Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Summer Reads

Top Ten Summer Reads

Hosted by the Broke and the Bookish

I’m a winter man. Hot weather doesn’t do much for me, so I like books set in cold, harsh places. Some of the books below are for those readers who don’t like hot weather either. But some of them are good books to read on holiday–where you don’t want to have to think too hard, just be entertained or pulled along for a ride. Some of the books are pretty long, so they’d last a weekend or week. 


The Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig

This book is proof that there could still be life in dystopian fiction. Set in a harsh, gritty world, it blends solid plot, great action sequences, plenty of twists and some quality writing.

The Shattered Sea trilogy by Joe Abercrombie

I mention this series a lot, but it is the best high fantasy I’ve read. Action, violence, a cold harsh world, some original characters and quality writing.

The Bartimeaus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud

This series is funny, and it’s hard to understand why it isn’t as popular as Potter, or why it hasn’t been made into a movie yet. It’s set in London, Britain, but it’s similar to the parallel world of the Potter books. Humor, action, great world-building. Hard to go wrong with this series.

Under the Dome by Stephen King

This is my second favourite King book, and it’s an epic. Almost 1000 pages, it doesn’t feel that way. Some of the best characters ever written, quality writing, great plot and tension makes this one of my favourite books of all time.

The Jack Reacher series by Lee Child

Some people like action and entertainment for a summer read and the Reacher books have both to spare. A cool main character, plenty of action, awesome pace make these one of my favourite series.

I am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes

Another ‘epic’ book, this one is somewhere between Bond and Bourne. Twists, tight plotting, a solid main character. This is good reading.

11/22/63 by Stephen King

My favourite King book. More awesome characters and quality writing. King has the ability to suck you in and make sure you’re thinking about his books long after you’ve finished them. This one involves time travel and saving JFK.

The Lockwood and Co. series by Jonathan Stroud

Stroud’s second YA series isn’t as funny as the Bartimaeus Sequence, but it’s just as entertaining. The first book, The Screaming Staircase is action-packed and inventive–the second book is too similar to the first, but it’s still entertaining.

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

One of my favourite books of all time (and movies), Crichton’s most famous book is also his best. It’s like a summer blockbuster movie on page, but smartly written, tightly paced and the science is somehow understandable for everyone.

Ten by Gretchen Mcneil

 This book is a slasher movie on page–a gripping YA horror that offers up some good twists and tight pacing.


Can anyone recommend any other gritty fantasy books? Do you prefer fast-paced, action books that are like blockbuster movies?

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About Sam Whitehouse

Sam spends most of his time in a different world to other people. If it isn’t one he’s created himself, it’s one he’s reading about. In the rare moments when this isn’t the case, Sam can either be found addicted to a sci-fi or crime show, re-watching Marvel movies, finishing up an assignment for his final year of studying Creative Writing at Sheffield Hallam University, or trying to get the dozens of ideas for stories in his head under some kind of control. Sam has lived in the same small village in Yorkshire, surrounded by countryside on all sides ever since he could remember. His childhood saw him get into plenty of scrapes climbing trees and crossing rivers and generally believing he was Indiana Jones. Sam gives credit to his Grandad for him wanting to be a writer, and his bedtime stories for keeping Sam’s imagination stoked. But credit must also go to Steven Spielberg, J K Rowling and Stephen King, who have provided plenty of inspiration over the years, too. Sam writes what he reads, and that is pretty much anything—save romance. Fantasy, thrillers, or crime: once an idea takes root, he can’t stop until the world, characters, and plot are on paper. A huge Marvel fan, Sam one day hopes to pen a screenplay for one of their movies, or direct one, or do anything at all related to one. Until then, he’ll stick to his own fantasy worlds and wait for Marvel’s phone call.

Posted on 05/26/2015, in top ten tuesday and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I really liked Under the Dome. I hope you enjoy that along with the rest of your summer lineup. Happy reading!

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