Last month in the newsletter we asked the readers what book series are there that they go back and re-read.

Here are the answers:

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Becky: What about Elvis Cole Joe Pike books. I’m an audiobook “reader” love them by Robert Crais. He is a very nice author. He replies to his emails and Facebook comments. I hate it when I binge listen to books and finish the series. I feel like I have lost a best friend!!

Also, Joe Pickett books by CJ Box. Love these too.

If you have reviewed these, I’m sorry, I forgot. I listen to so many books and read tons of reviews I forget.

I’m working my way through Harry Bosch books by Michael Connelly. Like them too. The characters don’t draw me in like the two above, but still good.

By the way, I have to listen to the books in order. I mistakenly skipped a book in the Myron​ Bolitar series. I realized it when I was lost. So back tracked to the missed book. I knew what was going to happen in the book I skipped someone died!! So the whole book I knew this character died! Grr!! My sister reads series in what ever order. That’s NUTS!

Thanks for your newsletter! And for reading!

Jasmine: I just heard of your website this past weekend through a Facebook post that author Christina Dodd had posted. I am loving this website…just had to share this with you. Sometimes it is so hard to find out if books should be read in order or what order they actually go in.

Now to respond to you question in Your Thoughts!. There are a couple series that I have read and re-read so many times.

First is the Ultimate Series by Lori Foster. There are four books in this series and I have read them over and over so many times. The characters in this series were first introduced in another series. This is about a group of friends who happen to be MMA fighters and what they go through with the women they love. Just pure entertainment. There are several series that are connected yet separate and I love this. I love seeing sub characters develop into main characters. Plus with the stories so connected, you get a glimpse into the lives of the previous main characters. I have recommended this group of series to so many people.

Second is the In Death Series by JD Robb. I absolutely love this series. For me, this series is pure enjoyment no matter how many times I have read it. There are quite a few books in it, so re-reading does take a while but so worth it. I love the connection between Dallas and Roark and how Roark is always there for her and her team. The partnership be Dallas and Peabody is funny. Throughout the books we have really seen Dallas become a better person and Peabody change, becoming a better cop

Third is the Dark-Hunter Series by Sherrilyn Kenyon. These books are fantastic and so magical. They truely give a different twist on vampire stories. I love the history and the mythology that goes into each book. I love how the books are individual stories but at the same time are all interconnected. Most take place around the group that originates in New Orleans, which is the perfect place for these books to take place.

Judith: The series I plan to read again (and possibly again!!) is the Dave Robicheaux books by James Lee Burke. Mr. Burke is an extremely intelligent man who created a dark character who is very aware of this side of himself but always trying to break through what he believes is his worst character fault. Check out the you tube videos of interviews with Mr. Burke. They are fascinating.

Bill: In response to your request for authors who I can go back and reread later in life there is Lee child, quite a few of Patterson’s characters, C.J. Box and many others but one that continues through the generations seems to be Louis Lamour. Known for his westerns, I especially like the Sackett series, there are other novels such as walking drum( set in the 16th century i believe). I’ve encourage younger readers to read him as well as the simple storyline (good versus bad) are easy to get through for them. Now with a request. Years back not many I read an author with a character located in the south, I believe Louisiana and there was a trilogy being written which had the term “bone tree” in it. About the segregation and politics of the area though it was fiction and of course drama and murder. I’m hoping this may give you enough info. and you can refresh my memory with the authors name. It seems the older I get and the more I read the less I remember. I have referred your site to all my friends who read. It’s great to be able to find the chronologically order of books who carry a character from one novel to the next. You are doing an awesome job and we all appreciate it. Keep up the good work.

Kenicia: The book series I go back to is the Chronicles of Narnia. At the beginning of each new year, I listen to at least one on audio book. (I read them many times when I was younger; now I listen to them and read books I’ve never read.) I find that as an adult, the Chronicles of Narnia touch me in ways that they didn’t when I was a child. They can speak to people on so many different levels.

Brian: Archer Mayor series of Joe Gunther, or Robert Parker’s Spenser books

Mary: Randy Wayne White his doc Ford series are excellent he just came out with another new one. Also his Hannah Smith series there are four of them in the series so far.

