What I read in February
Another month has come and gone, and with it more reading! As you know, 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 February, I read 9 books to completion, read one of those twice, and started a couple of others that I managed to get halfway through. So call it 10, I suppose. Here’s what I read:
- Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps, Volume 4: Fracture by Robert Venditti
- Moonglow by Michael Chabon
- Profitable Growth Is Everyone’s Business: 10 Tools You Can Use Monday Morning by Ram Charan
- 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson
- The Prayer That Turns the World Upside Down: The Lord’s Prayer as a Manifesto for Revolution by R. Albert Mohler Jr. (twice)
- Aquaman Vol. 4: Underworld by Dan Abnett
- 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You by Tony Reinke
- The Flash: Rebirth by Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver
- Seven to Eternity, Vol. 1: The God of Whispers by Rick Remender and Jerome Opeña
The Prayer that Turns the World Upside Down is one I read for review purposes (look for that to be published soon), so I won’t say anything about it here.
Books with pictures: underwater and out in space
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps volume 4 continues the strong storytelling of the previous volumes, and brought the partnership between the Green and Yellow Lanterns to a screeching halt. I am curious to see where this title goes from here. Similarly Aquaman introduces a new status quo for the character, as Dan Abnett moves to the next stage of the story he’s been telling since he took over the title, continuing the evolution of the character from the stereotype of “the guy who talks to fish,” without going too grimdark.
The Flash Rebirth was the book that brought Barry Allen back to the role of DC’s primary speedster about 10 years ago, after having been killed off in 1985’s Crisis on Infinite Earths. I didn’t have much affection for the character until the recent New 52 series and later the Rebirth era run, but Johns’ love of the character is infectious.
Seven to Eternity is one I decided to pick up for a change of pace. It’s definitely not a superhero book, although certainly the characters are super-human-ish. The concept of the book is intriguing, as its protagonists seek to rid their world of its oppressive ruler (a creature who offers your hearts desire).
A true-ish memoir, technology, and the new morality
Moonglow was a weird book. Written as a true-ish account of his grandfather’s life based on conversations during the final days of his life, Chabon weaves a compelling tale… but also one that is decidedly creepy in places. There’s a good deal of content worth skipping over (notably of a sexual nature) that does nothing to move the narrative forward. There are some moments of brilliance, but this is the first of Chabon’s books I’ve read that I kind of wished I’d not. (Which is why I’m not linking to it, either.)
Profitable Growth is Everyone’s Business is a work read, and I’ll be honest: I had a hard time with it in some ways. It’s got concepts throughout that are familiar in many other business books (including Good to Great and The Four Disciplines of Execution) but it seemed a little thin. Maybe it’s because I’ve read a ton of books like it at this point, I don’t know. If you’ve never read it, it’s got some helpful material. But it probably could have been an article.
12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You has been on my reading list for a long time, but I never got around to it until now. Reinke does a solid job of addressing both the positives and the negatives of our ability to always be connected—that our phones offer great opportunities for gospel ministry, even as they represent a danger to us if we allow an “always on” mentality to rob us of what’s most important. Out of this book and another helpful conversation, I’ve started making some significant changes to how I use my phone, though, so that’s a good thing.
Finally, there’s 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson. Peterson has become something of a rockstar among social conservatives (which is fascinating since he’s not a social conservative). What makes Peterson worth reading is his astoundingly high-view of morality (he has an entire chapter on telling the truth—or at least not lying) combined with his willingness to not go-along to get-along on some of the significant issues of the day (specifically undercutting virtually all the arguments made about transgenderism). He also shows great reverence for the Bible, even if he clearly lacks an understanding of what it actually means. I’ve heard this book described as the secular “Mere Christianity,” and if there ever were a book to warrant such a description, it’d be this one. Definitely worth a look, especially for ethicists and pastors.
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:
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