I'm a creature of habit, and I know it. I love my pork roll, egg and cheese sandwich for breakfast, my Mets baseball, and X-Men comic books. In the summer months, this manifests as kicking back with a new Lost Fleet novel by Jack Campbell, an Expanse book by the combined writing team of James S. A. Corey, and a stack of Hellboy/B.P.R.D. novels.
I have a bad habit of saving all of my heavy reading for the summer. Don't get me wrong -- I love my summer reading list, but my brain's happier when I keep reading throughout the year.
Starting around Thanksgiving and continuing through to early March, I aimed to do exactly that. I put together a short (well, short for me) reading list.
Summer is long over, and the end of the year is looming large. Fortunately I can look back on a summer and know -- despite all the long work days -- that I read a hell of a lot of books.
I ended up reading all but one of the novels on my summer reading list, while adding several additional tomes. I planned to read 12 books and five graphic novels. I succeeded in reading 15 books and nine graphic novels.
It's been largely a comic-book-free summer in Easton, Pa. thanks to Marvel's Secret Wars. The publisher canceled all of their existing comic book titles in favor of new crossover Secret Wars books that revisited classic storylines (Civil War, Inferno, etc.) while creating a "battle world" for superhero smackdowns.
Begun, this summer reading list has.
The core of my summer reading list should look pretty familiar. There are new Lost Fleet and The Expanse novels, earlier volumes of which have been on my list for years. There are also new novels by some of my favorite authors -- Neal Stephenson, Alastair Reynolds, Ernest Cline -- that I'm eager to read.
The comic book pile has grown large over the last few weeks, partly because I was busy with family and work, partly because I knew I'd have time to catch up during Christmas week. Topping it is Marvel's crossover event Axis, in which the Red Skull (augmented by Charles Xavier's brain ... I kid you not) tries to take over the world.
Consider Phlebas is a sometimes thrilling, often meandering, always morally gray novel about people caught up in a galactic war. It's antihero is Horza, a human shape changer working for the Iridans, an alien civilization of religious zealots hell bent on breaking the galactic strength of The Culture, humanity's own star-faring civilization.