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Y’all, I am holding on by a thread here.
We canceled all of our travel plans this year so I really haven’t taken any time off work. I am nearing the end of my energy and brain capacity.
I’m taking some time at the end of the year for a staycation, and my body is so ready for V A C A T I O N. I need to just mentally and emotionally rest for a bit. And that’s why I’m talking about my favorite book series to binge-read and re-read.
Binge Reading Books is My Pandemic Winter Break
I’m very ready to spend some time cuddling my plethora of pups and read some books with a cup of hot chocolate. Can you picture it? It’s going to be glorious.
While this year’s holiday traditions might look a little different than usual, it got me thinking about the things we turn to for comfort.
For me, books have always been my escape. When I was a young child I would often spend an entire Saturday reading book after book, sometimes reading up to FOUR BOOKS in one day.
Beloved Books to Re-Read
Reading was the thing that I went to when I was feeling like life was a little overwhelming, and I wanted to exist in a different world than the one that was mine for a few hours. Reading was also a pleasure, pure escapism, and a way to spend time with people and characters that I loved.
Often, reading was a balm for my soul. I would re-read books and feel like I’d just fallen into the embrace of an old friend. Re-reading my favorite books is like going to my favorite place in the world for just a little while.
Even though I’ve re-read a book countless times, I’m still captivated by the story and often find myself staying up past bedtime finishing the book. Just as if it was the first time I was reading the book for the first time.
I like all the things you notice, the mysteries you uncover when you read books again and again. I also really enjoy the way your perspective changes as you grow and go through life.
There are series that I’ve been re-reading since I was 12 years old, now at 32 when I read that same series I pick up on nuances that perhaps were a little too deep for me at that time.
My Favorite Books Series to Re-Read
I have organized the series by the author as I have found once I have fallen in love with one series by an author, the remaining books are quickly consumed 😀
So without further ado, here are some of my favorite book series to re-read time and time again.
(Protector of The Small)
I have to start with Tamora Pierce. When I discovered Tamora Pierce… it was like I’d discovered a best friend. Reading her Keladry series (Protector of the Small) helped me understand the kind of person I wanted to be in this life. Keladry is not an over powered special person chosen by the gods. She works hard, she gets better, and she has an unwavering moral compass regarding what’s right and wrong and she always stands up for the little guys.
(Song of The Lioness)
I also am a huge fan of The Song Of The Lioness series and The Immortals Series. While these series are both fabulous and I re-read them yearly, Keladry always had my heart.
If you love animals, I highly suggest you pick up the Immortals series. The main character Daine can speak to animals and it was always my secret wish as a child that I could too.
If you love badass women who break the mold, pick up The Song of the Lioness. Alanna’s adventures showed me how to stick to my guns and follow my dreams. She switches places with her twin brother so that she can pursue training as a knight and becomes a legend in the process.
(Circle of Magic)
I bet you thought I was done with Tamora Pierce? Nope, I also love her circle of magic series. Is it a little wild that for about 10 years I read every single book Tamora Pierce read multiple times a year… perhaps. It was well worth it though.
The circle of magic books are less flashy than some of the Tortall books, but I love the friendship and growth of the four main characters through the series. The Circle of Magic focuses on the concept of every day things (such as sewing or growing things) as magic.
I, unfortunately, had my Tamora Pierce books packed away due to a move, and FINALLY got them out last month. I have gotten back into these stories over the past several weeks and it was the best feeling, visiting the worlds that defined me at age 13.
Moving along to grown up me, the next series that I re-read every year or two is the Kate Daniels series, and well…. pretty much anything Ilona Andrew writes.
Kate Daniels is such a good series about a loud mouthed merc and her journey across ten books to become the person her lineage meant for her to be. The side characters and plot lines are fantastic and Kate is one of the best heroes. The world building is fabulous, set in a not too distant future where magic and technology are at war.
I recently finished a re-read of every book in the series along with a few side books and UGH! It was amazing. Reading them all back to back like that you really see the whole story way clearer. The underlying plots connect from book to book and it’s *chef’s kiss*.
Thankfully Ilona Andrews has shifted to trilogies and some quartets so it’s a bit less of task to bomb through them than it is to get through Kate Daniels.
I’m a huge fan of their Innkeeper Books that they release as free serials online, then publish for sale once they are completed. I re-read these every year and am delighted by the world they’ve built around a sentient Inn. This is the most unique mash up of sci-fi/fantasy that i’ve read recently and I adore every entry into this series.
I also am obsessed with their Hidden Legacy books, they have a completed trilogy for PI Nevada Baylor and have released two out of three books for Nevada’s sister Catalina Baylor.
I’m hard pressed to pick between the two sisters, and I can’t wait for the third book in this installment. In both these series I love the addition of a tight knit family to raise the stakes as Nevada and Catalina navigate a society where magical heavy hitters hold tons of power and the little guy sometimes gets shafted.
Next up in my series love is Patricia Briggs. Patricia Briggs writes the Mercedes Thompson series, about a coyote shifter name Mercedes who is a Volkswagon mechanic. I love the world she’s built around the Fae and Werewolves within a modern setting. Trigger warning for depictions of rape in the series.
(Alpha & Omega)
Patricia Briggs has also written a series set in the same world called Alpha & Omega which you can read as a standalone series but also complements the story in Mercy’s books.
I adore the main characters in Alpha & Omega, with Anna being a down to earth no-nonsense heroine.
She gets turned into a werewolf against her will, and she navigates a whole new set of rules once she falls in love with Charles a very overpowered wolf. Follow along as Anna finds hidden strengths within herself to preserve her new normal.
My final series is the Codex Alera by Jim Butcher. I remember I discovered this series when I was living in London and I DEVOURED it.
It was the definition of binge reading. I would frantically read each book, often finishing it on the bus. Get off at my stop, pop into Waterstones and get the next in the series, suffer through class just itching to be done so I could start the next book.
According to lore, this book started as a bet. A battle waged over whether an original concept with poor writing VS a tired overused concept with good writing would win the day.
Armed with the tropes of Pokemon and a lost Roman legion, Jim Butcher got to work and delivered one of the most fascinating series I’ve had the pleaser of reading. Don’t skip this one. I don’t know how he did it, but these books suck you in and never let go.
Get Binge Reading!
Whew, so between the series above I’ve given you enough reading material for the entire year. I know it can seem like a big commitment to dig into a series that is larger than a trilogy (it is for me!).
There are so many books and so little time, when I read a book and see it’s one of 9 I get a little daunted. So I’ve made sure to include books and series that stand the test of time, that are totally worth the investment, and will leave you satisfied.
My list tends to skewed more into the fantasy/urban fantasy genre. I would love to hear what your favorite series are to binge read especially outside of the fantasy realm!