Summer Reading List 2019

Memorial Day Weekend is almost upon us, so it’s time to pop open a summer shandy, power up the Kindle, and launch into Nuketown’s summer reading list.

The 12th Annual Summer Reading List contains 19 books and 7 graphic novels. It’s my biggest summer reading list ever, combining reading for work with reading for pleasure. It’s a lot, and I’m not sure I can read them all, but to give myself a little more time I’m starting the week before Memorial Day (rather than Memorial Day Weekend, as has been my tradition).

You can follow my Summer Reading List progress on GoodReads.


  • Audio is for the novels I’ll listen to in audiobook format, rather than read the traditional way.
  • Island books are the ones I intend to read during my family’s annual summer vacation at Lake Champlain.
  • Fiction and Non-fiction should be obvious.

The Books

  1. Use of Weapons (A Culture Novel, Book 3) by Iain Banks (Amazon) — Fiction, Audio — The Culture books are consistently good reads. This entry focuses on the intelligence agency that works behind the scenes of the post-scarcity, post-human civilization known as the Culture.
  2. Triumphant (Genesis Fleet, Book 3) by Jack Campbell (Amazon) – Fiction, Island Book – The third book in the prequel series to The Lost Fleet. Based on the title, I think it might be the last one as well.
  3. Tiamat’s Wrath (The Expanse, Book 8) by James R.A. Corey (Amazon) — Fiction, Island Book — The penultimate book in The Expanse series. The previous book jumped the story a few decades into the future. Everyone’s older (which I can relate to) and an empire of former Martians is on the rise.
  4. Learning Agile by Jennifer Greene and Andrew Stellman (Amazon) — Non-fiction — My team at work has been flirting with aspects of Agile for the last year. My goal with reading this book is to get beyond flirting and see where the more nimble approach to software development and project management could help me at the day job.
  5. The Goal by Eliyahu M. Goldratt (Amazon) — Audio, Fiction — The novel that inspired The Phoenix ProjectThe Goal tells the story of a plant manager who has 90 days to save his factory and his marriage. It’s all about process improvement and the theory of constraints. That may sound like dry reading, but given that it inspired a not-insignificant chunk of the DevOps movement, I think it’s worth adding to the list.
  6. Salvation: A Novel (Salvation Sequence Book 1) by Peter F. Hamilton (Amazon) — Audio, Fiction — Hamilton’s Commonwealth space opera novels are some of my favorite reads, so naturally I’m interested in his next science fiction trilogy.
  7. The Past Through Tomorrow by Robert HeinleinFiction — I’m going old school with this collection of Future History stories by the science fiction grandmaster. A friend at work lent me the book; it includes some stories I’ve already read (“The Roads Must Roll”) and ones I meant to read (“The Man Who Sold the Moon”). The book itself is out of print.
  8. The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley (Amazon) – Fiction — I enjoyed Hurley’s The Stars are Legion, which featured an evolving war between decaying generational starships starved for genetic material. The Light Brigade is a new novel that combines military science fiction with time travel.
  9. The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth Book 1) by N. K. Jemisin (Amazon) — Fiction — A dystopian novel that takes place on a future Earth where the tectonic activity has increased, causing continents to smash into each other and create “Fifth Seasons” of destruction. Jemisin’s been popping up throughout my RSS feeds for the last six months and it’s past time I became familiar with her work.
  10. Star Wars: Solo by Mur Lafferty (Amazon) — Fiction — The expanded origin story of Han Solo, based on the movie of the same name (which could have used a little expansion). Plus, Mur’s a friend from our early podcasting and Knights of the Dinner Table days (not to mention a certain minor league baseball rivalry) so how could I not read it?
  11. Ancillary Mercy (Imperial Radch, Book 3) by Ann Leckie (Amazon) — Fiction — The conclusion to the Imperial Radch series, which is an excellent exploration of far future gender and identity. The second book was smaller in scale than I’d expected, involving political manipulations and scheming within a single-star system. I’m hoping this one moves to a more galactic scale.
  12. Into the Fire (Vatta’s Peace #2) by Elizabeth Moon (Amazon) — Fiction, Island books — The second book in the follow-up series to Moon’s Vatta’s War. The first book was planet-bound; I’m hoping this one will return the action to the stars.
  13. This is a Horror Book by Charles Austin Muir (Amazon) —Fiction — A humorous (but apparently still scary) horror novel. Humor can be hit or miss (the Willful Child series is a perfect example of a book that works right up until they don’t) so I’m taking a gamble on this one.
  14. Shadow Captain (Sequel to Revenger) by Alastair Reynolds (Amazon) — FictionRevenger found humanity in a far-off solar system, piecing together an existence from the remains of prior galactic civilizations. It featured a technological treasure hunt and space pirates combined with a hard science edge. Shadow Captain promises more of the same. I plan to spend a sun-soaked day in June reading this book on a New Jersey beach.
  15. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (Amazon) — Audio, Fiction — The obligatory fantasy novel for the summer. People raved about this novel and I’m adding it on the recommendation of a friend.
  16. The Consuming Fire (The Interdependency, Book 2) by John Scalzi — Fiction — Scalzi’s space opera features a galactic empire whose spaceways are failing, causing planets to be cut off from one another.  The first book was an amusing, fast read; I expect the second to be more of the same.
  17. A Bad Deal for the Whole Galaxy (The Salvagers, Book 2) by Alex White (Amazon) — Fiction, Island books – My surprise read for the winter was A Big Ship at the Edge of the Galaxy, which mashed up space opera and magic in ways I didn’t expect. The sequel offers more of the same and may be my most anticipated read of the summer.
  18. Thrawn: Treason (Thrawn, Book 3) by Timothy Zahn (Amazon) — Fiction — The second book in the series, which purported to team up Admiral Thrawn with Darth Vadar, spent too much time as a Clone Wars era Thrawn/Anakin buddy flick. This novel is focused more on Thrawn’s sense of betrayal after the Empire focuses on building the Death Star instead of his own TIE-based project. The Thrawn series became my go-to beach reading the last two summers, and I intend to continue that trend with this book when it’s released on July 23.
  19. ITIL Foundation (ITIL 4 Edition) (Amazon) — Non-fiction — The introductory book for the latest iteration of the Information Technology Service Management framework. This is required reading for the day job, but if it’s a book, it goes on the list.

