Home > Books > The Best Books I Read This Month (November 2012) & Some Other Stuff

The Best Books I Read This Month (November 2012) & Some Other Stuff

November proved to be a great month for books with a wide variety of great reads- from a favorite mystery writer to a book on television to three different books on learning to live from death.

Before I get to the reviews, thanks to everyone who read my posts as well as those who forwarded them to others or posted links to them.  I appreciate you sharing my words. The most popular post this month (by far) was:

Facebook Posts You Won’t See On Thanksgiving

Thank you!  I have a few ideas for some posts in the month of December.  I’m hoping the ideas will turn into great posts.  My goal is to post one per week during the month of December.

Now on to the books.

Phantom by Jo Nesbo.  Another great installment in the Harry Hole series.  I can’t say much without giving away the plot, but Nesbo continues to demonstrate that he’s one of the best mystery/crime writers today.

The Revolution Was Televised:  The Cops, Crooks, Slingers, and Slayers Who Changed TV Drama Forever by Alan Sepinwall.  I first came across Sepinwall when he was a guest on The BS Report, which led me to his TV columns.  In this book, he takes an inside look at twelve television shows (all dramas) that have changed the landscape of television, how they came to be, what made them unique, and what were the goals of their creators.  Even though I don’t watch much television, I’d seen about half the shows mentioned and his commentary on the others intrigued me enough to start giving one of them a try.  So, I’ve started on Battlestar Galatica.  I’m not more than a few episodes into the first season, but so far I’m hooked.  It’s not as “science-fictiony” as I’d always thought and is more of a human drama than science fiction show.

Not by intention, I came across a series of book of dealing with death or facing death, all which I “enjoyed.” Learning to Fall:  The Blessings of An Imperfect Life by Phillip Simmons.  Simmons wrote the book as he dealt with the ravages of Lou Gehrig’s disease on his body  (Note:  Simmons died in 2002).  The beginning chapters and ending chapters are great.  The middle was so-so, but Simmons, facing his death, gives an insightful perspective on what it means to live.  The Year of Magical Thinking and Blue Nights both by Joan Didion.  Each book, both somewhat short, are a journey through grief, first from the death of her husband and secondly the death of her adopted daughter.  Although both of Didion’s books are about grief and loss, they are also testaments to love and living.  They reminded me a great deal of A Severe Mercy by Sheldon VanAucken (I think that’s the author).

For the umpteenth time, I re-read Drops Like Stars by Rob Bell (a new Kindle version was released at the extraordinary price of $4.74).  It’s a short, insightful book on the “what now” question of suffering.  Well worth the money and the time.

This month I also read:  The Good Son by Mark Kriegel, Too Good To Be True by Benjamin Anastas, West by West:  My Charmed, Tormented Life by Jerry West, Outrage by Arnaldure Indridason, Coaching Confidential:  Inside the Fraternity of NFL Coaches by Gary Myers.

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