The Ten Book Challenge

Roamy tagged me with this on Facebook. What are ten books that have stayed with you?

  1. The Bible. For my secular friends, I’d encourage you to read it, even if just as a novel. It’s a pretty interesting piece of historical literature. And if the spirit should happen to move you, so much the better.

  2. The American Heritage History of World War II. My folks had just about every American Heritage book from the 60s and 70s. It played a major role in my decision to become a soldier.

  3. The Hunt for Red October. Clancy’s book made my fascination with the platforms of warfare socially acceptable.

  4. The Blueberry Pie Elf. No great influence on me. I just really loved that book as a kid.

  5. Stuart Little– E.B. White is probably better known for Charlotte’s Web, but I always preferred this mousy little book. Mice don’t scare me. Spiders do. And pigs should be made into pork chops and bacon. Every writer should have Strunk & White handy, but if you’ve read much of my work, you know I keep my copy juuuuuuuuust out of reach.

  6. About Face. Hackworth’s book reached me at a time when I had some serious decisions to make, and it helped me make them.

  7. There’s a War to be Won. Geoffery Perret’s excellent history of the US Army in World War II. Think of it as a primer for the layman to understand the campaigns and the people of the war. And it’s a very easy read.

  8. C. B. Colby’s series of children’s books about the military. I read them again and again through my first couple years of elementary. Today the books would be banned in any school, and I would have been medicated and sent to counseling.

  9. The Brotherhood of War by W. E. B. Griffith. Oddly, I read the main body of the works in reverse order. You could hit up just about any platoon in the Army in the late 80s and someone would be reading one of his books.

  10. The Aubrey-Maturin series by Patrick O’Brian. Who doesn’t love the swashbuckling of Lucky Jack, and the cold intrigue of Stephen?

Now… who do I tag with this challenge?

25 thoughts on “The Ten Book Challenge”

  1. I still can’t believe how much I enjoyed The Brotherhood of War. Easy to read, and much of the plot lines have stayed with me to this day. Even though I was an Army guy, I also recommend The Corps.

    1. xbradtc:

      Oh, I found the book; I have a request for it in at one of my libraries. I was just trying to point out the need for proofreading before hitting the “post comment” key.


  2. Okay, here goes:

    1. The Bible, as eloquently stated by our humble host.
    2. Moby Dick. I try to read it about every ten years. First it was a book about a whale, then it was a book about a deranged Captain. Then it was a book about obsession. Then, it didn’t have much at all to do with the whale.
    3. Something Wicked This Way Comes. Bradbury at his best.
    4. Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. Shirer’s insightful portrait of the evil madness that was Hitler’s Germany.
    5. With the Old Breed. EB Sledge’s masterpiece of the Pacific War.
    6. Bruce Catton’s Civil War works. Mr. Lincoln’s Army, Glory Road, and A Stillness at Appomattox, written in the 50s, followed by the Centennial trilogy, The Coming Fury, Terrible Swift Sword, and Never Call Retreat. (Hey, if you can put the entire Brotherhood of War series in, I can put this in!)
    7. Goodbye to All That. The Great War memoirs of Robert Graves.
    8. Defeat Into Victory. Viscount Slim’s brilliant and humble memoirs of Burma.
    9. A History of the English Speaking Peoples. Churchill’s unapologetic chronicle of the “Island Race”.
    10. All Quiet on the Western Front. Remarque’s haunting novel of the Western Front from the German side.

  3. I told my wife about reading the C.B. Colby books in elementary school. Her response was “They had THOSE kinds of books in a school library?!!??” To be fair, she grew up in California and I grew up in Texas

    1. I didn’t have an elementary school library, but my Jr. High School library had things like “The West Point Atlas of American Wars” and many of the kind of books Colby wrote.

  4. I like the notion of committing to reading 10 books one (mostly) after the other while I help my sister with her Picks Disease afflicted husband. I was surprised to learn that a great many people in my place might have said “…sorry Sis your situation does not mesh well with my retirement.” What we’ve lost, what we’ve lost…

  5. Several by Solzhenytsyn; “August, 1914”, “A Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovitch”, “Gulag Archipelago” of course. “The Thirteenth Valley”, the Constitution of the United States (I know, not a book, but I still reread it occasionally) , Newt Gingrich and William Forstchen’s novels on the Civil War, “The Road Past Mandalay” (currently rereading)……That is in addition to most of the other books listed by others here.
    And now I have some new ones to try! Goody!

