May 2020 Reading List

By Jack Carr USA

By Jack Carr USA

War and Remembrance

Herman Wouk

$18.99 $17.47

I was introduced to Herman Wouk’s The Winds of War through the 1983 miniseries of the same name.  Five years later, War and Remembrance would air.  Both were seminal events in television history.  Those of us who grew up in the 80s remember the great miniseries events before the advent of cable.  War and Remembrance symbolizes the end of an era dominated by ABC, NBC, and CBS.  Not long after the miniseries, I read both of Herman Wouk’s masterpieces.  I already knew that one day I would serve my country in uniform and was drawn to books, movies, and television programs with military themes. Start with The Winds of War which follows the Henry Family from 1939 up to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Then continue into War and Remembrance which takes you through the end of World War II.  Don’t be intimidated by their length.  Dive in and GET AFTER IT!

The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus

Richard Preston

$8.99 $8.27

The Hot Zone by Richard Preston was first published in 1994. It was many people’s first introduction to the Ebola Zaire virus.  I wrote out a year of six books a month reading lists at the end of last summer, before COVID-19 was on the radar.  With the current crisis, and if memory serves after reading this story over twenty-five years ago, I might hold off on it until the coronavirus subsides.

Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the Cia, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invas Ion to September 10, 2001

Steve Coll

$22.00 $20.24

Ghost Wars by Steve Coll is another one of the books on the professional reading list I was asked to put together for the SEAL Teams before I left active duty.  Along with Lawrence Wright’s The Looming Tower, Ghost Wars provides extensive background on the events leading up to September 11th 2001.  The importance of knowing where we came from to clearly and logically address the failures of the past so future generations will not have to learn the same lessons in blood is as true at the strategic level as it is at the tactical level.  Ghost Wars is a must-read for any American who is seeking a better understanding of the path that led to 9/11.

A Sound of Thunder and Other Stories

Ray D. Bradbury

$16.98 $15.62

I believe I first read Ray Bradbury’s A SOUND OF THUNDER in an anthology of literature in junior high school. It is a short story that you can read in about 20 minutes.  I read it again recently and every sentence still resonates. Brilliant is not too strong a term for this work and its author. If you have not spent time with Ray Bradbury lately, I highly recommend you leave your phone behind and escape on a journey with the master.

A River Runs Through It and Other Stories

Norman MacLean

$15.00 $13.80

I admit to seeing the film by Robert Redford in the theater before reading the novella by Norman Maclean, and in this particular case I believe the two experiences complement one another in a way unique to adaptations. I’d love to lure you in with the first and last sentences, but I don’t want to spoil the experience. Between those beautifully crafted bookends you just might get to know yourself a little better.  This is one to savor, to read on a porch with a cold beer in hand, or if that is not an option, then in a quiet space where you can be alone with your thoughts and with a story that reads like a poem.  Even though you know how it ends even without seeing the film - Maclean does more than foreshadow what is to come - it will not leave you dry eyed.   If it does, I don’t think we can be friends.