By Susan Larson, Director, Milton Public Library
This article was first published as a Book Bits column in the Milton Independent on July 12, 2018.  It is reprinted here with permission.

There’s this perception that library staff have read every book ever written.  I’m guessing this because of the questions we’re asked.  “Do you have that novel with the orange cover?” “What’s the 17th book in the series by (insert author’s name)?”

Working in a library made me recognize the endless supply of books, and the reality that I’ll never have time to read them all.  That’s when I gave myself permission to stop reading any book I didn’t like.  It used to be I felt compelled to finish every book I started.  Not anymore.

It can be a challenge to stock a library with books that will appeal to the broad range of reading tastes.  I, for one, like biographies, memoirs, and historical fiction best.  That means I’m less knowledgeable about science fiction, fantasy, and romance, for instance.

But knowing that is half the battle. Our readers help by providing their recommendations.  I research them and decided yea or nay.  Among the considerations are what we already own, limited shelf space, and budget.

Lately we’ve added seven adult series to the library’s collection.  The ideas came from patrons. Since adding them, we’ve received compliments for having them.  Here they are.

The Long Earth series
by British authors Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter
The collaborative science fiction work explores a possibly infinite series of parallel worlds similar to Earth, which can be reached by using a “Stepper.”

1 – The Long Earth (2012)

2 – The Long War (2013)

3 – The Long Mars (2014)

4 – The Long Utopia (2015)

5 – The Long Cosmos (2016)

Hope Harbor series
by Irene Hannon
The fictional seaside town of Hope Harbor, Oregon, is home to these love stories.  Each novel may be read as a stand-alone book.  Hannon is a member of the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame and has won the genre’s highest honor, the Rita Award, three times.

1 – Hope Harbor (2015)

2 – Sea Rose Lane (2016)

3 – Sandpiper Cove (2017)

4 – Pelican Point (2018)

5 – Driftwood Bay (2019)

Alpha and Omega series
by Patricia Briggs
This urban fantasy romance series features werewolves Anna Latham and Charles Cornick.  There are five main works, but readers recommend beginning with the prequel novella “Alpha and Omega.”

.5 – Alpha and Omega (2007)

1 – Cry Wolf (2008)

2 – Hunting Ground (2009)

3 – Fair Game (2012)

4 – Dead Heat (2015)

5 – Burn Bright (2018)

Adventures of Charles Hayden series
by S. Thomas Russell
British Naval Officer Charles Saunders Hayden faces danger and intrigue onboard Royal Navy frigate HMS Themis during the French Revolution.

1 – Under Enemy Colors (2007)

2 – A Battle Won (2010)

3 – Take, Burn or Destroy (2012)

4 – Until the Sea Shall Give Up Her Dead (2014)

The Ruth Galloway series
by Elly Griffiths
Forensic archaeologist Dr. Ruth Galloway, who lives with her two cats in a Norfolk saltmarsh cottage, use her knowledge of anthropology to help identify human remains and solve the mystery of the deaths. Griffiths has won the British Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) Dagger in the Library Award and the Mary Higgins Clark Award.

1 – The Crossing Places (2009)

2 – The Janis Stone (2010)

3 – The House at Sea’s End (2011)

4 – A Room Full of Bones (2011)

4.5 – Ruth’s First Christmas Tree (2012)

5 – A Dying Fall (2012)

6 – The Outcast Dead (2014)

7 – The Ghost Fields (2015)

8 – The Woman in Blue (2016)

9 – The Chalk Pit (2017)

10 – The Dark Angel (2018)

11 – The Stone Circle (2019)

The Amish of Hart County series
by Shelley Shepard Gray
These stories of suspense and love are set in fictional Hart County’s Amish community.1 – Her Secret (2017)

2 – His Guilt (2017)

3 – The Gift (2017)

4 – His Risk (2018)

5 – Her Fear (2018)

6 – His Promise (October 2018)

The Broken Earth trilogy
by N. K. Jemisin
Three women with special abilities work to prevent civilization-destroying earthquakes plaguing a far-future earth.  Jemisin won the Hugo award two consecutive years for books one and two in this fantasy trilogy.  She is the first black writer to win the Hugo.  The third book, “The Stone Sky,” won the 2018 Locus Award for best fantasy novel and the 2018 Nebula Award for best novel.

1 – The Fifth Season (2015)

2 – The Obelisk Gate (2016)

3 – The Stone Sky (2017)