My sisters and I grew up on a diet of Fantasy and Science Fiction novels, courtesy of my Father's collection. I probably read them most in middle school, around the time I discovered Stephen King. They were the first "adult" novels I read and many of them were series. The most memorable to me were:
Piers Anthony- The "Xanth" series (I remember that books 1-7 or 9 were pretty good and then I lost interest) and the Incarnations of Immortality series
David Eddings- The Belgariad (series of 3)
Orson Scott Card- Ender's Game (at the time only the first two books were available, or maybe that's all Dad had) and the Tales of Alvin Maker series
Robert A. Heinlein- Stranger in a Strange Land (probably pretty obvious why that one appealed to a teen or pre-teen)
Dad has since moved on to other preferred reading material. World history mostly, which is not so big of a leap when you consider that most Fantasy and Sci-Fi has elaborate historical backgrounds that they use to create their worlds. I did too. Lots of biographies, "straight" fiction of all kinds, mysteries and suspense...
At our last bookclub, our newest member mentioned that she had hoped that joining the club would expose her to types of books she hadn't read before, such as Fantasy. It made me think HOW LONG it's been since I've read any (Harry Potter excepted). So I went on an internet search for fantasy books that would appeal to non-fantasy readers. (Bookclub did have a bad experience when we ventured into the horror category. We read I am Legend by Richard Matheson , a book considered to be superlative in the genre, and we all hated it. My literary tastes may have changed since I was 12...) I found a couple I am working my way through. The very first being The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.
It has been a long time since I couldn't put a book down like this! Like to the point where i was neglecting my motherly duties. ("Play by yourself honey, Mommy's reading") Now I'm not going to say it is the best written book in the world. But the characters are well drawn, the world is fascinating and you can tell that there is a lot of set up going on for future books.
Which brings me to the sadness. When I picked this book I didn't realize it was part of a series. I'd forgotten how enjoyable it is to read a fictional series. (Series not serial) Where you are racing through one book and it is so absorbing that you can't wait to get to the next one. The sadness is that the other two books HAVEN'T BEEN WRITTEN YET. Boo!
The fact that it's a series means it's inappropriate for bookclub, it's rather long for bookclub too so I'll keep looking. But I'm curious as to whether anyone has any good recommendations for Fantasy or Sci-Fi series for my own personal use? Book club recs would be great too!