It’s no secret that I love reading. Granted, I have read as much as I would like this year, but there are still six months left in 2022. But nothing makes me want to read more than summer, and I know that sounds a little weird. When we think of reading a good book, we usually imagine curling up in bed or on the couch with a cozy blanket and whatever warm drink we prefer in our favorite mugs, but you can do that whenever. Maybe it’s the South Floridian in me who craves sunlight after a Pacific Northwest winter, but I read a good book by the water or at the park while basking in the sunlight like a houseplant in the window is truly a top-five best feeling ever. So without further ado, here are my summer must-reads.
Summer Must Reads
Fiction: Shadow of the Sith
I’m not the biggest fan of Star Wars books. A big piece of enjoying Star Wars for me is the visuals. The end scene of Rogue One with Darth Vader, AT-ATs walking on Hoth, the opening space battle scene in Revenge of the Sith, and any fight Ashoka is in (Maul, Vader, Battle of Mandalore) are just a short list of examples. And maybe it’s because I’ve been binging everything Star Wars lately that I’m really excited to read this book.
There are two time periods that I love in Star Wars, and we are finally exploring them: Post Order 66 and Post Fall of the Empire. Shadow of the Sith falls in between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens and centers around Luke and Lando as they discover the rising of a new Sith menace and discover the knowledge of Exegol. There’s a sith assassin who is sent to capture Rey, who is only a child, and bring her back to Exegol to help return the Sith to their power.
I know this book only happens as an afterthought to the sequel trilogy, but I think it might open up the story of Rey and help make the reveal that she is the granddaughter of Sidious make more sense in the grand scheme of the story.
Nonfiction: Dear Senthuran: A Black Spirit Memoir
I know Pride Month was last month, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop highlighting people from that community. Over the last week or so, I have been reading Dear Senthuran: A Black Spirit Memoir, which is amazing. Akwaeke Emezi is best known for their fiction writing, as they should be because it’s impressive. So this memoir is a step away from their usual work, but that’s not to say it isn’t also amazing because it is. As a straight, cisgender man, reading this memoir which takes the form of letters to loved ones and friends, has taught me so much about a journey, a burden, and a sense of self-love that I have never had to go through ever. I cannot recommend this read more.
The trope of superheroes turning out to be evil or even turning evil isn’t a new concept, but not every story does it well. What happens when the symbol of peace isn’t everything the people hoped it would be? We’ve seen a popular insurgence of this story take hold recently on Amazon Video between The Boys and Invincible. And while both shows are great, I wouldn’t recommend The Boys comic series. It’s bad. Amazon really turned a bad series into something amazing. Good writers are truly a gift. But if you watched Invincible season one and loved it, then you should go out and buy the comics. The show only scratched the surface, and I couldn’t wait for season two, so I started reading the series.
Manga: Blue Period
I LOVE shonen anime. I watch anime to kid the five-year-old Power Rangers kid in my heart. So I don’t usually watch a slice-of-life anime, but I watched Blue Period on Netflix and was instantly sucked into the story. And then I read the manga from the beginning. I love this story for the same reason I love Haikyu. Something about watching someone unabashedly chase a dream strokes a fire in my heart. I know I sound like a 50-year-old guy who gave up on a dream only to be reinspired later in life, but Blue Period really contextualized art, creativity, and the sacrifices of chasing a dream for me. I love this story.
Start Reading Now
Whatever your genre of choice, there is always something new and exciting coming out to read. And even if you feel like you don’t have time to read, you probably do, even if it’s only twenty minutes before bed. And if you want something a little more fun, join us here for our book club. This month we read American Hippo by Sarah Gailey. And if you ever find yourself in a reading rut, try Book Riot. They have recommendations for everything.