What’s Your Favorite Summer Read?

Two years ago, I read a review in Entertainment Weekly of the first book in a new trilogy by an author named David Anthony Durham. I had never heard of him, but the glowing review of Acacia: The War with the Mein hooked me, and I read the book soon after.

I was hooked.

Sometimes you read a book that you unapologetically recommend to everyone you know, and you pre-order the sequel on Amazon the first day you can. This was one such book for me.

I even Googled Durham’s blog and posted a comment about how much I loved the book, and he actually replied. To me, this is akin to receiving a response from Tolkien himself. I love that we live in an era when you can reach out to writers, singers, actors, etc on Facebook, Twitter, and blogs and sometimes even hear back from them.

The final book of the trilogy will be released this October, and I wanted to do something for it on the blog. I asked David if he’d film a short video for my readers (which he was incredibly kind to take the time to do), and I’m going to give away copies of his first two Acacia books to one of you.

Here’s how it’ll work: In the comments below, share one or several of your favorite summer reads. Because there’s really nothing better than a good book in the summer, is there? You can even share a book or books that you’re really looking forward to reading for the first time this summer.

At the end of the week, I’ll select one person at random and will send them a copy of the first book in the trilogy. If you read it and love it, I’ll send you the second book too. If you’re not a fan, I’ll send you any other book (within reason–no rare leatherbound books from Ron Burgundy’s library, please) of your choice.

Thanks for participating, and I really look forward to hearing your recommendations. Feel free to “Like” this entry on Facebook at the bottom of this entry.

20 Responses to “What’s Your Favorite Summer Read?”

  1. Debra Lyle says:

    Harlan Coben is definitely my favorite “summer read” writer. Look at this website – https://www.harlancoben.com/index.html – watch the trailer – I am definitely putting Live Wire on reserve at the Library. The pages fly by in a Coben thriller – and the characters become your friends. My first Coben book was Tell No One and then Gone for Good and then I went back to catch up. He keeps me intrigued.

    Is “the ugliest truth better than the prettiest lie”? I guess I will have to read to see.

    I look forward to Acacia. I loved Hunger Games and Dragon Tattoo so I am trusting your recommendation.

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Debra–Thanks for the recommendation. So if you could recommend one Coben book to start off with, would it be one of those two that you mentioned, or another one?

  2. Ariel says:

    One of my favorite books of all time is Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein. However, I have the perfect story to fit with your post:

    Yesterday I went to Borders – super excited to use my 50% off coupon to purchase a copy of the game Settlers of Catan. Sadly, I realized too late that in my eagerness I had misread “excluding” for “including.” So here I am at Borders with a gift card, a 50% off coupon, and no idea what book I want to start my summer with. I wander the aisles and page through the latest best sellers, but nothing is amazing enough that I want to OWN it. Then I remember a book that my grandfather gave me when I was a freshman in college. A thin book with a white cover that has the word ‘water’ in the title. I loved it so much I lent it to almost everyone I knew – until one girl failed to return it. It has been over 5 years since I have read this book and I don’t remember the title or the author, but I know this is exactly the perfect book that I want to return to my personal collection. So I go up to a Borders’ staff person and give them the same description I just gave you – and they knew exactly the book: The Color of Water by James McBride. It’s an autobiography about a black jew. And I will happily lend you my copy, but only if you promise to return it.

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Very interesting–like Lenny Kravitz? I’ll add that to my list.

      • Bob says:

        I skipped to Jamey’s comment and jumped to a conclusion that was unfortunately not realized when I read Ariel’s post — that her “summer read” was the autobiography of Lenny Kravitz. If it exists, Jamey, that is my suggestion for you.

  3. Jasmin says:

    I’m going to read the Ender’s Game since one of my friends want to start a summer bookclub. I think it got bug aliens (GROSS!), war, and children fighting to the death. I never been to book club, so should I take notes as I read for the meeting?

