The other day I finished reading Blue at the Mizzen by Patrick O'Brian. It's the 20th and final novel in the O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series.
This is a series of novels about Jack Aubrey, a ship captain in the British navy during the Napoleonic wars, and his "particular friend" Stephen Maturin, ship's doctor and intelligence agent. It's a great series of novels that combines action and adventure with a Jane Austin-like close observation of personality and social interaction in the 19th century.
I started working my way through the series back in May, somewhat by chance. I had read all of those books before, of course. My brother Matt turned me and our other brothers on to the series years ago and we traded the first several books back and forth within the family, eagerly awaiting each new title. Since then I've read a few of them several times more.
After reading Master and Commander this spring, I decided to make my way through the series again. For the first few I was interspersing O'Brian novels with other sorts of books. After a bit, though, I decided to just stick to O'Brian until I finished the series. I found I couldn't wait
to get back to that world.
In the end, it took almost exactly 5 months to read all 20 novels. It was great fun. In another 5 years or so, I think I'll do it again.