Monday, March 07, 2016

More Than One Book? Reading Just Gets Better. . .

           Serialized fiction became very popular during the Victorian era when a chapter or section of a book was published monthly or weekly in newspapers or magazines. Two contemporary examples of this type of serial publishing are John Grisham’s The Painted House and Alexander McCall Smith’s 44 Scotland Street.  Although 44 Scotland Street began as a newspaper serialization, it became so popular that there are now ten books focusing on the characters from the original work. 
          It is not uncommon for readers to become attached to characters in the books they read.  In fact, we often want to know more about where a character is from and what happened in the world at the time in which he/she lives.  In order to give readers more, some authors will continue with the same characters, settings, and timelines in more than one book.  Since some authors are willing to add more development by writing additional books based upon a story line, the result can be an entertaining and informative series for readers to enjoy.

In some instances, serialized books do not have to be read in the order of publication; however, many times there is an internal chronology that develops the characters or changes the time period in which the events take place.  Ken Follett’s Century Trilogy, Jane Smiley’s Last Hundred Years Trilogy, and Edward Rutherfurd’s Dublin Saga are examples of series books that use chronological development in a logical and meaningful way that keeps us entertained.

Many mystery series books such as those written by Oklahoma authors Jean Hager, Carolyn Hart, and William Bernhardt do not require reading in order of publication for understanding of the events of the story.  With a series such as one of these, it is easy to pick up a book that involves a protagonist we have enjoyed reading about before and not worry about whether this book was published after the last book we read about the same character.

The display at the front door includes a variety of books whose characters and their stories continue in additional volumes.  Take a look at what is available.  You will find all types of literature in these volumes--  
mystery, suspense, history, romance, science fiction. Perhaps you will find a series you have seen on television or in a movie, a series that will take you through a particular period of time or a special event, or one with characters with whom you can identify.  These books are just a sample of the series offerings available for you to check out and enjoy here at the Al Harris Library.

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