Books Read in October 2012


Top Recommendation: 

Makers by Chris Anderson

I loved this book, both for the stories it told and the way it told them. I reviewed it on Amazon and blogged about it. I'm enthralled by the possibilities of the future that could come from the trend he describes.

Other Books Read:

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

And the ending of the trilogy was as intense as the first two. Some reviewers complained that Katniss was weak here, but I felt she was still just taking things as they came as best she could, as conflicted as ever. I highly recommend these novels.

Redoubt by Mercedes Lackey

I'm still enjoying Herald Trainee Mags' story and at the same time still wondering if I'll keep them books when she completes the story arc.

Finding Poe by Leigh M. Lane

This novel was extremely confusing. Of course, it was supposed to be a psychological mystery and not perfectly clear but I didn't really get what was going on until the end and am still not sure I'm right, since it wasn't explicitly explained. And I didn't fully appreciate the story because I didn't remember enough of Poe's work.

Gotham City 14 Miles edited by Jim Beard

I remember watching the Batman live action tv show reruns from time to time as a kid. I had no idea that it had actually been a massive phenomenon when it first came out. This was a collection of essays of uneven quality about influences on and effects of the show. I'm glad I read it.

Beyond the Obvious by Phil McKinney

The strength of this book was in the beginning and the end. The beginning was a familiar discussion of the importance of the right questions. The middle was stories and questions and it got a bit bland, although it will make a great reference for later. The end was fantastic because it discussed more about putting a questioning process into action in a collective environment. I blogged about it.

The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

This series is still going strong. The meeting of Percy and Jason and the subsequent mess / quest that they and their friends got into was entertaining and inventive.

Camera-Boy by Fred Minnick

This story about serving in Iraq felt so raw and personal. And I assume it was intended to be that way, since the author has won awards for his writing and editing. I swung wildly in my opinions of what I was reading but the story was an amazing window on a life very different from mine.

Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude by Jeffrey Gitomer

This was a positive attitude book that made sense. It was about power and choice and not cheerfulness.

Display of Power by Daymond John

Wow. This was a fantastic story of a man who built a major company out a hustle, friends, hard work, and a key partnership without knowing quite what he was doing at the beginning. By the time the book was written, he was looking back with more knowledge and understanding and was able to put it all into context. And I appreciated the window into the inner-city black world and mindset that I'd not seen before.

Consistency is Far Better than Rare Moments of Greatness by Scott Ginsberg

A nice collection of inspiring bitses. It would have been more valuable if I'd journaled to it. Maybe on a re-read.

Flash Gold, Hunted, and Peacemaker by Lindsay Buroker

Delightful steampunk novellas set in the Yukon with a near-genius engineer builder trying to survive people hunting her for her father's legacy while reaching for her own dream of building an airship. 

Rethinking Acrylic by Patti Brady

The book illustrated some pretty neat techniques, primarily using things like gels and mediums. I was especially struck by the artist who actually carves into the acrylic paintings he makes. I had been afraid it would be too much like Acrylic Revolution, which I also own, but it definitely covered different ground.

Graphic Novels

Batman: Earth One - It was odd to see a Batman struggling and failing, but the story was a good one, of a man moving from desire for vengeance to the desire to become a protective legend.

Batman: The Dark Knight ReturnsThe art surprised me because it was kind of rough and there were so many little squares on some pages. It was very effective, especially the sparse use of color in a muddy, downtrodden world. The story was striking, too, following an older Batman struggle to make a difference.

Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again - I hated hated hated this art. Ugh. If it had been any other Batman book I wouldn't have even bothered reading the story. But I did and it was stunning, because now this older Batman was struggling (read as executing a brilliant plan) to bring back the heroes and take back the world from the tyrants that had blackmailed the heroes into leaving it. It's something to write an effective story where Superman is the cynic and Batman the optimist. The "Joker" bit felt forced and out of place, including the twitch of tv show related humor at the end. 

Batman: Knightfall, KnightQuest, and KnightsEnd - This collection lived up to its reputation as classic stories. Knightfall made it believable that Batman could be conquered, for all that he fights beyond nearly any other man could have. KnightQuest was the weakest of the three, but still intriguing. There was a gap before KnightsEnd but I got the gist of what I missed. Watching Bruce come back to being Batman was stunning and done in a very fitting way.