It's time again for Kards Unlimited to tell you all about what books you should spend your relaxing summer months reading!  If I do say so myself (and I do), we have excellent taste in books and we know just what you need!  This summer, we'll be recommending just a few books at a time to satisfy different literary tastes and cravings, so stay abreast (still ha) of what's going on using the Summer Reading menu on the sidebar!

First up is a list of book series to keep a reader occupied all summer!  Whether you just want your kids to chill out and read something or you're looking for some books to keep you occupied while you work on that tan or if you just want something to hold your interest while you enjoy the AC, these book series will keep you hooked!

For Kids!  (Or adults, because I think we can all agree that plenty of 'kids' books are great no matter how old you are.)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling - How many books?  Seven, plus several companion books.

Rowling's Harry Potter series is a contemporary classic that will not likely fall from its perennial popularity until I have great-grandchildren, if ever.  If (for some inexplicable reason) you've never read these books, or know someone who's never read them, now is the time.  If you have read them, it's getting on time to re-read, don't you think?  I thought so.

 

 

 

 

wrinklecover

A Wrinkle in Time

The Time Quartet by Madeleine L'Engle - How many books?  Four (obviously), though there is a follow up book to the series that takes place a generation after the original quartet.

This is the book series that introduced many of us to the sci-fi genre and man did we fall so hard for it.  First of all, time travel is freakin' awesome in almost every instance.  Secondly, there are characters named Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who (a small Dr. Who reference, perhaps, Madeleine?) and Mrs. Which.  'Nuff said.

 

 

 

The Book of Three

The Book of Three

The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd AlexanderHow many books? Five.

So I'm assuming you have not seen animated film The Black Cauldron, which is probably Disney's most famous flop.  This is a mistake by you, since it's a really fun movie and it will make you fall in love with the characters of Lloyd Alexander's series.  The movie is not a particularly good adaptation of the books (in fact, it's terrible), but it's a fun film, enjoyed by the author himself.  That being said, the books are high quality in every way and their use of Welsh mythology is fantastic.  Seriously, I didn't read these books until I was 23 and I love them.

 

 

Artemis Fowl

Artemis Fowl

Artemis Fowl by Eoin ColferHow many books?  Eight.

Perhaps skewed slightly toward the younger crowd, the Artemis Fowl series is nevertheless a great read.  Mixing technology, magic, and classic gangster tropes has never been so much fun.  Or, you know, has never really happened except in these books.

 

 

Not for kids!  (Or, for mature kids with awesome parents who encourage them to broaden their minds!)

Carry on, Jeeves

Carry on, Jeeves

Jeeves (et al) by P.G. WodehouseHow many books?  A lot.  More than you could read in a summer, so don't worry about it.

I list Wodehouse under the 'Adult' heading not because his content isn't appropriate for children but because his sophisticated language and liberal use of early 19th century English slang make him a challenging read for the uninitiated.  Wodehouse is one of the greatest writers the English language has ever known and his humor is nearly universal.  If you can't find something you enjoy in the Wodehouse canon, I can't help you.  Also, these books aren't strictly a series, as they can be read in any order.  Come visit for more info!

 

 

The Eyre Affair

The Eyre Affair

Thursday Next by Jasper FfordeHow many books?  Seven.

Full of literary allusions, wordplay, and crazy plot twists, Fforde's books are nonstop fun.  Thursday Next is a literary detective who gets into all sorts of hijinks in the pursuit of her duty.  In the first installment, the manuscript of Jane Eyre is stolen by a supernaturally powered villain and Thursday's quest to rescue the book is totally epic.  If you're looking for some smart, light-hearted fun, look no further.

 

 

Wicked

Wicked

The Wicked Years by Gregory MaguireHow many books?  Four, but he wrote more that aren't part of the Wiz. of Oz universe.

By now, pretty much everyone is at least vaguely familiar with the Broadway sensation that is Wicked.  The book the show is based on, though, is equally (if not more) sensational!  Maguire took everything that was quaint and whimsical about L. Frank Baum's Oz and reimagined it as something darker, more complex, and much more real.  These books toe the fine line that separates a fun summer book from a weighty, autumnal tome, if you will.  Beware, though, you'll want to read all of them if you read one.

 

 

The Black Jewels

The Black Jewels

The Black Jewels by Anne BishopHow many books?  A trilogy (we sell the omnibus edition), but again there are several companion books.

Perhaps the only series on this list that I'd really say is definitely not for kids, The Black Jewels trilogy is a must read for people who are old enough for it.  It's a little kitschy and a little...melodramatic, but if you're looking for a literary guilty pleasure, you will find it in these books.  Full of love, danger, magic, and sex (it's really not that much sex, disappointingly, but it's in there), these books are like ice cold watermelon: not necessarily that nourishing, but damn if it isn't the perfect snack on a hot day.

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So, what do you think?