Number 1: Oh, Sookie, Sookie...!
The Sookie Stackhouse Novels, by Charlaine Harris
When I started reading the novel series I had never seen TruBlood the show. And I wanted to read all the books before I watched the show so that the way I view the characters in the book weren't skewed by how they're meant to be perceived in the show. And I'm so glad I did! For one thing I LOVE Sookie in the books, and in the show I think she's a little ditsy-er and not at all as brave and normal and she is in the books. I mean granted, she IS a telepath so that's not normal but she's just a regular girl who gets caught up in the supernatural world who happens to be able to read/"hear" minds. So I love her in the books, and in the books I don't really like Bill so much as I do Eric because he's cocky and funny, and remarkably caring for a 1000 year old ruthless vampire. I also like Alcide Herveaux and Quinn (both shifters; Alcide turns into a werewolf, and Quinn turns into the rare weretiger), but they haven't been in the show so far that I've seen (I'm only half-way through Season 2, via NetFlix). Oh! And I love Amelia too, who in later books is Sookie's friend and roommate, and she's a witch. The books are so fun to read, easy to read, and carry you away. I love them, and I'm currently in the process on rereading them. And there's TEN of them! So it keeps me occupied for a good chunk of time. So yes, I HIGHLY reccomend. I'm trying to get Zack to read them, but so far, no go.
Oh and I'm pretty sure my favorite book so far of the series is Book 4 called Dead to the World because it's where Sookie finally starts getting feelings for Eric (granted he has amnesia for most of this book which turns him into an adorable, vulnerable Eric, but still!)
UPDATE: Gasp!! In searching for a photo of a Sookie Stackhouse book to post with the blog, I've found that Book 11: Dead Reckoning is coming out May 3rd!!!! Yay!!!!!!! By the way, if you'd like to borrow them, I DO have the box set of 8 AND the following 9th and 10th books :)