4 Books I Read in October

Truman by David McCullough

I am embarrassed at how little I knew about Harry Truman. Particularly since he is a native son of Missouri, as am I, it seems like my knowledge around his life in general and his administration in particular should have been more expansive.

David McCullough is one of of the best biography authors ever, and his expansive work (this one stretched for nearly 1,000 pages) was a gem. Even if you aren’t from Truman’s home state, I think you’d be fascinated to get a peek behind the curtain of one of our country’s most underrated presidents.

(And I’m not just saying that because he’s from Missouri)

Running Blind by Lee Child

After a 1,000 page political biography, a short, fast-paced, Reacher-takes-on-the-world story was a nice change of pace. I’ve read a few of these this year, so I don’t see the need to revisit the themes here at any length. If you like action movies, you’ll like this book.

Why Don’t They Get It by Brian McLaren

This e-book was terrific. With so much bias informing so much of what we do, this little book (somewhat annoying only available as an e-book as a PDF download and not on Kindle) was full of “aha” realizations. We are who we are because of how we think and we think how we think because of our biases. McLaren outlines it all with his usual depth of insight, but this book is very accessible to any reader who has found themselves asking the title question to themselves about someone in their family, at their company, or in their neighborhood.

Stand Your Ground by Kelly Brown Douglas

Such a deeply important book. By tracing the history of “Stand Your Ground” philosophy in America the author contrasts what this means in the white experience with the experience of people of color. Tracing the ideas of manifest destiny and white supremacy all the way back to their Anglo Saxon ancestors in ancient Rome, Douglas asserts that while Stand Your Ground has been a comfort afforded to the white community, people of color are not afforded that same privilege.

It’s an academic read, a strongly made case, and an important argument for everyone to study.