One of Our Thursdays is Missing

Book Cover The Jasper Fforde Thursday Next series is one of the book series that I learned about from the Bitchery, one that I keep meaning to start reading already. Now that there’s another installment coming out 8 March, I think it’s time for me to get on with it already. I definitely have a habit of waiting to start a series until there’s at least a few books for me to read in a row – I did that with Julia Spencer-Fleming and with Ilona Andrews’ books as well. And then, when I know there’s a new one, I can go back and re-read all the prior installments and savor them all over again. I know Angela James is in the middle of a 40-book re-read of the In Death series, with the new one coming out at the end of the month. That’s a LOT of books to read – I’d much rather face down a series of 5 or so, even if it means I’ve missed out on something extraordinary by waiting until there’s a few in hand to enjoy.

I admit, when Viking contacted me about whether I’d review this newest Fforde book, I felt like a toolbag saying that as much as I’d heard that the series is one long fiesta of amazing incidents of literary awesomeness, the written equivalent of the best Bruckheimer explosion coupled with the nuances of a O’Toole performance and the stage craft of that guy in college who could build an entire set with clothesline and a paperclip, no, I hadn’t read them. But I know a lot of you have. So Viking sent over a copy of the latest Thursday Next book, all hardcover and sexy, because I said I bet one of you might like to read it early.

Would you like to win it? Just let me know what series you can’t believe isn’t the most-read series out there, the one that everyone should start reading NOW (including this one), and why we should hop on the readerly wagon, and you’re entered to win. If you would be so kind as to consider reviewing the book, it would be kickawesome. I cannot enforce that, or make you do anything as a consequence of winning (that would be douchey) but I would very much love to know what you think, whether you post it at GoodReads or on your own site or email me or whatever. You can step out on your porch in a bathrobe and deliver a soliloquy if you want, just please let me know in advance so I can

get that working inspiration on film

witness it personally. I’m going to start with the first book soon.

Standard disclaimers apply: I am not being compensated for this giveaway. No shirt, no shoes, no service. Open to international entries. Void where prohibited by law. You can’t kiss your honey when your nose is runny, because you might think it’s funny but it’s snot.

I totally just realized I probably should have run this on a Thursday. Oh well.  Comments are open for 24 hours. Ready, set, series recommendations – go!


Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Alia says:

    The Miles Vorkosigan series by Lois McMaster Bujold

    No unsung hero:
    His legendary struggles
    Need a longer poem

  2. 2
    Barbara W. says:

    Only because I just started re-reading it and I adore it, I nominate the Mallory series by Carol O’Connell.  It’s not even literary genius, but if O’Connell can write a character that makes me question whether Eve Dallas is my one potential twu wesbian wuvver, then it’s a smash series to me.

    I have very plebian taste.

  3. 3
    AR says:

    I do love the Thursday Next series, but I vote for the Temeraire series by Naomi Novik.  Oh, how I love that sentient dragon.  I’ll admit that the last few books have been…ahem…less than stellar, but I still love the g-d dragon.

  4. 4
    Sarah L says:

    Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy: I just read it over Christmas break and cannot believe I didn’t discover the awesomeness earlier. Epic high fantasy, villains with godlike powers (literally), romance against a backdrop of (again, literally) world-ending events. Epic, epic, epic. Did I mention EPIC?!?

  5. 5
    Katherine B says:

    Oh ditto Vorkosigan Series! It still hasn’t gotten old, after how many books? When I finished the latest, I felt as if I’d been sucker punched, with tears starting.

    But better I pick my own, and now I think on it – wow, now I feel an utter geek, looking on my reading history of series.

    If I drop a series, it doesn’t make this list. It couldn’t keep me buying, then for some reason it failed to hold interest and how can I recommend that? Ideally a series I recommend has some end in view too…

    The Aubrey Maturin series, by Patrick O’Brien. Napoleonic, moving, and at times so witty in that dry British way that I burst out laughing on public transportation. Action, and such historic detail! detail! detail! Okay, maybe 20 books is a lot….

    Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon – again that detail, a hero and heroine that age gracefully and lovingly and sexily too. Great action, time travel…what else do I need?

    Temeraire series by Naomi Novik. I don’t think I need to add anything the Smart Bitches didn’t say when they reviewed it, except me too, times three!

