I love book series. They allow you to immerse yourself in totally different worlds in which the author has taken their time (and pages) to develop characters and plot to a depth and degree that standalone books sometimes just don’t have the luxury of being able to do.
I admit there are quite a few book series with more than 3 books which I have really enjoyed – Harry Potter (don’t roll your eyes at me), the Clifton Chronicles, Game of Thrones (hurry up Mr Martin on those last two), The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and The Chronicles of Narnia to name a few, but overall, I find 3 to be a magic number because occasionally by book 5 or 6 or 7, you kind of just want to move on. Five of my favourites include:
- Lord of the Rings (JRR Tolkien) – I’ve read all three books various times over, sometimes one or the other, and other times in sequence, and I still never tire of them. I would definitely consider this one of my evergreen go-to options for those times when you want to hide from the real world – there are worse places to be than Middle Earth.
- His Dark Materials (Philip Pullman) – It’s been some time since I read this series but I remember it as being set in an imaginary world that simply blew me away. Philip Pullman has recently released Book of Dust, a prequel to the series, so definitely one worth revisiting.
- Ibis Trilogy (Amitav Ghosh) – Amitav Ghosh is one of my favourite authors so when I first saw Sea of Poppies in a bookshop I rushed to read it, completely missing the fact that it was part 1 of a trilogy. I was hooked from the get-go, devoured it in a couple of days and then realised it was going to be a long wait till numbers 2 and 3. Lesson to self…sometimes actually look at what it says on the cover.
- The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins) – Absorbing, gripping and quick to read. I think the movies may have done the books justice too!
- 1Q84 (Haruki Murakami) – Another one of my favourite authors but I did debate whether to include this series because I do prefer his standalone books. Technically this is one story told in three volumes covering a fictionalised year of 1984. Murakami’s work is very much love or hate – not everyone appreciates the surrealistic nature of his writing and 1Q84 is definitely not the easiest of books to read but I believe that it is rewarding if you stick with it.
There are also a few trilogies I haven’t yet read but intend to cover soon, including:
- The Century Trilogy (Ken Follett) – one more to go!
- The Millennium Trilogy (Stieg Larsson)
- The Three-Body Problem (Liu Cixin)
This list is by no means exhaustive (although when I think about it, what in books is?). If you have an addition or recommendation to this list, please comment on the post.