*Originally published in The Bainbridge Island Review.
Summer is traditionally the time of the “beach read” — breezy, dynamic books that entertain, ask little of us, and provide the one intrinsic reward of any good vacation endeavor: pleasure.
So, as you set about deciding what books deserve a bit of your precious suitcase space, which ones will be the best distractions during your travels, or what to read while you enjoy some seasonal relaxation at home, consider diving into a series.
There is a reason nearly all of the most popular books of the last few decades (or at least those that have most impacted the broader culture) have grown into series: “A Song of Ice and Fire” (that’s “Game of Thrones” to you non-readers out there), the Harry Potter books, “Twilight,” the “Fifty Shades” trilogy, the “Dexter” series, Stephen King’s Dark Tower series … I could go on.
The joys of the novel series, following the exploits of a continuous cast of characters through the trials and tribulations of several books, getting to know them and their world, and really inhabiting the author’s mindset for a time, is a rare delight. And one the comparative down time of summer annually allows us.
Here then are my five picks for series summer reading for those looking for some serious escapist lit.