What I Read – April 2016

After such an intense two months of Wheel of Time reading, I took it easy this month. I focused on podcasts and working on our game (plus the gearing up for the Startup Competition).

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

by Charles Duhigg

In The Power of Habit, Pulitzer Prize–winning business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. Distilling vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives that take us from the boardrooms of Procter & Gamble to sidelines of the NFL to the front lines of the civil rights movement, Duhigg presents a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential. At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. As Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.

After March’s personal development entry was so awesome (Creativity, Inc.), I didn’t think I could find another so soon that really got me in gear. This book has some incredible stuff in it that can really change your personal and business life. I can’t recommend it more.

I Am Not A Serial Killer

by Dan Wells

John Wayne Cleaver is dangerous, and he knows it.

He’s spent his life doing his best not to live up to his potential.

He’s obsessed with serial killers, but really doesn’t want to become one. So for his own sake, and the safety of those around him, he lives by rigid rules he’s written for himself, practicing normal life as if it were a private religion that could save him from damnation.

Dead bodies are normal to John. He likes them, actually. They don’t demand or expect the empathy he’s unable to offer. Perhaps that’s what gives him the objectivity to recognize that there’s something different about the body the police have just found behind the Wash-n-Dry Laundromat—and to appreciate what that difference means.

Now, for the first time, John has to confront a danger outside himself, a threat he can’t control, a menace to everything and everyone he would love, if only he could.

Dan Wells’s debut novel is the first volume of a trilogy that will keep you awake and then haunt your dreams.

Dan Wells is one of the hosts on the Writing Excuses podcast I listen to. I was aimlessly looking for something new to read, and the huge stack of fantasy books seemed too much, too soon after The Wheel of Time. So, I thought I would try something a little different.

This book is written in the first person, and is so fast to read. I really enjoyed his take on a serial killer protagonist. It went way beyond my expectations.

Mr Monster

by Dan Wells

I killed a demon. I don’t know if it was really, technically a demon, but I do know that he was some kind of monster, with fangs and claws and the whole bit, and he killed a lot of people. So I killed him. I think it was the right thing to do. At least the killing stopped.

Well, it stopped for a while.

In I Am Not a Serial Killer, John Wayne Cleaver saved his town from a murderer even more appalling than the serial killers he obsessively studies.

But it turns out even demons have friends, and the disappearance of one has brought another to Clayton County. Soon there are new victims for John to work on at the mortuary and a new mystery to solve. But John has tasted death, and the dark nature he used as a weapon—the terrifying persona he calls “Mr. Monster”—might now be using him.

No one in Clayton is safe unless John can vanquish two nightmarish adversaries: the unknown demon he must hunt and the inner demon he can never escape.

In this sequel to his brilliant debut, Dan Wells ups the ante with a thriller that is just as gripping and even more intense. He apologizes in advance for the nightmares.

I enjoyed the first one so much, I dove right into the second. This was also a really fun story. There was a lot of suspense and some really creepy moments.

John’s character arc is really well done I think, and I love the richness of the supporting characters, especially how they often reflect what John is lacking.

I can’t wait to read the third book!