Holiday Reading List

Every now and then some of you ask me about suggested reading.  These questions tend to fall about now or before the summer, so here’s some ideas by topic in no particular order.  You can find them all at Book People or at your local independent bookseller.  (You don’t need to buy them from Amazon and I for one would prefer you didn’t.)


Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked by Adam Alter

The Future of Violence by Benjamin Wittes and Gabriella Blum

The Imagineers of War by Sharon Weinberger (a history of DARPA)

Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy O’Neil


The Hundred-Year Marathon by Michael Pillsbury

On China by Henry Kissinger

North Korea

Nuclear Showdown by Gordon Chang

Escape from Camp 14 by Blaine Harden

The Aquariums of Pyongyang by Chol-hwan Kang

Contemporary Middle East and South Asia

ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror by Michael Weiss and Hassan Hassan

Ghost Wars by Steve Coll

The Siege of Vienna by John Stoye

The Perfect Kill: 21 Laws for Assassins by Robert Baer

The Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T.E. Lawrence


Greenmantle by John Buchan

The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton

The Quiet American by Graham Greene


My Share of the Task by GEN Stanley McChrystal

Cochrane: The Real Master & Commander by David Cordingly

Seize the Fire: Heroism, Duty and the Battle of Trafalgar by Adam Nicholson (probably the best short book on Nelson and Trafalgar)