"....The problem with being too busy to read is that you learn by experience (or by your men’s experience), i.e. the hard way. By reading, you learn through others’ experiences, generally a better way to do business, especially in our line of work where the consequences of incompetence are so final for young men.

Thanks to my reading, I have never been caught flat-footed by any situation, never at a loss for how any problem has been addressed (successfully or unsuccessfully) before. It doesn’t give me all the answers, but it lights what is often a dark path ahead."

General James Mattis, now U.S. Secretary of Defense, wrote the above comments in an email 20 November 2003 before he was deployed to Iraq. He proceeded to write a long list of required reading and recommended reading for his officers. While many of his books refer to military strategy and history, I would like to recommend some of the current books that I have recently read and consider a valuable source for shedding light on life and culture. From time to time we will update this list and welcome your input and recommendations.

The Hidden Life of Trees: What they feel, How they communicate by Peter Wohlleben

When Women Win: EMILY’s List and the Rise of women in America Politics by Ellen Malcolm

Shoe Dog: A memoir by the creator of Nike by Phil Knight

We Should All be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing

A Lot to Ask: A Life of Barbara Pym by Hazel Hold

News of the World: A novel by Paulette Jiles

taft by Ann Patchett

Updated on April 24th 2017