  6. Lord of the Rings Trilogy
    Glory Road by Bruce Catton
    Memory by Lois McMaster Bujold
    Red Storm Rising
    Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle
    Beat to Quarters(aka The Happy Return) by CS Forrester (or really any of the Hornblower books before he is made commodore)
    Starship Troopers by Heinlein
    Henry V by Shakespeare
    Duel for the Golan by Asher
    Washington’s Crossing by Fischer

    There’s actually some short stories that I would add as well, but this books. Neptune’s inferno is too new to make the list.

  7. C S Lewis is a favorite of mine, he could produce both the Narnia books, and the Screwtape Letters.


    As a Harpooner, I cut my tactical teeth with Red Storm Rising. “The Sixth Battle” is the Post Graduate school of War at Sea tactics. Good plot, good characters, and written with the help of some graduates of Strike U at Fallon. I’m on my second paperback copy of the book…wore the first one out. My other books?
    Slan, A.E. van Vogt, my first sci-fi book
    Morissons “History of the US Navy in WW2″…the whole set.
    All the W.E.B Griffin books..even that last stinker.
    Starship Troopers
    Pournell/Niven: all of them.
    The Empire of Man series, David Weber and John Ringo. One of the best series of military sci-fi ever.
    Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors
    Neptunes Inferno
    The Gettysburg/End of the Civil War books, Gingrich/Forsthcen.

  9. Recently reread Griffin’s The Corps for perhaps the 10th or 15th time. I left off the last 2, from Korea.

    Currently rereading The Brotherhood for the 10th or 15th time. About halfway through The Captains.

    I’ve read some of Griffin’s other series and they are not bad but don’t hold up to repeated readings like these 2 do. Or even to 2nd or 3rd readings.

    His cops books are dreck, IMHO. I couldn’t even get all the way through the first one when I tried it.

    Agree also on the Bible (Currently writing it out in longhand for the 2nd time. NT only)

    Also Stuart Little, Aubrey Maturin,

    I liked Clancy’s first 6-7 books (The doorstop series) but I thought he went way off the rails with the last couple. And all the other books that he lent his name to seemed like dreck to me.

    Anyone here read LeCarre? I’ve known about him since the 60’s and never thought he would appeal to me. Saw Tinker Tailor year before last, almost by accident and read the book. I have been seriously hooked ever since. Just finished Absolute Truth for the 3rd time last night.

    Tinker Tailor and Smiley’s People, both 6 part BBC series with Alec Guiness are superb and available on Youtube.

    John Henry

  10. Interesting comments on what to read and I gleaned some helpful ideas.

    What about how to read? I tend to have 2-3 books going at a time. Usually one on my Kindle and one on my phone.

    Back when I read paper, I could have 4-5 books going at the same time so this is probably an improvement.

    what about the rest of you? Singe book at a time or multiple books?

    John Henry

    1. Multiple. My attention span isn’t what it used to be.

      I also keep several books in the bathroom. It helps pass the time, if nothing else. At my age I get a surprising amount of reading done there.

  11. Been in a bit of a slump of re-reading stuff that I have already read rather than much new stuff this year (and have been reading lots of blogs and news online) but here’s a few that matter to me or are just plain fun-
    – Starship Troopers
    – The War in the Air (even better than war of the worlds)
    – The Killer Angels- Micheal Shara
    – To the Last Man – about ww1, by Jeff Shara, the kid of the guy who wrote Killer Angels
    – Mark Twain Short Stories- Can’t remember the exact title of the compilation and its buried at the bottom of a moving box somewhere
    – Devil in the White City, Eric Larson- a great history about The Chicago Colombian Exposition and Americas first Serial Killer, really interesting
    – Lamb:The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal- Very funny by a guy named Chris Moore
    – The Island of the Sequined Love Nun- Also very funny, by Moore
    – The Complete Sherlock Holmes Novels and Stories
    – Jurassic Park – just because it was the first “big book” I picked up and finished

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