Between Taiwan, Thailand, and Cambodia I didn't get all that much reading done this summer. But that's not necessarily a bad thing...
1. "A Game of Thrones" by George R. R. Martin
Attempts at eloquence aside, this book is simply BAD ASS. I haven't read a fantasy novel this good since the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and Martin's books might even surpass those celebrated novels. Where his prose lacks poetry, he more than makes up for it with believable characters, intricate plotting, and an attention to detail that is second to none. I am very happy that I read this book, and I plan on reading the remainder of Martin's "Song of Ice and Fire" as soon as they arrive in the mail.
2. "Alan Moore's Complete WildC.A.T.S." by Alan Moore, Jim Lee, and Some Other Guys
This TPB doesn't really feel like Alan Moore until the very end. There are enough characters - and enough backstory - to make for a truly confusing reading experience, and it doesn't get good until the last few chapters. Jim Lee drew most of it, but his art adds little to the story.
3. "The Ultimates 2 Vol. 2: Grand Theft America" by Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch
Continuing where the first Ultimates left off, this installment finds Thor institutionalized and America at the mercy of super-powered terrorists. Captain America gets his ass kicked, Hawkeye is way cooler than in the original Avengers comics, and the Hulk returns from exile. Not as good as the first Ultimates, but that one is hard to top. Great writing and art throughout.
4. "Ultimate X-Men 1" (TPB) by Mark Millar and Other Dudes
I've never been a huge X-men fan, but this one makes everyone's favorite mutants seem slightly cooler. Confronted by the sentinels on one hand and the Weapon X program on the other, the X-men strive to overcome individual differences and work as a team. I like Millar's version of Wolverine and Magneto, but this one was a far cry from his work on The Ultimates.
5. "A Clash of Kings" by George R. R. Martin
The sequel to "A Game of Thrones," this one follows the exploits of the Starks as they face off against the Lannisters in the wake of Eddard Stark's death. A great, absorbing work of fantasy.
6. "A Storm of Swords" by George R. R. Martin
The third book in Martin's "Song of Ice and Fire." Forces realign after the decisive battle for Storm's End, with enough sex, violence, and political intrigue to keep anyone interested. Metal bands take notice: you would be well-advised to mine this book for both song titles and lyrical content.