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Summer 2013 Reading Recommendations
Empress Eve   |  @   |  

Summer 2013 Reading Recommendations banner

Here’s a sizzling summer compendium of choice choices to whet ones literary appetite and quench one’s thirst for some great reads while lying on the beach, hanging in the park, or just chilling in one’s one geek sanctuary amidst a cool air conditioning on a plush Lay-Z-Boy. Many tomes of every stripe and style are included, ranging from movie tie-in books, Star Trek expanded universe (and Klingon language instruction!) novels, and a William Shakespeare re-imagining of Star Wars, to novels by horrormeisters Stephen King and Joe Hill, entries about peculiar children, zombies, scientology in Hollywood, to the latest offering from the incomparable Neil Gaiman and much more.

So check out our Summer 2013 Reading Recommendations here below for these great picks and get your minds and imagination in gear. – Stoogeypedia

Empress Eve recommends…

Neil Gaiman The Ocean at the End of the Lane

The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel
Hardcover | Kindle
By Neil Gaiman
Release date: June 18, 2013

I eagerly await every new Neil Gaiman creation, whether its a comic book, novel, short story collection, or even a single poem. As far as I’m concerned, you can never get enough Neil Gaiman. He’s someone whose work I love so much that every so often I say a little prayer for him – “Please don’t die, please don’t die” – because I really don’t know what I would do if I could never again read something new from him. (I say this prayer for others too, like Betty White, Leonard Nimoy, William Shatner, and all of Rush.) With that said, it’s an obvious choice that Gaiman’s latest effort, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, a fantasy adventure, would top my Summer reading list. If you like audiobooks, Gaiman narrates the audiobook for this, and his readings are always a great treat. (If you’re unfamiliar with the author, check out this Beginner’s Guide To Neil Gaiman I put together a while back.)

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
By Ransom Riggs
Paperback | Kindle
Quirk Books
Release date: June 7, 2011

In this debut novel from American author Ranson Riggs, 16-year-old Jacob Portman follows clues from old found photographs which lead him to an abandoned orphanage on a remote Welsh island. The orphanage is where the Jacob’s grandfather lived, along other “peculiar” children who supposedly had powers of levitation and the like. Jacob goes on a quest to uncover the details of his grandfather’s past in an effort to find out the mystery behind his murder and to figure out once and for all if the monsters his grandfather spoke about here actually real. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, which was originally released in hardcover in 2011, was released in paperback this summer and contains many haunting vintage black and white “peculiar” photographs throughout that help the story along. The new paperback edition contains bever-before-seen photographs, as well as a chapter of the book’s upcoming sequel, Hollow City: The Second Novel Of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (due out in January 2014).

Kill City Blues: A Sandman Slim Novel

Kill City Blues: A Sandman Slim Novel
By Richard Kadrey
Hardcover | Kindle
Release date: July 30, 2013

Richard Kadrey’s A Sandman Slim series is a favorite here at Geeks of Doom and the books have consistently topped our “best of” and “recommended” lists throughout the year. Whenever the first book, Sandman Slim: A Novel, goes on sale, I recommended that people grab it immediately and start their journey on this series. Coming later this month is Kadrey’s fifth Sandman Slim book, Kill City Blues will be released and sees main man James Stark, aka Sandman Slim, out of Hell (again) and back in LA, although he’s screwed up a bit (again) – he’s lost a powerful weapon from the banished older gods who are returning in search of their lost powers and now Stark most go in search of someone who can give him the answers he needs and then make it back alive. All in a day’s work, for Sandman Slim!

William Shakespeare's Star Wars

William Shakespeare’s Star Wars
By Ian Doescher
Quirk Books
Paperback | Kindle
Release date: July 2, 2013

With a name like William Shakespeare’s Star Wars, does this book really need anything else said about it to make you interested? I didn’t think so. Adorably subtitled Verily, A New Hope, this mash-up by Ian Doescher takes the story of the first Star Wars film, and spins it as if it were a Shakespeare novel, with all thous and thees and thys you’ll ever need. With lines like “What light through yonder flashing sensor breaks?” and “Forsooth, a great disturbance in the Force,” you’ll have great fun reading this interpretation and hey, maybe you’ll even learn to love your English classes! Be sure to check out the flashmob video, where three scenes from the book were performed on the famed steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in honor of the Star Wars holiday, May The Fourth.