Karen: I am re reading the Lucy Stone Series by Leslie Meier and plan on re reading the J.P. Beaumont Series by J. A. Jance soon. I love both characters very much, and always discover something new about the settings or the supporting characters each time I read. A few times I have even forgotten the ending from previous reads.

Barbara: I rarely go back and re-read books, but the Mercy Thompson books by Patricia Briggs are my biggest exception. Such a READABLE series. And it never gets slow.

RB: Hey There,

My vote goes to Lyndsay Faye’s New York trilogy – The Gods of Gotham, Seven For A Secret and The Fatal Flame. 1845 New York, the city’s first police department and so much more. Timothy Wilde and his world are wonderfully fleshed out over these three books. Engrossing. Read them once, then return to savor the wonderful writing again.

Jane: Always good, and copied by many: C.S. Forester’s Hornblower series. His tale of Horacio Hornblower coming up thru the ranks in the British navy are accurate and wonderful examples of life in the military , life at sea, and leadership for real. Both the audio and hardback can be found at most libraries.
Soooo many authors have followed his format applying it to space and history in general, but Forester still is a star for me.
And, then my always fave…Patricia Briggs. All her series are closely awaited and read over and over…course Mercy’s trials and tribulations are akin to family and when a new novel appears it is like a Christmas visit.
Same church, different pew..Charlaine Harris Hollows series…cried knowing it was done…cheered when she added a prequel.
And J.K. Rowling never gets old. Stuart Woods. Lee Child. Tony Hillerman. Etc etc etc.
There , the list never ends but how can you list only one.
Thanks for your efforts!

Kate: I’m fairly new to orderofbooks so please excuse repetition of things you’ve may have heard a million times. Had someone ask me the other day who my favorite author was-I found it hard to answer. I’m have a small hard-copy library (opposed to electronic although I own two NOOKS fully loaded). Have to keep it down in size since space, now that I’m retired, is more at a premium. Having said that, I do have, in many cases all, of the books written by authors I “collect.” First rule for collection decision-can I read it more than once? I find that since I really should have an answer at least for “conversation with strangers” asking the question “Who is . . .” and realizing that it would be Louise Penny and the Chief Inspector Gamache Series, I am just now starting my 1st reread-through with, of course, “Still LIfe.” I think the best description I could give of this series is what I wrote in the front-page of the 3rd in the Series, “The Cruelest Month” and I quote” “9/8/2012 As all books in the Series, so far, this book is so full of everything-life love, death, hope, cruelty-truth. The human condition all wrapped up in an excellent plot, most well written.”

You may have recommended Louise Penny and perhaps even one of the books in the Series (and, since I’m a believer in always beginning at the beginning – it would be Still Life) but, in the case that you haven’t, here’s hoping you will soon.

Vicki: In the early sixties I read a series of books about a woman named Angelique in the era of Louis XIV by Sergeanne Golon a husband
and wife team. I loved that series and reread periodically until losing the entire series in a move in the seventies. By a small miracle
last year I found the entire series in very good shape in a small flea market in rural Arkansas. Needless to say I was elated, most
of the books were out of print and I had been unable to put it together. I have enjoyed having them again so much and getting to
know the characters again. Of course as with everything they weren’t quite what I remembered or more to the point my reading
choices have changed but I loved having the books that started by love of reading and I treasure the memories they have revived and
if you can believe it this rare set of books cost just ten dollars. I would have paid ten times that to get these books. When you least
expect it something quiet wonderful can happen.

Sally: There are just too many great authors and books and not enough time. I don’t re-read personally, but when (if) I ever get a grandbaby I’m going to read them the Redwall Series by Brian Jacques. I read it to my son and he loved it, made him a reader too. I used to do all the different voices and enjoyed the characters as much as my young son.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Ian Rankin’s Rebus series, Elizabeth George’s Lynley series, John Harvey’s Resnick series, Jan Karon’s Fr. Tim series, Quentin Jardine’s Skinner series.
I’ve read a few of Coben’s series but REALLY enjoy his stand alone books much better.

