Summer Reading Recommendations

by Jeremy DeFatta

Good day, everyone! Below are a few of my recommendations for summer reading categorized by genre. I hope you enjoy them. I’ll note which ones I haven’t yet read myself. I’d like to get a discussion going with other first-time readers on a few of these books. This is a combination list of things I’d like to see more people read and things I plan to read myself this summer. Let’s dive in.

Lit Fic

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon.

This Pultizer Prize-winning novel recounts the fictional lives of Jewish comic book creators (writers and artists, men and women) trying to make it in 1930s New York—the beginning of the Golden Age of comics. I imagine this will appeal to a large number of comics fans.

Fantasy

The Black Company by Glen Cook

This is the first book in what has become one of my favorite fantasy series. It’s been a bit overshadowed in the years since its publication back in the 80s, but the lessons it Black company coverhas to teach fantasy fans still ring true. You can have a great story without kings, lords/ladies, and knights. The Black Company itself is a mercenary group made up of common soldiers and sorcerers just trying to make it in a world where they realize they are the pawns of greater, darker powers. What do they do with this knowledge? Check out the book and see. It’s well worth your time, especially if you’re looking for something different in your fantasy reading.

Science Fiction

I plan to continue my Glen Cook kick by reading The Dragon Never Sleeps, a highly regarded but not widely known work of military sci-fi. Do you want a character-driven, epic tale of a galaxy-spanning empire in decline? I do. That’s why I’m reading it this summer. Who wants to join me?

Supernatural Fiction

I’ve been meaning to get into the Jim Butcher Dresden Files books for a long time, so I jumped at the chance to pick up an e-book of Storm Front, the first book in the series, for cheap on Amazon.

dresden wallpaper

From everything I hear, I know I’m going to enjoy it. I’m looking forward to getting into it. Again, who wants to join me?

Historical Fiction

The Iron King by Maurice Druon

This French novel (translated, of course) is a work of fact-based fiction about the Hundred Years War and is one of George R. R. Martin’s chief inspirations for A Song of Ice and Fire. That should be all the justification you need to check it out this summer.

Comic Books

Summer is a good time to get caught up on your favorite characters and maybe enjoy a major event or two from the big companies. If you want something broad and HouseofMdeep to really set you up with plumbing the depths of continuity, I recommend Marvel’s House of M by Brian Michael Bendis, or DC’s Final Crisis by Grant Morrison. House of M is one of my favorite big events from Marvel and was going on when I got back into comics about a decade ago. Final Crisis is basically Morrison’s love letter to DC Comics, and presents a few characters and ideas he’ll be revisiting in his long-awaited Multiversity comic this fall. Check both out and let me know what you think of them.

Horror

If you liked Stephen King’s It (which I strongly recommend), you should try out Summer of Night by fellow Wabash College alum Dan Simmons, whose fiction I could write entire posts about. This book is a coming-of-age story with a supernatural horror backdrop. The story itself is frightening and the characters are well crafted. You will not be disappointed if you give this one a shot.

Those are my recommendations at this point in the summer. What do you think? Anyone thinking of checking some of these out? What do you plan to read this summer? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @quaintjeremy. See you again soon.

The Black Company and House of M #1 cover images via Wikipedia. See links for copyright and fair use info. Harry Dresden image by zmajtolovaj/deviantart

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19 thoughts on “Summer Reading Recommendations

  1. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay was a good work but needed some editing. I found it went on a bit long and a detailed description of an egg frying in a pan just about broke me. I have recently begun reading The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne which is my first real foray into urban fantasy and I couldn’t be more happy. Summer of Night sounds interesting and Stephen King’s It is a great book so I may read it. My wife still raves about The Terror. King’s son, Joe Hill, writes some pretty great stuff as well. I highly recommend Horns and this summer I plan to read NAS4A2. His short story collection 21st Century Ghosts is also stellar.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maybe? Do you… Kindle? I think there’s a way to lend books on it. It’s a Kindle book, though. You’d need a device, the app, or a desire to read the book on your computer to access it if I could lend it to you.

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  3. I just sent your book recs to my son. He read all except for the King and historical fiction and “The Dragon Never Sleeps” which he is checking out…….Hmmmmm….I haven’t read King in eons, maybe I should check him out again. Thanks for posting~

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    • Thanks for your comment. This post was so popular, we’re discussing doing more of those. We have enough contributors who are into books to do at least two or three more.

      Like

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