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War
By Max Brooks
Three Rivers Press
Paperback | Kindle
Release date: May 28, 2013 (reissue)

Though the World War Z novel was released in 2006, a movie tie-in edition was issued this May and if you were disappointed in the film, I suggest you pick up the book. I’ve linked the original cover trade paperback version for you above, as there’s no need to get the movie tie-in edition, except maybe if you like mass market paperbacks and want to save a few bucks. World War Z, by Max Books – son of Mel and author of The Zombie Survival Guide, does not feature Brad Pitt and his flowy locks racing around the globe. Instead, the book is a series of global first-person accounts from survivors of events that occurred during The Zombie Wars. I read World War Z back in 2006 while on a Disney Cruise and man when I got to the part with the boat, I was freaking out! This novel is for true zombie lovers. Skip the movie, opt for the book.

Stephen King: Joyland

By Stephen King
Hard Case Crime
Release Date: June 4, 2013

The master of horror Stephen King returns with this murder mystery set in a small-town North Carolina amusement park in 1973 where the main character, Devin Jones, comes of age that summer and learns the Carny way of life. Unfortunately, his summer of fun and exploration leads to his discovery of a murder that took place in the Funhouse long ago and the ghost of the murdered woman who still haunts the park. Aside from the story taking place in the Summer, Joyland would likely make a fun Summer read, as King writes engrossing, page-turning thrillers that are perfect for this time of year.

Joe Hill NOS4A2

NOS4A2: A Novel
By Joe Hill
William Morrow/HarperCollins
Hardcover | Kindle
Release date: April 30, 2013

Since Stephen King is the master of horror, that makes his son, writer Joe Hill, horror fiction royalty and Hill has lived up to his heritage and then some since his 2005 short story collection 20th Century Ghosts. If you’re a fan of early Stephen King, then you’ll feel a blanket of comfort and warmth and well, some sheer terror too at times, when reading Hill’s works. His full-length novels, Heart-Shaped Box and Horns, were outstanding and by far stand out as two of this generation’s greatest works of fiction. Now, Hill has released his third full-length book, NOS4A2 – pronounced like Nosferatu, which is pretty cool. In the story, Victoria McQueen has a gift of finding things and she’s able to transport to anywhere she needs to go when she rides her bicycle through a specific area. One day, Victoria “finds” Charles Talent Manx, a man who abducts children in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith, which has the NOS4A2 vanity plate, and takes them outside the regular world to a terrifying place he calls “Christmasland.” NOS4A2 is sure to be a hit with Hill fans and if you’re new to Joe Hill’s world, you can’t go wrong by checking out his offerings. If you enjoy reading print editions, this one comes with a deckled edge and more than 15 illustrations by award-winning Locke & Key artist Gabriel Rodríguez, which are exclusive to the print book.

Movie Novelizations

I’ve said it many times, I LOVE movie novelizations. Every since I read the ones for Jaws, War Games, and Star Wars as a kid, I’ve been hooked. This summer has some great blockbusters, and so far I’ve read two novelizations – Star Trek Into Darkness and Man Of Steel, both of which I highly recommend. Many times, some of my favorite authors are the ones doing the novelizations, which is the case this time around too (Peter David, Greg Cox – they are awesome!). Here’s some of my picks for novelizations I think will make great summer reads…

Movie Novelization banner

Man of Steel: The Official Movie Novelization
by Greg Cox
Paperback | Kindle
Release date: June 18, 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness: The Official Movie Novelization
by Alan Dean Foster
Paperback | Kindle
Release date: May 21, 2013

Pacific Rim: The Official Movie Novelization
By Alexander Irvine
Paperback | Kindle
Release date: July 16, 2013

After Earth: The Official Movie Novelization
By Peter David
Paperback | Kindle
Release date: May 28, 2013

Star Trek Novels

If I’m keen on reading a novelization of a Star Trek movie, then you can bet I’m down for reading Star Trek “expanded universe” books. This year saw some really great books from the Star Trek universe…

