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These are some books I’ve read during the last few years. They’re not categorized. They appear from memory in roughly the order in which I read them. I always bought hard-cover books at home, where we had a library to display them. Now that we’re traveling and space is at a premium, I’m using my Nook to store and read my books.


51gLj5vdoqL__SL160_In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir.   Dick Cheney and Liz Cheney. Former Vice-President Dick Cheney delivers a portrait of American politics spanning nearly forty years. Perhaps the most powerful Vice-President in American History, shares personal reflections on his role in the history of our Country.





51E67R0AM3L__SL160_The Greatest Generation.Tom Brokow. Newscaster Brokow tells the story of individual men and women, heroes and heroins, who came of age during the Great Depression and the Second World War. He describes how, united by a common purpose and values, they went on to build modern America.





51-Vce-I+7L__SL160_It Doesn’t Take a Hero: The Autobiography of General Norman Schwarzkopf. Norman Schwarzkopf. The General reviews his remarkable life and career.






41rwA9abJ8L__SL160_American Rebel: The Life of Clint Eastwood. Marc Eliot. Actor, Director and Hollywood icon, Eastwood is one of film’s greatest living legends.






51c+rB+5NpL__SL160_Four Percent: The Story of Uncommon Youth in a Century of American Life. Michael S. Malone. This is a well researched history of the Eagle rank, earned by only four percent of American Boy Scouts.






513CY32hpEL__SL160_Legacy of Honor: The Values and Influence of America’s Eagle Scouts. Alvin Townley. The Book chronicles the profound influence Eagle Scouts have had on American history and the lasting role they will play in our country’s future.






51HlrrBs3AL__SL160_Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of Seal Team 10. Marcus Luttrell and Patrick Robinson. The author is the only survivor of a reconnaissance mission in Afghanistan.






41H4pGbi0XL__SL160_Guilt by Association. Marcia Clark. The retired Los Angeles deputy district attorney who prosecuted O. J. Simpson has written her first novel.






51bcmUAjH1L__SL160_Outlaw Platoon. John Bruning. A riveting story of American fighting men, Outlaw Platoon is Lieutenant Sean Parnell’s stunning personal account of the legendary U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division’s heroic stand in the mountains of Afghanistan.





416j3u0JjiL__SL160_ My Remarkable Journey. Larry King. The definitive autobiography of one of the most famous personalities in television.






517gy0MrfoL__SL160_Producer: Lessons Shared from 30 Years in Television. Wendy Walker. For seventeen years, Wendy Walker was the “woman behind the man” at Larry King Live. As King’s senior executive producer, she was responsible for landing exclusive interviews with the most important newsmakers and well-known celebrities from around the globe. Wendy Walker has a wealth of never-before-shared stories involving the most relevant events and people of our time.





417jkYxrKWL__SL160_Steve Jobs. Walter Isaacson. At a time when America is seeking ways to sustain its innovative edge, and when societies around the world are trying to build digital-age economies, Jobs stands as the ultimate icon of inventiveness and applied imagination.





41Dbzs2YlJL__SL160_Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife. Eben Alexander, MD. Then, Dr. Alexander’s own brain was attacked by a rare illness. The part of the brain that controls thought and emotion—and in essence makes us human—shut down completely. For seven days he lay in a coma. Then, as his doctors considered stopping treatment, Alexander’s eyes popped open. He had come back. Alexander’s recovery is a medical miracle. This story would be remarkable no matter what. That it happened to Dr. Alexander makes it revolutionary. No scientist or person of faith will be able to ignore it. Reading it will change your life.




517j+2LrHQL__SL160_Buried on Avenue B: A Novel. Peter de Jonge. For fans of serious crime fiction, Peter de Jonge is a must-read, and Detective Darlene O’Hara is cop to be reckoned with. James Patterson calls Darlene O’Hara “one of the freshest, hippest detective creations in many a year.”






51D0woDlv9L__SL160_Bolt Action: Armies of the United States. Entering the war after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States immediately went to war on several fronts. In Europe and Africa, the Americans battled against the Germans and Italians, while in the Pacific the soldiers of the Army and Marines faced the forces of Imperial Japan.





