just a place to keep track of my current and recently read books

And give you a chance to Amazon them up if you like

I try, and often miserably fail, to keep booklists of what I've been reading. Trying to recreate 2018 from Amazon history and my journal.


The main thing I read is my Bible. I try to spend time in it every day. For the last several years I've been using the ESV (English Standard Version). Strongly recommend the UVersion Bible App! Check it out!

Jump to Section:

SciFi, Action and Thrillers, Politics, Poetry, Fiction, Assorted Non-Fiction, Computers, Business, Religion / Philosophy

Science Fiction Books / SciFi Books

Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World: A Novel (Vintage International) by Haruki Murakami What an uncharacterizable book. One of the most beautiful things I read in 2018. The closest I can say is "If Stanislaw Lem were Japanese, he would have written this book."
Time Salvager by Wesley Chu There are only a few sacred rules of the Time Corps and their Chronmen. James Griffin-Mars is going to break every one of them.
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow In near-future San Francisco, the Department of Homeland Security stages a terror attack to allow themselves to issue broad new surveillance directives. A group of clever privacy-minded teens stages a revolution using technology strikingly similar to things available to us today. A great cautionary tale, and perhaps a wake-up call! