I’m not very good at settling down to just reading a book. I’m also a multitasker, so to listen to a book while I’m doing things like washing the dishes, gardening, putting on my makeup or driving in my car means that I have more opportunities to actually finish a book.
As I was putting this list together, I realized that I clearly have a type. All of these book series have a historical basis. I love when stories weave fictional characters in with historical moments and real people throughout history. I clearly love historical fiction, but most of the books I love also have magical elements, some time travel, and a female lead character.
Here are some of my favorite book series
Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon
8 books (with the ninth on the way)
Summary of Outlander (Book 1)
Claire Randall is leading a double life. She has a husband in one century and a lover in another…
In 1945, Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon—when she innocently touches a boulder in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of our Lord…1743.
Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire’s destiny in soon inextricably intertwined with Clan MacKenzie and the forbidden Castle Leoch. She is catapulted without warning into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life…and shatter her heart. For here, James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a passion so fierce and a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire…and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives. (From the publisher.)
Found Things Series by Paula Brackston
Summary of The Little Shop of Found Things (Book 1)
Xanthe and her mother Flora leave London behind for a fresh start, taking over an antique shop in the historic town of Marlborough. Xanthe has always had an affinity with some of the antiques she finds. When she touches them, she can sense something of the past they come from and the stories they hold. When she has an intense connection to a beautiful silver chatelaine, she has to know more.
It is while she’s examining the chatelaine that she’s transported back to the seventeenth century, where it has its origins. She discovers there is an injustice in its history. The spirit that inhabits her new home confronts her and charges her with saving her daughter’s life, threatening to take Flora’s if she fails.
While Xanthe fights to save the girl amid the turbulent days of 1605, she meets architect, Samuel Appleby. He may be the person who can help her succeed. He may also be the reason she can’t bring herself to leave.
All Souls Series by Deborah Harkness
A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together.
Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery, so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks.
But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.
Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos.
The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel Series by Michael Scott
Summary of The Alchemyst (Book 1)
When the necromancer and immortal magician Dr. John Dee steals the ancient book the Codex from its keeper, Nicholas Flamel, two teenagers named Sophie and Josh Newman are caught up in the danger and magic. Dee also captures Nicholas Flamel’s wife, Perenelle. Flamel takes the twins to a magical warrior Next Generation Elder (who is 2,517 years old) named Scathach, who travels with them to another Elder’s shadowrealm. This Elder is known as Hekate and has remarkable magical power. Hekate is over 10,000 years old.
Sophie and Josh are working at a bookstore and a cafe when Dee comes for the Codex. Here, they witness Nicholas and Perenelle using magic, and discover that Nicholas is not a bookseller, but is indeed an ancient alchemyst being kept alive by making the elixir of life (a secret from the Codex) for him and Perenelle. He can use magic. He needs the Codex back to make the elixir of life again, or he and Perenelle will die before the month’s end. Also, if Nicholas does not retrieve the Codex, Dee will summon the Dark Elders to destroy the world and return to an age in which humans are but slaves and food.
Maggie Hope Series by Susan Elia MacNeal
Summary of Mr. Churchill’s Secretary (Book 1)
Mr. Churchill’s Secretary captures the drama of an era of unprecedented challenge—and the greatness that rose to meet it.
London, 1940. Winston Churchill has just been sworn in, war rages across the Channel, and the threat of a Blitz looms larger by the day. But none of this deters Maggie Hope. She graduated at the top of her college class and possesses all the skills of the finest minds in British intelligence, but her gender qualifies her only to be the newest typist at No. 10 Downing Street.
Her indefatigable spirit and remarkable gifts for codebreaking, though, rival those of even the highest men in government, and Maggie finds that working for the prime minister affords her a level of clearance she could never have imagined—and opportunities she will not let pass. In troubled, deadly times, with air-raid sirens sending multitudes underground, access to the War Rooms also exposes Maggie to the machinations of a menacing faction determined to do whatever it takes to change the course of history.
Ensnared in a web of spies, murder, and intrigue, Maggie must work quickly to balance her duty to King and Country with her chances for survival. And when she unravels a mystery that points toward her own family’s hidden secrets, she’ll discover that her quick wits are all that stand between an assassin’s murderous plan and Churchill himself.
In this daring debut, Susan Elia MacNeal blends meticulous research on the era, psychological insight into Winston Churchill, and the creation of a riveting main character, Maggie Hope, into a spectacularly crafted novel. (From the publisher.)