Joe T.’s Summer, Summer, Summertime Reads: Part 2

 Summertime, and the livin’ is easy
– Nina Simone

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Continued from Part 1……

So now it is May. The school year is winding down and the waves of heat that define the summer are making themselves known. Vacations and stay-cations are right around the corner. This is my favorite time for reading. Sitting on the patio of my favorite drinking hole with a good book is like heaven to me. Having something that can take me away from bus stops, train terminals, airports, and long car rides is essential. And then there’s the times you just lay out in the sun on a blanket in a park. All of these moments need good books and that’s what I’ve got here, my list of my favorite summertime reads. Take a gander and pick one out. Hopefully there’s something for you to help pass that time while you lounge away next to the hotel swimming pool.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Imagine Frozen crossed with Evil Dead and animated in the style of the Rankin/Bass Last Unicorn film and you’ve got Uprooted in a nutshell. Inspired by Polish faerie and folk tales, Novik (author of the Master and Commander with Dragons series, Temeraire) has fashioned an amazing story filled with high fantasy and creeping dread that’s perfect for adults, teenagers, and even middle grade readers. If you loved Neil Gaiman‘s Stardust or Peter S. Beagle‘s The Last Unicorn then this is the book for you!
Uprooted will be released on May 19th. Pre-order now!

The Vorrh by B. Catling
“So vast was its acreage, it also made its demands of time, splitting the toiling sun into zones outside of normal calibration; a theoretical traveller, passing through its entire breadth on foot, would have to stop at its centre and wait at least a week for his soul to catch up.”
Epic in scope and execution, The Vorrh is fantasy in the way Samuel R. Delany, David Lynch and Terry Gilliam are fantasy. Described by Alan Moore as “a phosphorescent masterpiece” and by English poet and psychogeographer Iain Sinclair as one of the “few books that rearrange the molecules of your being,” I already consider it the best book of 2015, if not the decade. This is you hammock book for the summer, the one you pick up and chew upon and then put down and dream about. Good, heady stuff, there is a lingering darkness in these pages to help undercut the Texas summer sun.

A Kim Jong-Il Production by Paul Fischer
This is the frightfully true story of how the film obsessed son of the North Korean dictator kidnapped South Korea’s greatest director and his movie star ex-wife in an attempt to make the communist nation’s movie industry a force to be reckoned with. An unforgettable read filled with car chases, kidnappings, and preposterous plot twists that be unforgivably unbelievable were it to occur in a movie. Some times truth really IS stranger than fiction!!!!

The Secret History by Donna Tartt
This is one of my all-time favorite novels and was the reputation establishing debut by Pulitzer Prize winning author Donna Tartt. Set in a New England college loosely inspired by Bennington College (also the inspiration for the school in fellow classmate Brett Easton Ellis‘s novel The Rules of Attraction), The Secret History resembles A Separate Peace were it written by Patricia Highsmith. I’ve read this book at least 10 time since it was originally released in 1992!

iZombie vol. 1 Dead To The World by Chris Roberson and Mike Allred
This is the first volume in a four volume graphic novel series that serves as the inspiration for the current hit show by Rob Thomas, the creator of Veronica Mars. Written by Chris Roberson and drawn by THE AMAZING Mike Allred, it differs quite a bit from the television show but is still a great read for anyone who’s ever demanded more were-terriers in their fiction!

The New Frontier The Deluxe Edition by Darwyn Cooke
Former graphic designer and animator (Batman The Animated Series) turned comic book artist, Darwyn Cooke brings us his tribute to the 1960s Silver Age super heroes of his youth with the epic graphic novel New Frontier. Named for the speech given by JFK in 1960, it stands as a counter weight to Alan Moore‘s Watchmen by giving us heroes instead of tarnished anti-heroes. It shows that you don’t have to wallow in sex and violence to earn the descriptor “realistic” and that you can have heroes with recognizable foibles who can still serve as inspirations for us all. I love this book and it brings back the joys of being 10 and spending by summer vacations reading superhero comics, drinking Big Red soda, and eating Milk Duds with my friends.

The Deep by Nick Cutter
Nick Cutter, the James Herbert Award-winning author of The Troop, returns with his newest novel The Deep, a delightfully creepy read. Like Stephen King rewriting Event Horizon and setting it at the bottom of the ocean, it is filled with exquisite Lovecraftian dread and Cronenbergian body horror all wrapped around a still-beating heart of humanity. While just a bit shy of a masterpiece, it is most definitely the best airport book of the year. I cannot wait to read more books by Mr. Cutter!

Saga Deluxe Edition vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
It’s a little hard for me to describe exactly why I love Saga as much as I do. Is it because it’s about interstellar war between two galactic empires? Well, yes. Is it because it’s really not even secretly about the triumphs and setbacks of starting a family? Well, yes. Is it because it is funny, heartbreaking, joyful, crass, and all the other emotions that define the human condition? Well, yes. OR IS IT BECAUSE IT JUST PLAIN RULES?!? YES!!!!!!!!!!!!
This Deluxe Edition collects issues #1-18 (the first three trades) of this 6 time Eisner Award, 6 time Harvey Award, and Hugo Award-winning series

What are your recommendations for summer reads? Let us know in the comments……..

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