Gifts for the Adventurous

Bookshelf 2015

I enjoy and support reading. Not only as a calming pastime but as a means to further your self education, which in many cases can be more important than your formal one.

Here I have compiled a list of the books I have read through or at least partially this year.  I subscribe to the thought that it's ok to skim a book or skip parts if they bore you. 
There are no rules to reading.  Just read what you like.

I try to read as many books as I can each year, although I don't usually get to as many as I would like. 

 Left of Bang: How the Marine Corps' Combat Hunter Program Can Save Your Life - by far my favorite of the year.  Left of Bang means to stay ahead of an event, such as terrorism or crime, by reading peoples actions, body language and emotional state as compared to the normal.  If you are Military, Law Enforcement or at all concerned about the safety of yourself or your family then you need to read this book.  Very readable language and the information is clearly laid out. 

Gates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae - Steven Pressfield's novel of the battle of Thermopylae and events leading up to it.  Otherwise known as the 300.  Paints very detailed lives of the warriors and their training and mindset to fight like they did. 
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values - My first dive into philosophy and I'll admit, it had some heavy drawn out sections.  This book is written half as a travel book with the narrator and his son on a motorcycle ride across the west which is used as examples for the philosophical parts of the book.  I enjoyed the traveling sections and skipped some other sections.
Out of the Mountains: The Coming Age of the Urban Guerrilla - This is heavier, almost text book type of writing regarding the changing landscape of war and how attacks are being carried out by non-state groups all over the world.  The thesis is basically that this is the new environment of war and the new challenges created by a electronically connected enemy.
8 Weeks to SEALFIT: A Navy SEAL's Guide to Unconventional Training for Physical and Mental Toughness - I'm still working up to start this since knee surgery prevented it after I bought the book.  But the philosophy and the intro of completing the Seals PT test for a base line are something I am looking forward to.

The next two are the first Dover Thrift editions I have purchased and for an inexpensive version of a book you may not be sure you're going to like, the are a great option.

Civil War Stories - I usually read more fiction than I have this year, but this book made for a great break un between the heavier books.  You can tell from he details throughout his stories that Ambrose Bierce served in the Civil War.  Start with "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" and you won't want to put the book down.
Meditations - Marcus Aurelius - This is a great first, inexpensive intro to the writings of Marcus Aurelius, who was the most powerful man in the world at the time.  It is amazing to me that we can sit down and still read his words about life and bettering oneself still today.
Note:  After reading this version I recently found out that the Gregory Hays translation is supposed to be the best so I will be ordering it also to compare.  

The last two I have had for longer than the last year but continually use as reference. 

Be Prepared book for dads  - If you or someone you know is a new dad or about to be one, get them this book.  The writing keeps you reading and the illustrations true to life for what a new dad can expect from pregnancy to delivery day through toddler years.  There is no fluff here, just the facts for dads that I have been going back to frequently as mine are becoming toddlers.
Practical Paleo: A Customized Approach to Health and a Whole-Foods Lifestyle  - We don't eat 100% Paleo in my house but we will frequently cook Paleo meals a few times a week.  The recipes in this book are pretty much all great but the best part of this book is the large fist section dealing with digestive issues and how they can be corrected using specific meal plans laid out using the recipes.  I strongly believe that many ailments we as humans suffer from today are direct results of our diets.

I'm pretty sure I'm forgetting some others also. 

What is your favorite book you've read in the last year? 

Stay Safe