What’s the literary equivalent of hanging out with some old friends? Reading a book series. After all the hard work of building a new world and introducing characters is out of the way in the first book, subsequent volumes can focus on more in-depth development and story lines. And luckily, there are plenty of book series you can start reading now that will keep you company for a long time.
In many ways, reading a series is less work for a reader, because you already know that you like these characters and want to check up on their latest adventures. Not to mention a well-written series can maintain the magic of the first installment while furthering the characters’ stories in new and intriguing ways.
While a standalone volume can be a bit of a gamble — what if you just don’t care about any of those characters’ journeys? — reading a series practically guarantees a great payoff for the reader. After all, staying with a group of characters for several volumes really gives you the chance to appreciate their personalities, quirks, and even shortcomings. So if you’re ready to commit to a literary endeavor, here are a few series that just might capture your attention for the long haul.
1. 'Maisie Dobbs' by Jacqueline Winspear
Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs follows the titular heroine as she goes from maid to nurse to private investigator against the backdrop of the Great War. This is just the start of her adventures in the Maisie Dobbs Mystery Series.
2. 'Outlander' by Diana Gabaldon
Diana Gabaldon's Outlander has it all: time travel, history, adventure, romance, and plenty of humor. When World War II combat nurse Clair Randall happens upon a secret portal in the Scottish Highlands, she is transported to 1743, where she has to cope with the politics and mores of that era — and the unexpected romance with a Scots warrior. This massive novel (about 600 pages) launches the Outlander Series, and TV show too.
3. 'My Sister's Grave' by Robert Dugoni
If crime mysteries are your thing, then Robert Dugoni's My Sister's Grave might be a great choice. Tracy Crosswhite becomes a homicide detective to seek justice for her sister's murder. But her search for the truth unearths secrets that will change everything.
4. 'Candle In the Darkness' by Lynn Austin
A popular work of historical fiction, Lynn Austin's Candle in the Darkness follows a young Virginia womanwho joins the abolitionist cause, despite her family's desire to uphold their old ways of life. An additional volume in the Refiner's Fire Series, A Light to My Path, is told from the point of view of Kitty, a newly freed slave who comes to terms with questions of self-determination and faith.
5. 'The Atlantis Gene' by A.G. Riddle
A.G. Riddle's The Atlantis Gene features a global conspiracy group, a dedicated geneticist, and the real truth behind human evolution. And that's just the setup. Subsequent volumes feature worldwide pandemics and chaos. If you're into sciency dystopian thrillers, then this series might grab your attention.
6. 'The Coincidence of Callie & Kayden' by Jessica Sorensen
Need a little romance in your reading list? Jessica Sorensen's The Coincidence of Callie & Kayden hinges on a twist of fate that brings two cautious characters together. It's a suspenseful portrait of relationships, troubled pasts, and the chance encounters that can change everything.
7. 'Tucker's Way' by David Johnson
The first book of the Tucker Series, Tucker's Way by David Johnson profiles the unlikely friendship that develops between two women who cope with myriad life struggles — including cancer, abuse, and poverty — in rural Tennessee.
8. 'The Dummy Line' by Bobby Cole
While on a daddy-daughter hunting trip, Jake Crosby has an unintentional run-in with a band of criminals in the remote Alabama woods. He uses his wilderness skills to evade capture and get his young daughter to safety in The Dummy Line by Bobby Cole.
9. 'Dog On It' by Spencer Quinn
It's a mystery series narrated by a dog. What more do you need? Bernie, a private investigator, and Chet, his canine pal, help a mother find her missing teenage daughter in Spencer Quinn's Dog On It.