Star Trek Novels

Star Trek: Destiny: The Complete Saga
By David Mack
Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books
Paperback | Kindle
Release date: January 15, 2013

The books of David Mack’s Star Trek: Destiny trilogy – Gods of Night, Mere Mortals, and Lost Souls – were originally released in 2008, but earlier this year, Simon & Schuster’s Pocket Books put out the complete saga in a huge trade paperback (and in ebook format). In the trilogy, Mack brings together characters from several sectors of the Star Trek universe, like of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise, as well as the crew of the Titan, the post-Nemesis starship commanded by Captain William T. Riker. This saga is so amazing – seriously, if you’re a fan of The Next Generation, this is a must-read.

Star Trek: The Original Series: Allegiance in Exile
By David R. George III
Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books
Paperback | Kindle
Release date: January 29, 2013

Captain James T. Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise (from the original TV series) find a Class-M that should be filled with life, but for some reason, there’s no life-signs, though there is evidence that life did exist there, and maybe just recently. The crew must find out what happened on this planet and its inhabitants and if there a new enemy to the Federation that’s responsible for this.

Star Trek: The Original Series: Devil’s Bargain
By Tony Daniel
Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books
Paperback | Kindle
Release date: February 26, 2013

Periodically, Captain James T. Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise must venture to a planet in danger to help its citizens evacuate, and of course, the people don’t ever want to leave. You can’t blame them – it is their home, after all. But seriously, when Kirk shows up to say you have to get off-world, you should really listen to him. With that said, in Devil’s Bargain, the people of the frontier colony Vesbius will die if they don’t leave the planet; unfortunately there’s a reason they can’t leave, but won’t say why, leaving Kirk and the gang little to go on to help these people.

Star Trek: The Original Series: From History’s Shadow
By Dayton Ward
Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books
Paperback | Kindle
Release date: July 30, 2013

Another Original Series story, From History’s Shadow comes out at the end of July, so I haven’t gotten my hands on it like the aforementioned Star Trek books. This one seems like it’s going to switch back and forth between events taking place in 1947 – in a post-Roswell Incident alien story with Captain James Wainwright (who I think is the same of the Captain Wainwright who appeared on the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Little Green Men”) – and 2268, with Captain James T. Kirk and the Enterprise crew right after their encounter with Gary Seven.

Star Trek Enterprise: Rise Of The Federation
By Christopher L. Bennett
Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books
Paperback | Kindle
Release date: June 30, 2013

Star Trek Enterprise: Rise Of The Federation focuses on the characters from the Enterprise television series (starring Scott Bakula), which is a prequel to the original series. At the center of it all is Admiral Jonathan Archer, the former captain of the starship Enterprise, and the creation of the United Federation of Planets. While I wasn’t a big fan of the Enterprise TV show when it first aired, I became more interested in it in later years, and considering this book deals with the creation of the Federation, I think it will be a very interesting story.

How to Speak Klingon: Essential Phrases for the Intergalactic Traveler (Star Trek)

How to Speak Klingon: Essential Phrases for the Intergalactic Traveler (Star Trek)
By Ben Grossblatt (Author), Alex Fine (Illustrator)
Chronicle Books
Release date: April 23, 2013

If you want to take a break between Star Trek novels, pick up this hardcover picture book that will help you learn basic Klingon. The 24-page full-color audio phrasebook comes complete with an invaluable Klingon Pronunciation Guide and accompanying audio module so you’ll know what to say and how to say it if you find yourself with Klingons at a birthday party, restaurant, or movie theater.

Culturesmash recommends…

Wool by Hugh HoweyWool
By Hugh Howey
Simon & Schuster
Paperback | Kindle
Release date: March 12, 2013

Wool is a riveting science fiction read that finds the remains of the human race literally living in a silo post nuclear war. The only access to the outside world is via video screens. Criminals are sent out to clean off the video camera lenses where the radiation kills them soon after cleaning. The book is deep in character, melodrama, and mystery. Wool is also slated to become a movie in 2015. The book is written by Hugh Howey and it has three novella sequels combined into one novel called Shift and there’s one final novel called Dust coming in August 2013.

