The best thing about the books is that the HBO series has taken a somewhat different direction than the book series. This means that you get Charlaine Harris' Sookie in the books and HBO's Sookie on TV. She's the same great character in the books as well as TV. A small town girl, a little insecure at times, self sufficient and independent, yet never willing to take anyone's crap -- not even from a Vampire! If you're like me and like getting *ahem* suck-ed into a series, then the Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire Mysteries is a great read. Enjoy!