    Lord of the Rings. Folks, the movies are great, but they can’t hold a candle to the scope of the books. Another series that left me gasping teary and snotty. Plus you know there’s only three…and The Hobbit.

    Samaria Series by Sharon Shinn. Although sometimes her writing style feels slightly removed to me, that’s just her style and, her world building and conceptualization of characters and ideas keep me going back. Plus the series is pretty much done, not to mention (BIG point) you can read them mostly as stand-alones.

    The Southern Vampire Series by Charlaine Harris. LOVE the characters. Sexy, funny, interesting. The series is still going, and I’m getting a bit worried about how Sookie will get herself out of the situation she’s in (become a vamp? Leave Eric and have babies? What?) I trust and hope for a reasonable resolution.

    Okay. I look over, and thinking of all the other series I recommend…well you see the trend here, yes? I think I’d be GOOD at reviewing the above book. Because I need something new and fun! aside from fantasy, history, sci-fi and romance.

    password – point29 – OK so I could recommend 29 series – so what???

  6. 6
    Johannah says:

    I LOVE the Thursday Next books (and the Nursery Crimes and Shades of Grey).  I’ll recommend Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series because it’s my favorite.  Characters who grow and develop over long sweeping arcs of many books, lovely happy endings, puns, dragons and vampires and a truly great rendition of my workplace.  It’s awesome.  Plus I REALLY would love to win the book.  I’ll write a review, although I can already tell you it will use too many superlatives because I adore all things Fforde.  Have you seen his website?

  7. 7
    Sarah W says:

    I’m with Katherine B and Johannah up there:

    Novik’s Temeraire series is as detailed as Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe’s series, except with dragons.  It’s marvelous.

    I am a die hard Terry Pratchett fan and recommend all of his Discworld books.  All of them. 

    I would love to review the next Tuesday Next book – supposing SB Sarah isn’t sucked into the series and can’t let it go!

  8. 8
    Jayne says:

    I just started reading the Thursday Next series a couple of months ago, and it has been a total blast. Somehow it went from a gritty supernatural crime thriller in the first book to a totally off-the-wall absurdist fantasy by the third. I’m in love.

    I think THIS is the series that everybody should be reading. Plus, if you like books, there’s all kinds of allusions and little asides and it will make you feel totally SMRT. I mean, SMART.

  9. 9
    B. says:

    The Queen’s Thief by Megan Whalen Turner. Great characters, superb writing, excellent series.

  10. 10
    Meagan says:

    This series, definitely.  I discovered it about a year ago and love it.

  11. 11
    Lynda says:

    Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. Yes, they are very long books in a very long series, but well worth the time to read them!

  12. 12

    Pamela Clare writes MacKinnon’s Rangers, a series full if win, set during the French and Indian war. Seriously, how cool is that? I just love love love it to bits!

    MacKinnon’s Rangers are out of print at the moment (they were formerly Dorchester) but will be reissued—soon, I hope!—with cut scenes restored. That’s SURRENDER and UNTAMED, with the new book, DEFIANT, coming out in 2012.

    I really need your help with this series, Bitchery. Unless DEFIANT does really (really!) well, then that’s it for the series—and I really want more of it! (Yes, I’m greedy!) So if you’re interested, buy a copy of DEFIANT. Don’t worry, I’ll be here to badger remind you when the time comes.

    Clare also writes the I-Team series, romantic suspense set in Colorado with investigative reporter heroines, who—get this!—aren’t TSTL. And I’m talking real reporting, not just the usual how-can-we-place-the-heroine-in-a-dangerous-situation stuff.

    I-Team series: EXTREME EXPOSURE, HARD EVIDENCE, UNLAWFUL CONTACT, NAKED EDGE and soon also BREAKING POINT (release date May 3, 2011).

    Did I mention Clare writes it hot? :)

  13. 13
    Cathy says:

    Dana Stabenow’s series about Kate Shugak. There is a new one out that I am anxious to get my hot little hands on.

    I do love Thursday Next also, but these are kinda hard to glom in one big pile. They are smart and sassy and footnote-y, but I can only read a couple before needing a break.

  14. 14
    Lynnd says:

    I love the Thursday Next books and would be happy to give you my mpressions if I am lucky enough to win.

    Michelle West’s House Wars/Sun Sword series (they are all connected) are great.

    Guy Gavriel Kay’s Fionavar Tapestry and then read Ysabel for a nice surpirse.