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      I’ve read the first Ender’s Book, and it’s quite good. It’ll make a great movie (it’s in production). For book club, you don’t need to take notes.

      • Jasmin says:

        There’s a movie coming out!? Sh*t. I need to quickly read it because I’ll lose interest and watch the movie instead of read it.

        You said book. Is there a difference between Ender’s Book and Ender’s Game? I need to check out the library.

  4. Red says:

    I actually prefer to read in the winter rather than the summer. For a few years, I started a Tolkien regiment in August, with Silmarillion and Children of Hurin, into Hobbit and Lord of the Rings followed by Tales from the Perilous Realm. But I got a bit tired of spending half the year reading the same things.

    I also like to read books in series. So, in late February I started George R.R. Martin’s series Song of Ice and Fire. Volume 5 of 7 is due to be released July 12th.

    After I’m caught up with that, I think I may read Omnivore’s Dilemma, though I don’t usually like non-fiction. After that, I may try The Hunger Games.

  5. Toby Dorr says:

    One of my all time favorite books is The Poisonwood Bible. The words are like poetry – just a delight to read!!

    Right now I’m reading a book I picked up in a thrift store for a buck and it is suprisingly refreshing and a nice relaxing read.

    the Memory of Running by Ron McLarty

    Middle age redemption…

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Toby–I also greatly enjoyed The Poisonwood Bible. It’s a powerful book.

      I’ve heard good things about The Memory of Running–glad to hear it’s holding up to its promise.

  6. Tommy Kovac says:

    Some favorite summer reads:
    I’m looking forward to “Flashback” by Dan Simmons, a sci-fi book set in the near future about an addictive drug controlling the population. Simmons is a master of several genres, and I’m currently reading “Black Hills,” which is a historical novel about the ghost of Custer possessing a young American Indian and inhabiting his body for the rest of the boy’s life.
    Also looking forward to Martin’s “A Dance With Dragons.” I actually discovered Durham’s “Acacia” while I was waiting impatiently for Martin’s next book. I agree it’s a great “recommended if you like” connection. Other “recommended if you likes” for Durham and Martin are Tad Williams’ “Shadowmarch” series, and Gregory Keyes’ “Kingdoms of Thorn & Bone” series.
    I should disclose that I’ve already read Durham’s first two Acacia novels & loved them. I want to put them in the high school library I work in, but I’m not willing to part with MY copies. 😉

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Hey Tommy, thanks for the recommendations! I’d agree that Durham’s books are similar to Martin’s. I’ll have to check out those other series you mentioned.

  7. Michael says:

    Nothing beats a world-evoking trilogy for optimum summer reading. I love the Foundation Trilogy. While this might be an exercise in nostalgia for me (Asimov was my sci-fi gateway drug), it’s also a powerful escape from the here and now.

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Thanks for your recommendation, Michael. I’ve heard great things about that trilogy. I’d also recommend Hyperion by Dan Simmons–it’s pretty amazing. I think it’s the first piece of sci-fi I read that transcended the genre.

  8. Jamey Stegmaier says:

    I just used random.org to select the winner of this giveaway, and Toby, you won! I’ll be in touch about getting the books to you. To everyone else, if you read Acacia, let me know what you think.

  9. Meryl says:

    I recently finished reading Robert J. Sawyer’s “WWW.WAKE,” a different kind of sci fi story (and the FIRST of a trilogy)! Even if you don’t understand computers the way Mr. Sawyer does, he communicates without talking down to you. An enjoyable read and I look forward to finding a copy of “Watch,” the second of the three.

    I actually shelled out money for it! I work in one of the world’s largest library systems, but everything I pick up that looks interesting turns out to be a ‘Volume 4 of 6,’ or ‘the 3rd book in the saga of…’ Anyone know of a good paperback book club?

  10. […] reading the newly released third book of David Anthony Durham’s Acacia Trilogy. I wrote about the first two books in this post earlier in the […]

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