Graphic Novels

  1. BPRD: The Devil You Know, Vol. 1 (Amazon)
  2. BPRD: The Devil You Know, Vol. 2 (Amazon)
  3. BPRD: The Devil You Know, Vol. 3 (Amazon)
  4. Hellboy and the B.P.R.D., Vol. 1: 1952 (Amazon)
  5. Hellboy and the B.P.R.D., Vol. 2: 1953 (Amazon)
  6. Hellboy and the B.P.R.D., Vol. 3: 1954 (Amazon)
  7. William Gibson’s Alien 3 (Amazon)

The Devil You Know Vol. 1 was on last year’s reading list as well; I chose to re-read it this summer so I could remember where the story left off.

The Back List

Abe Sapien Volume 5: Sacred Places (Amazon) was originally on my summer reading list, but unfortunately it’s been difficult to find online at a reasonable price. As a result, I added a few more Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. books to the list.

Previous Summer Reading Lists

  • 2019: 19 books, 5 graphic novels
  • 2018: 15 books, 7 graphic novels
  • 2017: 17 books, 1 novella, 8 graphic novels
  • 2016: 16 books, 1 novella, 8 graphic novels
  • 2015: 15 books, 9 graphic novels
  • 2014: 13 books, 5 graphic novels
  • 2013: 11 books, 5 graphic novels
  • 2012: 11 books, 1 graphic novels
  • 2011: 11 books, 0 graphic novels
  • 2010: 7 books, 0 graphic novels
  • 2009: 9 books, 0 graphic novels
  • 2008: 8 books, 8 graphic novels
  • 1993: 26 books

3 thoughts on “Summer Reading List 2019”

  1. Thanks. 🙂 Magazines are harder for me to keep up with than books; I used to have a subscription to Analog SF, but while I loved getting them, I found they tended to stack up unread. Eventually (and reluctantly) I canceled the subscription. Even my Game Informers magazines tend to go unread these days.

    Books though … I always find time for books (at least in the summer :)) They keep me sane. 🙂

  2. I don’t know how I could possibly find the time to read it … but Neal Stephenson’s “Fall; or, Dodge in Hell” is coming out this month.

    Then again … what’s one more book, right?

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