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 May, my reading was actually a little higher than normal, with 15 different books.1
Here’s what I read in May:
- Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
- Superman Unchained by Scott Snyder and Jim Lee (DC Comics)
- Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry
- Essex County by Jeff Lemire
- Delighting in God by A.W. Tozer
- All Authority by Joey Shaw
- Visual Theology by Tim Challies and Josh Byers
- Superman vs Muhammad Ali by Dennis O’Neil and Neil Adams
- 100 Cupboards by N.D. Wilson
- Liberating King by Stephen Miller
- Nightwing Volume 4: Love and Bullets by Chuck Dixon and Scott McDaniel
- Outlaws of Time Volume 1: The Legend of Sam Miracle by N.D. Wilson
- Basic Christianity by John Stott
- Church History for Modern Ministry by Dayton Hartman
- A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole2
Exploring new worlds and travelling through time
When it comes to fiction, it’s hard to beat N.D. Wilson. Not only does he write compelling stories with interesting characters, his writing is so enjoyable to read. And these two books are, by far, the best I read this month.3
I first read the 100 Cupboards series a couple of years ago in preparation for someday sharing it with my children. In April, I started reading the first book with my middle daughter, who adored it and started reading it by herself after we were done (which is impressive because she’s six). We’re not on to the second book in the series, Dandelion Fire, which is a bit scarier (and I have to do a wee bit of selective editing with some of the words), but she’s still digging it. Outlaws in Time, Volume 1: The Legend of Sam Miracle is the beginning of Wilson’s latest series. I read it in an afternoon, and was ready to read it again. Time travel, action, adventure… it’s a terrific book for readers between the ages of eight and 80. Get both of these for yourself (and for your kids if you have them).
Superheroes and small towns
May’s trek into graphic novel territory was a mix of superheroes and more literary material. Both have a lot of value: Nightwing, Vol. 4: Love and Bullets is the comic equivalent of a big, fun action movie; Superman Unchained was much the same. Superman vs Muhammad Ali is totally a product of its time—ridiculously silly and kind of amazing because of it. The artwork is stunning. Jeff Lemire’s Essex County was a return to a genre I’d moved away from in my reading as I re-entered the comics world, that of literary comics, and was a good reminder of how versatile the medium truly is. (And in case you missed it, check out my conversation with Tim Challies on this book on the Reading Writers podcast.)
Great expecations and great disappointments
I had great expectations of Great Expectations, as this is one of my all-time favorite novels. My well-loved and mangled copy of the book made it through yet another reading, and the story is as compelling and intriguing as it ever was. I’ve long heard great things about Wendell Berry, but had never given his work a try until reading Hannah Coulter. Berry’s writing is beautiful and emotive, which is enough to keep you reading all the way through. A Confederacy of Dunces, though, was so terrible I couldn’t even finish it (I ranted a bit about it in an earlier post). I said it before and I’ll say it again: just the worst.
A refresher on the faith and what I think about Tozer
The Christian-specific books I read this month were kind of all over the place. Liberating King is one I plan on reviewing in the future (and a future episode of the podcast features Stephen Miller, so look for that). All Authority is a great book on evangelism that won’t make you feel disheartened (hurray!). I recently reviewed Church History for Modern Ministry, which is good, though not what I expected given its title. This was also my second or third time through Basic Christianity. It’s a clear, simple articulation of the essentials of the faith and what it means to actually be a Christian, something we all need a refresher on from time to time. Delighting in God… here’s what I’ll say for now: though it’s not a bad book, per se, it made me realize that I really don’t care for Tozer’s work that much.
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: