I just finished 3 books, one fiction and two nonfiction. I highly recommend all three and will list them here for you:
1. FICTION= BLACK LIST by Brad Thor (…go to Amazon.com to read all reviews and to order…) I could not put this book down! Fiction, but reads like Nonfiction—because it might happen some day. Govt + spies + good guy….
2.NONFICTION= THE GENERALS by Thomas Ricks (…again go Amazon.com…)
American military command from WWII to today. A LOT about General`s MacCarther and Ridgeway in The Korean War, that your friend can relate too…
3. NONFICTION= THE RISE AND FALL OF GREAT POWERS by Paul Kennedy.
History from 15th century to 21st CENTURY!!!! (Amazon.com…) I loved this book because of all the little known scoop on The Cold War plus details right up to 1987!!!!!!
Comment by Colonel Jerry USMC — December 16, 2012 @ 9:06 am
I just finished Clancy’s new one, Threat Vector.
Yeah, good stuff.
I just finished Clancy’s new one, Threat Vector.
Yeah, good stuff.
Whatever you do, don’t start him on Patrick O’Brien.
Unless you don’t mind his nose in a book, totally out of communication with the rest of society for the next few months.
Comment by DougM (Well, thaaat sucked!) — December 16, 2012 @ 9:15 am
The Alienist – Caleb Carr
Comment by Thomas M. — December 16, 2012 @ 10:47 am
Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. Unlike most bestsellers, this one sparkles with substantive ideas.
Dunno about “regular” fiction (as I am into science fiction), but some good military history:
Tennozan, by George Feifer (about the battle of Okinawa. Rather brutal in its detail.)
Whirlwind, by Barrett Tillman (the air war against Japan, ’42 – ’45)
The Last Valley, by Martin Windrow (battle of Dien Bien Phu)
The Twilight Warriors, by Robert Gandt (the air war over Okinawa, from both sides)
Kearney’s March, by Winston Groom (how one year’s events, 1846-1847, shaped the American West. Lots of ragtag soldiers, far from HQ, taking buttloads of initiative)
Comment by Fat Baxter — December 16, 2012 @ 8:27 pm
Young Men and Fire – Norman Maclean
The Deep Dark – Gregg Olsen
Fire and Brimstone – Michael Punke
White Cascade – Gary Krist
A River Runs Through It and Other Stories – Norman Maclean
The Portable Curmudgeon – John Winokur
Any of the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes stories by Laurie King (series starts w/ “The Bee Keeper’s Apprentice”) starts out good, later titles become better and better.
Anything by Michael Connelly (sp?) – the Harry Bosch book are great. Stand alone books are “Void Moon” and “Blood Work” (the movie w/ Clint Eastwood).
Robert B. Parker’s Jessee Stone books are a fun, light, engrossing read. Series of TV movies starring Tom Selleck. His “Sunny Randall” books are also good.
Jim Butcher’s “Harry Dresden” stuff is great, too. It was a one-season series on the SyFi channel. Dresden runs a magical dective agency in contemporary Chicago. Butcher is up to book 12 or 13 by now. It’s definitely wizards and magic stuff, but still a great read.
The thing I find in common in all of the above is that they are terminally engrossing. I have been known to read books by these authors at one sitting.
Finally, for just plain silliness, Jasper Fforde’s “Tuesday Next” series is definitely out in left field, a funny fantasy/alt universe/crime/mystery series. With dodos.
A few years old, but excellent, readable non-fiction:
Edmund Morris’ trilogy The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt
and David McCullough’s John Adams
Comment by dick, not quite dead white guy — December 16, 2012 @ 9:55 pm
I’ll second Col. Jerry’s recommendation on Black List and add to it: fiction anything by Brad Thor. And, per conrad6 above, Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson, plus his Snow Crash and Reamde. More fiction: from Matthew Bracken, in published order (it’s sort of a series) Enemies Foreign and Domestic, Foreign Enemies And Traitors, and Domestic Enemies: The Reconquista. His Castigo Cay is just as good and a standalone (although it wouldn’t surprise me to see further adventures of protagonist Dan Kilmer). The Last Centurion by John Ringo is, I think, among his very best, and Catch 22 by Heller is a reliable old standby. For a fun, although a bit dark, fiction read try Watchers by Dean Koontz.