Keep up the great work!!!

Stephanie: Hello,

I have actually re-read almost all of my favorite authors – and have gotten my husband interested in reading them for the first time, as well. Among them Michael Connolly, John Lescroart, Nelson Demile, Daniel Silva, John Hart, Greg Iles, Brian Haig, and Val McDermid are all great. Also: The Cormoron Strike series (3) written by Robert Galbraith (J.T. Rowling’s pseudonym) are excellent and have left me hoping she will continue the series.

But two other favorite writers, which I’ve not seen you mention (yet), are series by Elizabeth George and Deborah Crombie. Both ladies write incisive, interesting, mysteries with characters you like and can’t wait to return to. These are not “chick-lit”, so to speak. I would give both 5 stars, or a 10, depending on your rating scale.

Lorelady: I am a readaholic, hardcore, and proud of it.. My first go to series.. Tolkein’s The Hobbit, followed by the Trilogy.. every Holiday Season, since 1st reading them in 1970, when I discovered the Silmarillion..that is what I now start with.. Harry Potter series is read each Halloween Season.. Elizabeth Peter’s Egyptology series is a favorite repeat.. as are..The Outlander series, The Avalon saga.. The Game of Thrones.. is on hold, due to lack of interest.. and next in series…! So glad I found OrderOfBooks! thanks! Deborah

Kathleen: RE: book series, I have reread Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe books from first to last at least twice over the years. And I have lost count of the number of times I have reread Frank Herbert’s Dune books and Isaac Azimov’s Foundation series. Started buying all these books back in the 70s, so we’re covering a lot of time here.

Judi: Absolutely Positively my favorite series to re-read is Dean Koontz’ Frankenstein series. Wonderful characters, outstanding and unusual situations.

When it was first published in 2005, I agonized about having to wait for the next book. Lucky readers today, can immediately jump through all five wonderful novels.

And now, readers just might identify the Victor character with a certain “never wrong” politician.

Darlene: Hi Graeme,
Don’t know if a series can consist of two books, but if so I love Jack Finney’s two: Time and Again and From Time to Time……I think they’re not only interesting historically but brilliant sci-fi writing that is a wee bit different from most. I think if Peter Jackson could make at least the first one into a movie it might be done right 🙂 Also of course, TLOTR trilogy.
Your newsletter is great; I don’t know how you do everything you do but please keep on!

Ann: Hi Graeme –

In answer to your question, What book series have you read but like to go back to?, there are four. Three are by Lawrence Block, and one is by Donna Leon.

The Bernie Rhodenbarr series
The Matthew Scudder series
The Hit Man series
The Commissario Guido Brunetti series

Block has created a difference protagonist, each with their own distinct personalities, for his series. Bernie Rhodenbarr is a gentleman thief, and the series can be categorized as comic caper. Matthew Scudder is a brooding, alcoholic, ex-cop turned private investigator, and although the series has its lighter moments it’s decidedly dark. The Hit Man series has Keller as the titular character; he’s a contract killer and stamp-collector.

Leon’s Brunetti series take place in and around Venice, Italy, the city she lived in for 30 years. Brunetti is a smart and thoughtful detective, and excels at managing his incompetent, but politically savvy, boss.

There are others that I’ve started and stopped, then re-started, such as the Women’s Murder Club and Alex Cross series by James Patterson, but these 4 are the ones that stick with me. I have read each of them at least twice, and plan to go back again and again.

Happy reading!

Barbara: One of the best writers for me has been Terry Pratchett (and I have been a voracious reader since I was 10 years old – that’s 72 years ago). Some of my favorite modern day reads have been Ian Rankin, Jussi Adler-Olsen, etc. But the series that I return to over and over is the Discworld series. Sir Terry was not only a great writer, but exceptionally intelligent and although most of the series is humorous, he always taught the reader positive lesson about life. Sir Terry, I miss you. And, I know that I’m not alone.
P.S. thanks for your web site. It has been a tremendous help for me to fill in the books that I’ve missed by some of my favorite authors.

