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6/12/2015
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10 Geekiest Beach Reads Of 2015

Fiction, non-fiction, youth fiction, and even self-help. Here are 10 new books every geek should bring to the beach this summer.
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(Image: Winter-artwork via DeviantArt)

(Image: Winter-artwork via DeviantArt)

Happy summer to Geeks everywhere (well, at least in the Northern Hemisphere). 'Tis the season to grab a book and a deck chair and get a little sun on our bodies after being trapped in data centers and office cubes all year. Beach reading, even if it happens in your backyard with your toes in a kiddie pool, calls for lighter fare. But we Geeks aren't content to totally slack off. We still need our fill of robots, drones, and other worlds to keep us going.

Our beach reading list for Geeks aims to fit the spirit of the summer and still maintain Geek sensibilities. You don't find too many beach books about robots having a summer fling, though those of you looking for something provocative can turn to the 2007 hit Love and Sex with Robots: The Evolution of Human-Robot Relationships. Likewise, murder mysteries where the Butler did it with a smartphone are rare, though there is a great mystery set around Charles Babbage's Difference Engine.

This list offers sci-fi, narrative non-fiction, and a sprinkling of young adult books for sharing with the kids in your life. There's even one self-help book for those looking to kick-start the summer with a new attitude or maybe a new career. Every book on the list is new this year to either hardcover or paperback. And of course, nearly all of them have e-versions.

Here's one admission I'll make: The list is painfully short of female authors. I picked the titles based on topic alone, and didn't pay any attention to the mix of authors until the end (definitely an error on my part). I find I woefully failed in that department, and I feel that it means in part that our publishing industry has failed woefully as well. Rather than go back and change my list, I thought it might be more effective to admit the problem and ask you to help me fix it. You're welcome to tell me about your favorite authors, regardless of gender, but I especially want to hear who your favorite female writers are. 

Please check out the list of what I'll be reading this summer. Add to the list for me. Tell me in the comments section below what you can't wait to kick back and read. And have a safe, relaxing, and informative time at the beach.

David has been writing on business and technology for over 10 years and was most recently Managing Editor at Enterpriseefficiency.com. Before that he was an Assistant Editor at MIT Sloan Management Review, where he covered a wide range of business topics including IT, ... View Full Bio

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Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Strategist
6/16/2015 | 1:53:11 PM
Re: "Penguins Can't Fly"
I was first drawn to the entertaining cover art, but I'd like to read that one too. Mondays aren't really that bad!
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
6/15/2015 | 6:07:15 PM
Re: Martian too
@progman2000- I don't know if that's a compliment or not. I'm going to pretend it is. :)
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
6/12/2015 | 1:48:29 PM
Re: 10 Geekiest Beach Reads Of 2015
@TerryB- Yeah, he was talking about how the rash of people afraid to fly after 9/11 caused more traffic deaths. But I agree with you that over certain distances, driving is cheaper and more comfortable. Though every time I drive from SF to LA I swear it will be the last time and then I do it again. :)
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
6/12/2015 | 12:19:36 PM
Re: 10 Geekiest Beach Reads Of 2015
@zerox203- There are some amazing reasons to read comics this summer beyond what you listed. Marvel is rebooting its universe, too. So some great stuff there. I haven't read comics in a while and the good movies have me considering starting again.

As for my summer list, yes, i intend to read them all. The problem is that I read so much for my job, i have not been reading many long form books lately. But I've notice i'm really missing longer form ideas so i intend to "hit the books" this summer to try to make up for it. Everything I read these days is in 500-5000 word chunks and I feel like i miss out on bigger context and ideas sometimes.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
6/12/2015 | 12:14:36 PM
Re: Martian too
@Whoopty- Thanks. To be honest, the fact that there was a movie of the Martian totally missed my radar. I would have totally added it had I realized. Thanks!
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
6/12/2015 | 12:13:13 PM
Re: Martian too
@ariella- Oh my god. That might be the saddet thing I've ever seen. :)
Ariella
IW Pick
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Ariella,
User Rank: Author
6/12/2015 | 8:26:07 AM
Re: Martian too
After I left that comment I saw this great comment that envisions the robot's thoughts on Mars.

Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Author
6/12/2015 | 8:18:31 AM
Re: Martian too
I guess I'm not geeky enought for The Martian. I checked it out from the library a few months ago but gave up abuot a quarter of the way through. I finish most books I start. That one failed to hold my interest as the narrator got so very detailed about working through the nitty gritty of  his plan for surviving.
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