Justin's Book of the Year 2000-2013

A Listmania! list by Justin (Columbia, MD USA)
The list author says: "There is no real rhyme or reason to this list. It's just a compedium of the best books I've read each year. I choose the "winner" based on how many people I recommend it to (i.e. "You REALLY need to read this right now!")."
Watership Down: A Novel
1.  Watership Down: A Novel by Richard Adams
The list author says:
  "Book of the Year -- 2013 (Winner)
On the surface, Watership Down is just a book. But dig deeper and you’ll find a thinly-veiled memoir about combat in World War 2, an homage to the ancient Aeneid, and a cheeky anthropological study of rabbit culture and mythology. It’s definitely not for children: the book is unabashedly brutal, with a realistic ending that brought tears to this reader’s eyes."
$11.23   Used & New from: $4.93
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,361 customer reviews) | 4 customer discussions

Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg! (Civil War America)
2.  Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg! (Civil War America) by George C. Rable
The list author says:
  "Book of the Year -- 2013 (Runner Up)
Fredericksburg’s place in the Civil War timeline – between McClellan’s resignation and the Emancipation Proclamation – leaves it as the battle that marks when the war fundamentally changed. Rable discusses the context of the battle without skimping over the actual details of the fighting. One of the best biographies of a single battle I have ever read."
$21.48   Used & New from: $12.45
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

LITTLE AMERICA: The War within the War for Afghanistan
3.  LITTLE AMERICA: The War within the War for Afghanistan by Rajiv Chandrasekaran
The list author says:
  "Book of the Year -- 2012
Rajiv Chandrasekaran examines why our 2009-2012 surge into Afghanistan ultimately failed.  Spoiler alert: the various branches of the US government / military were more concerned about turf wars and bureaucracy than ultimate victory.  The Marine Corps comes in for some heavy criticism, although most of it is warranted.  Definitely the best after-action I've read."
Used & New from: $6.00
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)

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The Gun
4.  The Gun by C. J. Chivers
The list author says:
  "Book of the Year -- 2011
C.J. Chivers has done an excellent series of articles for the NY Times on arms and ammunition in modern conflicts.  This book is basically a biography of the AK-47, as well as a history on the development of the modern automatic weapon.  I'd recommend watching the movie "Lords of War" first, since it sets up many of the myths on the AK that Chivers deconstructs."
Used & New from: $2.20
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)

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The Dogs of War
5.  The Dogs of War by Frederick Forsyth
The list author says:
  "Book of the Year -- 2010 (Winner)
"Dogs of War" is basically a manual disguised as a novel on how to conduct a mercenary-backed coup against an unstable Third World regime.  There's a reason why the protagonist spends almost the whole book shuttling between banks and businesses, opening multiple 'front companies' to purchase his illegal arms and ammunition.  I took VERY copious notes."
$7.19   Used & New from: $0.01
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)

Caravans: A Novel of Afghanistan
6.  Caravans: A Novel of Afghanistan by James A. Michener
The list author says:
  "Book of the Year -- 2010 (Runner Up)
Like a lot of Michener books, Caravans is basically a series of travel vignettes strung together with a shred of a plot.  Michener regularly visited Afghanistan in the years after World War II (the book was written in 1963).  An excellent primer about what Afghanistan is as a country, I highly recommend it to anyone planning to deploy or "visit" there."
$12.27   Used & New from: $1.72
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (195 customer reviews)

Retribution: The Battle for Japan, 1944-45 (Vintage)
7.  Retribution: The Battle for Japan, 1944-45 (Vintage) by Sir Max Hastings
The list author says:
  "Book of the Year -- 2010 (Runner Up)
Retribution, a history of the last year of the Pacific War, is a sequel to Hastings' 2004 book Armageddon on the end of the war in Europe.  Hastings' thesis - that the most savage killing occurred in the final months - is borne out as he attempts to examine the Pacific War from as many angles as possible, including the often-neglected Chinese and Russian views."
$14.24   Used & New from: $1.80
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (149 customer reviews)

