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What I read in August 2016

What I read in August

What I read in August 2016

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 August, I read quite a bit, though heavier in certain areas than I’d originally expected. In the end, I read 12 books, although, as in July, I wound up abandoning one (The Tales of Max Carrados, primarily because I didn’t enjoy Stephen Fry’s narration, though it could have used a little more oomph in the storytelling). Here’s what I read:

  1. As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes
  2. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
  3. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
  4. Star Wars: Darth Vader, Vol. 3: The Shu-torun War by Kieron Gillen
  5. Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther by Roland H. Bainton
  6. Shazam! by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank
  7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
  8. Star Wars, Vol. 3: Rebel Jail by Jason Aaron
  9. How Brands Grow: What Marketers Don’t Know by Byron Sharp
  10. Kingdom Come by Mark Waid and Alex Ross
  11. Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton
  12. The Tales of Max Carrados by Ernest Bramah

Star Wars, rumors of wars, and calling down lightning

 

The latest volumes in Marvel’s Star Wars ongoing comic series continue to make for compelling reading—which is impressive considering we already know the fate of the primary characters involved. Kingdom Come, one of the epic tales of the 1990s, holds up exceptionally well, though it’s fascinating to read it for the first time as a Christian. Lots of biblical imagery, albeit used in the way that it so often is in pop culture (used to strike fear, not so much bring hope). Then there’s Shazam! Captain Marvel is a character that’s been hard to take seriously. Geoff Johns gives a new spin on the character, makes him a little less cheesy, and drops the Captain Marvel name in favor of Shazam. Overall a promising start. I’d love to see what else they do with him.

A chosen one and the man in black

The Harry Potter books were pretty quick reads, which is impressive considering the page count of each. Much stronger storytelling in these than in the fourth volume. Rowling did a good job of world building throughout the series and letting her characters grow, which is not always easy. As a lover of The Princess Bride (both the book and the film), As You Wish was a delight. I loved getting a sense of the camaraderie the cast members felt, and the genuine affection everyone involved had for the source material and the film itself.

A Catholic and a Reformer arrive on my bookshelf

One of the first books I read as a Christian was Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton. Chesterton’s wit is on full display in this volume, though his cheek never gets in the way of his point (sometimes a difficult thing). What I think Chesterton does exceptionally well in this volume is identifying the place of anthropology in our theology. That our understanding of humanity is going to lead us to make serious—and often faulty—conclusions about ourselves and those around us.

Bainton’s biography of Luther is held up as the gold standard, and with good reason. He gives honor to Luther, even as he reminds us that he was, in fact, a sinful man like the rest of us. Luther was not consistently correct in his arguments, but his identification of Scripture as our norming norm above tradition or the decisions of councils is more necessary than ever. If we are going to be faithful to Christ in our day, we need to anchor ourselves on Scripture. To set it above our opinions and preferences, and strive with all our might to understand it to the ability God gives us. Who knows? Perhaps God will do something incredible through that.

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:

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