Summer is getting close and it seems to be the time of year when reading lists come out of the woodwork. I'm unsure why that is, as I don't pay much attention to them. If I had scads of cash to buy the new releases coming out this season, which are popping up on many a list, I would be more inclined to seek out recommendations from critics, authors, and readers alike. As it stands, I am content to look at the plethora of less-than-new releases on my own bookshelf to find what titles I'll be reading this summer.
At present, I have about a hundred books in my collection waiting to be read for the very first time—thank you, used-book stores. I've got westerns, thrillers, young-adult fantasy, horror, literary classics, sci-fi, non-fiction, and more. And before the summer is through, I'm sure I'll have added even more titles to my shelf. So, I'm not starving for stories. But, which eight will I set aside as absolute must-reads for when I'm sweltering under a muggy Maritime sun?
1) The Dark Tower VI: Song for Susannah by Stephen King – I've pledged to myself that I will finish this incredible saga before the end of summer. There are only two books left for me to read, and the next one on deck will hopefully hold up to the cliffhanger ending King tortured readers with in Wolves of the Calla.
2) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling – It took me quite a while to bother to watch the first Harry Potter film. I was one of those movie fans who turned his nose up at it and watched The Lord of the Rings trilogy instead. It took even longer to convince myself—after admitting that I really do enjoy the movies—to at least give the first novel a chance. I did last August, really liked it, and will finally read the second book in the series.
3) Frankenstein: Prodigal Son by Dean Koontz and Kevin J. Anderson – I found this in a shop after I'd read Mary Shelley's classic, and decided I'd give it a go. However, it, and the second book in the trilogy, have done nothing but collect dust since I got them. I was waiting to find the third before starting into it, and now that I hear Koontz is finally releasing the third Frankenstein novel this summer, after an eternity of anticipation, it's about time I read book number one.
4) The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein – For a non-fiction title, I'll go with this one. I scooped it up at a library fire-sale last year. I'd seen interviews with Klein and thought the subject matter was really fascinating. I'm not heavy on reading non-fiction, so I've let it sit on the back burner ever since. Well, this summer I'm going to see if the book's content can renew my subdued outrage towards the Bush Administration.
5) The Chosen Child by Graham Masterton – J.A. Konrath credits Masterton as one of his favorites. I've read neither a Konrath novel, nor a work by Masterton, but I do enjoy Konrath's blog and the advice/rants he posts. And with the notoriety of Masterton, I thought it only fitting I should read one of his more heralded works this summer to see what all the hype is about. After all, as an aspiring horror author, I should read as much quality horror as I can.
6) Afraid by Jack Kilborn – J.A. Konrath's new "nom de guerre" has a new horror novel this year. And I won a copy. I've read reviews and interviews concerning this novel, and I like the sounds of it. I've got my hopes up for it, and will likely write a review on my own blog once I have read it.
7) The Richard Laymon Collection: Volume 18 – This is a double book I won through a contest on Ty Schwamberger's blog. I'm a sucker for a good contest and lucked out here. I recently read Laymon's Bite and liked it, so I have my fingers crossed on the two stories included with this collection—The Glory Bus and Friday Night in Beast House.
8) Out of Sight by Elmore Leonard – I absolutely loved this movie. After realizing I've really enjoyed more than one movie based on Elmore Leonard's novels, I figured I should read some of them. I've read a few that were not adapted into films, and I enjoyed them. So, this summer I'm going to read one based on my favorite film adaptation of his work.
Well, that's what my summer reading list looks like. How is yours shaping up for this season?