51NS+-RIohL__SL160_Defending Jacob. William Landay. A fast, compelling, and compulsively readable courtroom drama, Defending Jacob tells the story of a district attorney’s son who is accused of killing a classmate. As the father attempts to prove his son’s innocence, Landay explores uncomfortable territory: can a tendency toward violence be inherited? Is the capacity for murder a genetic disposition?





510ZTEn8NoL__SL160_Inferno: The World at War, 1939 – 1945. Max Hastings. “A work of staggering scope and erudition, narrated with supreme fluency and insight, it is unquestionably the best single-volume history of the war ever written.” -The Sunday Times





51aAZSKQUXL__SL160_My Life. Bill Clinton. An Autobiography of the 42nd President of the United States.






516GjMMoPqL__SL160_ Decision Points. George W. Bush. George W. Bush served as president of the United States during eight of the most consequential years in American history. The decisions that reached his desk impacted people around the world and defined the times in which we live.





51k3DbO5LxL__SL160_ Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter. Tom Franklin. A great novel by a great novelist.







51uhBZnr4ML__SL160_The Kite Runner. Khaled Hosseini. A sweeping story of family, love, and friendship told against the devastating backdrop of the history of Afghanistan over the last thirty years, The Kite Runner is an unusual and powerful novel that has become a beloved, one-of-a-kind classic.






51VqHa8exoL__SL160_And the Mountains Echoed. Khaled Hosseini. A novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations. The story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each turning page.






51vLN5td4AL__SL160_Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever. Bill O’Reilly. The anchor of The O’Reilly Factor recounts one of the most dramatic stories in American history—how one gunshot changed the country forever.






519ofNdcghL__SL160_Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot. Bill O’Reilly. A riveting historical narrative of the shocking events surrounding the assassination of John F. Kennedy: How a sequence of gunshots on a Dallas afternoon not only killed a beloved president but also sent the nation into the cataclysmic division of the Vietnam War and its culture-changing aftermath.





51-hCjQChyL__SL160_The River. Michael Neale. The setting of mountain streams and forests comes alive with emotions of both guilt and searching for the truth of the past. You’ll be drawn into the quest to understand the lives connected on the river.






51mrgMh3urL__SL160_If Looks Could Kill. Eileen Dryer. A wildly popular author of suspense novels, Chris hides away in the tiny town of Pyrite, Missouri, where she lives in a converted storefront and practices breaking-and-entering on local businesses. Then, the murders begin. Murders that look suspiciously like those in Chris’s books. Murders that escalate to a grisly stabbing that exactly mimicks a story no one has read except Chris, herself.





41rxmaths3L__SL160_The Racketeer. John Grisham. A federal judge is murdered, and our hero in prison knows who did it, and why.






51nnz1HL7+L__SL160_The Forgotten. David Baldacci. Army Special Agent John Puller is the best there is. A combat veteran, Puller is the man the U.S. Army relies on to investigate the toughest crimes facing the nation. Now he has a new case–but this time, the crime is personal: His aunt has been found dead in Paradise, Florida.





510NM153HqL__SL160_Stormy Weather. Paulette Jiles. Oil is king of East Texas during the darkest years of the Great Depression. The Stoddard girls—responsible Mayme, whip-smart tomboy Jeanine, and bookish Bea—know no life but an itinerant one, trailing their father from town to town as he searches for work on the pipelines and derricks. But in a year of devastating drought and dust storms, the family’s fortunes sink further than they ever anticipated when a questionable “accident” leaves the girls and their mother, Elizabeth, alone to confront the cruelest hardships of these hardest of times.




41fdUAdhBTL__SL160_Seriously…I’m Kidding. Ellen DeGeneris. “I’ve experienced a lot the last few years and I have a lot to share. So I hope that you’ll take a moment to sit back, relax and enjoy the words I’ve put together for you in this book. I think you’ll find I’ve left no stone unturned, no door unopened, no window unbroken, no rug unvacuumed, no ivories untickled” -Ellen





51XP3m98sJL__SL160_Then They Came For Me: A Family’s Story of  Love, Captivity and Survival. A riveting, heart-wrenching memoir, Then They Came for Me offers insight into the past fifty years of regime change in Iran, as well as the future of a country where the democratic impulses of the youth continually clash with a government that becomes more totalitarian with each passing day. An intimate and fascinating account of contemporary Iran, it is also the moving and wonderfully written story of one family’s extraordinary courage in the face of repression.





