Ever been so bummed when you get to the end of a book that you slow down reading the last few pages just to make the characters hang with you a little longer? Avoid this “book hangover” and jump into a trilogy or a series! Joinig us with five of her recent favorites is our book reviewer Carole Barrowman!
For more information on Carole and her own books, visit BarrowmanBooks.com . And see below for her 5 reviews:
1. "The Mistress of Rome" by Kate Quinn (series) - Quinn is a queen of historical romance ( The Alice Network set around WWII is also wonderful). This is Quinn’s series set in ancient Rome. The main character is an enslaved young woman, Thea, who is hiding a secret family from her mistress. The characters are compelling and the story moves with lots of energy so pick up the second book right away because, trust me, when you do finish this one, you’ll want to keep going.
2. "The Elegant Universe", "The Hidden Reality", and "The Fabric of the Cosmos" by Bryan Greene (trilogy) - We usually think of fiction when we think of a book series, but this series is non-fiction, a trilogy presenting a vison of the cosmos that has the same energy and passion as any novel series. Greene is a string theorist (think Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory), but in these books he’s writing to all of us, especially the English majors among us.
3. "Commissario Guido Brunetti Mysteries" by Donna Leon (series) - I read and write a lot about this genre and this is a series that I follow on my own whether or not I’m assigned to review it. Set in contemporary Venice, the floating canal city, the series is more about justice and the moral dilemmas that a crime exposes than the crimes themselves. The books will transport you to Italy and you’ll be able to stay for a long time because Leon’s latest, Unto Us A Son is Given, is the 29th book in this acclaimed series.
4. "AREA X" (The Southern Reach Trilogy) by Jeff VanderMeer - If you’re a Stephen King fan, this is your binge trilogy. Area X bundles all three books in one. The books are eco-thrillers because their themes focus on the evolution (good and bad) of our environment and the “bad guy” is a seriously disturbing fungus. Annihilation is the first book in the trilogy and it was adapted into a film last year with Natalie Portman and Oscar Isaac. I really enjoyed the film. It captured the chilling tone and the environmental focus of the trilogy well.
5. "His Dark Materials" by Philip Pullman (trilogy) - Pullman’s trilogy is a masterpiece, featuring Lyra, a young girl living in an alternate world to our own, a kind of steampunk England (a mash-up of 19th century technology and fantasy elements). The series has won almost every major award for literature for young readers and it’s one of my all-time favorite series. I had to include it. In the first book, The Golden Compass, Lyra sets out on a quest to find who is kidnapping children and why (and, yes, the book is way better than the film).