Chris: I’m a big reader of fantasy and almost yearly go back to JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. However, there is also a fantastic series by Canadian author, Guy Gavriel Kay, that is a staple as far as return reading goes: The Fionavar Tapestry. If you are a fan of the legend of King Arthur, this series gives it a interesting spin in terms of referential treatment. Now, if only George Martin would finish his A Song of Ice and Fire series, so I could go back to it ad nauseam.

Cora: Louise Penny. Can always visit Three Pines

Craig: When reading your post, the first series I thought of was The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. I recently re-read it and it is still an amazing collection of books. I will need to re-read the Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) series whenever the next book comes out because I’ve forgotten so much since the last book was published. Because of your previous column, I went back to Shogun and that series of books. I had forgotten how much I loved those books.

Selia: Graeme – I like reading series in chronological order so I can observe the evolution of the writer as well as the characters. One series that I went back to reread from beginning to end was the Travis McGee series by John D. McDonald. I’m considering doing the same with Robert B. Parker’s Spenser series. Recently I read all of PD James Inspector Dalgliesh, Rendell’s Inspector Wexford and Elizabeth George’s Inspector Lynley series. I’m up to date with Peter Robinson’s Inspector Banks, John Sandford’s Prey series and the one with Virgil Flowers. I’m currently near completion of Jeffery Deaver’s Lincoln Rhyme series and starting on his other series, ie Kathryn Dance. After those I have a big stack of Lee Child Reacher series to read. I adored Ian Hamilton’s Ava Lee series, Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone’s Alphabet series and Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. I keep a webpage of suspense and mystery writers and check frequently to be sure I don’t miss the next novels by authors like Robert Crais, Graham Hurley, and Michael Connelly. I wish Lawrence Block would add to his Hit series. Thanks for your OrderOfBooks.

Earl: I’ve reread the Reacher series at least once and some of the books twice; also, Mitch Rapp series. The one writer whose series I have read at least three times is W. E. B. Griffin’s early works–‘Badge of Honor’; ‘The Corps’ and ‘The Brotherhood of War’…When reading these series, I felt like I knew the characters on a personal level and I cared about what happened to them…I have read all his series and find his older ones to be the best and as I think about it, I have read ‘Presidential Agent’; ‘Honor Bound’ and ‘Men at War’ twice, also…
The last books to these three series were not as good as the first ones though…
Probably will reread Silva’s ‘Gabriel Allon’ series soon as I can’t get enough of those…Just remembered that I also have reread ‘Joe Pickett’ and ‘Jesse Stone” series also…Always reading something and in between new books, the older ones call out to me…

Vicki: For reading over and over again, I love the Narnia series. Although I don’t re-read the last book, The Last Battle, as often, I love to re-read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Right on that series’ heels is The Lord of the Ring series, along with The Hobbit. There’s so much in those books and I’m always finding something new.

I’ve recently been re-reading Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden books in order, and wish he would get the next one out! I also enjoy picking up J.D. Robb’s In Death books, but those don’t have to be in order once I read them the first time.

The biggest problem with re-reading? As you noted with your Mexico trip, you don’t go on and discover something else new and exciting.

Fran: Love love love both Jack Reacher and Joe Pickett series. I not only buy their books immediately but have re-read many of them. When on a long drive I listen to Reacher on audio. Just can’t get enough of either.
Always eagerly await your monthly newsletter.

Joanna: This year I’ve re-read all the Maeve Binchy books, as well as reading for the first time “Maeve’s Times”…excellent!
I’ve also re-read all the Deborah Crombie Kincaid/James series, except for the newest which isn’t yet available in softcover…
Last year I reread all the Martha Grimes novels (so literate), Georgette Heyer, Jane Austen, Phillippa Gregory (historical), Katherine Page, Norah Lofts, Anya Seton, Stephanie Bannister (Jane Austen’s voice), Sharon Kay Penman, and Edward Rutherford…in between crocheting and baseball I don’t read as much as I used to, but I thought rereading would be good before I gave them away (I’m 72, and housebound, and these books are old friends)…
I enjoy the newsletter and “orderofbooks”…

John: Hello,
I just came upon your website while searching for a list of John Sanford’s Prey series in order. I immediately subscribed to the newsletter as well. I’m one of those folks who has to read a series in order whereas my wife prefers to read them at random (this might be another topic of discussion for your blog if you haven’t covered it previously). Thanks for all the great info!

