First book haul of 2021

Earlier in December and January I preordered and ordered some new books. The preorders were mostly the continuation of the book series I follow and the rest were on my wish list for a while now as well. I even indulged and got some new Kindle books I found recommendation on some of the Goodreads lists for Valentines Day! Due to Book Depository deliveries being exceptionally slow due to Brexit and Covid, and lets not forget the usual end of the year Christmas madness with packages, this led to a slow and anxiety filled waiting on the postman and my books each morning. All things considering these were the sweet pains to endure after all. Last of the books I bought was from a Facebook seller and since it was my first time buying used books in English this way I was a little apprehensive about that too. Lots of sweet pains later and I have a not so small a pile of books that spark joy!

Rafael (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter book 28) by Laurell K. Hamilton

This is one of the books I preordered before Christmas and the publishing date was 9. February this year! Usually I’m forced to wait for months before I get my copy of the new book when it comes out since I buy the US mass market paperback edition. In case of the book prior to this one – Sucker Punch, I’m still waiting for it to come out! So this book was a real treat. I was not that thrilled with the last book I read from the series and while I love the characters and I’m really interested in the world the author has build I did not have high expectations from this book. I already read it! I even made pauses for the book to lasts longer. I have many comments on it. so much so I might need to write the whole review for it soon just to get it all out of my system!

This book series is starting to outgrow my shelving solution and I will need to figure a better way to store all the books. Maybe even separate the two boo series by LKH I own and keep together currently…

Smoke Bitten (Mercy Thompson book 12) by Patricia Briggs

Second preordered book that was published and arrived on the same day as the previous one is another next book in the favorite urban fantasy series. I did not get to read this one right away – but it has only been about a week since I got it! There are more reasons why I love this book series and can’t wait for every next book.

The cover art of these books I have already gushed about few years ago. This is another author that I have two book series from but unlike the LKH, Patricia Briggs is more consistent with both book series and I get at least one book from either of the series each year. When one book series gets a new hardcover edition book the other one has a mass market paperback edition I collect out as well. This makes the wait for the next book more exciting and somehow sweeter and easier to pass.

A Phoenix First Must Burn edited by Patrice Caldwell

I have a soft spot for short story collections and lately I have been doing great with reading trough most of short story collections on my bookshelves. In the sea of many new editions and books the title of this one caught my eye! There are few other books that I was interested in but this one really got me with a beautiful cover and an all female authors team.

This will fit nicely with other similar books on my shelves until I start reading it! I might even give it a go next month as a March contribution to female authors 🙂

Radiance (Wraith Kings book 1) by Grace Draven

My Paperwhite Kindle does not give this cover justice! I found out about this book by randomly clicking on a Goodreads Valentine theme banner for romance book recommendation. I went trough the link and on the one of the lists I was browsing I stumbled on this book. I was cautious enough to try the sample first and it got me really interested in the story and characters. I devoured the book in a day and a half and had to get the next one as well!

While I’m going a bit slower with the next book of the series I still love it and now that I’m invested in the fantastical setting and the future of the fantastical world the author created. I will be looking up for other books by this author as well as finding out how this trilogy(?) of books ends.

Wicked Abyss (Immortals After Dark book 17) by Kresley Cole

This book has been on my too buy wish list the longest. It first came out almost four years ago now and it was a part of the book series I was collecting. In the meantime I read all the books in the series before it and since a few new books were were supposed to come out after it but they never did I just never got to getting this one before.

This urban fantasy romance book series is the one with the most “beefcake” and shirtless guys covers I own. As some previously mentioned urban fantasy book series I won I have been posting about this one before. The stories are a bit cheesy but I find them wonderful for the underlying message that there is someone for everyone and no matter how sad, bitter or angry we are because of what happened to us, there will always be a chance for a happy ending,

Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons book 1) by Leigh Bardugo

This is the single book from this pile that I bought as a second hand book from one of the sellers in Croatia. I found it in one of the Facebook groups and this was the first time I was buying a book that way. I had the opportunity to buy this book before in paperback but I really wanted the hardcover edition and it has been on my wish list for a while now. The book turned out to be in excellent condition and I am glad I got it.

I have been a big fan of Wonder Woman long before Gal Gadot took on the role and they revamped her whole character. My SO brought me Batman: Nightwalker ( DC Icons book 2) by Marie Lu in hardcover a few years ago from one of his trips. Since then I have been meaning to get the other as well. Getting them in hardcover proved to be a bit pricey and I just keep postponing it. I love the concept of popular YA writers writing the background for these well known characters. The fact that Leigh Bardugo wrote this made me want it even more!

