While it is not yet officially summer, there is no time like the present to plan your summer reading list. Here are a few suggestions for your pool side reading enjoyment.
Stephen King once again delves into the deeper side of that which frightens us, dipping into the mind of a mass killer. Brady Hartsfield loved the feeling of death under the wheels of the stolen Mercedes as he ran down dozens of jobless men and women waiting for a chance of success at a local job fair. Can retired cop Bill Hodges pick up the pieces of the unsolved case before Hartsfield makes good on his promise to go even bigger? Mr. Mercedes promises to be a thrilling chase and knowing King it will likely leave you looking over your shoulder. The novel hits book stores June 3
The Silkworm (a Cormoran Strike Novel)
Penned under the nom de plume Robert Galbraith, J. K. Rowling takes us back to the offices of Cormoran Strike, private detective, one-legged veteran and son of rock legend Johnny Rokeby. This second book in the Cormoran Strike series follows the P.I. as he tracks down missing novelist Owen Quine. While Quine’s wife suspects the novelist has simply run off on his own, Strike uncovers something far more sinister may be at play. When Quine is found brutally murdered Strike and his impetuous assistant Robin Ellacott must race against time to decipher the killer’s motivation to solve the brutal crime. The first Strike novel was well received by critics and became a best seller even before it was revealed that Rowling was the author. Her skills at plot twists and foreshadowing promise to make this second book as enjoyable as the first. The book is set for a June 19th release.
The Magician’s Land
The finale to The Magician trilogy by Lev Grossman. Touted as “Harry Potter for grown ups,” the series really stands on its own as a masterful work of fiction real enough that you can almost smell Fillory. Inspired by the likes of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R Tolkien, Grossman creates a world parallel to our own in which Quentin Coldwater, genius and magician, finds that things are not as simple as having your childhood wishes come true. In this third installment we find Quentin cast out of Fillory, the magical world he dreamed of as a child and the one he grew to rule as a man. Lost on the outside, Quentin finds that he can’t escape his past. Will he return to Fillory, or is that magical realm doomed for destruction? Quentin teams with new friends and those he thought were lost in this last, thrilling novel. While a book of magical adventure, The Magician trilogy is definitely not for kids. Look for The Magician’s Land August 5th.
Written in My Own Hearts Blood
The eighth book in the epic Outlander Saga, Diana Gabaldon’s series which follows Claire Fraser/Randall on a journey that spans both nations and centuries. After falling through a henge in 1946 in the Scottish highland and ending up in 1743, the series has followed Claire and her loved ones through history. A wonderful blend of historic fiction, action, time travel and a touch of romance, the series is anything but a simple bodice ripping romance. In this newest installment fans will at last find out what will happen to Brianna and Roger, while Jamie and Claire are once again torn apart by the historic changes happening all around them in 1778. If you haven’t read the first seven books, you’ll have until June 10th when the newest chapter in the series hits the shelves. If you’re not up to the seven books, which vary in length from about 900-1200 pages, Starz new series Outlander premiers August 9th and will follow the story from the very beginning.
Skin Game (Dresden Files)
Harry Dresden may be a wizard, but do not confuse him with Potter. The latest in Jim Butcher’s supernatural detective series, Skin Game will follow Chicago’s only professional wizard as he is forced to help a group of super villains, including his worst enemy Nicodemus Archleone, break in to the highest security vault in the Nevernever. Dresden will have to survive the theft of the literal Holy Grail, which of course belongs to Hades, Lord of the Underworld, and watch his back with Nicodemus around. Skin Games was released on May 27. If you’re more of an audio book person, The Dresden Files are narrated by fan favorite James Marsters, Spike of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame.
Rounding out the list are a few compilations and some supplemental stories to fan favorites. Neil Gaiman’s multimedia enhanced version of The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains: A Tale of Travel and Darkness with Pictures of All Kinds with art by Eddie Campbell comes out June 17. The Secret of Lizzie Bennet, the novelization of the Emmy-winning web series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries comes out June 24. Rogues, a collection of 20 short stories from writers like Neil Gaiman, Scott Lynch and featuring a new Game of Thrones story by George R.R. Martin comes out June 17, and Four: A Divergent Collection companion piece, features four pre-Divergent stories plus some “deleted” scenes from Divergent, which comes out July 8.
Last on the list, for those of you who may not be big time readers, there is My Drunk Kitchen: A guide to eating, drinking and going with your gut. Hannah Hart’s fake cooking show turned internet sensation offers up recipes, stories and doodle art to inspire you. Full of Hart’s clever wit the book is sure to make you smile. For a taste, check out this clip.
So grab yourself a new book, a towel and don’t forget the sunblock. Happy Summer reading.
Let us know if you’ve had a chance to enjoy any titles above, or if we left off something you think everyone should be reading, in the comments below.