As for your question of the month, my answer is in reply to both March and April; the series I’ll return to again and again is Justin Cronin’s “The Passage” trilogy. I became incredibly engrossed in the post apocalyptic world he created, and his characters became my friends and family. I actually feel a bit of loss without another chapter in the series to look forward to! I suppose it helped that I listened to all three books narrated by Scott Brick, whose delivery makes every book he reads captivating.
I just learned that the trilogy is soon to be made into a series by Fox (it’s lengthy format wouldn’t lend itself well to the short format of the big screen). I can only hope they do it justice!

I look forward to future emails and will continue to use your website as a reference.

Jschr: I am not a reader of history books. I prefer mystery/legal books. However, when I started the Clifton Chronicles I couldn’t wait for the next book.

I recently reread the series again and had purchased the last in the series in November. However, I didn’t read it until about two weeks ago as I didn’t want it to end

Jeffrey Archer is outstanding and I recommend all of his books, which I have read.

Julia: Hello!

I have mentioned this before, but I use John D. MacDonald’s Travis McGee series as “palate cleansers” between books. They are quick and simple and straightforward and give me a clean slate to move into another big push of reading.

Len Deighton’s Bernard Samson series in another one I can (and will) read over and over again.

I love reading your newsletter. Thank you for making it.

lklatimer: Probably my all time series is the Mitch Rapp series by Flynn. I was hooked from the first book and could not wait for the next one to come out. I also binged on the Jack Reacher series , which I think is the best way to read series books. I just finished the Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny and was so glad that I had not read them before, but waited until I had them all. I felt like I was living in Three Pines with the characters by binge reading them. An old series was the Kate Wilhelm series that I had not even heard of until a friend suggested them. I must say her first book was just average, but each successive book got better until the last one . I could not wait to finish that series, but also did not want it to end. I will admit that I get so caught up in series reading that sometimes I cannot go to sleep at night because I can’t wait to see what happens next. Thank you for the Order of Books newsletters. I have loved so many of the recommendations.

Madelon: Dear Graeme,
So enjoy your lists! You always have great ideas for my future reads. The series I return to is Louise Penny’s “Inspector Gamache.” The series is so well written with wonderful character development. The series builds with each book getting deeper inside the characters of the idyllic village of Three Pines. I would love to visit!

Marcy: After reading just about everything that Baldacci has written, i would really like to revisit one of his original series – The Camel Club. Basically because it is so pertinent to today’s political climate.

Nancy: Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache

Phoenix: Oh my goodness! I have a few series that I love to go back and re-read. The first that comes to mind is Jan de Hartog’s “Peaceable Kingdom” series. (There are three books, so I guess that makes it a series.) I absolutely fell in love with Margaret Fell.

Then there are the classics: Anne of Green Gables, Lord of the Rings, Narnia. But every so often I start at the beginning of Margaret Frazer’s Sister Frivesse medieval mysteries and read them all over again. The reader learns so much about medieval times because Frazer has done such amazing research. It shines through all of her work.

Another favorite is Alexander McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, with the strong and beautiful Mma Ramotse. I’ve tried reading his other books, but just can’t seem to get into them, but these I can devour as soon as they come into print.

Jan Karon’s Mitford series is a favorite too. When I know there’s a new book coming out, I’ll sometimes start at the beginning all over again. Father Tim, Cynthia, and Dooley never get old. (Well, they grow up, of course, but you know what I mean.) Come to think of it, she has a new one coming out in September. I’d better get started!

R.M.: Mama B series by Michelle Stimpson. Mama B is smart, loving, wise, spiritual and she’s cute. She’s a senior citizen that has a cute figure and is very giving. She’s very wise when it comes to money. I took some of the lessons in my book and applied them to my life. She even ended up marrying a doctor after being widowed. She was not impressed by his money.