  15. 15
    MissFifi says:

    I think I am one of the few people in the free world who has been heavily disappointed by series novels. Anita Blake, Stephanie Plum and yes, even Eve Dallas (Holiday In Death was last one I read) lost my interest. I get caught up in inconsistencies, aggravated by repetition and overloaded descriptions. Roarke has a poet’s mouth, yes I know, as you tell me five times in every book. Ugh!
    I have been trying to figure out if series are just not for me or if I have been reading all the wrong ones.
    Thankfully there seem to be a bunch listed by readers here that might hold my interest. Thursday Next may just be next :)

  16. 16
    Jae Lee says:

    The Sevenwaters Trilogy by Juliet Marillier. There are technically 5 books in the series now, but I haven’t read the latest two. And seriously, the first 3 ended so perfectly that I kind of don’t want to read the next ones, despite owning the 4th. Not exactly a ringing endorsement, but HOLY HELL do I love the crap out of those 3 books. Magic, fairy tales, KICK ASS ladies, and romance. The ladies don’t actually kick ass, but they are amazingly awesome. I’ve read the first book 6 or 7 times and it still makes me flutter. I’ve read the second and third several times each too.

    Also, the Sun Sword Series by Michelle West. These are straight up fantasy, but don’t hate, she is such a talented writer. There are 6 books in the series which is all done, and a couple of spin-off series’ that also rule.

    I’m down with the LotR and Discworld recs, but those get a lot of press.

  17. 17
    Black Velvet says:

    If you haven’t read Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files you should.  Here’s how I’ve told people about it. 

    Its that book that you would see on the shelf, pick it up, read the back and go meh and put it back down.  However, if you ever deign to read the first page, that sucking sound you would hear would be you getting drawn in.

    Its the ultimate in urban fantasy.  Harry Dresden, wizard, lives in modern day Chicago and tries to do the right thing, but with the White Council out to get him for the smallest infraction, the vampires not too happy with his mocking of their power…and the mailman refusing to give him his mail…well, its not really his fault if he blows something up.

    The cast of this series is wonderful.  There’s Micheal Carpenter, with his wife and 8 kids.  He wields a sword that is made from one of the nails that held Christ to the Cross (so a real Knight of the Templar).  There’s Mouse, Buddhist Temple mountain dog.  Karrin Murphy, Chicago PD.  And of course, Bob…who is a glowing skull.

    The fans of this series are quite rabid and the next book isn’t due out until July, but really, we’re already hangers on for the writer, cause really, its THAT good.

  18. 18
    Gianisa says:

    Most of the series I thought of have already been mentioned (Vorkosigans yay!), but an amazing series of mystery books that nobody I talk to has heard of is the Nero Wolfe books (Amazon link).  They are fantastic!  Not only is Archie a hilarious narrator, but they are a reminder of what life was like 60 to 90 years ago.

    And they’re funny.  Did I mention how funny they are?  Yep, funny.

  19. 19
    Shannon H says:

    Jae Lee—I was the same way about the Sevenwaters series and I finally read the 4th book after seeing a glowing review on BookSmugglers. So. Worth it. It was a great story, and I stayed up far too late two nights in a row reading it.

    And does it count as a series if there is only one book out yet? The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfass. The first book, The Name of the Wind, is one of the best books I have ever read, and the second book comes out in a month.

  20. 20
    LauraF says:

    Everyone should read the Castle books by Steph Swainston (The Year of Our War/No Present Like Time/The Modern World/Above the Snowline). Super-inventive, clever ideas and world, a complex and infuriating protagonist, a character made out of worms, prose that is never cluttered but never too sparse or graceless either, and deep, thought-provoking character arcs.
    (Plus she went to my high school :-)

  21. 21
    Renee says:

    The Thursday Next series is the one I recommend to practically everyone I meet that loves to read.  I’m one of those nerds that buys the book the day is comes out, giddy with anticipation.  The series is funny, witty, and unlike anything I’ve ever read before.  The plot and characters are fantastic, and all of the literary references and puns that really only work in type just make the books that much better.  I cannot wait for this book to come out!

  22. 22
    Katie D. says:

    New Thursday!!!! :bouncy,bouncy,bouncy: New Thursday!!!!! :bouncy,bouncy,bouncy: New Thursday!!!!!!!!!!!

