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.
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.
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 has 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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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 deep 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.
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.