Friday, May 31, 2013

2013 Must-Reads for Summer

by The Ladies of Stellar Four

Nathan Fillion: Bet he has some fun books to read this summer

It is that time again: time for us to share in the summer bounty of beach reads, little blockbusters bound in paper, and new installments of beloved series. Get ready for those lazy summer days when you have a cool drink in one hand and a book in the other.

Don't forget the 52 in 52 challenge, where we are trying to average a book a week for the year. We are almost at the halfway point. If you are behind, this is a great chance to get back on track. If you are speeding towards the finish, you over-achiever you, then that means you have time to read even more.

Read on after the break for a look at the fabulous books we're looking forward to this summer.

Sara N.'s picks

To be honest, there aren't many sequels or new releases from favorite authors that I'm looking forward to this summer, so my list is mostly new-to-me authors.

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes — I'm crazy about time travel, and crime/thriller novels are one of my guilty pleasures, so this book about a time-traveling serial killer and his final would-be victim seems tailor made for me. Advance reviews have been rapturous (check them out at the Amazon link). Out on June 4.

Lexicon by Max Barry — An orphaned girl is recruited to attend an exclusive school that teaches its students lto control the thoughts of others through language. If the heroine is anything like Barry's tenacious Jennifer Government from the same-titled book, count me in. Out on June 18.

A Witch's Handbook of Kisses and Curses by Molly Harper — What, you're not going to pick up a book with that title? Available now.

Carniepunk short story collection — I have a soft spot for short story collections, which often contain perfect little gems strung together on a chain for you. This particular set is full of urban fantasy authors I either love (Seanan McGuire) or have been meaning to read for ages (Rachel Caine, Kevin Hearne, Jennifer Estep, Rob Thurman), all writing about fairs, carnivals and festivals with an urban fantasy flair. Out July 23.

(Of course, these are all a warmup for the real book I'm anticipating in 2013: The Republic of Thieves. Sure, the release date puts it outside the summer months, but maybe we'll have extremely mild weather and Oct. 8 will feel like part of summer? Doesn't matter either way; I'll be inside reading.)

Megan S.'s Picks

 NOS4A2 by Joe Hill - NOS4A2 (pronounced Nosferatu) came out at the end of April, but it's in my summer to read pile.  In Joe Hill's latest horror novel, Victoria McQueen must battle Charlie Manx, the boogieman from her childhood, to save her son's life.  Manx has been abducting kids in his 1938 Rolls Royce Wraith for a very long time and taking them to a terrifying place called Christmasland and Vic was the only one to have ever escaped his grasp.  Now, she must do the same for her boy with the help of her knack for finding things and her Triumph motorcycle.

I wasn't interested in it when I first heard about the book, I don't have the stomach for most horror novels, but I kept coming across amazing praise for Hill's book.  Kristin of My Bookish Ways originally wanted to write a one sentence review, "Holy sh*t this is awesome, just read it, already!!" for her blog and other friends felt the same way.  Then, after meeting Hill earlier this month and listening to him talk about the book, I was sold.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman - Truthfully, I don't know much about this book but it's Neil Gaiman so there's no question.  I'm reading it.  According to the dust jacket, it's about "A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home and is drawn to the farm at the end of the road where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl and her mother and grandmother. As he sits by the pond ­behind the ramshackle old house, the unremembered past comes flooding back—a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy."  The Ocean at the End of the Lane will be out on June 18, but I'll be waiting until June 28 to get an autographed copy at Gaiman's last US signing in San Francisco.

Cinnamon and Gunpowder by Eli Brown - It all begins in 1819, when pirate Mad Hannah Mabbot kidnaps renowned chef Owen Wedgewood.  His life, she says, will be spared if he provides culinary delights every Sunday.  (Remind anyone else of "Goodnight, Wesley. Sleep well.  I'll most likely kill you in the morning"?)  Wedgewood soon becomes a part of Mabbot's motley crew as the ship and her captain are under siege from a dire threat.

Guys, how could I pass up a book with swashbuckling adventures, a lady pirate anti-hero, and cooking? It'll be out next week on June 4 and I can't wait to get my hands on it.

Kathy F.'s Picks

The Shining Girls, Carniepunk and The Ocean at the End of the Lane are all on my summer reading list too.

Jenn Bennet's Arcadia Bell series - I have been kicking myself that I let this series escape me for so long. I adored book 1 and need to read book 2, Summoning the Night, and the newly released book 3, Binding the Shadows. Mages, daemons, a very interesting magic system, and a wonderful romance too. Cady kicks ass too, so you know I'm there.

Generation V by M.L. Brennan - When I saw that editor-extraordinaire Anne Sowards had a hand in this one, I was very interested. Then a friend read it and told me I should love it, so I'm looking forward to it even more. A mostly human, part-vampire who is living the slacker life, a shape-shifter, and a dangerous foe. This practically has "fun summer read" stamped all over it.

The Pirate's Wish (The Assassin's Curse #2) by Cassandra Rose Clarke - I absolutely adored book 1. A pirate princess escapes an arranged marriage causing the groom's family to send an assassin to kill her. When she ends up saving the assassin's life, he is cursed to protect her, beginning a journey to break the curse. I can't wait to see what happens to Ananna and Naji next. Fairytale fun. Out June 18.

Celebromancy by Michael R. Underwood - I loved Geekomancy so much. The magic system based on pop culture, the characters, the snark, the possibilities for future books. Yes, please! I need more Ree and company. Book 2 is out July 15.

Magic Rises (Kate Daniels #6) by Ilona Andrews - The latest adventure with Kate, Curran, Andrea, Doolittle, Derek, Jim, and all of the characters I have come to love over the years. This time they are going on a trip. Getting to see other parts of this magic-ravaged world = BONUS. Expecting lots of action and some great lines. Out July 30.

What is on your list this summer?
Pin It


  1. Ooops. Forgot to mention I'll be checking out Marvel's new venture, two new novel length paperbacks, one staring Rogue and the other She-Hulk. Rogue's always been my favorite superhero and She-Hulk's book is written by Marta Acosta (whom I love) so I'm cautiously optimistic. The Mary Sue has more info about the two

  2. Great list! Geekomancy looked great, and I've been meaning to read the Arcadia Bell series for ages. I also adore Marta Acosta--I think her Casa Dracula series is absolutely brilliant. Did you know she recently released them (at least the first one) in digital format?

    I'm hoping to finish Red Moon by Benjamin Percy (fantastic so far), get to Anathem by Neil Stephenson, and read Assassin's Gambit by Amy Raby. Maybe I'll finally get to My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland (loved her Demon series). But if I only read one book, it's going to be the conclusion of the Jane True series by Nicole Peeler.

    If only i could get paid to do this...

  3. I just blazed through James Dashner's The Maze Runner and Scorch Trials, so Death Cure and the prequel are both on my list for the summer, as is Jasper Fforde's The Last Dragonslayer, and finishing Philip Pullman's new edition of Grimm's Fairy Tales.

    For work I'm intermittently paging through Significant Objects, edited by Rob Walker and Josh Glenn, and that's got some fun works by some great and some new genre writers, among others.

  4. I am so excited for Republic of Thieves. I'm in Los Angeles, so odds are good in early October it will still be about 80 so totally summery.

    Also super excited for the Neil Gaiman signing here.