The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One
8.  The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One by David Kilcullen
The list author says:
  "Book of the Year -- 2009
David Kilcullen – America’s leading counterinsurgency expert –sums up Al Qaeda’s strategy in the War on Terror: let’s you and him fight.  Neither of America’s two biggest foes, the Iraqi Sunnis/Shia or the Taliban, attacked the US on 9/11.  Yet by basing themselves in Iraq and Afghanistan, Al Qaeda was able to draw us into fights with proxy groups."
$19.68   Used & New from: $0.01
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)

War Nerd
9.  War Nerd by Gary Brecher
The list author says:
  "Book of the Year -- 2008 (Winner)
Though he’s not a professional analyst, soldier, or historian, Brecher has an informal and hilarious lecturing style as he covers some of the world’s worst conflicts.  Not exactly research-quality, but a great starting point.  Think of it as a hitchhiker’s guide to war.  For the thrifty, all his columns can be read online at: http://exiledonline.com/cat/war-nerd/"
$13.40   Used & New from: $1.94
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

Tales of the South Pacific
10.  Tales of the South Pacific by James A. Michener
The list author says:
  "Book of the Year -- 2008 (Runner Up)"
$6.61   Used & New from: $0.01
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)

The Caine Mutiny: A Novel
11.  The Caine Mutiny: A Novel by Herman Wouk
The list author says:
  "Book of the Year -- 2008 (Runner Up)
This book is definitely a must-read for anyone in the military, because it’s all about the nature of command.  What makes a leader good or bad, how can you tell the difference, and what should you do if you find yourself under such a leader.  It really helped me understand the thought process of my commanding officer (A De Vriess, naturally)."
$16.00   Used & New from: $0.01
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (173 customer reviews)

Battle Royale: The Novel
12.  Battle Royale: The Novel by Koushun Takami
The list author says:
  "Book of the Year -- 2007 (Winner)"
Used & New from: $8.15
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews) | 5 customer discussions

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The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11
13.  The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright
The list author says:
  "Book of the Year -- 2007 (Runner Up)"
$9.83   Used & New from: $1.00
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (475 customer reviews) | 3 customer discussions

With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa
14.  With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa by E. B. Sledge
The list author says:
  "Book of the Year -- 2007 (Runner Up)"
$9.04   Used & New from: $1.53
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,146 customer reviews) | 2 customer discussions

The Cartoon History of the Universe III: From the Rise of Arabia to the Renaissance (Cartoon History of the Modern World)
15.  The Cartoon History of the Universe III: From the Rise of Arabia to the Renaissance (Cartoon History of the Modern World) by Larry Gonick
The list author says:
  "Book of the Year -- 2007 (Runner Up)
This is a proxy for the entire History of the Universe/Modern World series.  It took Gonick two decades to do the whole thing, which goes from the Big Bang to the Iraq War. Gonick goes out of his way to cover non-western cultures, and the book is slightly revisionist.  Though the last book feels a bit rushed, I only wish he could have done more."
$15.71   Used & New from: $6.24
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)

Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway
16.  Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway by Jonathan B. Parshall
The list author says:
  "Book of the Year -- 2006 (Winner)
"Shattered Sword" is more than just one of the best books about the Battle of Midway. It is an almost surgical dissection of a military catastrophe on all levels, from the admirals in charge to the lowliest seamen. If you know the source material, the lessons of "Shattered Sword" can be applied to almost any other military operation, land or sea."
$22.04   Used & New from: $11.01
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (329 customer reviews) | 2 customer discussions

The Face of Battle: A Study of Agincourt, Waterloo, and the Somme
17.  The Face of Battle: A Study of Agincourt, Waterloo, and the Somme by John Keegan
The list author says:
  "Book of the Year -- 2006 (Runner Up)"
$14.30   Used & New from: $0.01
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
18.  Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond
The list author says:
  "Book of the Year -- 2005 (Winner)"
$10.70   Used & New from: $1.99
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,677 customer reviews) | 6 customer discussions

