Top Books of 2015

The following are the top 5 books that I read this in 2015.  It was difficult to compile this list as many of the books were really good.  However, I chose this list as the top books to recommend as these were either the most compelling, informative of current/past events or most informative to how to conduct life.  These are arranged in no particular order.
The Great War of our Times, Michael Morrell – Best summary of America’s fight in the War on Terrorism from 9/11 to the present
World Order, Henry Kissinger – Best summary of global politics and history
Resilience, Eric Greitens – Best summary of living through adversity
Getting Things Done, David Allen – Best summary of how to organize life (I have adopted this method of task organization)
A Higher Call, Adam Makos – Most compelling story of 2 air force pilots in opposing armies during WW2
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Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever

b004uloryu-01-lBook #41: Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever, Bill O’Reilly

Immediately after Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Courthouse, Washington became a city of celebration that the Civil War was now over.  But not all were celebrating.  And Lincoln was not beloved by southern sympathizers.  This book recounts the final days of the Civil War and the plot that led to the assassination of President Lincoln.  It is a fascinating exploration of the times that most changed the course of American History.

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Outlaw Platoon

b005lc0s7w-01-lBook #40: Outlaw Platoon, Sean Parnell

Told from the perspective of the platoon’s commanding officer, Outlaw Platoon is the story of a platoon in the US Army 10th Mountain Division during their 16 month tour in Afghanistan.  It is a riveting story of the joys and hardships experienced by this platoon.  Lt Parnell describes the way this 16 month tour changed him and his men from inexperienced soldiers to a combat hardened fighting force.  It is a modern day “Band of Brothers.”

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The Billion Dollar Spy: A True Story of Cold War Espionage and Betrayal

51h754kprblBook #39: Billion Dollar Spy: A True Story of Cold War Espionage and Betrayal, David E. Hoffman

As tensions grew between the United States and the Soviet Union after WW2 and through the Cold War, the CIA played a pivotal role in gathering intelligence about the intentions and capabilities of the Soviet Union.  This is the true story of how one Soviet engineer participated in espionage against the Soviet Union and passed massive amounts of information about Soviet military and radar capabilities that would allow the United States to gain military and air superiority for decades to come.  As a real “Jason Bourne” story It is a fascinating book for anyone interested in Cold War era history.

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A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II

b0095zq36g-01-lBook #38: A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II, Adam Makos & Larry Alexander

Franz was an elite German fighter pilot.  Charlie was a B17 bomber pilot.  In December, 1943 they had a chance encounter over the skies of Germany that would change the course of their lives.  This is the story of how each fought in WW2 and the unique events that brought these 2 men together.  It is probably one of the most fascinating biographies that I have read this year.  A definite must read for anyone interested in WW2 military history.  \

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American Hunter: How Legendary Hunters Shaped America

b00vnxkgbg-01-lBook #37: American Hunter: How Legendary Hunters Shaped America, Willie Robertson

Hunting has been an important part of American history.  Whether it be for survival or sport, countless Americans have participated in the quest of tracking, hunting and killing game.  In this book Willie Robertson tells the history of the United States through the eyes of key hunters that have shaped the frontier.  It was a fascinating book to read during the peak of deer season in Ohio.

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Good Call: Reflections on Faith, Family and Foul

b00eeiug8k-01-lBook #35: Good Call: Reflections on Faith, Family and Foul, Jase Robertson

A good question to ask when trying to get to know someone is, “What things are most important to you?”  In this book, Jase Robertson talks about the loves of his live – God, his family and hunting.  It is a personal look into the life of one of Duck Dynasty’s duck commanders – Jase Robertson.

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Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault that Changed a Presidency

b00ue3t6bw-01-lBook #34: Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault that Changed a Presidency, Bill O’Reilly

From his deeply held conservative principles to his hard nosed fight against communistic totalitarianism, Ronald Reagan has widely been regarded as one of the best presidents of the 20th century.  But this legacy was forged through a lifetime of struggle and hardship that at times was nearly fatal.  In this story O’Reilly chronicles the life and legacy of Ronald Reagan from his days as a hollywood democrat to being the foremost conservative leader of the free world.  It is a fascinating read for anyone interested in the life of Ronald Reagan.  However I found that O’Reilly was a little harsh on the Reagans (particularly Nancy) which I thought was odd given his own personal political and professional affiliations.

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Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics

b00ck8cldy-01-lBook #33: Things that Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes, and Politics, Charles Krauthammer

Originally trained as a psychiatrist but giving up medical practice, Charles Krauthammer now works as a journalist and political commentator.  Over the past several decades, Krauthammer has written many essays and columns on various topics from science to politics.  This book is a collection of these writings.  He has a unique way of eloquently expressing his ideas.  While I didn’t agree entirely with all that he said (especially as he waxed theologic), it is fascinating to bask in the beauty of an opinion piece well written.

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