The Rundown: 10 Book Series To Sink Your Teeth Into

Above: 10 of our favourite book series to sink your teeth into

People need to read more books.

Given the amount of television shows and movies that have risen from print origins in recent years, it’s somewhat surprising that more people aren’t loading up their Kindle, Kobo or smartphone with some of the quality page-turners that served as the source material for shows like Dexter, Game of Thrones or Constantine. If you really want to kick it old school, you can roll into Chapters (or visit Indigo online), get an actual hard copy and physically turn the pages yourself. (Writer’s Note: getting the hard copy is still the best way to read a book. Technology be damned. Print Forever!)

With that in mind, this week’s edition of The Rundown focuses on book series that are bound to get you hooked and keep you entertained. While everyone knows about Harry Potter, hobbits and everything that happens in The Realm and Panem, these series haven’t necessarily been turned into major motion pictures or successful HBO projects, but are absolutely worth the read.

Alex Cross series by James Patterson

Det. Alex Cross has popped up on the silver screen a couple different times. Morgan Freeman played Patterson’s DC-based sleuth in both Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider, and then Tyler Perry took on the role in the re-boot a couple years back in movie that made you wish he was back playing Madea. In print, however, Cross has continued going strong through 21 novels. While the series took a slight dip in the middle, recent entries like Double Cross and I, Alex Cross are considered the best in the collection.

The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice

Long before vampires became fodder for teens and tweens, Rice delivered her lead character Lestat de Lioncourt into the world with the first book in The Vampire Chronicles series, Interview with a Vampire. Nearly 40 years later, Rice is still penning issues in this series, with the 11th book, Prince Lestat, hitting bookshelves last October and the follow-up, Blood Paradise, already in the works.

The Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich

Don’t let the awful Katherine Heigl adaptation of the first book in this series, One for the Money, turn you off the actual books themselves. Stephanie Plum is a bounty hunter who wasn’t particularly great at her job or managing money to start, but always finds a way to make things work. Pitched by Evanovich as a combination of Nancy Drew and Dirty Harry, she’s shown steady improvement in her profession and personal life over the series. As an added bonus, the books are titled in sequential order, making it easy to keep track of which one comes next.

The Mickey Haller series by Michael Connelly

Matthew McConaughey is at the top of his game right now, coming off an Oscar win and starring turn on True Detective, but the movie that started his current hot streak was The Lincoln Lawyer, an adaptation of the first book in this series. The books are even better than the movie was – and the movie was good – because there are no two-hour time limits. Now five books in, Connelly’s Haller series also offers crossover potential into Connelly’s other successful series featuring Harry Bosch as the two Los Angeles-based stars cross paths a few times.

The Dark Tower by Stephen King

King calls this eight-book series his magnum opus and who’s going to argue with Stephen King? Critics agree that it’s a sprawling masterpiece, but also fairly “user-friendly” and easy to enjoy and given how many of King’s efforts have found their way to television or film, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a Game of Thrones-like series come together in the future.

The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson

Plenty of people have already read Larsson’s three-pack of stories featuring Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander and David Fincher turned the first book in the series, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, into a gripping film that was released in December 2011. But the sequels – The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest – have struggled to come together and the books have slipped into the background again. They’re deep and detailed, but move quickly once you get into them.

The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind

A collection of 14 fantasy books about a trio of protagonists trying to prevent a kabul of oppressors who seek to take over the world and unleash evil on everyone. Not bad, right? What’s even cooler is that the books work as stand alone novels, but all tie together because they take place in the same universe with common events linking them. The collection was turned into a series, Legend of the Seeker, on ABC, but only lasted two seasons.

No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

The agency is based in Botswana. Its founder’s name is Mme Precious Ramotswe. What’s really cool is that the culture of its characters plays a major role in the story. There are 15 books in the series and they touch on topics like AIDS, clinical depression and feminism, which aren’t exactly standard subjects you see covered in detective novels.

The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon

You know a series is aces when it gets turned into a television series, a graphic novel and a musical. Additionally, it has been so successful that Gabaldon has created a spin-off series for one of the secondary characters, Lord John Grey. Focused on a 20th century nurse who travels back to 18th century Scotland, the series is eight books deep at present, starting with Outlander and 2014’s Written in My Own Heart’s Blood standing as the most recent entry.

Jack Reacher by Lee Child

Just like you can’t let Katherine Heigl ruin Stephanie Plum, don’t hold Tom Cruise’s portrayal of Lee Child’s titular character against the book series. Rather than picturing Cruise, think of Reacher as Arnold Schwartzenegger’s character in Commando, minus Alyssa Milano as his child and the Austrian accent or Marv from Sin City if he wasn’t a horrible drunk. He’s a massive ex-Marine that takes odd jobs in dangerous situations where violence and awesomeness usually occurs… and there are 19 books for you to get through.

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