Summer Reading! (or reading in general)


I don’t know where y’all are in life but I recently went back to school and am now in a position where I have summer vacations again. While these summer vacations aren’t as carefree as those of youth, I an super in to having this unstructured downtime and not having a lot of my energy focused on reading textbooks.

One of major efforts for the summer is to really catch up on some of my pleasure reading and just generally expand the scope of my literary interests. To that end I am currently reading Motherhood by Shelia Heti and Revenant Gun by Yoon Ha Lee.

Do other folks have summer reading plans? General reading plans? Are y’all reading or are you like me and neglected your book during lunch today to watch Nintendo’s E3 presentation?


I, too, have a summer “break” for the first time in years (I’m still working full time but don’t have any classes), so I’m trying to gobble up some books and games with the extra free time. So far I’ve read Jac Jemc’s The Grip of It, Mur Lafferty’s Six Wakes, and am now finishing up David Mitchell’s Ghostwritten. I have about 15 other books I want to read sitting on my nightstand so I’m not sure yet what will be next.

Thanks for the reminder about the Yoon Ha Lee series, by the by. I’d been meaning to check that out for a minute.


Starting the break proper, I burned through Bechdel’s Fun Home. It’s great, but what a bummer all around. I was surprised when I picked up Harry Potter to catch up with The Shrieking Shack and realized how much more fun I was having.

On that note, I’m going to try and Finish Pratchett and Gaiman’s _Good Omens_because I’ve been reading it for 2 years and its so fun.
And thanks to school, once I finish that I have over a dozen things to choose from!


I don’t get much of a summer break anymore, but I still feel the season and I like to have some summertime reading. Right now, I’m happy because my library ebook loan of The Woman Who Smashed Codes finally came up, and I’ve been looking forward to reading it for a long time.

Later in the summer I’m really looking forward to Lands of Lost Borders by Kate Harris.


I keep thinking about diving back into audiobooks after really loving Glen Weldon’s The Caped Crusade: Batman and the Rise of Nerd Culture just over a year ago. I got And the Band Played On last year as a physical book but realized I didn’t have the patience to dig into it and am thinking about using an Audible trial to pick it up as my go-to listening at the pool this summer.


Working my way through Roadside Picnic, and I don’t know if this counts but I’m also going through the core rulebook of Dungeon World for a refresher right now to prepare for a campaign!


I found the immediate start of Ninefox Gambit a little daunting as you get thrown deep into the world and some of its mechanics, but if you grit it through those twenty or so pages the rest is really wonderful.


A few weeks ago I had someone ask me what my favorite books were, and I mentioned Breakfast of Champions by Vonnegut. Then, when asked to go into why I liked it, I totally blanked on the details of the book. Super embarrassing, so now I’m working my way through my Vonnegut library. Breakfast of Champions and Cats Cradle down, Galapagos is up next.


So May/June has been:

Errol Morris’ “Believing is Seeing”-- a great collection of essays from a famed documentary filmmaker in which he explores the unreliability of photography not just now in the digital age but back at the dawn of the invention of the thing in terms of creating a document that represents “Truth”. Teaching a new Doc class next semester and I’m absolutely assigning some of this.

Michelle Alexander’s “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness”-- A gut punch of a book and should be mandatory reading if you care about the racial injustices in our penal system.

Brian K Vaugh-- Volumes 1-3 of his “Saga” comics-- Some of it I love, some of it I’m wary of, but I’m going to keep going. Sci-fi, very unique in someways in how it blends fantasy and deep space. Disturbing at times, but cool art style.

Sewlyn Raab’s “The Five Families-- The Rise and Fall of the Mafia”-- I’m of Italian extraction and I absolutely hate everything the mob stands for and their bullshit hypocrisy about “honor” but much to my embarrassment, I’ve always really enjoy reading about the sort of bumbling high opera of the scumbag class. This book is pretty exhaustive in its scope and I enjoyed the history of the thing.

Harold Pinter- “Collection 1”-- I’m a huge fan of plays but I’ve never really buried myself in this guy’s work even though he’s of paramount importance to the field of drama. Enjoying the plays so far. No one does menace like this guy.

Joe and David Henry- “Furious Cool”-- a really great biography on Richard Pryor and one that doesn’t shy away from some of the terrible shit he did in his life. But they find a great way to both present those moments in his life without covering them up or normalizing him while still showing why he was so important and brilliant. I also love the fact that they don’t go the regular biography route and present his life from soup to nuts. Instead, they have chosen a series of “snapshots” of times in his life from childhood to death that they think defined him and only explore those. Also some great interviews with people like Dick Gregory.


If you haven’t read Mother Night, I can’t suggest it enough. I think it’s one that gets overlooked. Like Vonnegut loves to do he tells yo in the forward what the book is about so this isn’t a spoiler: "“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”


These look like great recommendations. Thanks!


I’m still chowing down on Robert Caro’s “The Power Broker” which I really think is a must-read for people interested in politics.


In the past year or two there have been a million and one books on the state of America and its political parties, and every time one comes out I’ve been like “man, I should read one of those.”

So a few weeks ago I decided on/picked up “A Colony in a Nation” by Chris Hayes. It centers largely around this metaphor of there being two Americas: one that benefits from the ideals of its founders, and one that, like the colonies that became America, is struggling to withstand manipulation and oppression by the elite. This framing is then used to explain the social, cultural, and economic issues the country is/has been facing.

My goal was to finish it before Yes We (Still) Can by Dan Pfeiffer releases next week, but E3 has been doing a very good job of getting in my way.


I’m slowly making my way through The Expanse series of novels, and currently on Book 5 (Nemesis Games), which may be my favorite of the series yet. Next I’ll probably read Stephen King’s new book, The Outsider, and the new Ruth Ware mystery.


Okay as one who has been told I should really check out Saga but am not super in to what I have seen of the art do you think the story is strong enough to carry it? Is this something I should simply borrow from the library or is it cool to shrug and say “eh seems like it isn’t for me” and move on?


Read the first two would be my rec. I think you can tell from there. I don’t think it’s the greatest writing in the entire world, but the world they build is pretty unique and I really did enjoy my time there. Well, enjoy might not be the right word-- there are a lot of (purposefully) troubling things that happen, but it’s very different than a lot of other sci-fi meets fantasy worlds that you’ve read before. I think getting a couple issues at the library is a GREAT idea. See i it’s for you. I certainly think it’s worth at least trying, you know?