I was chatting with my Instafriend Megs (@ampersand_reads) the other day about our favourite book series and she encouraged me to write the post. So thank you Megs!
Today is all about series. And I’m not just talking Harry Potter – though you better believe that makes the list! The first series I ever remember reading was Enid Blyton’s The Faraway Tree – well it actually starts with The Enchanted Wood, but anyway – and I have been hooked on them ever since. I love that you get to follow the characters as they grow, their lives become intertwined with your lives and, as a writer/author, I love how in-depth you get to go with your characters. They truly do become part of you. I’m willing to bet that if I asked any of you where you were or how old you were when you first read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, you could tell me in a heartbeat. I was 12, I’d just started boarding school, I was scared and had no friends – except Harry, Ron, Hermione, Neville and Co, and I wished I was at Hogwarts too.
I was wondering whether or not I should rank these books, but I just can’t do it. They all mean so much to me and I love them all. So instead, I’ve just made a list and here it is – the best book series ever…
Harry Potter by J.K Rowling
This series needs no introduction. Magic, Muggles, Hogwarts, Horcuxes and Hagrid. If you don’t know what 4 out of those 5 words mean, you need to clear your schedule for the next two weeks, go to your nearest library and pick up all 7 books then lock yourself away. Do not come back until you have finished them. Understood? Good! Possibly the best series ever written (it’s a tie for me) and one I read every year, without fail. September 1st = HP1 amirite?!
The Famous Five by Enid Blyton
I consider myself lucky enough that my childhood matched the glorious summers of the Five in many ways = long summer days exploring, riding bikes for hours on end, picnics under trees and adventures galore. Although I don’t read them regularly anymore – given that my entire set is sat in a book at my in-laws’ house along with a bunch of other stuff, I can’t wait for the day I can crack them open again and read them to my own children.
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
I still remember the day my Mama bought me this box set. It will forever be engrained in my memory. I had already read TLTWATW, and wanted to know what happened next. At that point, I had no idea that it wasn’t the first in the series, or that there were 5 more that came after. These books shaped me in more ways than I think I’ll ever know but they changed the way I thought about the world forever and C.S. Lewis is the first author that made me think “I want to do that.” This is also the other series that ties with HP for the best series ever written, as far as I’m concerned anyway.
The MacGregors by Nora Roberts
Moving away from magic (for now at least). A series about a booming, interfering, loveable rogue of a Scot and his family that put up with his meddling ways. I adore reading about this family – from Daniel’s arrival in Boston to his scheming plot to get his grandchildren married. This series is full of laughs, love and family – and it’ll have you turning page after page to find out what happens. It also includes one of the books I read every Christmas – Christmas Fairytales: The MacGregor Brides. Oh – and if you love this, try the Inn on Boonsboro trilogy!
Malory Towers and The Twins at St Clare’s by Enid Blyton
Yes, technically, these are two separate series, but boy they’re just so good I couldn’t separate them. These are the series that made me want to go to boarding school – and shaped what I thought it would like. Needless to say, I received the shock of my life when I found out that midnight feasts weren’t a thing, that girls could be ridiculously mean and it was generally nothing like what I’d read. Regardless, these books hold a special place in my heart – and my copy of Malory Towers has actually had to be sellotaped together in places, it’s THAT well read!
The Robert Langdon books by Dan Brown
Y’all already know what I thought of Origin, but this series still makes me grin so hard. When I set myself the challenge of re-reading the series before Origin came out at the start of October, I devoured them. Reliving the adventures of Paris, Rome, DC and Istanbul. Do I wish the films followed the books a little more closely? Yes. But Tom Hanks will be Robert Langdon forever in my head. And, as far as I’m concerned, any series that makes the readers look up history and understand what happened, is a great one.
The Cousins War and The Tudor Court by Philippa Gregory
I’ll admit, I hadn’t actually heard of Philippa Gregory until I saw The Other Boleyn Girl. After that, I was hooked. I will admit, I haven’t loved every book in both these series, but I have devoured every one, without fail. As a history nerd who spent most of her time aged 14-18 either reading or writing about The Tudors (hello GCSE and A-Level history), these books have always had a soft spot in my heart. Favourites: The White Queen (how good was the BBC Series <3?!), The Boleyn Inheritance, The Other Boleyn Girl and The Constant Princess.
The Gabriel Allon series by Daniel Silva
If you’ve already read Wednesday’s review of Moscow Rules, you’ll know I’m a huge Daniel Silva fan. There’s just something about a reluctant Israeli assassin who’s also an art restorer that gets me coming back every time. The fact that most of the books are set in Europe just spurs me on! If you’re looking for a spy thriller that will have you wanting on the next plane to Europe – this is it. The first in the series is The Kill Artist, but honestly, just grab whatever you can and dive in. You can thank me later.
The Horse Whisperer, The Loop and The Smoke Jumper by Nicholas Evans
Okay, okay, technically these aren’t a series. They don’t have the same characters. BUT they are all set in Montana and have reasonably similar plotlines – overcoming adversity. I have loved these books for longer than I can remember. The Smoke Jumper will always be my absolute favourite, primarily because of the poem: Walk Within You. If you’ve yet to pick up one of these, start with The Horse Whisperer and read the book before you watch the film.
His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
Confession: I haven’t actually read this series yet. BUT I did get it for Christmas and I am so excited to read it. I did see The Golden Compass so I have a little idea of what to expect from the first book, but quite frankly, any book that combines magic and Oxford has got me hooked before I even crack the spine.
So friend, tell me…do you agree? Are there any series you would add to this list? I may have to come back and edit this at a later date, or maybe I’ll just do an updated version as both Outlander and A Court of Thorns and Roses are on my TBR list (coming next week!) for this year! Let me know your thoughts in the comments!