    Okay, now that I’ve got that out of my system, I totally recommend this series to people. Also, I heard enough about Lynne Connolly’s Richard and Rose series to finally get around to picking it up, and I *love* it. It totally feeds my love of romance mysteries.

  23. 23
    Gillian says:

    Roberta Gellis’ “Roselynde” series. Medieval women who work within the confines of their society and yet who still know their rights and their values and stick to them. The relationships are strong and vital and the women won’t be walked over – Alinor basically showed Simon in no uncertain terms that he was her choice for an honest man to look after her lands. It’s the little details, though, that bring the era to life – that you speak French to your companions but need to know English for your serfs, how to take a castle by slipping a purge into the well – these things make the books for me. I love most of her other historical sets, but these are the ones that got me hooked. (That the first one I read had a heroine with my name also helped). Roselynde, Alinor, Joanna, Gilliane, Rhiannon, Sybelle.

  24. 24
    Kerry Allen says:

    Don’t make me the weiner, as I did not succeed in getting through the first book in this series.

    However, I’ve had a mini-glom (only 3 books so far) on Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock series. It has filled the void since Kate Daniels and Mercy Thompson moved to Whitepicketfenceville and got minivans.

  25. 25
    Kay says:

    CS Harris’ Sebastian St. Cyr mysteries. Next one due out March 1 and already pre-ordered.

    Kathryn Wall’s Bay Tanner mysteries. Contemporary Low Country.

  26. 26
    helen says:

    So many series so little time!
    Stacia Kane’s Downside Ghosts for some seriously awesome gritty stuff.

    S.L.Viehl’s Stardoc series for some awesome space opera.

    Linnea Sinclair’s Dock 5 series


    my newest fave that I beg my friends to buy

    Katherine Allred’s Alien Affairs series for sheer fun.

  27. 27
    Alley says:

    (This is not an entry because I, uh, actually didn’t like the Thursday Next books.  I KNOW!  I tried!  Really!)

    Kage Baker’s The Company series seems to be popular in certain sci-fi circles, but no one else ever seems to talk about it, which is a shame because it’s this massive, epic thing that’s pretty fun to read.  Humans in the past are turned immortal by The Company and trained to serve them by collecting paintings, extinct plants, etc. throughout time, so each book takes place in a different time period.  The first is “In the Garden of Iden”, taking place in Elizabethan England, and contains the most romantic elements of all the books in amongst the sci-fi.

    Ashok K. Banker’s Ramayana series takes the Hindu holy text and turns it into a multi-book epic fantasy.  A good sense of ancient India manages to come through the writing, so it feels completely different from any other fantasy I’ve read.  Even with Rama being perfect at everything (he IS the incarnation of a god, after all), he manages to mostly avoid falling into the Gary Stu trap of irritation.

    Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series is the vampire series the kids SHOULD be flailing about instead of Twilight.  The world-building’s pretty good, and there’s actual character development and growth.  Yes, the main character can be really stubborn and hard to love at times, but that’s kind of what I love about her.  The last book in the series just came out not too long ago, and I’m next on my library’s list to get it; very excited to see how this all ends.

  28. 28
    Wendy says:

    Oooooh! PIck me, pick me! I review all the books I read, at Goodreads, so it’d be no trouble to review this one. And I’m up on the series already (though a re-read sounds like good fun, too!).

  29. 29
    Hannah says:

    I would say the Thursday Next are ones everyone should read because they’re funny, well written, and so smart that they make me feel smart for reading them.

  30. 30

    The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  By book 3 it finally started to get the buzz that it deserves and now that it’s been optioned and is in pre-production for a major movie, the buzz is increasing.

    OK, so besides all the media attention, this is by far one of THE BEST young adult series I’ve ever read.  The plot is by turns thrilling and devastating. It’s timely without dating itself or being preachy.  Katniss, the heroine, is someone one all know.  Tough on the outside and trying to make the right choice, but makes mistakes … sometimes painful ones that hurt herself and other people.

    I’ve done short reviews for all three over at Goodreads:
    The Hunger Games
    Catching Fire

    **Reviews for Books 2 & 3 contain SPOILERS**

    As a long time Fforde Ffan, I’d love the chance to read his latest.  I met him once when I used to work for Penguin Group (upstairs from Viking in the paperback reprint division).  A lovelier, more charming Brit I’ll never meet :)

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