Hitler: 1936-1945 Nemesis
19.  Hitler: 1936-1945 Nemesis by Ian Kershaw
The list author says:
  "Book of the Year -- 2005 (Runner Up)"
$22.73   Used & New from: $2.31
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)

Hitler: 1889-1936 Hubris
20.  Hitler: 1889-1936 Hubris by Ian Kershaw
The list author says:
  "Book of the Year -- 2005 (Runner Up)"
Used & New from: $0.48
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)

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Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War
21.  Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War by Robert Coram
The list author says:
  "Book of the Year -- 2004 (Winner)"
$18.00   Used & New from: $5.47
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (215 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

Charlie Wilson's War: The Extraordinary Story of How the Wildest Man in Congress and a Rogue CIA Agent Changed the History of Our Times
22.  Charlie Wilson's War: The Extraordinary Story of How the Wildest Man in Congress and a Rogue CIA Agent Changed the History of Our Times by George Crile
The list author says:
  "Book of the Year -- 2004 (Runner Up)"
$13.23   Used & New from: $0.01
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (275 customer reviews)

Generation Kill: Devil Dogs, Iceman, Captain America, and the New Face of American War
23.  Generation Kill: Devil Dogs, Iceman, Captain America, and the New Face of American War by Evan Wright
The list author says:
  "Book of the Year -- 2004 (Runner Up)
Even though this book didn't win for 2004, it's caused me no end of trouble.  First, when I was at Bush-Cheney '04 I used to regularly read some of the more graphically violent passages out loud to stunned coworkers.  Then of course two years later I joined the Marine Corps, based largely on this book..."
$13.36   Used & New from: $0.01
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (272 customer reviews)

Guests of the Sheik: An Ethnography of an Iraqi Village
24.  Guests of the Sheik: An Ethnography of an Iraqi Village by Elizabeth Warnock Fernea
The list author says:
  "Book of the Year -- 2003
I originally read this book for a Middle East class in college, but re-read it before I deployed to Iraq. A great look at both the social dynamics of rural Iraq as well as the status of women in the old Arab world.  It isn't quite as useful for Afghanistan unless you have absolutely no frame of reference for understanding rural life in the Middle East."
$13.70   Used & New from: $0.01
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)

Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet
25.  Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet by Karen Armstrong
The list author says:
  "Book of the Year -- 2002"
Used & New from: $0.01
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)

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Cryptonomicon
26.  Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
The list author says:
  "Book of the Year -- 2001"
$4.99
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,132 customer reviews)

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Starship Troopers (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)
27.  Starship Troopers (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) by Robert Heinlein
The list author says:
  "Book of the Year -- 2000 (Winner)"
$16.68   Used & New from: $14.90
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,215 customer reviews) | 2 customer discussions

Taiko
28.  Taiko by Eiji Yoshikawa
The list author says:
  "Book of the Year -- 2000 (Runner Up)"
Used & New from: $3.59
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

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Customer Discussions about products in this list
Discussion Replies Latest Post
Battle of Peleliu Book by Japanese Soldier 0 Feb 22, 2014
Any books similiar to Looming Tower that continue its story? 2 Jul 31, 2013
Dive Bomber Pilots 0 May 30, 2013
Tables and figures in Kindle edition 8 Apr 13, 2013
What are some good Japanese novels that have been translated to English (not manga)? 0 Mar 2, 2013
Imperial Japan - WWII from Japanese Point of View 6 Feb 21, 2013
How much bad language???? 7 May 23, 2012
Is it worth it to read this after seeing the movie? 1 May 6, 2012
Is this the manga or the actual novel? 1 May 3, 2012
What some fantasy novels with well developed nonhuman races 4 Apr 8, 2012
The Japan problem. 7 Apr 3, 2012
The history of domestic water buffalo and banteng 1 Apr 2, 2012
 
   

About this Listmania!

 

Author

Justin (Columbia, MD USA)
Qualifications: B.A. (Univ. of Chicago), US Marine Corps
Last updated: 12/8/13
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