Rebecca: The series I enjoy rereading is Louise Penny’s Three Pines Series. The character development is fascinating to watch and she is so good about not letting important plot points spill from one book into another.

Rita: I love catching up with your news letter and to read the books you have recommended. Harlan Coben is a new author for me Darkest Fear was passed on to me and am slowly getting into it, unfortunately I have so much to do around my property reading seems to come last on my list. As for rereads James Patterson, Lee Childs and Robin Cook I have reread all of these authors books James Patterson is the only one that brings out new book so often, finally finished the Twilight series now I want to catch up on the movies, I just loved that series glad to hear your wife also enjoys them.

Robyn: First time writer to you here. Love your site and reference it often. Have it bookmarked on my phone and computer. Look forward to your newsletters….wish they were more often! Onto your question…..

What book series have you read but like to go back to?

I love to go back and read Stuart Woods Stone Barrington series. Sometimes I will also go back and read the others too…Holly Barker and Ed Eagle. They are all so intertwined that sometimes they reference something that happened in one of the other series, and it reminds me to read those too! When a new book comes out, I will usually read a few of the most recent ones to refresh my memory….4 or 5 of them. And about once a year I like to go back to the beginning and read them all. They are such quick reads, but now there are so many of them that I don’t reread from the beginning as often.
I have also gone back and reread Jame’s Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club series. I often don’t remember what happened in the last book by the time the next one comes out (I just love the lousy memory that comes with motherhood and aging!!!), so I will go back to the beginning and read them all before I read the newest one.
Not a series, but I also enjoy rereading John Grisham’s books. I love his books and love the legal intricacies of each one. (No, I’m not a lawyer!!!)
Thanks for the Myron Bolitar recommendation. I just went to Amazon and read a preview of the first book, and I’m definitely going to read it next. Seems like exactly the kind of book I love.
Thanks for the awesome job you do!!!! Where in Canada do you live?

Jeanine McMullen is one whom I read, re-read yearly…My Small Country Living, Wind in the Ash Tree and A Small Country Living Goes On.

Alexandra Stoddard is another favorite and in a world gone made, leaves me with a sense of come what may, all will be well.

Once I’ve read a mystery, even by such a favorite as Vince Flynn or David Baldacci, generally I don’t re-read…unless, of course, I’ve forgotten I’ve read it before…wry smile.

Hoping spring comes to you soon,

spaele: Love Micheal Connely—Harry Bosch series. Harry’s compassion for the victim makes him a great guy.

Lee Child—-Jack Reacher is amazing!!!!!

Vince Flynn—-Mitch Rapp is an American hero.

Susan: Another great recurring character I love to read about is Lucas Davenport in John Sandford’s Prey Series and Virgil Flowers in a spin-off series also from John Sandford.

Order of Books » Newsletter » Reader Mailbag: Series You Can Re-Read

3 Responses to “Reader Mailbag: Series You Can Re-Read”

  1. Jan Walberg Zachry: 7 years ago

    Perhaps I am just older than most of the readers here, but while I recognize and read most of the series mentioned, I have never seen anyone talk about the Whiteoaks of Jalna books by Mazo de la Rouche. I see that Amazon carries them, so maybe they are making a comeback of sorts! I reread these every 7 years or so. Along with them, I enjoy rereading the FairAcre and Thrush Green books, by Miss Read. Odd that I love these books, and also love Jack Reacher and Alex Cross. The above series could also be compared with Three Pines without the murders! They all treat their characters with sympathy. Please post if anyone loves the Jalna or Fairacre series!


  2. Margaret Wray: 7 years ago

    I have enjoyed re reading Greg Iles trilogy, the story fascinated me from the start. Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series is brilliant( hope I am still around for the final book!) Karen Rose also has a fond place in my reading material.


  3. Gen: 7 years ago

    One unusual series that combines my interest in medieval history, mystery, and character is Ariana Franklin’s Mistress of the Art of Death. There will be no more to the series because the author has died. She was Diana Norman, writing under a pseudonym. I do revisit this series because I miss it!


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