Book Recommendations -- June 2015

Are you still looking for books to read during your summer vacation? It's time once again for my monthly recommendations.

The Coloring Book: A Comedian Solves Race Relations in America by Colin Quinn
Yes, former Saturday Night Live comedian Colin Quinn is opinionated, but he's also a good writer.

The Darkling Child: The Defenders of Shannara by Terry Brooks
They're turning the Shannara saga into a television series, but the books continue. Sorcerers, magic, and powerful weapons are once again the key elements of this fantasy tale.

Dead Ice by Laurell K. Hamilton
Hamilton continues her bestselling Anita Blake series. In this newest novel, the Vampire Hunter deals with zombies.

Eight World Cups: My Journey Through the Beauty and Dark Side of Soccer by George Vecsey
With the FIFA scandal fresh in the news, this is a timely book, looking back at the positives and negatives of the most popular sporting event in the world.

The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings -- J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams by Philip and Carol Zaleski
The authors examine how four literary masters met every week to discuss literature, religion, philosophy, and culture.

Finders Keepers by Stephen King
The prolific King of Horror keeps churning them out. This isn't technically a sequel to his last hit Mr. Mercedes, since this new tome stands on its own, but the trio of heroes from that prior book return for another adventure.

How Music Got Free: The End of an Industry, the Turn of the Century, and the Patient Zero of Piracy by Stephen Witt
Here's a fascinating reflection on how technology has impacted the music business, from the invention of the mp3 format to the rise and fall of Napster to today's digital file-sharing culture.

iJustine: An Analog Memoir by Justine Ezarik
I'm one of Justine's 3.5 million subscribers and I welcome this autobiographical look at how she gained success on YouTube as one of the first breakout video blogging superstars.

Judy and Liza and Robert and Freddie and David and Sue and Me by Stevie Phillips
The title is terrible but this is still an excellent memoir by Judy Garland's manager, revealing interesting stories from her career in show biz and all the celebrities she encountered.

The League of Regrettable Superheroes: Half-Baked Heroes from Comic Book History by Jon Morris
The author talks about some of the lesser-known characters in comic book history.

The Long Utopia by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter
Pratchett passed away in March but the multi-universe series he was cowriting with Baxter continues here, following up on the three prior volumes: The Long Earth, The Long Mars, and The Long War.

The Master Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg
It's a unique fantasy world that Holmberg has created and continues here. If you enjoyed The Paper Magician and The Glass Magician, you'll likely enjoy this too.

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
The actor/comedian writes about how technology has changed our relationships and social interactions.

The Philosopher Kings by Jo Walton
The cover for this and the prior book The Just City make it look like a potentially boring non-fiction history book, but nothing could be farther from the truth.  Gods, time travel, it's all here in an exciting plot.

Shakespeare and the Countess: The Battle That Gave Birth to the Globe by Chris Laoutaris
Now here is an actual no-fiction history book, but it's definitely not boring, especially if you're a fan of the Bard and classical theater.

Sick in the Head: Conversations About Life and Comedy by Judd Apatow
I'm not always a fan of Apatow, but this compilation of his interviews with big-name comedians (Jerry Seinfeld, Mel Brooks, Roseanne Barr, Jon Stewart, Chris Rock, and others) is well worth the read.

Splendid Cities: Color Your Way to Calm by Rosie Goodwin
I wrote about the adult coloring book trend, and here's the latest bestseller to hit the market.

Strangers in the Bronx: DiMaggio, Mantle, and the Changing of the Yankee Guard by Andrew O'Toole
Even Yankee Haters respect the names Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle. This book looks at the year when their careers overlapped.

Tom Clancy's Under Fire by Grant Blackwood
Mr. Clancy may have passed away in 2013, but his characters are still alive and in the hands of other writers. Here we have another thrilling adventure with Jack Ryan, Jr.

We Don't Need Roads: The Making of the Back to the Future Trilogy by Caseen Gaines
One of my favorite movies of all time is Back to the Future and this book documents all the behind the scenes tidbits involved in the making of the trilogy.

Your Baby's First Word Will Be DADA by Jimmy Fallon
Illustrated by Miguel Ordonez, Fallon proves to be a gifted entertainer, taking a stab at a children's book as animal dads try to make their offspring say "Dada."

Send me a message if you have any books you'd like me to plug.