Kids are already headed back to school here in Central Ohio, so I guess it's time we wind down our Summer Reading List series. Let's start the process by allowing some of our favorite podcasters to share their favorite novels.
First up is a fun series by Chris Wooding called the Tales Of The Ketty Jay. These are fast paced fun books with a serious Firefly vibe to them. A retro-future world of sky-pirates and skullduggery that lights up a cheeky grin from the very first page. Brilliant characterisation, crackling dialogue and just great adventures. Two volumes so far (Retribution Falls and The Black Lung Captain) but I'm itching for more.
Next up is the Mortal Engines series by Philip Reeve. Young Adult doesn't get better than this. Moving cities, a terribly scarred heroine seeking vengeance, secrets from the past, a frigging Terminator (more or less), treachery, romance - just go check them out. There's a good six vols out at least.
Dion even has a recommendation for a book he hasn't read yet. So this Summer Reading List is in part his actual Summer Reading:
Last one from me is Son of Heaven by David Wingrove. Now I haven't actually read this yet but I have every faith. Years ago he did a series of books under the overall title Chung Kuo - an epic drama of cultural revolution set in a global city ruled by the Chinese. I read the first three books (of eight) and absolutely loved them. Think Dune but with less religion and more machinations. The publisher left the author deeply unsatisfied and it was never properly finished. He's been retooling and expanding his saga ever since. Son of Heaven is the first of this author's cut series which will now span twenty books. My mind says ulp, but with what I've read so far my heart it racing to get into it.
I have the hardest time finding books to read. I’m the kind of person that “judges a book by its cover”. So, in that regard, I have a hard time find books and I’m also picky as hell. If a book doesn't grab me from the first paragraph and/or page, I get bored. The following books that I’m recommending definitely fit my taste in what I like to read and maybe what other guys like to read. These are some of the best books I’ve read this summer!
Fun & Games by Duane Swierczynski - This book is the first book in a trilogy of books that will be released over the next year or so. Why is it on my list? Fun & Games is a crime book that feels like a summer blockbuster movie. A former cop’s new job is to keep vacant rich houses secure but one job goes wrong when an actress squats in one of the houses while a group of hitmen tries to kill her. Does the concept sound interesting? The book is Die Hard meets Home Alone. How can this book be compared to those movies? It takes those concepts from each movie and mashes them together. Fun & Games is a fast read. A really fast read! You’ll be eagerly anticipating reading the second book which comes out this October.
Domestic Violets by Matthew Norman - This book is about a man, Tom Violet, who wanted to pursue his dream of being a rich and famous writer by the time he turned 35. He’s 35 now and he’s far from that dream. He’s written a unpublished manuscript and he’s having marital troubles. Also, his dad, a famous writer, has just won the Pulitzer Prize and Tom is working a job that he hates. Did I also mention he has a crush on his 23 year old co-worker? I actually just finished this book last week and it was a lot of fun to read. It’s one of the smartest and funniest books that I’ve read in a long time. Author Matthew Norman really knows how to balance humor and human emotion in this fun, debut novel. The selling point of this novel: It’s hilarious! That’s enough to get you to read it.
Heads You Lose by Lisa Lutz & David Hayward - This experimental crime novel was one of the first books I read this summer. It’s about two siblings, Paul & Lacey, who find a headless body on their property and instead of calling the police. (The siblings grow pot in their home) They decide to move the body elsewhere. Two days later, the body reappears on their property and they become detectives and attempt to find out whose body is on their property and who killed this person. The interesting concept of this novel is that the story is written by two writers. Each writer alternates chapters and adds comments about each chapter in an email style forum between each chapter. The book was a lot of fun. As chapters switch, it can get a little jarring in the beginning because each writer has a different style of writing. What makes this novel is the back and forth sabotaging between both writers. They intentionally kill off characters and the other brings the same characters back to screw with the writer’s plot. It’s hilarious and a lot of fun to read.
Thanks to Dion and Willie for playing along, and I hope everyone has found something new to add to their book list for September!