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Photo copyright © Jayel Aheram

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Joseph Galloway

Co-Author of ‘We Were Soldiers…Once and Young’, Newspaper Correspondent

Joseph Galloway is an American newspaper correspondent and columnist. He is the former Military Affairs consultant for the Knight-Ridder chain of newspapers and was a columnist with McClatchy Newspapers. During the Vietnam War, he often worked alongside the troops he covered and was awarded a Bronze Star for carrying wounded men to safety. Galloway is perhaps best known for his role as a war-time photographer during Vietnam when he accompanied the then LTC Hal Moore of the 7th Calvary Division in a battle that would later become famous, the Battle of la Drang. Galloway and Moore co-authored the book based on the battle, We Were Soldiers Once…and Young, later made into the blockbuster movie.

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    Street Without Joy

    Bernard Fall

    The late Dr. Bernard Fall’s best work on Indochina. I carried this book in my pack in Vietnam to read and re-read and occasionally scare the crap out of myself when we would transit the pass where the Viet Minh ambushed Group Mobile 100 in last days of the French war.

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    This Kind of War

    T.R. Fehrenbach

    The best single volume history of the Korean War. Col. Fehrenbach’s work is unflinching and impeccable. I carried this fat volume in my pack in Vietnam as well!

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    Gates Of Fire

    Steven Pressfield

    Mr. Pressfield tells the story of the 300 Spartans who held off thousands upon thousands of Persians at the pass….and tells it so vividly that by the end you are ready to sign on as a Spartan yourself!

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    The Praetorians, The Centurions

    Jean Larteguy

    Two interlocking volumes that tell the story of the French paras captured at DienBienPhu and their trial by fire at hands of the Viet Minh. Those who survive return to fight in Algeria, using the torture tactics used against them on the Algerian rebels. Ultimately they drift into the plot to assassinate President Charles de Gaulle. Very well written stories in these two books. If they intrigue you see if you can find a lesser known Larteguy book titled Yellow Fever.

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    Barrack Room Ballads

    Rupyard Kipling

    No reading list for warriors would be complete without a volume of Kipling. I love this one for a short dedication at the front in which Kipling celebrates his years covering the British Indian Army. Kipling’s words illustrate and illuminate my own years covering America’s soldiers and Marines at war: “I have eaten your bread and salt; Drunk your water and wine. The deaths you’ve died I watched beside, and the lives you’ve lived were mine.”

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Max Collins

Bassist, Lead Singer of Eve 6

Max Collins (born August 28, 1978) is an American musician, best known as the bassist and lead vocalist of Eve 6. He authored most of the band’s songs and has also launched a solo career in 2013.

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    Mr. Vertigo

    Paul Auster

    This is a classic American tale on hallucinogens. It was the first novel I read by Paul Auster and possibly my favorite.

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    Middlesex

    Jeffrey Eugenides

    There are too many protagonists to count in this story but it never loses its way or feels spread thin. It’s tragic, hilarious, inspiring and important. I stole the name of my solo record “Honey From the Icebox” from it’s pages too.

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    A Confederacy of Dunces

    John Kennedy Toole

    It’s been years since I read it but I remember laughing out loud and marveling at the brilliant lunacy of Ignatius J. Reilly.

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    The Brothers Karamazov

    Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    When I finished this novel I cried and called my mother.

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    Moon Palace

    Paul Auster

    Scenes from this novel still pop into my head years after reading it. It’s such a powerful dream I feel like I lived it.

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Landon Donovan

American soccer player

Landon Timothy Donovan is an American soccer player currently playing for the Los Angeles Galaxy and the United States men’s national team. He has played for Bayer Leverkusen, San Jose Earthquakes, Bayern Munich, and Everton. He usually plays as a withdrawn forward for the Galaxy, but he is just as effective as an attacking midfielder on either wing playing for the U.S.

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    Letters to a Young Poet

    Ranier Maria Rilke

    This is my absolute favorite book. Rilke receives letters from a a young, aspiring poet and this book comprises Rilke’s 10 responses to these letters. The answers transcend time, gender, occupation and religion.

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    Racing in the Rain: My Life as a Dog

    Garth Stein

    For those of us that have dogs, this book should be a mandatory read. I don’t often read novels but this one captured my imagination from the first chapter and had me bawling by the end.

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    Fast Food Nation

    Eric Schlosser

    This book changed my life. Growing up, we often thought we had no choice but to indulge in the world of fast “food.” This book takes a graphic and honest look at what goes on in the fast food industry and realities are incredibly disturbing. I think this should be a must read for children in school.

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    The Blind Side

    Michael Lewis

    I am a massive American football fan and I am fascinated by the inner workings of the NFL. This book obviously became a popular movie later on but it has so many interesting story lines and is so inspiring on so many levels.

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    Outliers

    Malcom Gladwell

    I am a big fan of Malcolm Gladwell and this book was riveting to me. Whether you agree with his theories or not, he is undeniably brilliant and forces you to look at the world in a new and different way.

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Mayim Bialik “Amy Farrah Fowler”

Neuroscientist and Actress, The Big Bang Theory

Mayim Hoya Bialik is best known for her lead role as Blossom Russo in the early-1990s NBC television sitcom “Blossom” and now appears regularly on the #1 comedy in America, CBS “The Big Bang Theory” playing neurobiologist Amy Farrah Fowler, a role for which she has been twice Emmy-nominated. She played the young Bette Midler in “Beaches” in 1989.
 
Bialik earned a BS from UCLA in 2000 in Neuroscience and Hebrew and Jewish Studies, and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience, also from UCLA in 2007. Bialik was a dedicated student leader at UCLA Hillel and is an avid student of all things Jewish, studying with several study partners weekly and speaking all over he country for Jewish and academic institutions and organizations.
 
She gave birth to her first son in 2005, and her second son (born at home, largely unassisted) in 2008. Her book about Attachment Parenting, Beyond the Sling, was published in March 2012 (Simon and Schuster). Her vegan cookbook, Mayim’s Vegan Table, will be published by Da Capo Press in Spring of 2014. She writes regularly for the Jewish parenting site Kveller.com about homeschooling, being observant in Hollywood, and just being a regular mom.

I love to read in bed with my cat snuggled next to me.

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    As a Driven Leaf

    Milton Steinberg

    I love historical fiction. This book takes place around the time Jesus lived and focuses on the politics of religion and secular society.

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    To Be Sung Underwater

    Tom McNeal

    The plotline might sound like this is a book about a woman longing for a love affair but it’s actually a very male-heavy story about lost opportunities.

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    Geek Love: A Novel

    Katherine Dunn

    This is an incredible novel about a group of circus performers and “sideshow freaks”. It is really bizarre but really fantastic.

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    The Secret History

    Donna Tartt

    I love this book because it focuses on a group of college students who find themselves committing a horrendous crime. They all have to figure out how to cover it up and it’s a really interesting portrait of a really exceptional situation.

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    One Hundred Years of Solitude

    Gabriel Garcia Marquez

    This is a very long book about one family’s history, set over a hundred years. It’s written in the style of magical realism, which literally means anything can and does happen.

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JFK

(if he were alive today. Presented by JFK biographer Thurston Clarke.) 35th President of the US

JFK (May 29, 1917-November 22, 1963) was the 35th president of the United Stated. His biographer Thurston Clarke has written eleven widely acclaimed works of fiction and nonfiction, including three New York Times Notable Books. His Pearl Harbor Ghosts was the basis of a CBS documentary, and his bestselling Lost Hero, a biography of Raoul Wallenberg, was made into an award-winning NBC miniseries. His articles have appeared in Vanity Fair, The New York Times, The Washington Post and many other publications. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and other awards and lives with his wife and three daughters in upstate New York. http://www.thurstonclarke.com/

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    With the Old Breed at Peleliu and Okinawa

    E.B. Sledge

    As you know JFK fought in the Pacific war as commander of a PT boat so I think he would have been fascinated by Sledge’s memoir (initially published in the early 1980s). I’ll let film maker Ken Burns, who did a series about the Second World War, speak for me about this book. “In all the literature of the Second World War there is not a more honest, realistic or moving memoir than Eugene Sledge’s”

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    The Things They Carried

    Tim O’Brien

    A hybrid work of fiction and nonfiction, part memoir, and part fiction about the Vietnam War. These short stories demonstrate the impact of war on individuals. I think JFK would have been fascinated because he had repeatedly overruled advisors who recommended sending combat units to Vietnam, although he did increase the number of US advisors. Six weeks before his assassination he announced that he would be withdrawing 1000 US advisors from South Vietnam by the end of the year with a view towards removing them all by 1965. This, of course, did not happen.

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    The Liberation Trilogy - An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa 1942-1943

    Rick Atkinson

    All three books manage to combine dramatic and moving descriptions of combat with an insightful analysis of strategy and tactics. JFK’s older brother Joseph was killed in action in Europe while flying a dangerous mission, and I’m sure this personal connection would have led JFK to Atkinson’s trilogy.

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    The Liberation Trilogy - The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy 1943-1944

    Rick Atkinson

    All three books manage to combine dramatic and moving descriptions of combat with an insightful analysis of strategy and tactics. JFK’s older brother Joseph was killed in action in Europe while flying a dangerous mission, and I’m sure this personal connection would have led JFK to Atkinson’s trilogy.

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    The Guns at Last Light: The War in Europe 1944-1945

    Rick Atkinson

    All three books manage to combine dramatic and moving descriptions of combat with an insightful analysis of strategy and tactics. JFK’s older brother Joseph was killed in action in Europe while flying a dangerous mission, and I’m sure this personal connection would have led JFK to Atkinson’s trilogy.