What I read in October

Stacks and stacks of books

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 October, I read 10 books to completion and started a couple of others that have yet to complete. Here’s what I read:

  1. Watership Down by Richard Adams
  2. Counseling Under the Cross: How Martin Luther Applied the Gospel to Daily Life by Robert W. Kellemen
  3. Red Hood and the Outlaws, Vol. 1: Dark Trinity by Scott Lobdell and Dexter Soy
  4. The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande
  5. Superman Reborn by Dan Jurgens, Peter Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, et al.
  6. The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels by Michael D. Watkins
  7. Super Sons, Volume 1: When I Grow Up by Peter J. Tomasi and Jorge Jimenez
  8. Red Hood and the Outlaws, Vol. 2: Who Is Artemis? by Scott Lobdell and Dexter Soy
  9. Caesar: Life of a Colossus by Adrian Goldsworthy
  10. Adam and the Genome: Reading Scripture After Genetic Science by Dennis P. Venema and Scot McKnight

I reviewed Counseling Under the Cross for TGC last week, so I won’t be saying anything more about it here (go check it out). But as for the rest, I’ll try to keep it concise.

Checklists and what to do in your First 90 Days

The business books are continuing to dominate my reading:

The Checklist Manifesto makes the case for why good checklists matter—they improve communication and teamwork, prevent errors, and improve efficiency. A good checklist is the fruit of collaboration, specific to the task at hand, but not so deep in the weeks that every point is micromanaged. I kind of got the point pretty quickly, but in discussing it with a couple folks at work recently, I was surprised to see what other insights people picked up that I didn’t (and vice versa).

The First 90 Days is a book I should have read a year ago. And then I should have read it again two months ago when I had a new responsibility added to my role. But I read it this month, so that’s something. The gist of the book is that your first 90 days set the tone of your tenure in a new role, so if you’re wise, you’ll use the time to learn, build your plan, and hit the ground running.

Caesar, Theistic Evolution, and Rabbit Revolutions

In September, I checked a classic I’d not gotten around to yet off my list. In October, I got through another: Watership Down. The story itself is strong and moves at a good pace. The writing is excellent. And I loved Adams’ decision to avoid anthropomorphizing of animals beyond giving them the ability to speak. Definitely one I would re-read.

Similarly, there’s Goldsworthy’s biography of Julius Caesar, which was a behemoth. This was my commute book for most of the month, but it was absolutely worth engaging with. One element worth noting is his atypical approach to treating his opponents. He was known for offering foes clemency far more frequently than execution, ultimately leading them to be in his debt. (This approach seemed to work very well for him.)

And then there’s Adam and the Genome. I’m not really sure what all would be wise to say about this book briefly. I admire the authors for sharing their convictions, though I disagree with them on almost every point but one: scripture and science are not in conflict. The question is how they relate to one another—because one will always have authority over the other. The book does a solid job of illustrating what happens when Scientific inquiry is given authority over Scripture, which gives me pause.

Super-Super people (and super-jerks, too)

October’s books with pictures were lots of fun. I didn’t expect to enjoy Red Hood and the Outlaws. I wasn’t wowed by anything I read of the series in the New 52 era, and have never been a big fan of Scott Lobdell’s writing. But dang, something happened with this series in the revamp that made it really compelling—certainly enough for me to read two volumes! Superman Reborn was the first major crossover storyline for the Superman books, answering very few questions about the Rebirth mystery, but sowing seeds for something big that’s coming. Super Sons, the new team-up book starring Damian Wayne (Robin) and Jonathan Kent (Superboy) was the best of the bunch, if for no other reason than this panel:

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 for adults and children, as well as multiple documentaries and Bible studies. His latest book, I'm a Christian—Now What?: A Guide to Your New Life with Christ is available now.

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3 Replies to “What I read in October”

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