Geeky Summer Reading
It’s July, the second month of summer! Remember when you were in school and you were required to read books over the summer break? With some of us, that has transferred over to our adult lives, when we are no longer in school. The only difference is we can read whatever the heck we want now!
If you’re like most (or all) of us here at AgentsofGeek, then the geek umbrella has pretty much made a permanent, 24/7 installation over your heads. (For me, this niche has quickly engulfed my whole life, and that includes what I read.) If you’re wondering what geeky books to read this summer, here’s a list of some suggestions. Feel free to leave more in the comments!
1) The Song of the Lioness series
Meet Alanna of Trebond. She wants to be a knight, but there’s one problem: she’s a girl. Her solution is to tape her boobs down (painful) and dress like a boy. She meets a few colorful characters along the way: Coram Smythesson, her burly and protective servant; George Cooper, a rogue and spymaster; Prince Jonathan, an arrogant royal whom Alanna is in love with; and Duke Roger, a powerful sorcerer who’s out to kill Jonathan and Alanna. The Song of the Lioness is a four-part young adult series starring a well-written heroine who rises against the status quo to follow her dream. My only complaint is that Alanna gets into romantic situations with a few of the male characters a little too often. She goes back and forth more times than I can remember in Hand of the Goddess. I didn’t mind it at the time, but now it’s sort of gag worthy. But if the romance subplot is your game, then have at it. Otherwise, this is a great series.
2) A Song of Ice and Fire series
HBO made a TV series out of the books. Need we say more? Please, don’t die before you finish the series, George. That’s all we ask.
3) The Wars of Shadow and Light series
The Wars of Light and Shadow is a five-act long series (or will be once it’s complete) that follows a pair of brothers cursed to live in life-long enmity. The world around them eventually gets caught up in their feud. Wurts narrates each character from their own point of view, giving the reader a different and sympathetic perspective.
4) Wheel of Time series
The Wheel of Time saga takes place in our past and in our future. Overall, the story follows a man who learns that is the savior of the world who is fated to save everyone from an evil merely referred to as “the Dark One.” Every nerdy reader and their mother seems to be reading this series already. The series is 14 books long, with the last two written by Brandon Sanderson after Robert Jordan died in 2007.
5) Chronicles of Amber series
“Corwin is a prince of Amber, the ‘immortal city from which every other city has taken its shape.’ All other worlds, including Earth, are shadows of that reality. Corwin has spent centuries on Earth as an amnesiac. But when someone in the family tries to kill him there, Corwin begins a search for his past. He quickly learns that his family has some very unusual powers. They can travel between Amber, its shadows, and Chaos by manipulating reality; use magical playing cards to communicate and travel instantaneously; and are able to walk the Pattern that created Amber. Corwin regains his memory, solves the mystery of his father Oberon’s disappearance, and fulfills his destiny–only to disappear into Chaos.
“Merlin searches for Corwin and his destiny as a son of both Amber and the Courts of Chaos. His story parallels Corwin’s, answering many questions about Amber, Chaos, and the next generation in the family.” –description from Amazon
6) Ender’s Game
The world was attacked by aliens and nearly destroyed the human race. To make sure that doesn’t happen again, humanity comes up with a plan to breed military leaders and then train them in the art of war. The early part of their training is in the form of games in which the titular character begins to shine above the rest. With the movie coming out later this year, will you read the book first or just watch the movie?
It’s no secret that if you wear a red shirt in Star Trek, the original series, you’re practically dead already. It’s like destiny, like they were compelled to give their lives for almost no reason. Little do the redshirts know, there’s a reason for that. If you’re a fan of audiobooks, Wil Wheaton narrates. The only reason why I haven’t finished listening to it yet is that after every time a character says something it’s “Dahl said…Duvall said…Dahl said…Duvall said…” It’s like nails on a chalkboard.
8) The Stand
If post-apocalypse is your thing, then King is your guy. A deadly flu wipes out 99 percent of the human population. The survivors are split into two groups, one led by the goodly 108-year-old woman, and the other led by Randall Flagg who delights in chaos and miscellaneous nefarious acts — it’s your classic clash between good and evil. This one of King’s heftier reads, clocking in at around 800+ pages or about 47 hours in audio, making it great for long trips.
9) Ready Player One
Set thirty years in the future, the world is in ruins after The Great Recession. The only escape is in a virtual world called OASIS where people lead second lives, and even go to school. Wade dreams of bigger things for himself: to find James Halliday’s, the late creator of OASIS, easter egg which is the equivalent to Wonka’s golden ticket. The clues are simple…if you understand all of the 1980s references in Halliday’s notes. One offers plenty of homages to classic video games, TV shows, and various other geeky pop culture trivia. It’s quite literally nostalgia set in the future. One question for anyone who has read this book: did anyone else picture Chris Hardwick or David Tennant when the book describes a young James Halliday? I vote for Hardwick if they ever make a movie out of this book.
10) Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies: On Myths, Morons, Free Speech, Football, and Assorted Absurdities
This suggestion came from Twitter. Honestly, the only reason why this book made the list is because the word “Sparkleponies” is in the title. I wonder if Chris Kluwe is a bronie. Here’s the book description:
Hi. In your hands, right now, you hold the culmination of thousands of years of human intelligence, ingenuity, and brilliance. Now put your goddamn phone down and pay attention to my book.
What is in my book, you ask? (I’m really glad you asked, by the way, because now I get to tell you.)
Time travel. Gay marriage. Sportsballing. Futuristic goggles that DO NOTHING.
Tiny brags from my publisher, stuff like: “This is an uproarious, uncensored take on empathy, personal responsibility, and what it means to be human.”
Excessive brags about myself: “An extraordinarily clever, punishingly funny, sharp-tongued blogosphere star, NFL player, husband and father, one-time violin prodigy, voracious lifetime reader, obsessive gamer, and fearless champion of personal freedom.”
Oh, and also an essay on the Pope’s Twitter account. Honestly, if that doesn’t draw you in, there’s no hope left for humanity. I also give my own funeral eulogy, in case you were hoping I’d go away and die now!
So please, join me in the glorious art of windmill tilting by reading this “collection of rousing, uncensored personal essays, letters, and stories” (I have no idea why that’s in quotes).
Join the herd of Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies.
(You know you want to.)
What are you reading this summer? Sound off in the comments!