5110RFR1ATL__SL160_How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must): The World According to Ann Coulter.  Ann Coulter. How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must), the instant New York Times bestseller, shows why Ann Coulter has become the most recognized—and controversial—conservative intellectual in years. Coulter ranges far and wide in this powerful and entertaining book, which draws on her weekly columns. No subject is off-limits, no comment left unsaid.





51kRMVOhSgL__SL160_Why You’re Wrong About the Right: Behind the Myths: The Surprising Truth About Conservatives. S. E. Cupp and Brett Joshpe.  Themselves closet conservatives in Leftoid Land (aka Manhattan), S. E. Cupp and Brett Joshpe inject their own unique and colorful points of view into an honest dialogue on conservative ideas in American life and popular culture, and draw from interviews with a roster of renowned writers and political personalities, including Tony Stewart, Tucker Carlson, Brian C. Anderson, Laura Ingraham, Pat Toomey, David Horowitz, Ted Hayes, and many more.




51fVwOnUurL__SL160_The Light Between Oceans. M. L. Stedman. After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby. This novel really gives you something to ponder.




51X7Pg9sOrL__SL160_No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington. Condoleezza Rice. From one of the world’s most admired women, this is former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s compelling story of eight years serving at the highest levels of government.  In her position as America’s chief diplomat, Rice traveled almost continuously around the globe, seeking common ground among sometimes bitter enemies, forging agreement on divisive issues, and compiling a remarkable record of achievement.





51nOK7p6EiL__SL160_12 Years a Slave. Soloman Northrup. Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup is a memoir of a black man who was born free in New York state but kidnapped, sold into slavery and kept in bondage for 12 years in Louisiana before the American Civil War. He provided details of slave markets in Washington, DC, as well as describing at length cotton cultivation on major plantations in Louisiana.





51vHE4oVcnL__SL160_Stephen Downing is Dead. Dan Goss Anderson. Fledgling defense attorney Owen Bartlett understands that this murder trial, against a seasoned prosecutor, is way over his head. Having come west to leave his past behind, he planned to build a new life in this wild, open land. But with only a law degree from the Boston YMCA and no courtroom experience, he has been roped into defending a man accused of murder. Now he faces a jury of ranchers, storekeepers, miners-men with little love for Mexicans like Owen’s client, Miguel Cordero. If he fails, Miguel will hang.




51ndVau1joL__SL160_Water for Elephants. Sara Gruen.

This is a story of a 90 year old man and his memories of himself as a young man, at the beginning of the Great Depression. He was cast into a strange life on a rickety circus train where freaks and clowns lived in boxcars along with animals and unassembled tents. He and the wife of the wealthy circus-master fall in love and ultimately their fate depends on their contact with the circus elephant. No joke, a seriously and believable story.




41eKoQORnFL__SL160_The Help.  Kathryn Stockett.

Twenty two year old Skeeter returns home in 1962 to the deep South after her graduation from Ole Miss. She learns that her beloved maid, a black woman who raised her, is gone and nobody will tell her where she has gone. Skeeter and three other black maids embark on a risky plan to change what had become a caste system in the South. Poignant. Engaging. 




into the wildInto the Wild. Jon Krakauer.

A young man from a well-to-do family abandons life as he knew it along with all of his worldly possessions. He sets out in the Alaskan wilderness to discover himself and his decayed body is found four months later by hunters in the area. A true story.




the cartelThe Cartel. Ashley Jaquavis.

My dear friend Alex, who has lived in Mexico his entire life, told me stories of the Mexican cartels smuggling cocaine into the United States…millions of dollars’ worth at a time. Wanting to learn more, I read this book about the ruthless men who control the business and allow nothing or anybody get in their way. A frightening true expose.




jodi ariasJodi Arias Diagnosed. Dr. Paul Dawson, Forencic and Clinical Psychologist.

Insights and analysis of the Jodi Arias murder case.






Combat CorpsmanCombat Corpsman: The Vietnam Memoir of a Navy Seals Medic.

Greg McPartlin. Years ago, I represented the author. I liked and respected him. This is his personal account of his service in the Vietnam War. An honest and accurate portrayal of what really happened there.





Sycamore RowSycamore Row. John Grisham.

A return to that famous courthouse in Grisham’s A Time to Kill as lawyer Jake finds himself again in a riveting and dramatic trial. Legal buffs will love it, as with most of the Grisham books.





Undercover WashngtonUndercover Washington. Pamela Kessler.

Washington, D.C. is the spy capital of the world. The author, a former Washington Post reporter, takes the reader to hotels, mail boxes, restaurants and hangouts where spies lived and worked.




The CorrectionsThe Corrections. Jonathan Franzan.

A funny, desolating, unsparing account of a divided, deeply unhappy American family, whose members struggle to find “the corrections” that will transform and redeem their lives. The author’s extensive vocabulary palette and precise choice of words allows him to paint verbal pictures with nuances and likenesses I’ve not often seen in print. Some of the scenes are annoyingly magnetic…I’d find I couldn’t put down the book.





Politicians, Partisans and ParasitesPoliticians, Partisans and Parasites: My Adventures in Cable News. Tucker Carlson.

In this autobiography, Tucker writes about his experience in television news, and the event in his life that strengthened his belief in the presumption of innocence in criminal law.




Aaron James.

(This is no joke, honest!) What does it mean for someone to be an asshole? The answer is not obvious, despite the fact that we are often personally stuck dealing with people for whom there is no better name. Try as we might to avoid them, assholes are found everywhere—at work, at home, on the road, and in the public sphere. Encountering one causes great difficulty and personal strain, especially because we often cannot understand why exactly someone should be acting like that.

Asshole management begins with asshole understanding. Much as Machiavelli illuminated political strategy for princes, this book finally gives us the concepts to think or say why assholes disturb us so, and explains why such people seem part of the human social condition, especially in an age of raging narcissism and unbridled capitalism. These concepts are also practically useful, as understanding the asshole we are stuck with helps us think constructively about how to handle problems he (and they are mostly all men) presents. We get a better sense of when the asshole is best resisted, and when he is best ignored—a better sense of what is, and what is not, worth fighting for.


invisible threadAn Invisible Thread. Laura Schroff and Alex Trensniowski. The true story of an 11 year-old panhandler, a busy sales executive and an unlikely meeting with destiny. This is a real “feel good” story. Complex and unswervingly honest and inspirational. This book is capable of restoring our faith in each other.





51szB1A8-WL._SL160_Christmas Truce: The Western Front December 1914. Malcolm Brown and Shirley Seaton. A true story of a fascinating footnote to history. This compilation of letters, diaries and newspapers explains the so called “Christmas Truce” of World War I. Trench lines on the Western Front were then well-defined and the soldiers could literally speak to one another. “We won’t shoot if you won’t shoot” exchanges led to cautious meetings between “enemies” and Christmas celebrations in a cold, wet miserable place during a time of war. Although the troops eventually returned to “their sides,” the implications of the story and the reflections offered are fascinating. History buffs will particularly enjoy this story. The book is out of print and it takes a bit of work to find it. I got my copy from a book reseller for about one dollar!




419GM2PAPPL._SL160_When Bad Things Happen to Good People.  Harold S. Kushner. When his three-year-old son was diagnosed with a degenerative disease and that he would only live until his early teens,  Kushner he was faced with one of life’s most difficult questions: Why, God? Years later, Rabbi Kushner wrote this straightforward, elegant contemplation of the doubts and fears that arise when tragedy strikes. Kushner shares his wisdom as a rabbi, a parent, a reader, and a human being.





41aoq48N4-L._SL160_Living a Life That Matters. Harold S. Kushner. Most of us need to feel that we matter in some way; perhaps this explains the high value placed on titles, corner offices, and even fleeting celebrity. But most of us also need to feel that we are good people. In this luminous yet practical book of spiritual advice, Harold Kushner bridges the gap between these seemingly irreconcilable needs, showing us how even our smallest daily actions can become stepping stones toward integrity.





4198fzMBE4L._SL160_The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladamir Putin. Masha Gessen.  In 1999, the “Family” surrounding Boris Yeltsin went looking for a successor to the ailing and increasingly unpopular president. Vladimir Putin, with very little governmental or administrative experience…he’d been deputy mayor of St. Petersburg, and briefly director of the secret police…nevertheless seemed the perfect choice: a “faceless” creature whom Yeltsin and his cronies could mold in their own image. Russia and an infatuated West were determined to see in him the progressive leader of their dreams – even as Putin, with ruthless efficiency, dismantled the country’s media, wrested control and wealth from the business clas and destroyed the fragile mechanisms of democracy. Within a few brief years, virtually every obstacle to his unbridled control was removed and every opposing voice silenced, with political rivals and critics driven into exile or to the grave.





41Po8nxk3QL._SL160_Remember the Time: Protecting Michael Jackson in his Final Days. Bill Whitfield, Javon Beard and Tanner Colby. Michael Jackson spent his final years moving from city to city, living in seclusion with his three children in an attempt to escape a world that wouldn’t leave him alone. Whitfield and Beard, his two bodyguards, were at his side 24/7 and report in this book Micheal’s struggle to lead a normal life under extraordinary circumstances.





51TeziBHUQL._SL160_Things that Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics. Charles Krauthammer. The best of Krauthammer’s intelligence, erudition and wit are collected in one volume. Readers will find here not only the country’s leading conservative thinker offering a pas­sionate defense of limited government, but also a highly independent mind whose views—on feminism, evolution and the death penalty, for example—defy ideological convention.





519XPStf-0L._SL160_The Great Railroad Revolution: The History of Trains in America. Christian Wolmar. America was made by the railroads. Their construction sparked a national revolution in the way people lived, thanks to the speed and convenience of train travel. Promoted by visionaries and built through heroic effort, the American railroad network facilitated everything from long-distance travel to commuting and transporting goods to waging war. It united far-flung parts of the country, boosted economic development, and was the catalyst for America’s rise to world-power status. Prompted by a friend to watch the TV series “Hell on Wheels,” about the construction of the First Transcontinental Railroad across the United, and considering my love of trains this book was a sure pick for me.





Rise of IsisRise of ISIS: A Threat We Can’t Ignore.   Jay Sekulow. The definitive book on ISIS. One of America’s most influential attorneys closely examines the rise of the terrorist groups ISIS and Hamas, explains their objectives and capabilities and how, if left undefeated, their existence could unleash a genocide of historic proportions. Recently, the world has been shaken by gruesome photos and videos that have introduced us to the now infamous terrorist group known as ISIS. The world’s wealthiest and most powerful jihadists, ISIS originated within Al Qaeda with the goal of creating an Islamic state across Iraq and Syria and unrelenting jihad on Christians. Separate from ISIS, the terrorist group Hamas has waged an equally brutal war against Israel. Both groups, if left undefeated, have the potential to unleash a catastrophic genocide.





Worthy FightsWorthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace. Leon Panetta. In his memoir, the former Secretary of Defense criticizes many of President Obama’s foreign policy decisions, including the withdrawal of forces from Iraq without leaving a significant residual force, and argues that as a result of this decision we now find ourselves embroiled in a struggle against ISIS and a need to defend our homeland from these extreme terrorists. As always, Panetta calls them as he sees them in Worthy Fights. Suffused with its author’s decency and stubborn common sense, the book is an epic American success story, a great political memoir, and a revelatory view onto many of the great figures and events of our time.




Killing PattonKilling Patton: The Strange Death of World War II’s Most Audacious General. Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard. General George S. Patton, Jr. died under mysterious circumstances in the months following the end of World War II. For almost seventy years, there has been suspicion that his death was not an accident–and may very well have been an act of assassination. Killing Patton takes readers inside the final year of the war and recounts the events surrounding Patton’s tragic demise, naming names of the many powerful individuals who wanted him silenced.





One NationOne Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America’s Future. Ben Carson, MD and Candy Carson. In his newest book, the prominent physician and possible 2016 Republican presidential candidate warns us  of the dangers facing our country and calls for a return to the principles that made America great. “Our growing debt and deteriorating morals have driven us far from the founders’ intent. We’ve made very little progress in basic education. Obamacare threatens our health, liberty, and financial future. Media elitism and political correctness are out of control. Worst of all, we seem to have lost our ability to discuss important issues calmly and respectfully regardless of party affiliation or other differences. As a doctor rather than a politician, I care about what works, not whether someone has an (R) or a (D) after his or her name. We have to come together to solve our problems.” I’ve got an idea, why don’t we give a true political outsider a shot at becoming a viable presidential candidate? I for one would love to see how he would perform as a candidate. Depending on this performance, I’d probably be open to considering him as my choice for our next president. As recently as October 14, 2014 he told Sean Hannity that the odds of him running are about 50/50. Fascinating. Read this book as you consider the possibility of his candidacy.





51O9h0pDscL._SL160_Sous Chef: 24 Hours on the Line. Michael Gibney. In this urgent and unique book, chef Michael Gibney uses twenty-four hours to animate the intricate camaraderie and culinary choreography in an upscale New York restaurant kitchen. Here readers will find all the details, in rapid-fire succession, of what it takes to deliver an exceptional plate of food—the journey to excellence by way of exhaustion. Sous Chef is an immersive, adrenaline-fueled run that offers a fly-on-the-wall perspective on the food service industry, allowing readers to briefly inhabit the hidden world behind the kitchen doors, in real time. This exhilarating account provides regular diners and food enthusiasts alike a detailed insider’s perspective, while offering fledgling professional cooks an honest picture of what the future holds, ultimately giving voice to the hard work and dedication around which chefs have built their careers.





51hHxJIgwNL._SL160_Flags of Our Fathers. James Bradley. In February 1945, American Marines plunged into the surf at Iwo Jima—and into history. Through a hail of machine-gun and mortar fire that left the beaches strewn with comrades, they battled to the island’s highest peak. And after climbing through a landscape of hell itself, they raised a flag. The author is the son of one of the flag raisers. This should be required reading for every American.





41D9P3BZSWL._SL160_The Five People You Meet in Heaven. Mitch Albom. Eddie is a wounded war veteran, an old man who has lived, in his mind, an uninspired life. His job is fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. On his 83rd birthday, a tragic accident kills him as he tries to save a little girl from a falling cart. He awakes in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a destination. It’s a place where your life is explained to you by five people, some of whom you knew, others who may have been strangers. One by one, from childhood to soldier to old age, Eddie’s five people revisit their connections to him on earth, illuminating the mysteries of his “meaningless” life, and revealing the haunting secret behind the eternal question: “Why was I here?” From the author of the super best seller Tuesdays With Morrie. Remember that one? No? Then read it now.





41URrtJNQJL._SL160_41: A Portrait of My Father. George W. Bush. Never before has a President told the story of his own father, another President. This is an intimate biography leading to an almost inevitable conclusion: George H. W. Bush is a great man! His accomplishments are extraordinary. It’s heartwarming to see the deep respect and heartfelt admiration George Bush 43 has for his dad. Informative. Touching.





51m7P+bJfAL._SL160_Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption. Laura Hillenbrand. The true story of Louie Zamperini, a juvinal delinquent who grew up in California in the 1920’s and became one of the greatest runners ever to perform in an Olympic Games. He subsequently served in the Army Air Corps in the World War II. During a routine search mission over the Pacific, Louie’s plane crashed into the ocean and what happened to him over the next three years of his life is a story that will keep you glued to the pages, eagerly awaiting the next turn in the story and fearing it at the same time. you’ll cheer for the man who somehow maintained his selfhood and humanity despite the monumental degradations he suffered as a prisoner of war. Inspiring!


51WbSsr0Y7L._SL160_Known and Unknown: A Memoir. Donald Rumsfeld. Like Donald Rumsfeld, this book pulls no punches. With the same directness that defined his career in public service, Rumsfeld’s memoir is filled with previously undisclosed details and insights about the Bush administration, 9/11, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It also features Rumsfeld’s unique and often surprising observations on eight decades of history: his experiences growing up during the Depression and World War II, his time as a Naval aviator; his service in Congress starting at age 30; his cabinet level positions in the Nixon an Ford White Houses; his assignments iin the Reagan administration and his years as a successful business executive in the private sector. Proceeds from the sales of Known and Unknown will go to the veterans charities supported by the Rumsfeld Foundation.





