I read pretty aggressively, regularly making my way through over 100 books a year. With that many books in a year, it’s pretty easy to get into a rut when you read that much, always gravitating to the same stuff every time you go to grab a book. Maybe you’re like me; you’re reading regularly but are in need of some ideas for what to try next.
Throughout 2016, I’ve been sharing what I’m reading each month. I do this because I can’t review everything I read in detail and because I hope there’s something on the list that you might like to try. In November, I read nine books, and I didn’t abandon a single one! Here’s what I read:
- Discerning Your Call to Ministry by Jason K. Allen
- Nightwing, Volume 5: The Hunt for Oracle by Chuck Dixon, Scott McDaniel and Greg Land
- I Must Say: My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend by Martin Short
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
- High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
- Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
- The Flash, Volume 1: Move Forward by Francis Manapul
- Everything That Rises Must Converge by Flannery O’Connor
- DC Universe: Rebirth by Geoff Johns
I reviewed Discerning Your Call to Ministry earlier this week, so I’m not sure there’s more I can say about it here. So, in addition to encouraging you to read the review (and then the book), I’m going to focus on the eight I didn’t review.
Something old, something new, something better
Through high school and into college, I collected Chuck Dixon’s Nightwing comic book, which has since been collected into five volumes (and counting). The storyline in this volume was probably the high point of the series (at least to the point that I stopped reading it)—it’s a big, loud action movie on a page, and totally worth the cover price if you need something not requiring too much “think.”
About five years ago, DC Comics launched their “New 52” initiative, which scrubbed away all of their past continuity and started their universe of characters from scratch. Sort of. Books that were doing well, like Batman, were more or less left alone. Other books, well… I’m just going to say, Superman. The Flash is one of the tinkered books, and the tinkering worked. The story is quick, but engaging, and the artwork is amazing. It made a big enough impression that I am happy to check out the next volume.
And then they did it again with Rebirth. Sort of. This book was a blast to read, in part because it wasn’t kicking off a full-on reboot, so much as what many hope will be a resurgence of quality storytelling for the publisher. The hook is compelling, and I’m really looking forward to seeing where they take the concept.
Classic literature, more classic literature, a modern classic, and another Canadian comedian
I love reading science fiction. What I love about it isn’t actually the setting or the future technology. It’s how interesting the characters are. To me, that’s what makes it work. And 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea‘s Captain Nemo is certainly one of the more compelling characters ever created. The mad genius master of the seas, and hater of humanity… Honestly, what I love about the character is we get so little of him, in the sense that we never get his true motives, nor do we even know his real name.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland may be a classic, but I can’t say I am eager to read this again. I don’t particularly enjoy Carroll’s writing style, and the character of Alice is hardly sympathetic… and then there’s just the strangeness of the book.
Everything that Rises Must Converge is my first experience with Flannery O’Connor. The stories here are generally joyless ones, but worth reading. Everyone is broken, and those who think they’ve got it all together quickly learn they’re just a big a mess as the rest of us. O’Connor powerfully brings our sinful state to the forefront in a way that makes you ask, “Who will rescue me from this body of death?”
High Fidelity, conversely, is a book about generally messed up people trying to put their lives together, and is still a favorite of mine (I’ve read it at least five times now). It’s a sharp, honest portrayal of the messiness of modern-ish relationships, with pop music coming along for the ride.
Finally, there’s Martin Short’s memoir, one I didn’t actually know existed until Barnabas tweeted a link to it. I ran through this book during my commute, and had a number of moments where I almost had to pull over because I was laughing so hard. Until I got to the end, which nearly had me in tears. After reading it, I was left with this desire to take him out for a soda, and give him a hug. I will probably never be able to do either, but the offer is on the table. Make it happen, Internet!
Have a suggestion for a book for me or someone else to read or want to share what you’ve read? Connect with me on Twitter or Facebook and let me know!
Here’s a look at what I read in: