Make Your Bed

Book #12: Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life …And Maybe the World, William McRaven (U.S. Navy Retired)

It is commencement season.  And on campuses nationwide, thousands of speeches are given to countless graduates seeking to impart pearls of wisdom for the new post-scholastic life to come.  On May 17, 2014 Admiral William McRaven addressed the graduating students at the University of Texas.  In his speech he drew 10 life lessons from his experience in SEAL training.  This book is based on that speech.  It is full lessons that will change your life… and maybe the world.  It is a short but excellent read.

#2017bookreview #mattreadinglist

Find it on Amazon

Red Platoon

41fd-gh6mzlBook #11: Red Platoon: A True Story of American Valor, Clinton Romesha

Charged with dismantling a strategically indefensible outpost in Nuristan province in Afghanistan, the members of Black Knight Troop found themselves in a fight for their lives against 300 Taliban fighters.  Beginning in the early morning hours, the men in Command Outpost Keating found themselves surrounded, under attack and overrun by the enemy.  Over the ensuing dozen hours, the men of Black Knight Troop fought to regain control of their base and repel the Taliban.  In this memoir, Staff Sgt. Clint Romesha tells the story of the events of October 3, 2009.  It is a testament to the heroism of the 8 soldiers killed and a tribute to everybody on the ground and in the air that contributed to bringing the rest of the company home alive.  It is a moving book honoring the heroes that gave their lives in the service of their country.

#2017bookreview #mattreadinglist

Find it on Amazon

Revolutionary Summer

b00a5mrg6e-01-lBook #3: Revolutionary Summer: The Birth of American Independence , Joseph J. Ellis

The summer of 1776 was perhaps the most important summer in American history.  In it, the colonies declared independence in the chambers of the Continental Congress and on the battlefield.  In this masterful recounting of our founding summer, Joseph Ellis interweaves the political and military events that established the United States as a new nation.  He describes the key characters and illuminates the interactions between Great Britain and the US colonies.  This book is an absolute must read for anyone interested in early American History.

#2017bookreview #mattreadinglist

Find it on Amazon

The Forever War

41zlujxgfxlBook #20: The Forever War, Dexter Filkins

The last decade and a half has seen perpetual conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq.  In fact today’s kids younger than 15 know nothing other than America at war.  Yet, unlike other wars, the average American knows so little about what is going on thousands of miles away.  In fact, ask yourself, how did we get into each conflict?  What were the issues that drew us there?  Who are the major players and who are we fighting?  What are the major objectives?  In this book, Dexter Filkins writes about his experience as a reported imbedded with the U.S. military in Afghanistan and Iraq.  He provide a unique portrait of 2 countries torn by war and divided by religious and political sects as well as a poignant memoir of the young Americans who served in these conflicts.

#2016bookreview #mattreadinglist

Find it on Amazon

So what do I think?   Continue reading

Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War That Changed American History

51xutveafplBook #6: Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War That Changed American History, Brian Kilmeade & Don Yaeger:  The “Shores of Tripoli” are an oft repeated but little remembered reference in the U.S. Marine’s Hymn.  With ships and trade threatened by the Barbary pirates.  The leaders of the young American nation were faced with a decision of whether to pay tribute or face the 4 barbary nations that threatening U.S. interests.  As a departure from Washington and Adams foreign policy, Thomas Jefferson decided to face the barbary pirates with military force.  This is the story of the first official military conflict of the young American nation.  It is a fascinating description of the naval and land conflict that secured U.S. interests with the barbary nations and helped establish America as a respected nation.

#2016bookreview #mattreadinglist

Find it on Amazon

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.”

#2015bookreview #mattreadinglist

Find it on Amazon

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.  \

#2015bookreview #mattreadinglist

Find it on Amazon

No Hero: The Evolution of a Navy SEAL

b00g3l7ynq-01-lBook #7: No Hero: The Evolution of a Navy SEAL, Mark Owen

In this book, Mark Owen provides an intimate account of his time working with the Navy SEALs and the lessons learned along the way.  He weaves the experience he gained in BUD/S and on deployment with life lessons that undergird the skills.  It is a fascinating read on topics such as fear, stress, trust, relationships, and accountability.

#2015bookreview #mattreadinglist

Find it on Amazon

Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace

b00inixg6g-01-lBook #4: Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace, Leon Panetta

From unlikely roots to defending the greatest nation on earth, this is the political memoire of a career in Washington. Mr. Panetta served in Washington as a member of congress, in the Clinton administration, the director of the CIA and most recently as the secretary of defense. It is inspiring to read about the son on an Italian immigrant and his service in this country. However the overall feel of the book is strikes a political tone as it seems that he used a list of republican criticisms of President Clinton and President Obama as the outline for his narrative.

#2015bookreview #mattreadinglist

Find it on Amazon

Solitary: The Crash, Captivity and Comeback of an Ace Fighter Pilot

b00krcub5k-01-lBook #1: Solitary: The Crash, Captivity and Comeback of an Ace Fighter Pilot, Giora Romm

September 11, 1969, Giora Romm, Israeli Air Force’s first fighter ace is shot down over Egypt during the War of Attrition.  Badly injured, he is captured and imprisoned – kept in solitary, beaten and interrogated and eventually released.  This is a story of triumph not only over the hardships of imprisonment but of the human spirit in recovering from the lingering psychological effects of captivity.

#2015bookreview #mattreadinglist

Find it on Amazon