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. During the month of October, I read a whopping 12 books, and I didn’t abandon a single one! Here’s what I read:
- Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger
- Queen and Country: The Definitive Edition, Vol. 1 by Greg Rucka
- Never Go Back by Lee Child
- The Treasure Principle: Unlocking the Secret of Joyful Giving by Randy Alcorn
- A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
- The Monster in the Hollows by Andrew Peterson
- The Warden and the Wolf King by Andrew Peterson
- This Is a Book About the Kids in the Hall by John Semley
- Grayson, Volume 4: A Ghost in the Tomb by Tom King and Tim Seeley
- Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
- The New Teen Titans, Vol. 3 by Marv Wolfman and George Perez
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Classic literature and modern stories
Let’s be honest: any month that includes Dickens, Twain, and Steinbeck is a good month for reading. All are brilliant (and Twain is brilliantly acerbic). A Tale of Two Cities is just beautiful. I really don’t know what else to say about it. Dickens’ words, the story of love and sacrifice, the quirky background players, and the setting of revolutionary era France… I can’t wait to jump back into this one. This was my first time through Tom Sawyer, and I’m glad I finally made the time. It’s definitely a work of its time, but it’s absolutely worth reading if you haven’t yet. I’ve read Of Mice and Men once in the past, but this was my first time as an adult. Like Tom Sawyer, it’s a product of its time, and because it’s a classic you might already be familiar with its story, but it’s hard not to be moved to tears by the final chapter.
On the modern fiction front, Lee Child’s Never Go Back (one of the Jack Reacher books) was a fantastically fun and straightforward action thriller. Like I mentioned in a recent episode of the podcast, this is the kind of book you want to read on a plane ride. Finally, the last two volumes in Andrew Peterson’s Wingfeather Saga are wonderful. I can’t wait for my daughters to give these books a chance because they’re going to love them. (And I’m looking forward to reading them again sometime.)
80s angsty super-heroics, secret agents, and Dick Grayson’s new theme song
The New Teen Titans was one of the bestselling comic series of the early 1980s, rivaling the X-Men during the classic Claremont/Byrne run. This third volume in DC’s reprint editions came across as kind of a filler volume (though it really isn’t). It’s origin stories and a couple of one-off adventures that really don’t move a larger story forward. Still, if you were a fan of the series, you’ll appreciate the look back. The first edition of Rucka’s Queen and Country spy series is as good as I remembered: it’s intense, intelligent and engaging. Because the original series rotated artists through different story arcs, the change between each is a bit jarring, but that’s pretty minor.
What I love about this volume of Grayson is that it’s the one where you really see the creators cut loose and have fun. They’re building to the end of their big story, and are clearly having a great time playing with spy tropes and the character of Dick Grayson, even going so far as to give him a hilariously terrible theme song! Love it.
Going viral, storing up treasure, and stories of comedians
Contagious is another book in a long line of marketing books trying to crack the secret of what makes something take off on the Internet. Why do some things go viral and not others? Berger’s insights are helpful and very reminiscent of books like Made to Stick and Winning The Story Wars. It’s a quick read, but worth checking out. The Treasure Principle is a challenging book that actually created some fairly significant discussion in our small group a few weeks ago. There’s a lot of good in it—the principles themselves are all sound—though I think Alcorn misses on his examination of tithing. Finally, This is a Book About the Kids in the Hall was an overall interesting look at the infamous Canadian sketch comedy troupe, though I wonder if the author made himself a part of the story a bit too often. If you’re a fan of their comedy, you’ll probably like the book, but I’d call it a library read, rather than one you should purchase.
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: