Books! Books! Books!

My new friends at Hachette Book Group recently sent this small treasure to me in support of the ninjas of FAST Company, Bahrain.  It is a well documented fact I am addicted to the lovely medium of books and am completely undisciplined in my purchase of something new to read. At the moment I personally have over fifty unread books gleefully leaping off my bookshelves screaming: “Pick me! Pick me!” 

You know you want to touch them.

After I bathed in this pile of printed goodness I handed out a few to Marines and put the rest on the shelf for any takers.  Brute I selfishly kept for myself and am currently reading in all its awesomeness. 

I mention all this simply to point out since the fine Americans at Hachette Book Group  have so awesomely supported the likes of America’s 1stSgt you too might wish to visit the most excellent Hachette Book Group and support them in turn.

If it frightens you my loyalty appears so easily purchased, fear not. The Taliban doesn’t read.

Semper Fidelis,
America’s 1stSgt 

/ / / /


  1. Top,
    It’s kind of funny, but when I first joined the regular Army many, many,many, (enough many’s) years ago, I was one of the few grunts who could actaully read.
    Often I was told to help some other soldier get through some manual or something for a test….and sometimes these dummies were promoted over me.

  2. had a library card by the time I was 5. Reading was my Mom’s answer to everything. These are probably in your stack of 50, but Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes about the Vietnam War and Kaboom by Matthew Gallagher about the Iraq war are highly recommended.

  3. CI Roller, back in my heady days as a young grunt we all took a book with us to the field and swapped them with each other. Hurry up and wait turned in to hurry up and read.

    Marian, you are NOT helping me with the not buying of books scenario. 🙂

  4. On my 1st WestPac with BLT 3/3 in 1984, our berthing area on the USS Denver was equipped with seemingly a complete set of Louis L’amour paperbacks. Floating along in the Indian Ocean were endless days of pt on the flight deck, weapons cleaning, and eagerly turning each page to see which Sackett had killed another Higgens.

  5. Ah! I finished reading Brute. She sent me a bunch of books as well, and I’ve started to give them away on my blog!

    The problem is that I can’t decide what to read next…

  6. Interesting, two totally unrelated blogs I follow, wherein your post was “Books, Books, Books” and the other one was titled “The Book Devil”. Unrelated, but both lamenting the buying of books.

  7. kman, Louis is the greatest American storyteller of all time! Probably the best stuff to read while underway.

    Kanani, I’m thinking my next book is either Horse Soldiers or Packing For Mars by Mary Roach. Or just some epic sci/fi.

    Spockgirl, whew! And here I thought I might be the only one.

  8. As a kid, my Father would take the whole family to the used book sale and give us each a box. 25 cents for a whole box of books!!! And when that one was full, if we wanted to we could fill another one. We had thousands of books in our house. The walls were lined with book cases. And the subjects ranged from Engineering, History and Science to Science Fiction, the supernatural, and farming!! Currently, I am reading “Plagues and People” a book my Boss loaned me.

  9. I have to say I share your addition to books. I have even passed the genetics on to my two boys. I once teased them I was going to sell our house so we could move into Barns & Noble… I mean they have books, comfy chairs, food, and bathrooms… everything one needs for survival. Every time we go into Barns & Nobel they ask me if I’ve sold the house, they’re ready to move in.

    I let me know how Horse Soldiers is, it’s been on my reading list for some time. =]

  10. As a kid I was allowed to read anything I got my hands on. Comic books mostly (my mother figured at least I was reading something), Tarzan, John Carter of Mars, Conan (probably explains a lot). In grade school my parents made me read 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea to them out loud.

  11. Top:

    You might want to start thinking about getting yourself an ereader device, if you aint already got yourself one.

    I have the entry level gizmo. It’s called an Ebookwise. It’s nifty but limited in selection (damn all dmc and proprietary formats! What’s with publishers these days? Don’t they want to sell their books to as many readers as possible?)

    Kindle’s looking pretty sweet.

    The nice thing about an electronic book device is you can carry an entire library on the device and lots of the really good reading material is passed copyright so free to download and read.

    Take a look through the offerings of Project Gutenberg for an example of the free stuff.

    Once a body gets over the confusion and mental blockage of believing that there must be pages to manually turn in order to read, the ebook gizmos get real comfortable.

    Just imagine being able to take a complete library with you where ever you go, all wrapped up in a pound or less of weight and the size of a single paperback book.

    I do wish you’d take a read through Tom Kratman’s series that starts with “A Desert Called Peace”. Fun reads. Then you could sign up at Bean’s Bar (the forum for authors at Bean’s) and help argue with Mr. Kratman when he starts talking his US Army nonsense about the USMC.

    Spoiled bastages, the lot of em, Army I mean. Wouldn’t know tight budget issues if it bit em on the tail mounting.

  12. Oh, and to help you start moving off the book buyage…

    New series got started up on AMC on halloween. The Walking Dead.

    It’s a series about the zombie menace.

    If you don’t get it on TV there, assuming y’all even have TV there, you could have a bud copy it to dvd and send it to you, eppy by eppy.

    While waiting for the deliveries, you could do some zen type training by sitting infront of a blank wall, letting your mind relax, then meditate upon the difficulties inherent in:

    Trying to get through Atlanta on horse back through millions of zombies;

    Being trapped in an M1 AFV that is out of gas, out of ammo and in the middle of a city full of zombies, which happen to be gathered up around said AFV while eating your recently abandoned horse.

    Being handcuffed to a pipe on the roof of a building while all the living folk abandon said building because the zombies have figured out there’s live eatables in said building.

    If your bestest buddy and your wife got together because they believed you were dead, is it still cool to shoot em both?

  13. Kman,
    Hah! I got hooked on Louis L’amour on WesPac ’85 from the ship’s library. Went on to read every single one. Then picked up on Zane Grey.

    I have all the Vince Flynn books sitting in a stack and expect to be mailing them out the Son&Heir on Wespac next spring.

  14. Grimmy, indeed I do have a kindle with over 30 unread books on it! It comes in handy since I travel so much. I still prefer a real live book though.

    Sounds like Mr. Kratman needs to read a history book and realize the Army has been making those same arguments since WWI and have gotten no where. Remind him that the Army complete plagiarized Marine amphibious doctrine and helo borne operations. It would infuriate many an Air Cav soldier to be told that his roots were in Marine helo squadrons.

    be603, have you picked up Appaloosa by Robert Parker? It is the first in a series of books about Cole and Hitch. They are awesome!

  15. In regards to the Walking Dead, I am able to watch it here although it airs a week behind the US. So I have only seen the first episode.

    I am in the unfun camp where I note that horses have been running down people forever so how could it not crash through a loose band of zombies? Also, who carries like ten rifles on their back? It should also be noted that all tanks and tracks have dummy instructions in the drivers compartment for schmoes like us can get in and drive. If I am not mistaken there were a couple of tank rounds stacked in the tank as well. Just saying.

  16. Top:

    Sadly, the hero was just a sheriffs deputy. If’n he’da been a Marine, he’da figured out lots of that stuff.

    No offense meant to sheriffs deputies. I’m sure the non-hollyweird made up ones are fine folk.

    I beg forgiveness for my over exuberance. When I was a young pup, “Three’s Company” was about as good as it got for TV series.

    Anything that has an actual plot gets a whole lot of extra points just on spec. And this one has zombies. Zombies in a TV series. Who’da thunk it?

    PS. Notice how I’m still working on distracting yeh from that whole read more/buy more books thing?

    Tenacious, aint I?

    I plead the 5th General Order for Sentries.

  17. After some thinking last night while pretending to be trying to go to sleep…

    About that bag of weps.

    Well, civilization has ended. Stuff wears out. Also, the hero might wander into good folk who need some gunning up. Never know.

    You were thinking like a grunt, Top. We don’t carry anything that isn’t absolutely, positively known to be critically necessary for day to day needs and the occasional mad minute.

    But, then again, we didn’t have horses to do our walking for us when planning on what to pack for the trip.

    Also, on whether or not that tank had main gun rounds…

    I admit, I didn’t really gander the innards all that much. I was an 0351/0352 by training and inclination. Tanks are just big ol’ rolling death traps to us. I know em by profile but the insides are just a mystery place where crewmen cook to death after we hit em. In theory anyway. Never had to do it for real.

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