The Lives of Saints (Grishaverse) by Leigh Bardugo

In the last year Leigh Bardugo has become my favorite author. This book is a fictional book from the Shadow and Bone trilogy come to life with some extra content. It has been made to look like the prop they are going to use in the TV series and I think that is cool as well.

I read everything else Leigh Bardugo has written and published so far and getting this book was a natural thing for me to do. I love her characters and her fictional world. The illustrations by Daniel J. Zollinger look great and I am looking forward to binging on this one while I wait for the TV series on Netflix in April!

Just as I got the last book in the mail my SO decreed it was time to preorder another book as a gift for Valentines day! The book I choose as my present was another one of Leigh Bardugo Grishaverse books:

Rule of Wolves (King of Scars book 2) by Leigh Bardugo

I am now properly hyped for the TV series and books and completely enchanted with Grishaverse world and characters!

Also while I was writing this post and looking for the images of books I remembered reading in one of the Facebook groups about one other book I was interested in some decade ago and is now on a special discount!

Dark Prince: Author’s Cut (The “Dark” Carpathian book 1)

by Christine Feehan

This is an older urban fantasy romance book with vampires and a first book in a long and popular book series I wanted to try out for a very long time! The price and the Author’s Cut edition were enough for me to get it right away. I need to stop looking at new books for some time or at least until I make another bigger dent in the books already on my TBR and already on my bookshelves – virtual AND physical! Although I might give in to Wraith Kings book 3 after I finish the second book…

Book haul 1/2020 – Pretty new books!

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It’s barely February and I’ve already got myself a nice pile of new books. And these books are so pretty as well! The first book that arrived in 2020 was actually a late arrival from December 2019 – King of Scars (Nikolai Duology, #1) by Leigh Bardugo. I’ve already read it and loved it and it has caused me withdrawal pain from the long period of waiting on the next book that is Grisha related from Leigh Bardugo!

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I used to buy mass market paperbacks only because they were cheaper and because I can fit more of them on the bookshelf. Even now I got a bookshelf that can fit exactly two rows of paperbacks on a single shelf and I love it!

Lately I’ve been indulging in buying some hardcover editions. I am simply swooned at how beautiful they are! I blame Leigh Bardugo and Holly Black! I was enamored into their books to wait on my usual mass market paperback editions! Holly Black’s Queen of Nothing had a six months (!) wait time for the paperback edition to come out!

I find Leigh Bardugo’s books especially beautiful! Just look at the Ninth House (Alex Stern, #1) I got recently! If some other book series were as well designed I might have been forced to get more hardcovers!

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There is a problem I’m facing as a lover of some older urban fantasy book series is becoming an issue here. Some of them are out of print – Shift (Shifters, #5) by Rachel Vincent is sold out at my usual book buying places. This has left me with buying books three and six in the series while they are still available. Also they are different format sizes which sucks for the shelf placement.

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The last book that arrived just the other day was a pre-ordered mass market paperback of one of my favorite urban fantasy book series: Storm Cursed (Mercy Thompson, #11) by Patricia Briggs. The waiting time between the books for Mercy Thompson is almost a year for me now. The only thing that’s keeping me still when I see the new hardcover book in the series has come out; is a look at my shelf and all other books in mass market paperback editions I already own. I’m actually pleased at how nicely they fit there and the thought of getting just one new book in a different format leads to frustration of having them all in beautiful hardcover editions. The hobby of having some of my favorite urban fantasy book series complete in hardcover is not only really expensive but for some book series an extraordinary feat of good luck as well. As I’ve mentioned before, many of the books from the series are sold out and finding a hardcover edition in good shape is extra problematic for a book lover based in EU.

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It is a long standing fantasy that one day I will own my favorite book series in hardcover editions so I can reread them anytime I want without having to be very careful not to crease the spine of the book. It is a bookish peeve I guess but I get upset when my paperback editions get hurt and the spine of the book suffers damage.

In conclusion to this one month book haul in my defense I can say that I’ve read more books in January than I’ve bought! I’ve read seven books and bought six. From the new books I got I already read two and plan to read others soon as well!