BAADASSSSS! recommends…

Ready Player One by Ernest ClineReady Player One
By Ernest Cline
Broadway Books
Paperback | Kindle
Release date: June 5, 2012

In the distant future, humanity will be united by the virtual online fantasia OASIS where anyone with the right equipment and Internet access can live lives of great adventure and prosperity. When the creator of OASIS dies, a worldwide scavenger hunt in the virtual world he envisioned is set in motion with his vast fortune the ultimate prize. Only those with an encyclopedia knowledge of 1980’s pop culture can solve the riddles and complete tasks of increasing difficulty, and an overweight trailer park kid named Wade Watts might just take that grand prize.

Mr. Babyman recommends…

Going ClearGoing Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief
By Lawrence Wright
Paperback | Kindle
Release date: January 17, 2013

Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief is a fascinating and well-documented exposé covering the bizarre origins of a religion many consider to be a cult (and its eccentric founder L. Ron Hubbard), to current leader David Miscavage’s all-consuming obsession with courting celebrity as a marketing tool (often to the physical and mental harm of his disciples).

Neverwanderer recommends…

The List of SevenThe List of Seven
By Mark Frost
Release date: April 26, 2005

Let’s face it: historical figures make the best action heroes! In The List of Seven, Twin Peaks co-creator Mark Frost casts a young Arthur Conan Doyle (eventual creator of Sherlock Holmes) as a paranormal investigator entangled in a dark conspiracy, and teams him with an intrepid mystery man who will one day inspire his greatest creation. Chock full of memorable characters, witty banter, and thrilling escapes, this is perfect summer reading for fans of Victorian adventure, supernatural mysteries, and any incarnation of the world’s greatest detective (but especially the BBC’s Sherlock).

Leviathan WakesLeviathan Wakes
By James S.A. Corey
Paperback | Kindle
Release date: June 15, 2011

If you took all your favorite science fiction tropes and combined them in one epic story, you’d be lucky to get a tale half as engaging, inventive, and flat-out fun as this one. Leviathan Wakes follows two men — one an idealistic captain of a fugitive starship, the other a grizzled detective tracking a missing girl — as their paths converge on a discovery that may change the fate of humanity. Big action, layered characters, and a plot that keeps you guessing until the final page. For fans of Battlestar Galactica, Firefly, or any of Ridley Scott’s better sci-fi films.

Mistborn: The Final EmpireMistborn: The Final Empire
By Brandon Sanderson
Tor Fantasy
Paperback | Kindle
Release date: July 31, 2007

Brandon Sanderson’s masterpiece builds on a simple premise with an intriguing twist: What if the only people brave enough to overthrow the evil empire are the criminals? What follows is a story with everything you could ask for in an epic fantasy. Complex characters, insane action, love, revenge, mystery, monsters, heroism, tragedy, humor, world-building, a strong female protagonist, a magic system unlike any other, and a plot that subverts expectations at every turn. For fans of Star Wars, Game of Thrones, Inception, and the weightless action choreography of Yuen Woo-ping.

cGt2099 recommends…

Nerd Do WellNerd Do Well: A Small Boy’s Journey to Becoming a Big Kid
By Simon Pegg
Paperback | Kindle
Release date: June 12, 2012

Simon Pegg’s selective autobiography delves into what made him the über geek superhero he is today. And who doesn’t love Simon Pegg? His book is one of the most entertaining reads you will have in a long time, and rather than go into details as to what is contained within, it is perhaps more accurate to highlight that you might feel like you are reading about yourself… Pegg is a geek at heart, and you will find numerous parallels to your own geek obsessions in his writings. From Star Wars to Zombies to Star Trek and more, Pegg’s book is a must-read.

Quick Picks

Blood of the Lamb: A Novel of Secrets by Sam Cabot (Blue Rider Press)
Chimera: A Jim Chapel Mission by David Wellington (William Morrow)
Ever After (Hollows series) by Kim Harrison (Harper Voyager)
Countdown City: The Last Policeman Book II (Last Policeman Trilogy) by Ben Winters (Quirk Books)

Feel free to let us know YOUR picks for favorite Summer reads this year!

[‘Vintage Books’ photo via Shutterstock]

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