If he’s a Real Bookie and into history, Winston Churchill’s 6-book set The Second World War and his History of the English-Speaking Peoples are both excellent. Peter Townsend’s Duel of Eagles is a very good account of the battle of Britain by someone who participated. Still on WWII, Richard Rhodes’ The Making of the Atomic Bomb provides sometimes grueling detail of the Manhattan Project and quite a bit of physics along the way. If he has an interest in crypto, The Codebreakers by David Kahn is the bible on cryptography. The second edition was published in 1996 and has quite a few updates from the 1967 first edition. Richard Frank’s Guadalcanal is a winner, as is Neptune’s Inferno by Hornfischer for the naval details at Guadalcanal.
Rocket Men by Craig Nelson is a good view of the U.S. space program; Bill Riviere’s The L.L. Bean Guide to the Outdoors is good, as is Colin Fletcher’s Complete Walker IV; either, or better yet, both together, of Col. Dave Grossman’s books should be on the list; almost anything from Milton Friedman or Peter Drucker, although Drucker is not as easy a read as Friedman; practically anything from Thomas Sowell is good, and dovetails well with Friedman, although I’d suggest beginning with Sowell’s Basic Economics.
You Guys RAWK! Thank you so much — I’ve not only found several for my intended gift recipient, but quite a few for my own self. [I'm such a Veruca!]
Comment by Claire: rebellious pink pig with car keys - and a *cause* — December 17, 2012 @ 12:11 pm
I can`t tell you Claire, now hard it was to keep the porn outa this………..
Comment by Colonel Jerry USMC — December 17, 2012 @ 5:13 pm
“The Generals” and “The Corps” series by WEB Griffin should be something he would enjoy. Griffin is from that same generation and almost all of his books are impossible to put down until you finish it.
As far as non-fiction, most of my reading of late has been of the “how to” variety (gardens/patios/minor construction/plumbing/ and the like) so not too much to offer there. Have to agree on the “John Adams” above. Perhaps a compiled volume of Twain’s works (or his “new” auto-biography[it may have been a biography...my mind is a steel sieve!] which was released late last year or earlier this year.
Many solid recommendations above, but Walt names the best book I read in 2012: Berlin 1961: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth. It’s a great read with numerous new insights, and I say this as someone who has written on Berlin for decades. Not one Kennedy apologists will enjoy (nor can they refute).
If your friend wants a really serious history, read the most important work of the past five years: Hell to Pay: Operation Downfall and the Invasion of Japan, 1945-1947. This book on the end of WW II in the Pacific was a game changer — it has put a number of revisionist historians out of business.
A quick read, but still solid and thought provoking, The German Wars: A Concise History, 1859-1945 was written by one of the leading military/naval historians of our age.
For two rather new histories that will drive the usual suspects (typical apologists) to despair, check out these tomes:
Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956
Tombstone: The Great Chinese Famine, 1958-1962
I think (or at least hope) many of us who work in the field will be voting for these two books for various awards.
-The Last Stand of Fox Company. Bob Drury and Tom Clavin.
7th Marines in Korea at Chosin, surrounded by Chinese, 30 below. The Company Commander was awarded the MOH. Ray Davis personally led 1/7′s fight through the Chinese to save them. Real men, real action.
I think Jerry and I knew some of them.
Comment by Fred Jameson — December 18, 2012 @ 4:50 pm
My Group Admin officer, a CWO-4, was in the 7th Marines at Chosin…. Also, I have the book you referenced.
Comment by Colonel Jerry USMC — December 19, 2012 @ 10:08 am