There's still a few weeks left of summer technically, even though we're supposed to be doing class prep and polishing off those articles for law review submissions, so I guess I'll post some ideas for 'end of summer reading' and would be happy for anyone to add their own thoughts.
I'm going to start with The Night Circus by first-time novelist Erin Morgenstern. In particular, I would recommend the audio book narrated by Jim Dale. I remember from a discussion a while back that a number of Loungers are fans of his from the Harry Potter audiobook series. This is a Potter-esque fantasy for a slightly older audience set in a magical circus where two magicians are competing in a dual and ultimately fall in love. It's written as a series of word-paintings and the narration really makes it come to life, although I'm still not thrilled with the way Dale narrates female voices.
I'm also enjoying Ready Player One by Ernest Cline which is a great throwback to the 1980s and all things geeky - computer games, movies, comics etc. It's basically a massive easter egg hunt in a virtual world based on 1980s trivia and the audio book is narrated by Wil Wheaton. Perfect casting.
In the computer games arena, I enjoyed Reamde by Neal Stephenson even though the ending was a bit dragged out. But the plot and dialogue were extremely clever and snappy.
More of a disappointment, although still a decent read, was Robopocalypse by Daniel Wilson which pits humans against artificial intelligences in a battle for the planet. It was a good idea and there's some great concepts, but it could have used a little editing.
I guess I read a lot of sci-fi and fantasy books in July/August so I should probably change gears and try something else now. I blame Amazon personal recommendations! What's on your 'end of summer' list?