Here is the list of the books I got:

Storm Cursed (Mercy Thompson, #11) by Patricia Briggs

Pride (Shifters, #3) by Rachel Vincent

Alpha (Shifters, #6) by Rachel Vincent

Ninth House (Alex Stern, #1) by Leigh Bardugo

King of Scars (Nikolai Duology, #1) by Leigh Bardugo

The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air, #3) by Holly Black

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December Book Wrap Up 2019

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Monthly reading review – December 2019

This December I have read:

Shifting Shadows (Mercy Thompson Shorts) by Patricia Briggs ★★★★★

Siege and Storm (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #2) by Leigh Bardugo ★★★★★

Ruin and Rising (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #3) by Leigh Bardugo ★★★★

The Titan’s Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Graphic Novels #3) by Robert Venditti, Rick Riordan ★★★★

Black Butler, Vol. 2 by Yana Toboso ★★★★

The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardugo ★★★★

Mr. Sinful (Heartfelt #1) by Serenity Woods ★★★★

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1. How many books have you read last month? Are you happy with the amount you read? 

I’ve read seven books total in December. Considering that all but one were started and finished in the last two weeks of December this is a pretty good score.

2. What was the best of all the books you’ve read in December? Any scenes or characters that made a lasting impression?

I enjoyed all the books I’ve read in December this year. They were all pleasure reading for me. I’ve rated only two books with five stars out of five: Shifting Shadows and Siege and Storm. The Darkling  from Grishaverse series might even be a incentive enough for another reading of the Shadow and Bone trilogy how much I liked the scenes he was in!

3. Were there any not so good books for you last month? What made it hard or not enjoyable to read?

This December I can’t complain on any of the books I’ve read!

4. How did the books you were reading last month fit in your reading plans if you had any?

I had a list of books I wanted to read by the end of the year. And with all wishes and lovely books I had on my reading list I could not account for real life getting in the way of my reading for most of December. Out of fifteen books I planned on reading by the end of the year I read only nine. You can check out my list HERE.

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5. Any updates on the series you are reading or are you starting any new series?

I’ve finished Shadow and Bone trilogy and plan on reading more Grishaverse books soon. I got one more Black Butler manga and one more Percy Jackson graphic novel close by I need to read as well. I thought I would have read Kitchen Princess by now as well. I’m also eyeing some new book series right now and the only thing that is stopping me is that I’m worried because I don’t have all the books in case I get really into it!

6. Would you like to recommend any books or authors you’ve been reading this last month?

Shifting Shadows and The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic were two short story collections that reminded me how much I like the short story form. Read something short and sweet from time to time! You might like it a lot and if not you will not spend a lot of time on it. Short stories are best way of sampling and enjoying new authors and ideas and need more appreciation.

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Favorite cover artist – Daniel dos Santos

 

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Few years back I made a post on pretty book covers of one of my favorite book series by Patricia Briggs –  you can check it out HERE.  I’m still a great fan of Patricia Briggs books and I’m happy to report that her collaboration with artist Daniel dos Santos is still going strong. He makes book covers for the US editions of both of her Mercy Thompson book series and Alpha & Omega book series. The series crossover from time to time and the visual representation on the book covers does them both justice.

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Daniel dos Santos is an American artist well known for making fantastic book covers depicting strong women. For more information on the artist you can check his official page – The Art of Dan dos Santos. He even made a guide for the latest Patricia Briggs book in the Mercy Thompson series Smoke Bitten which you can check out HERE.

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I collect mass market paperback editions and once I got interested in this series some seven years ago after seeing these beautiful covers I was completely hooked. The strong female leading characters of the booth series are portrayed quite realistically. The go trough hard times and they are flawed but the way they deal with their problems is inspiring. I have one short story collection he made a cover for as well!

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While there are some covers I like more than others I really cant decide which is my favorite one! I’m still behind one book in the series that came out this year for Mercy Thompson – Storm Cursed and I loved the next one announced already for Smoke Bitten!

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Here are three of the books I own in mass market paperback that tie for favorite cover for me. Silence Fallen is the latest that book cover that woowed me at first sight. Silver Borne I have very fond memories of reading and I like the fact that Mercy holds a book on the cover! Bone Crossed was one of the strongest books in the series for me and I love how Mercy is portrayed in profile in the rain.

Dan dos Santos has made some other of my favorite characters and book scenes come to life trough his art and here are some of the ones I like the best! First one is from The Dresden Files series. Second picture is for the Graphic novel edition of Serenity and the last one is for Deluxe edition of graphic novel Fables.

There is something very subdued in the ways Daniel dos Santos book cover art and I find it a great fir for the urban fantasy genre. I love his art and his covers are an added bonus and value for the books I already love. Book covers matter to me and when I can I will pick the edition with this amazing cover art!

