While we surely spend the bulk of our time in nerdy fare, the Nerds on Earth crew has varied backgrounds and interests, so our reading list might surprise you. Take a quick glance at our nightstands and you’ll see a mixture of sci-fi, fantasy, leadership, theology, and even some technical titles.
So we wanted to take a moment to share what we’ve been reading lately, because it’s always helpful to get some reading recommendations for nerds.
Two Teddy Roosevelt Titles
Summer is my time to catch up on my personal reading since much of my spare time during the school year is chewed up with grading. Currently I have not one, but two Teddy Roosevelt books staring at me from my lift nightstand. TR is my favorite president and I teach U.S. History, so it’s not unusual for me to spend time during the summer fanboying out.
The first TR book is a novel by Jerome Charyn called The Perilous Adventures of the Cowboy King. It sounds like a high octane, fictional romp through TR’s life. The dust cover promises Indiana Jones levels of shenanigans. It was an easy sale for me at the library. I’m only a few pages in, and much like the real TR, it’s already a barn burner
The second TR book was brought to my attention by my constant companion NPR, Theodore Roosevelt for the Defense by Dan Abrams and David Fisher. Their book is an accounting of the 1915 trial in which political rival William Barnes sues the former president for libel. The authors are managing to make what should be a pretty boring affair into quite the spectacle. It’s a solidly entertaining read thus far.
Empire of Silence by Christopher Ruocchio
I normally have at least a half dozen books started at any one time and will flit between them depending on my mood or what room I happen to be in. Since picking up Empire of Silence by Christopher Ruocchio, I haven’t had that issue. It’s a nifty combination of a Warhammer 40k-esque universe (humans subjugating or warring with whatever alien race they come across and civilization returning to a nobility-led class system) and The Name of the Wind’s framing of telling the story through the protagonist’s memoir.
Hadrian Marlowe is the eldest “son” of a noble family, grown in a lab and thoroughly genetically modified to be a superior human. He has little interest in being the heir or the more martial interests of his younger brother. Facing a lifetime as a church-appointed inquisitor, he runs away to be a scholar. However, fate has other plans for him. The result is a so far hard-to-put-down first in a series, with the second book coming in July.
The Lies of Locke Larmora by Scott Lynch
One of the members of my very informal book club stumbled across a new list of must-read fantasy books, so of course we were obligated to pick one none of us had read and give it a go. Thus was I introduced to Scott Lynch and The Gentleman Bastards series.
The Lies of Locke Lamora is Lynch’s first book, and boy-howdy is it an incredible first product! It is a super intriguing tale of major cons, a thousand deceptions, power plays, and vengeance; all in a low magic fantasy setting. I could not put this book down and consumed all 700+ pages of it in about 4 days’ time.
And while I inwardly groaned about diving into yet another ongoing series when this book was originally selected by the group, on this side of the final pages and a quick search on Amazon, I am absolutely delighted that two more books in the series are already available. The Lies of Locke Lamora now ranks among those books I will highly recommend to folks looking for something great to read alongside the likes of The Kingkiller Chronicles and The Stormlight Archive. Excellent, excellent book!
PS: I rolled up Locke Lamora as a PC in D&D 5e for funsies here!
Order 66 by Karen Traviss
My nightstand is currently home to gritty war drama Order 66. Karen Traviss examines the inner lives of the brave clones fighting the Separatists across the galaxy through the lenses of loss, brotherhood, and time.
The Star Wars films completely ignore this concept, and while The Clone Wars TV show spends a lot time with clones like Rex, Echo, and Fives, Order 66 tracks the efforts of a Mandolorian mercenary named Kal Skirata and his gang of fixers, adopted “sons”, and discarded clones as they search for a cure for the rapid aging encoded into every clone’s DNA.
Looming over all of this, of course, is the final part in Chancellor Palpatine’s decade-long plot to sow chaos across the Republic, destroy the Jedi, and accumulate complete power. I picked this book up not knowing that it’s the fourth in the Republic Commando series; now I can’t wait to read the rest of them!
There you have it, some reading recommendations from us Earth Nerds. Feel free to join us on Facebook or Twitter and let us know what you’re reading! We take recommendations just as readily as we give them out!