2018 Summer Book Bingo is upon us, so let the booklists begin! This list will focus on that pesky category First In A Series. There are many, many beloved series out there, many of them in genre fiction. Hopefully there will be a little something for every reader here.
The Patrick Melrose novels by Edward St. Aubyn are a delightfully savage take on modern British aristocracy. Never Mind starts the series and is included in the omnibus edition of all 5 novels (Showtime is releasing a miniseries based on the novels starring Benedict Cumberbatch). For a lighter, shopaholic take on modern aristocracies, try Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (also soon to be in film), a voyeuristic look into the lives of China’s uber rich from the perspective of Rachel Chu, the American Born Chinese protagonist and girlfriend to the heir of one of China’s richest families, the Youngs. If snarking about the fabulously rich isn’t your jam, Rachael Cusk stretches the novel to new shapes with Outline, Transit, and Kudos (forthcoming). The novels merge oral history with fiction as a recently divorced woman encounters and listens to the stories of strangers and friends while her apartment is being renovated. Finally, if you haven’t read Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels, starting with My Brilliant Friend, maybe this is the summer to check that off your list.
Genre fiction is full to the brim with series and it can be hard to know where to start. For those who like mysteries, I would recommend Ann Cleeves’ Raven Black, the start of the Shetland mystery series. The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King starts the long running, beloved Mary Russell series, set in 1920s England. While Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad novels are not a series per se, they do follow the same squad and events in one book have repercussions in others. Meet the squad in In the Woods.
Science fiction and fantasy seem to be nothing but series. If you don’t want to get involved in massive (unfinished) staples, here are three novella-sized series. All Systems Red by Martha Wells introduces us to Murderbot, a self-aware android who earns the name it gives itself. Agents of Dreamland by Caitlin Kiernan is a strange, discomfiting read that mixes noir with horror in a way that only Kiernan can pull off. The highly prolific Seanan McGuire has created a wonderful, diverse new world in her Wayward Children series, starting with Every Heart A Doorway. McGuire sees your Miss Peregrine and raises you an entire Cosmology. But if you really want to dig into something big and deep, Cixin Liu’s Three Body Problem is a finished, hard science fiction trilogy that questions humanity’s place in the universe in interesting ways. Too Like The Lightning by Ada Palmer might just blow your mind, the way it did Jo Walton’s, with its unconventional narrative and unreliable narrator. Lastly, I cannot recommend this one enough for you high fantasy fans: Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey. World-building, character development, action, and romance at its absolute best.
Find links to these novels (and more), many of which are in multiple formats, here and please share your favorite series in the comments below!
For more ideas for books to meet your Summer Book Bingo challenge, follow our Shelf Talk #BookBingoNW2018 series or check the hashtag #BookBingoNW2018 on social media. Need a Book Bingo card? Print one out here or pick one up at your Library. Book bingo is presented in partnership with Seattle Arts & Lectures.
– Posted by Veronica H.