What I read in July

What I read in July 2017

I am always consuming books, whether they’re physical, digital or audio. Every month, I like to share a breakdown of everything I read, including the books I abandoned. I do this because it gives me an opportunity to introduce you to books you might not have had an opportunity to read while practicing the art of writing concise book reviews.

In July, I read 8 books to completion and started a couple of others that have yet to complete. Here’s what I read:

  1. Teen Titans Vol. 1: Damian Knows Best by Benjamin Pearcey
  2. Doom Patrol, Vol. 1: Brick by Brick by Gerard Way
  3. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
  4. Justice League vs. Suicide Squad by Joshua Williamson
  5. Reset: Living a Grace-Paced Life in a Burnout Culture by David P. Murray
  6. God and the Transgender Debate by Andrew T. Walker
  7. Subscription Marketing: Strategies for Nurturing Customers in a World of Churn by Anne H. Janzer
  8. The Content Trap by Bharat Anand

Thoughts in other places

I reviewed Reset a couple weeks back, describing it as one of the most personally convicting book I’ve read in ages. So if you want more thoughts on that, do check out the review. I also shared a few thoughts related to The Warmth of Other Suns the other day, so I’m not sure there’s more I can say about it right now. (Incidentally, this book is one of the reasons there are so few books on the list this time around—it’s very long, but very compelling.) I’m also gearing up for a more thorough review of God and the Transgender Debate, so I don’t want to give too much away on that, except to say this book is as close as it gets to required reading for those serious about ministering to individuals in the LGBT community, especially those identifying as transgender.

Books with pictures: short, snarky, and kind of trippy

This month’s books with pictures were an interesting mix. Teen Titans was one of the books that suffered the worst in DC’s “New 52” era. The first volume of the Rebirth era is definitely off to a good start with kinetic art, a costume that resembles actual clothing for Starfire, and just enough of Damian Wayne’s (Robin) jerkstore-iness, that comes together in a story I’m comfortable having my eldest daughter read. Which she has. Multiple times. In a week.

Justice League vs. Suicide Squad was the first major event book of Rebirth, building off events in the Batman books. The story is fast paced, and the art works well, with Jay Fabok’s being the highlight for me. Sadly, this one isn’t one I can share with my daughter anytime soon as it’s way too intense, but it’s still a fun read.

And then there’s Doom Patrol, which is part of Gerard Way’s Young Animal line at DC. As strange as it sounds, it reads like a satisfying pop song—it’s catchy, creative, and fun. I really don’t want to share too much lest I give it away, but if you were a fan of Grant Morrison’s run on the series back in the 1990s, you’ll be thrilled with this one.

Marketing and marketers

My work-reading pile is growing, largely because I want to keep getting better at my job. Subscription Marketing is a fast-paced and practical read, with a number of helpful tactics for organizations that use some kind of recurring revenue model (think Netflix, your magazine subscription, and even your Compassion sponsorship). The major emphasis in the book is reminding marketers who the experience is really about: the customer. (This is not a new revelation, but it is always a helpful reminder).

The Content Trap, on the other hand, is a necessary corrective for all of us who are prone to latch onto whatever the next big idea is (think all the people trying to make a viral video happen). The author reminds his readers that, fundamentally, marketing doesn’t really change that much, regardless of the latest innovations. Our job is to know the customers and offer up a solution that meets their needs, and that wild success, virality, or whatever isn’t about figuring out a secret formula, but about understanding the network connections within your audience. (Note: this book is crazy long. Before deciding if you really want to read it, check out the Ted Talk.)


That’s it for this month’s round-up. Do you find these posts helpful? Do you 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:

Posted by Aaron Armstrong

Aaron is the author of several books including the Big Truths Bible Storybook, Epic Devotions, Awaiting a Savior: The Gospel, the New Creation, and the End of Poverty, and Contend: Defending the Faith in a Fallen World. His next book, published by Lexham Press, will release in Spring 2023.

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