On Friday I linked to this WSJ article about Hilary Martel and her Wolf Hall series. She tells the author that you don’t need to read Wolf Hall before reading the sequel, Bring Up the Bodies. Hmm… I don’t know…
I have a love/hate relationship with series. I have a few favorites but I hate jumping into to one in the middle. I have a book on my nightstand, probably for a year now, that I thought was a standalone but turns out it’s part of a series. I keep thinking I’ll read the first one before I pick it up but I’m loathe to do it. Do I really want to start a new series? I still haven’t got past Book 2 of the Patrick O’Brien series even though I want to read more. There are 21!
That raises the question: how many books should be in a series? Is there a point when there are just too many? Can a series drag on forever? What if the author dies before the series ends? One of my favorites is the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I started reading this one back in 1992. Sweet Baby J, it’s not finished yet and we’re up to Book 7. Some were better than others. The plot is getting diluted by a cast of thousands at this point. Should she have stuck a fork in it a couple of books ago? I dunno. I will keep reading like the addict I am. For me, it’s easier to get hooked on a series if I pick the books up as the author writes them. The idea of starting a seven book series from the beginning is daunting, no matter how good it might be.
The recent trend is the trilogy. Are the books planned to be a trilogy? Is one big book broken into three? I find that the second in a trilogy is mostly filler. Would one book have done just fine in these cases? And there’s something to be said for leaving people wanting more. Sometimes I want to be left imagining what happens to the characters after the book ends.
So are you pro-series?
In reading news, I’m still reading Tender Is the Night with my book club, as well as In Morocco by Edith Wharton for my Genteel Ladies project. They’re both challenging books. I also started Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier for another project I was asked to contribute to.
In the mail this week, I was sent Gold by Chris Cleave and Alys, Always by Harriet Lane.
That was it for me this week. How was your reading week?