Junes Best Books

It can be hard to find time to read a good book during school’s fall and spring semesters. Whether it’s required reading or sifting through the pages of a hefty textbook for class, there’s usually little opportunity for a more leisurely read.

That’s why when June rolls around, and the carefree days of summer start, it feels like the right time to thumb through anything from an autobiography to a dystopian sci-fi adventure.

Scene & Heard previews a few recent literary releases that could offer a good start for your beach reading.

“2030: The Real Story of What Happens To America” by Albert Brooks

During the ’70s and ’80s, Albert Brooks was known as the comedian and actor from “Saturday Night Live” and films like “Broadcast News,” but over the past couple decades, he’s been enjoyed more as the worrywart who’s prone to thought-provoking social satire.

His new novel “2030” is very much in line with the latter Brooks persona. The novel imagines America during the year 2030, where cancer is no longer a worry and the possibility of a foreign president is entirely plausible.

Brooks’ novel has drawn comparisons to the satirical works of George Orwell and H.G. Wells, and Kirkus Reviews writes that “Albert Brooks has fun imagining a world in the future – though not too far in the future to be wholly implausible.”

“Nerd Do Well” by Simon Pegg

As star of both cult hits like “Shaun of the Dead” and bigger films like 2009’s “Star Trek,” Simon Pegg has made a living as an actor working in some of the most well-respected and nerdish projects around.

In “Nerd Do Well,” Pegg traces his journey from being a pint-sized dreamer to full-grown actor in major Hollywood films. Whether it’s goofing off on the set of the British television series “Spaced,” or working with the likes of Quentin Tarantino, Pegg has plenty of colorful tales to tell.

This book should be able to quench the thirst of many readers looking for a nerdy literature fix this summer, and it seems like critical response to the book has been quite favorable.

“Robopocalypse” by Daniel H. Wilson

Author Daniel H. Wilson, the acclaimed writer of “How to Survive a Robot Uprising,” lends his science fiction books a sense of credibility usually lacking in the genre. Wilson has studied Machine Learning, and even has a Ph.D. in robotics from Carnegie Mellon University.

Lending his educated sensibilities to the sci-fi world has led him to write the highly regarded “Robopocalypse.” The book follows a robot-dependent society that is overtaken by an artificial intelligence system bent on mass destruction.

Drawing acclaim from author Stephen King, as well as respected literature publications like Booklist, Wilson’s novel has been compared to the thoughtful sci-fi writing of “Jurassic Park” author Michael Crichton.