I finished reading 5 books last month: Austin Kleon’s Keep Going plus four others. Read on for my impression of each title….
5 books I read in October
Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
In Steal Like an Artist, Kleon shares 10 things nobody ever told you about being creative. His tips are excellent and inspirational. In fact, inspiration is a foundational topic of the book. Where do you find yours?
Kleon argues for looking for inspiration wherever you can find it, including in the work of others you admire. He recommends carrying a notebook everywhere so you can write down inspiring ideas as soon as they hit you. And he gives fantastic tips on taking ideas from others, then transforming them into something all your own.
Thankfully, the “stealing” Kleon advocates won’t violate anybody’s copyright. 🙂 His books make great reading for creatives of all kinds: writers, artists, musicians, etc. (And their compact size makes them a great stocking stuffer, if you have anybody on your Christmas list who fits that subscription.)
Without Warning by Joel Rosenburg
The third and final book in the Joel Rosenberg’s J.B. Collins series, Without Warning, is definitely a page turner. It is told with such current-event-sounding realism that I had to repeatedly remind myself it is a fictional work.
In this age of chemical and biological warfare and weapons of mass destruction, it presents a realistic scenario I hope we never have to face, individually or as a nation.
Yet for all the book’s logically paced plot points and complete plausibility, the ending included a surprising but fitting twist that I never saw coming.
Bottom line: Rosenburg is an immensely talented writer. This is the first of his series I’ve ever read, but certainly won’t be the last.
Count Your Blessings by Jennifer Flanders
“Bless the LORD, O my soul,” the psalmist writes, “and forget none of His benefits.” That’s good advice for all of us. We should be mindful of the many ways in which God has blessed us. My devotional journal, Count Your Blessings, is designed with that goal in mind. I read through it again every year about this time, completing as many pages as I can fit in during the days leading up to Thanksgiving (although, of course, gratitude is a virtue we should cultivate all year long, not just on the fourth Thursday of November).
The book is filled with Bible verses, word studies, writing prompts, and beautiful vintage artwork to color. You may use its pages to remember the Lord’s mercies and be grateful for them, to count His blessings and name them one by one, to track His faithfulness to you through the past and, by doing so, to be encouraged to trust Him with the future.
Keep Going by Austin Kleon
I enjoyed Kleon’s first two books so much, I was thrilled to learn he’d come out with a third title. Keep Going contains ten tried and true ways to “stay creative in good times and bad.”
The author offers suggestions for remaining focused, for generating fresh ideas, for finding joy in the process, for overcoming lack of inspiration, and for organizing your workspace.
And, as usual, he illustrates all ten tips with thoughtful illustrations, diagrams, and photographs. A quick, fun, and helpful read for anyone who enjoys creative work of any kind.
Blessed are the Misfits by Brant Hanson
In it, the author tackles questions that plague a lot of Christians, including: Is there something wrong with me if I do not feel as emotional about my faith as others do? How am I supposed to share my faith with others if I’m introverted or struggle with interpersonal skills to begin with? Is a lack of faith-based emotion an indication that I’m not really a Christian? What if I battle with depression? Is that a sign that my faith is lacking?
At 4 hrs 39 min, the book is a relatively short listen. We should’ve been able to finish it easily between Tyler and San Antonio. But it spurred so much interesting discussion that we had to keep pausing to share our thoughts, so we ended up listening to the last couple chapters at home.
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