“The Time of Our Lives: A Conversation About America” by Tom Brokaw – Inspiring tales of how people from different walks of life have found ways to be of service to their communities and country.
“Service: A Navy Seal at War” by Marcus Luttrell – In “Service,” we follow Luttrell to Iraq, where he returns to the battlefield as a member of SEAL Team 5 to help take on the most dangerous city in the world: Ramadi, the capital of war-torn Al Anbar Province. A thrilling war story, “Service” is also a profoundly moving tribute to the warrior brotherhood, to the belief that nobody goes it alone, and no one will be left behind.
“Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies” by Ben Mcintyre – A wonderfully entertaining story of deception and trickery that is told with verve and wit.
“War” by Sebestian Junger – In “War,” Junger turns his brilliant and empathetic eye to the reality of combat – the fear, the honor, and the trust among men in an extreme situation whose survival depends on their absolute commitment to one another.
“The Generals: American Military Command from World War II to Today” by Thomas E. Ricks – Ricks has written a definitive and comprehensive story of American generalship from the battlefields of WWII to the recent war in Iraq.
Bunch of Grapes
“The Surrendered” by Chang-Rae Lee – Hector, an American soldier, and June, a Korean child, meet at an orphanage in Korea. Both of them seek sanctuary from their nightmares. Lee dramatically tells their stories of the guilt and mystery of survival. A fictional story about the Korean War.
“Operation Mincemeat” by Ben Macintyre – In one of the little-known escapades of WWII, British Intelligence obtains a dead body, dresses it as a soldier, and plants bits of information in the pockets. The body is dropped off the coast of Spain, where they hoped it would be found by German spies to deceive the Nazis into thinking they were planning to attack Southern Europe, rather than Sicily. Nonfiction.
“Matterhorn” by Karl Marlantes – Marlantes, a highly decorated former Marine lieutenant, who fought in Vietnam, does not spare the reader with his echoing prose of racial tension, duplicitous superior officers, and the terror of this war. He has you slog through the monsoon rain and the mud and the leeches. Fiction.
“The Yellow Birds” by Kevin Powers – Private Bartle, 21, and Private Murphy, 18, swear to take care of each other as they head into the Iraq War. They are thrown into a world that they are unprepared for, which changes them both. Powers has given us a gripping debut novel that reveals the young soldiers’ inner turmoil during battle and for years afterwards. Fiction.
Book Den East
“Escape” by Dwight R. Messimer (1994) – The story of how Edouard V. Isaacs, Medal of Honor recipient, escaped from a German POW camp during the First World War. Gripping ($12).
“Brothers Beyond Blood” by George Sharpe, M.D. (1989) – A candid and brutally honest account of what it was like to be a combat surgeon in the South Pacific in the Second World War (this copy signed by the author, $20).
“Over The Beach: The Air War In Vietnam” by Zalin Grant (1986) – The stories of courage, cowardice, and fate in the lives of carrier pilots attacking targets in North Vietnam, selected for them by bureaucrats in Washington ($15).
“Fiasco: The American Military Adventure In Iraq” by Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas E. Ricks (2006) – Provides an explosive and shocking analysis of the American military’s tragic experience in Iraq ($20).
“Disposable Patriot” by Jack Terell with Ron Martz (1992) – Recounts the author’s experiences as a veteran of America’s dirty little wars, orchestrated by the CIA and other intelligence agencies ($12).