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I think it is amazing when an artist and a book author make such strong partnership on more than one book series. I wish more artists and authors would do this. It makes me feel a lot better when buying a book series to know that the cover art was picked out with great care and will continue in the same style. I have a few book series that make me groan just by looking at them on the shelf because their discontinuity in the book design and cover art can be seen from a distance. #justbookishthings

Monthly reading review – April 2018

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Monthly reading review – March 2018

This March I have read:

Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse ★

If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino ★★★

Fire Touched (Mercy Thompson #9) by Patricia Briggs ★★★★★

Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson #10) by Patricia Briggs ★★★★★

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1. How many books you’ve read last month? Are you happy with the amount you read?

This April I’ve read only four books. I had plans to read more but life intervened and I was suddenly busy with projects to the point of falling dead asleep before squeezing some reading in.

2. What was the best of all the books you’ve read in April? Any scenes or characters that made a lasting impression?

Quantity of the books read aside, I’m very happy with the books I have read! Mercy Thompson books series was a total blast and I loved every second I spent reading it! Silence Fallen was especially fun to read and I enjoyed Prague in the book!

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3. Were there any not so good books for you last month? What made it hard or not enjoyable to read?

One of the books I had to read for my book club was Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse. I did not like it. I did not understand the point. It was exhausting and boring to the point of putting me to sleep after 10 pages into a reading session…

4. How did the books you were reading last month fit in your reading plans if you had any?

I just barely managed to read both books for my book club reading and indulged with a joker for my TBR Jar Draw in April. There were more books I planned to read in April but some other projects kept interfering. This left me with few new books I still need to finish.

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5. Any updates on the series you are reading or are you starting any new series?

With the books I read in April the Mercy Thompson series is now up to date. The new Alpha & Omega books just came out and I will need to look out for the paperback edition in a few months. There are still very many book series I should get on to and finish up from these I already own.

6. Would you like to recommend any books or authors you’ve been reading this last month?

Patricia Briggs continues to amaze me with her characters and action packed plots. Her dosage of humor in the books is just right and her dosage of romance is down to earth yet dream worthy. I am so glad to have read and bought her books!

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Final thoughts on April reading

While I am extremely happy with the books I’ve read in April I am left with some new unfinished books that add to my reading pile from before. Even though my reading plans were not finalized in full I feel good about the books I did read. It seems that the smaller number of books I’ve read had given me more incentive to post reviews on the books I did read.

If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino ★★★ REVIEW

I’ve let a lot of time pass before I got to reading Mercy Thompson book series and I got confused with the reading order and the last book I’ve read. I’ve made a review on my reading experience with reading both Fire Touched and Silence Fallen to explain how it all happened.

Fire Touched (Mercy Thompson #9) by Patricia Briggs ★★★★★

Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson #10) by Patricia Briggs ★★★★★

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I will have to make a post on all the books I have to finish up soon since they are kinda pilling up and it just might be the incentive I need to read up on them all.

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Book series I love and read

I am a great fan of book series!

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Once I really get into the story the thing I start to care about are characters. Sometimes it is the likable villain or sometimes it is a quirky comic relief. And then I want to know more about those characters. So much more that sometimes I make up stories and situations for them to go trough. I never write them down but I admit to have this weird habit.

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So without further ado here are some of the book series that grace my shelves. These are the book series I love and buy to own in case somewhere down in the future I manage to find the time to read them again again! On this list there are ten of them and these are just those with most books in a series.

First let start with the proverbial Guilty pleasures…

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Anita Blake Vampire Hunter book series

by Laurell K. Hamilton.

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I have already made few post on this series. I put it here since it is the longest book series I own. I own 23 books of this series ( buying new ones when they come out as paperback editions) and have read some of them repeatedly. This series came to my attention over a decade ago while I was reading other book series by this author. I bought the box set of first four books in the middle of my college exam season and paused all studying to read them. I read all four books in four days! This series has had a few e-book only novellas and a graphic novel edition by Marvel for first three books.

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The Hollows book series

by Kim Harrison

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This is one of my favorite urban fantasy book series. It is also finished and counts altogether thirteen books. I have ten of them and I am currently reading tenth one. This book series has all kinds of supernatural creatures: witches, elves, vampires, shifters, pixies and some really weird ones. Even though it has dystopian elements I will always see it as urban fantasy. It makes for perfect Halloween reading material! Also there is graphic novel version, few novellas and a book series guide.

