So I was the kid that, at the end of the school year, was like “Yay for summer! I can read more books that aren’t assigned for class and it’ll be AMAZING!” And that maybe is a bit of a clue to my level of popularity, but whatever. Books. Yay!
It’s nearly July 1. Here’s where I stand so far with summer reading.
A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin
Martin’s epic, nerdy, amazing, Arya-tastic A Song of Ice and Fire series has become a bit of an obsession. (Also, “A Song of Ice and Fire” is just SO incredibly dorky. It almost comes with its own renaissance faire—yes, it’d add that e to the end—cape and giant turkey leg.)
I was reluctant to read this series. 1.) I don’t live in my mom’s basement; 2.) I’m not a big fan of poetry/songs in books unless it’s the Sorting Hat; 3.) I absolutely HATE the c-word. The four-letter one popular with the British.
Then I met one Arya Stark and have subsequently plowed through all five books in the series kind of like how Martin likes to show Theon plowing through the ladies. Just like that.
I now have theories about Jon Snow’s parentage. I drop phrases into conversation such as “dark wings, dark words” and “winter is coming.” I have had serious discussions about the role of Old Nan. It’s a sickness, I know. I’ll say this for the series: While I may find myself rolling my eyes at some of Martin’s writing, he knows how to create complex characters.
“Ready Player One” by Ernie Cline
Here’s another one where I was like “meh,” and by the end was “yay!” While fist-pumping.
This book is just so chock-full of fun pop culture references that I spent almost the entire damn thing grinning. It contains a Whedonverse. The main character flies a Firefly-class transport ship. Yes. Just yes.
A lot (okay, most) of it takes place in a virtual reality, which concerned me at first. You guys, I am probably the only 30-year-old who has, like, zero experience or interest in video games. None. But Ernie Cline drew me in with a supremely likable everyman-who-achieves-greatness and a twisty-turny quest of a plot.
I’ve been recommending this one to anyone who stands still long enough. It’s one of those elusive young adult books that appeals to guys and girls. It’s the unicorn of YA. (I’ll amend that to the “Cabin in the Woods” unicorn of YA. It kicks ass is what I’m saying.)
“Devil in the White City” by Erik Larson
My friend Traci read this book years ago and loved it, and it’s been on my radar ever since. Being a writer (and a YA writer at that), I spend a lot of my reading time with books in my genre, so this was a departure for me. It’s been nice to fall back into an adult book. I’m only a few chapters in, but so far it is incredibly interesting. (And bonus: I’ve had this fun idea to write a steampunk set during the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair for a while now, so I’ll consider this “research.”)
Also on the list this summer? “Spoiled” and “Messy” by the Fug Girls, “Throne of Glass,” which has been talked up as the YA “Game of Thrones,” and maybe another actual adult book.