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Series’ that took me WAY too long to read October 21, 2011

Posted by ccbooks in Nerd Line.

Many people can tell you what a stubborn person I am. However, when it comes to books and especially series books that I have missed, ignored or specifically avoided, occasionally, I look back and just have to scream at myself WHAT WERE YOU THINKING??

A few of the wonderful series’ of books that took me WAY too long to discover and read.

1. Megan Whalen Turner ‘Thief’ series

We always had the first book in this series at the store, because it was a Newbery Honor. I can only imagine that I read the first paragraph and it didn’t grab me. It wasn’t until the fourth book in the series, A Conspiracy of Kings, was getting talked about online during Newbery season last year that I finally went back and read these. WOW. Turner’s fans are rabid and crazy and they have every reason to be. Some seriously amazing writing here.

2. Jeff Smith ‘Bone’ series

This one I attribute to my lack of comfort with graphic novels. My students were really into these books and it took me about a year to get on board. So my apologies to my student Javier from the 08-09 school year. You loved these, and I never managed to discuss them adequately with you. Now I know what a funny, enchanting world I was missing.

3. Rick Riordan ‘Percy Jackson’ series

Another series that I had to be bullied into reading by my students. In my defense, this one was marketed as ‘THE NEXT HARRY POTTER’ and there is no phrase more likely to make me put down a book. But thanks to the relentless nagging of Lauren, Richie and Isabel, I finally read the adventures of Percy and acknowledged that, while not the next Harry Potter, he was pretty special all on his own.

4. Tamora Pierce ‘Immortals’ series

I know I at least skimmed the Alanna series when I was in elementary school. But it took the character Daine to make me truly fall in love with Pierce’s worldbuilding. I have a very clear memory of sleeping on an air mattress in the basement the summer I was 12, while we were having work done on the house, and waiting until Danny fell asleep next to me so I could steal his copy of Emperor Mage and read it with a flashlight. This was one of the few series’ that I did not read in order.

5. Philip Pullman ‘His Dark Materials’ series

This one is truly unforgivable. I think at some point I just refused to read them out of sheer stubbornness, and no one I met was able to describe them to me in a way that made me feel they were necessary literature. When I was living in Scotland, however, and starved for books (I had little money, and less inclination to carry more weight home in my backpack) I borrowed Northern Lights (British title for The Golden Compass) from one of my flatmates. I pretty much didn’t let her have it back the rest of the summer and had to exercise a lot of self-control to save The Subtle Knife for the train ride back to London. And then of course, I just HAD to buy The Amber Spyglass to read on the plane home…

After writing this list, all I can say in my defense is: At least I was ahead of the game with Harry Potter!



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