41UcM0zZzqL._SL160_Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer.  Roy Peter Clark. To write well, one needs tools, not rules. I had some difficulty getting traction on the method Clark uses to display his writing tools, but once I forced myself to persevere, the suggestions became clear and I found myself eagerly anticipating a chance to delve into my toolbox. This is a difficult read, but worthwhile for someone set on a course of writing improvement.






Exceptional: Why the World Needs a Powerful America. Dick Cheney and Liz Cheney. Since World War II, American power and leadership have been an unmatched force for the defense of freedom around the globe. For 70 years, presidents both Republican and Democratic have shared a dedication to maintaining American power and leadership. President Obama has abandoned this bipartisan tradition, choosing instead to “lead from behind” as he abandons America’s allies, appeases our enemies, and apologizes for this great nation. The former Vice President and his daughter tell us how America can and must lead again. If current events in the Middle East concern you as they do me, you must read this book and then do what you can to force an appropriate mandate for change!





51pHkuCfmNL._SL160_Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault That Changed a Presidency. Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard. The most recent book in the “Killing” series presents a page-turning epic account of the career of President Ronald Reagan that tells the vivid story of his rise to power — and the forces of evil that conspired to bring him down. As usual, Dugard’s historical research is remarkable. Whether you like O’Reilly’s politics or not, this book (as with all the others in the series) is a fascinating read.





41YQMWP228L._SL160_On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction. William Zinsser. The second of Zinsser’s books I’ve read, and as instructive as the first. I’m working on a book about my years as an attorney and I’m also writing a blog about our years-long motorhome exploration of America. These books are very helpful. I wish I’d read them years ago when I was still practicing law…I think my written work would have been much better than it was.





41SR6VfOyYL._SL160_Inventing the Truth: the Art and Craft of Memoir. William Zinsser. I’ve now read three Zinsser books in about the last six months. His instructions are genius. If you’re interested in writing, or giving it a try, please read these books!





41GRZA0X09L._SL160_Writing About Your Life: A Journey into the Past. William Zinsser. Make it four. I can’t get enough of this author and his instruction about how to improve one’s writing skills.





51-iPQ1wSgL._SL160_The First Five Pages: A Writer’s Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile. Noah Lukeman. Literary agent Lukeman offers lucid advice on how to avoid rejection of your manuscript, buy pointing out even the most subtle mistakes that are often cause for rejection. I’m sure not ready to implement all these suggestions, but I’m getting a bit closer every day.

The Girl on the Train. Paula Hawkins. Rachel Watson, the principal narrator of Hawkins’s psychologically astute debut, is obsessed with her ex-husband, Tom. She’s having a hard time putting the past behind her, especially since she confronts it daily, during the hour-long commute to London from her rented room in Ashbury, Oxfordshire, when her train passes the Victorian house she once shared with Tom. The various characters’ narratives hurtle toward a stunning climax, horrifying as a train wreck and just as riveting.

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. A History of Nazi Germany. William L. Shirer. Somehow I managed to get through high school, college and law school without reading this book of some 1,250 pages in fine print.  So, since I’ve had some time in Pensacola recuperating from my illness, I decided it would be a good time to “get this project done.” This worldwide best seller, written in 1959, has been widely acclaimed as the definitive record of the twentieth century’s darkest hours. The book offers an examination of how Adolf Hitler nearly succeeded in conquering the world.

All New Square Foot Gardening. Mel Bartholomew. Rapidly increasing in popularity, square foot gardening is the most practical, foolproof way to grow a home garden. That explains why author and gardening innovator Mel Bartholomew has sold more than two million books describing how to become a successful DIY square foot gardener. Now, with the publication of All New Square Foot Gardening, Second Edition, the essential guide to his unique step-by-step method has become even better. Mel developed his techniques back in the early 1980s and has been teaching them throughout the world ever since. In the process, he has made improvements and refinements and continually adapted his practices to keep pace with modern times. In this new volume, Bartholomew furthers his discussion on one of the most popular gardening trends today: vertical gardening. He also explains how you can make gardening fun for kids by teaching them the square foot method. Finally, an expanded section on pest control helps you protect your precious produce. Rich with new full-color images and updated tips for selecting materials, this beautiful new edition is perfect for brand-new gardeners as well as the millions of square foot gardeners who are already dedicated to Mel’s industry-changing insights.

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