What I’ll Be Reading This Summer

I happened to wander onto amazon.com today, and ended up buying books. These are books I’ve had in my cart for a while and for some reason it just felt like the right time to finally press “buy”. Here they are, the books I’ll be reading this summer.

Annihilation_by_jeff_vandermeerAnnihilation by Jeff Vandermeer

I recently read Finch and am still amazed that a thing like Wonderbook exists. As if that wasn’t enough, some of my fellow Bookrioters have been picking this as their favorite book of the month. It tells the story of an expedition into Area X (not the most original name, perhaps), an environmental disaster zone. I am expecting killer vegetation and Vandermeer’s standard weirdness and great writing.

Annihilation is book one of The Southern Reach trilogy, and as something of a publishing anomaly as they are published only months apart, not years as tends to be the case.

For those of you that are writers, here is the first chapter, annotated by Jeff himself. 

Annihilation on amazon.com

Authority by Jeff Vandermeer

Book two of the Southern Reach trilogy, I bought this knowing that I will just devour the first one and will want the second book in the trilogy standing by.

Authority on amazon.com

Contagious: Why Things Catch On, by Jonah BergerContagious

I’ve seen this one mentioned a few times in the marketing circles I wander (my day job is marketing for Dohop, the internet’s best travel site) and I took a look. It seems very good, in that Berger is a scientist first and marketer second, and in the book he is applying some hard science on the question of why some things become popular and others don’t.

What makes things popular?

If you said advertising, think again. People don’t listen to advertisements, they listen to their peers. But why do people talk about certain products and ideas more than others? Why are some stories and rumors more infectious? And what makes online content go viral?

I trust the book will answer this for me.

Contagious on amazon.

Carried Away: A Selection of Stories by Alice Munro

I’ve never read anything by Munro. But the fact that she won the Nobel prize for short fiction, and a former writing instructor of mine putting her in the same class as Carver and Hemingway in terms of quality meant that it was only a matter of time. Oh, I bought the Everyman’s Library version of this one, and try to buy about one or two of them a year. Bit of a book snob, me.

Carried Away on amazon.

Shadows & Tall Trees 2014

I bought the last issue of Shadows & Tall Trees on a whim. It looked good and I was about to submit a story but thought I should perhaps read a copy first. The magazine exceeded my expectations and introduced me to a number of new writers, most notably Karin Tidbeck, whose stories I now seek out.

This volume sees a change in Shadows & Tall Trees from a magazine to more of a “best of” publication which now only comes out once a year. My thinking now is that if you are in this, you are one of the finest weird fiction writers out there. Let’s see if I’m right.

Shadows & Tall Trees on amazon.

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