What I Read – January 2016

startherenowhawkeye v4msmarvel v3eastofwest v1serial podcast

I am very happy to be returning to some emphasis to reading books again in 2016.

Each month I share what I have been reading and listening to.


  • Work Rules! by Laszlo Bock – I had high hopes for this one. I was really interested to hear what Google’s People Operations did differently. The book has too much fluff surrounding a couple of mildy interesting anecdotes. After 125 pages, I had to move on.  5/10
  • Start Here Now by Susan Piver – I saw the book recommended as a good introduction to meditation. I have had a meditation practice for five years and books didn’t work well for me when I was starting. I like the flavor of Susan’s cautions and encouragement. Start Here Now would have been a nice touchpoint in the beginning and I feel like I have a book I can recommend to others now. 8/10
  • Mindful Work by David Gelles – I really wanted to like this book.  Gelles reports on people who are bringing mindfulness to the world of business. He provides neutral account of individual mindfulness efforts in a range of applications across the ethical spectrum, making the uneven outcomes not surprising. My bias wanted something less neutral. 7/10

Graphic Novels

  • Hawkeye Volume 4: Rio Bravo by Matt Fraction, David Aja, Chris Eliopoulos, and Francesco Francavilla – This completes the amazing Fraction/Aja run.  The story. The design. The art. Loved what they did with it. I will miss it. 10/10
  • Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Volume 1 – I got a strong recommendation from the ComicsAlliance and it didn’t work for me. On a very practical level, all the characters look the same and it was hard to follow the plot and dialogue. Maybe I don’t know my Autobot canon well enough, but I can’t suggest this run based on the first volume 6/10
  • Ms. Marvel Volume 2 and Volume 3 – I went back to it after my lukewarm response to Volume 1. There is something more here now and they needed the set-up to ground Kamala as a character. I still think the plot is sometimes too much on the nose, but I like the ernestness of Kamala trying to figure out growing up.  I have my oldest soon-to-be teenage son reading it and he likes it. 8/10, 10/10 for tweens/teens
  • Locke & Key Master Edition Volume 1 – I checked this out on a strong recommendation from a friend. Just not my game. A little too dark, a little too graphic. 6/10
  • East of West Volume 1 – I am sure others have tried to describe this series, but it is hard.  There is some alt-history, some western, some sci-fi, and some bible borrowing.  The mash-up made me want to compare it to Gaiman’s Sandman, but this series can stand on it own just fine. 9/10


  • Serial Season 2 – They are telling the story of POW Bowe Bergdahl and like last season, we are finding out stories like this are complicated. I am five episdoes in and really love the work they are doing. 9/10

You can always find more recommendations on my What to Read page.

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