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Immortals After Dark book series

by Kresley Cole

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This is a perfect book series for mature readers. It is mostly paranormal romance and erotic themed series of books with abundance of back up characters. Every book is about two different characters and underneath it all is one long story about a really rich world. Personally I find the romantic element inspiring since in every book two characters are destined for each other and are put trough some crazy and soul searching trials. The message of this series is that there is someone for everyone, no matter how weird or strange they may be. I found the first book to be the weakest and I’m glad to say that this book series keeps getting better for me. I’m missing the last two books that came out but have read all that I could put my hands on!

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Mercy Thompson book series

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Alpha and Omega book series

by Patricia Briggs

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What I really love about this one is that the author has all her covers made by the same artist Daniel Dos Santos. It gives the whole series some kind of glow and I hope they keep their cooperation. I wish more authors would do this. The series is rich urban fantasy with plenty of characters to love and hate. The major characters simply shine trough the series with how well written they are. I love characters that work their flaws to their advantage. This is a book series that makes you grow with their characters. Mercy Thompson was the book series that came first but since the author has created so many strong characters what started as a short story about one of the back up characters soon turned into a book series on its own. Both book series keep expanding the world that the author created and it is amazing to read how one book series reflects and changes the other.

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Kushiel’s Legacy book series

by Jacqueline Carey

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This book series is made of three trilogies. Each trilogy has a different main character. This is quite serious book series with lots of epic elements concerning religion, philosophy and matters of personal belief. It is a fantasy afterall, but lots of elements from these books bugged me. All the books are in the chubby category and are 500+ pages. Content is mostly adult and it requires a certain perspective from the reader. I’ve read first two trilogies and own all of them. Yes it annoys me that the first two trilogies I have are American paperback editions and the last on is British paperback edition that is also larger in size.

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Vorkosigan Saga book series

by Lois McMaster Bujold

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This is the only truly science fiction book series I have on my bookshelf. It is a favorite book series for my boyfriend witch just gave me an excuse to buy it. We own the Croatian translation and all covers were made by Esad. T. Ribić. All other book cover editions look really colorful and shiny.  I read only few books out of sixteen we have. I never thought I would like it since I’m not really a fan of space opera genre. Strangely I loved it. What it makes it different from most books of the genre is how well the characters are made. Even though the futuristic and technology filled world they live in characters are surprisingly human and easy to relate to. I never expected to find so much emotions in space action book series. I thought all the technology and aliens would somehow clog the elements I usually love in books. I’m glad I was wrong.

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Vampire Chronicles book series

by Anne Rice

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This is one of the book series I started collecting since I wanted to read it all one day. I’m never really sure how many book there are in this series since I started collecting all things Anne Rice including some of her more exotic work. She actually has more than one pseudonym as a writer. I don’t have all the books in this series and I know I’m missing the third one Queen of the Damned. This book series is what I think to be mandatory reading for everyone who considers themselves reader of vampire fiction. This is the author that wrote about vampires for a living when they were not mainstream cultural quirk. I started reading the first book in the series but could not concentrate enough to separate it from the movie I watched many times. I postponed it for reading when the movie gets a bit less fresh in my mind. What I read was nothing like the movie and I think I know why the whole fiasco with the author complaining about movie versions of her books was about. I hope I get started on this series soon!

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Angélique book series

by Anne and Serge Golon

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This book series I inherited from my family. It is the only other on this list that I have in Croatian translation. It is a romantic adventure with historic elements. It has had a movie adaptation in the seventies and one last year. I have read the first book when I was in high school. It is one of the trashy romantic books that generations have read and now I think it is a classic. Some might even consider it to be porn for women all around the globe. I’m also scared of finding out how many of the historical and political elements were real and how many were just adapted to the books.

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Southern Vampire Mysteries book series

by Charlaine Harris

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This is one of the book series I started reading long before the TV show based on it became a fad. Tru Blood had its perks but I really loved the books. Some characters were better adapted to the TV version but the main characters were better in the books for me. When I first heard about the title Southern Vampire Mysteries and it kept coming up in my Amazon account as a recommendation I was not interested or impressed. After I started reading I got hooked. When the TV show was in full swing I kinda started losing interested. What really annoyed me is that I started buying the British edition and the publisher decided to change book cover style in the middle of it due to popularity of the TV show. I read all but last two books in the series. I still need to buy the last two and I plan to finish this book series some day.

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Iron Druid Chronicles book series

by Kevin Hearne

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This is one of the last book series I started collecting. It is a book series I read with my boyfriend. One of the rare we can both enjoy reading. The best parts about this book series are mythology and comedy. Entertaining read! I read all but last two books and I still need to buy the last one that comes out next year!

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