The most meh-tastic books of 2015


Usually at the end of the year, us blogger types only talk about the books and articles and moments and cookies we really loved. The ones that really mattered to us (at least for a few minutes). Last year, I did something a little different: although I did share my top reads, I also shared the books I felt were truly awful. It was a fun experiment in curmudgeoniness, but I wasn’t sure if I should revisit it. So, I took to Twitter and, lo and behold, Twitter said yes!

And who am I to go against what the social medias tell me to do?

There’s just one problem: there weren’t a lot of books I really, truly hated this year. In all honesty, this year was a pretty “meh” one for books—there wasn’t a lot that excited, enraged, or otherwise provoked some sort of response. So today, I present to you a few of the most meh-tastic books I read in 2015:

The Unseen Realm and Supernatural by Michael Heiser (Lexham Press). I’m writing a combined review of these two books at the moment to flesh out my thoughts on them (look for it soon), but they’re basically just okay. The premise of advocating for interpreting key passages with a divine council in view is intriguing, but I felt the more academic (The Unseen Realm) meandered, and the pop-level one (Supernatural), though better written, felt somewhat inconsequential in light of the former. My worldview was not rocked, nor my mind blown, and I’m pretty sure I’m still reading my Bible the way I did before.

Defying ISIS by Johnnie Moore (Thomas Nelson). This is one of the books I was really looking forward to reading, and while it had some helpful and interesting stories, it felt kind of… thin. I’m not sure how else to describe it.

The Attributes of God Vol. 2: A Journey Into the Father’s Heart by A.W. Tozer (Moody Publishers). Don’t get me wrong: the content isn’t an issue in this book. There are certainly emphases of Tozer’s which I would approach differently, but it’s a decent book. But it was just a slog to get through (even with an audio edition). Not one I’m likely to give a second read or listen.

Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst (Zondervan). First, I am not the target audience for this book at all. I understand this. I occasionally check out titles geared toward women to see if there’s something I would want my wife to read. Unglued, which is a self-help book with a Christian veneer but missing the key components (like the gospel), would not be among them. I gave up reading it partway through because there was nothing there.

Canadian Pie by Will Ferguson (Penguin Canada). This was well written and there are parts of this book I loved, but because it’s a collection of Ferguson’s writings (essays, editorials, random stories) with no real connection between any of the pieces, it was a bit of a slog. Lots of filler, very little killer.

Bravo by Greg Rucka (Mulholland Books). This is the second book in a new series by crime novelist Greg Rucka about Jad Bell, an ex-Delta Force operative. This, like the first book in the series (Alpha), was basically an action movie in book form. It was fast-paced, and certainly well-written, but didn’t leave me chomping at the bit to read the next book in the series, if there will be one.

Spider-Man: The Complete Alien Costume Saga Book One by Tom DeFalco, Al Milgrom, David Michelinie, et al. (Marvel Comics). As part of my search for comics I could share with my eldest child, I’ve started to delve into the dark times of the 1980s. I remembered the Alien Costume as a big deal growing up, so I wanted to see how it held up. Overall? Artwork’s pretty decent in most cases, but storytelling? Meh. As of yet, I’ve not picked up the second volume (and probably won’t).

See what made the cut last year:

Photo credit: cesarastudillo via photopin cc

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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