Upcoming Programs All programs sponsored by the Friends of Benzie Shores District Library
Circle Time : Mondays from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. Infants and toddlers and their parents/caregivers will have fun rhyming and moving with Miss Char. With a focus on repetition, children build their repertoire each week of rhymes, both old and new.
Coloring for Grown-ups : Fridays from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. Come to the library and enjoy a stress-free hour of coloring. All materials provided.
Tech Tuesdays : Tuesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. A library staff member will be available to help you with your library related technology issues. Learn how to download ebooks and audiobooks to your personal device. Learn how to search the library's digitized newspaper collection. Non-library related tech issues will be addressed as time allows.
Breakfast Book Share : Wednesday, May 18th from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. Bring your own coffee or tea and talk about books. Share what you have read recently and find out what fellow community members have been reading. This is a great way to discover new books!
Annual Meeting of the Friends of Benzie Shores District Library : Thursday, June 23rd at 9:30 a.m. Public welcome. Details will follow in the June newsletter and the library website.
Pardon our pounding! The library is getting a new roof. If all continues to go well (no more SNOW or rainy days), the new roof should be complete by Wednesday.
Books, Books, Books
Books in Series...
Many of us became addicted to book series when we were young and followed the adventures of Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, Anne of Green Gables, or, more recently, Harry Potter. It’s always a surprise to me how readers relate to books in series. There are people who love to see how the characters and relationships develop from book to book. They like the complexity of the storytelling and foreshadowing, and knowing that there is another book to read they can count on enjoying. On the other hand, there are people who really, really don’t like series. They lose patience with the never-ending trials encountered by a certain character, forget what happened in the previous book, jump into the middle of a series with no back story, or prefer the variety of voices and viewpoints that stand-alone titles offer.
Since my first Nancy Drew I have been a fan of series, but, unlike many readers, I don’t care where I start. I often read one of the middle books of a series and decide if I like the characters enough to start at the beginning. However, there are definitely series that are best read in sequence. I think it is essential to read the Louise Penny in order. I didn’t, so I started over and read them all from beginning to end. HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN, for instance, is so much more poignant when read in its proper place in the sequence. However, in the case of series that have gone on for years and years, I, personally, don’t see the sense in starting at the beginning. Often the author gets better and better and there is almost always enough repeated information that it is easy to pick up on the back story.
There are series in every genre and for every age. It is quite fun when young readers get hooked on a series and just can’t wait for the next book! Many also like to read a favorite series for a second time…or in the case of Harry Potter, a third or fourth time!!! Our teen readers also seem to enjoy series fiction. I think it must be so reassuring to them to read books about familiar characters and see how the characters evolve and solve problems.
The library mystery section is chockablock with series. Mystery series, such as those written by Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, have been popular for a very long time. When a mystery author has a good idea, I’m convinced the editor must say, “Turn this into a series.” Perhaps, the main characters of mysteries just beg for further capers and crimes. Mystery series range from cozy to violent, historical to modern. One mystery author who I think is underrated is Peter Robinson. His Alan Banks books are good British police procedurals. Mystery author Elizabeth George’s Inspector Lynley books should probably be read in order because the relationships are so complex. At one time, I had read a few of the early ones. When a new one came out, Cindy read it and I asked her, “Did Lynley and Deborah get together and was Simon’s heartbroken?” She said to me, “If the only thing you care about is the relationships, why don’t you just read a romance?” So, I did…and still do!
Mary Balogh and Shana Galen are two romance authors whose most recent titles are always on my ‘must read’ list. If I’m reading a romance, I generally want it to be a Regency and to be funny. Both Balogh and Galen tell a really good story and have unique characters. Tessa Dare’s Castles Ever After is a new series has me laughing out loud!
I am quite certain that a science fiction author who can write stand-alone titles is quite rare. Most science fiction authors not only write their books in succession but they write multiple series. Terry Pratchett’s Discworld is a phenomenal series, which includes some young adult spin-offs. I started somewhere in the middle with GOING POSTAL which is hilarious to read. The science fiction genre is perfect for Pratchett’s social commentary. Another SF series that provides a good story with humor is Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series. Harry Dresden somehow manages to straddle both the world of wizards and the world of humans…and not by following the rules.
In the library’s ‘regular’ fiction collection we have several authors who write series. Historical military authors such as Patrick O’Brian and Alexander Kent are great favorites. In the historical military genre I especially like Bernard Cornwell. Some of his stories are set in Saxon times and are bloodthirsty and full of political intrigue! I don’t think anyone writes this kind of historical fiction better than he does. Thrillers also seem to lend themselves to series. John Le Carre’s George Smiley series and Daniel Silva’s Gabriel Allon series are both super good reads.
I always wait with baited breath for a particular author’s newest book in a series—authors such as Alan Bradley, Colin Cotterill and Mary Balogh. (I’m STILL waiting for the third in the King Killer’s Chronicles by Rothfuss!!) On the other hand, there are certain series I have loved but just got burned out reading them. Diana Gabaldon lost me when she moved the stories from Scotland to the New World. I was over the Maisie Dobbs series when I tried to read LEAVING EVERYTHING MOST LOVED. However, one of my favorite books is the MAPPING OF LOVE AND DEATH a title in the same series by Winspear. What about the stand alone you finish that makes you want to write to the author and beg for another installment? I experienced that feeling with Catton’s THE LUMINARIES.
If you enjoy reading series, there is a wonderful online source to series order, What’s Next? It can be found through the library’s web site by clicking on ‘What to read?’ You can also go directly to Kent District Library (kdl.org), whose librarians compile and update the information. Whether you like to read titles in a series or stand-alones, if we don’t have the title you want to read, we will get it for you through MeLCat, the statewide interlibrary loan service.
Just a reminder that our e-library services never close: FREE Overdrive ebooks, audiobooks, music, movies, and our digital newspaper archive. MeL.org provides thousands of books and full text articles from home...all the time and anytime!