Saturday, May 31, 2008

Kathrin's Series Challenge Completed

Reading a series is like falling into step with a good friend and walking alongside him or her, sharing in the ups and downs, as we journey together through this thing we call life. Whether we are running for our lives, chasing down the bad guy, commiserating over a relationship gone wrong or enjoying a cup of tea, series characters and I get to know each other over time in a way that a stand alone character and I cannot. There is something familiar and comforting about visiting a favorite series again, not to mention that it is exciting to see the characters grow with each book.

I was thrilled when Kathrin first mentioned the idea of a series challenge. It was the perfect opportunity to catch up on some of my series reading. Fearing overcommitment, I decided not to make a list, but to read what I could and count whatever I could manage as a success. I was not going to let myself feel guilty if I barely managed to make a dent in any of my series reading at all. Alas, I do feel a tad bit of guilt. I wanted to read more; I meant to.

As many of you know, my reading mood shifted as the new year began. Whereas last year I was caught up in the challenge frenzy, this year I took a keen interest in ARE's and some of the newer books coming out. Not so good news for my already bulging TBR collection, true, but I decided to follow my mood's lead and see where it would take me. The only disappointment I have is that I have not been able to fit in some of the wonderful books on my challenge lists, all books I still very much want to read. On the other hand, all of my challenge choices are books sitting in my TBR room--they aren't going anywhere. So they wait a little longer. I don't think they will hold it against me.

Honestly, I'm just glad to be able to say I actually completed the challenge!

Kathrin's Series Challenge began on December 1, 2007 and ended on May 31st. I managed to complete three series during that time--at least to the point of catching up until the next books in the series are released.

  • The Alexandra Cooper Series by Linda Fairstein
    Linda Fairstein and I go way back. There are ten books in her series featuring prosecuting attorney Alexandra Cooper. One of my favorite features of the series is the side stories that the author sprinkles throughout each book, real life cases she has heard about or encountered in her own career as a sex crimes prosecutor.

  • Byrne and Balzano Series by Richard Montanari
    I was first introduced to Richard Montanari in 2005 when I read The Rosary Girls. I was thrilled to finally pick up and read more of his books this year. Homicide Detective Byrne and his partner Detective Balzano always seem to land the most violent and twisted of cases. The author acknowledges the weight such experiences has on his characters, a natural progression which adds to the depth of his stories. The city of Philadelphia is just another character in the series--and what a character it is!

  • The Theda Krakow Mysteries by Clea Simon
    It was inevitable that this cat lover would eventually have to break down and read a cat mystery. Clea Simon's books are not your typical cozy cat mysteries, however. The author takes relevant and sometimes hard hitting issues and sets them as a backdrop for her entertaining novels. I especially like that the series is not all about the mystery itself, but ventures into Theda Krakow's life on a more personal level.

  • I would be hard pressed to choose a favorite among these three series. They each have much to offer and I will continue to seek out future books by all three authors.

    Many thanks to Kathrin for hosting the challenge!

    Note: Kathrin is hosting the Series Challenge Season 2 for anyone interested. It runs from June 1st to November 30th. Participation in this first season is not a requirement to join in on the fun!


    1. Congrats, Wendy, for wrapping up 3 series. They all sound really good. I'll have to try them out sometime.

    2. I think this cat lover will eventually break down and read a cat mystery someday. :)
      Congrats on completing the challenge. And yes, those books in your TBR room will still be there later when you're ready to read them.

    3. Congrats on completing the challenge, Wendy! Those series sounds good and I'm hoping to read them one day...

    4. Way to go! I don't know if I've ever read a "cat mystery," so I might have to try one out. This seems like a fun challenge--Hopefully it will come around again soon so I can join!

    5. Thank you, Susan! It doesn't sound like much, I know, but it's something. :-)

      Nat - Thanks! Finding a book in my TBR room can sometimes be a challenge, but I can pretty much be sure they're in there somewhere. :-) It will be interesting to see which of the cat mysteries you end up trying. There's quite a few out there.

      Melody - Thank you! I hope you get the chance to try them!

      Laura - Thank you! You still have time to sign up for the second round of the Series Challenge if you are interested. Kathrin has set up a second challenge that will run through to the end of the year, I believe. I edited my post to add that in--thanks for reminding me!

    6. Yay for getting up to date with 3 series. They are ones I don't know so I will keep an eye out for them. I participated in this challenge too and really enjoyed it. I signed up for the next challenge and hope to continue getting up to date in 2009 as I have so many I have fallen behind on and need to start.

    7. Congratulations on completing the challenge!

    8. Rhinoa - It's a start anyway! :-) I decided not to sign up for the next round because I'm doing so poorly on my current challenges. I'll probably regret it later. I think I'll always be working on catching up with my series readings. Sometimes I wish the authors would slow down just a bit so I can get a little caught up at least.

    9. Trish - I feel good that I at least got one finished! :-)


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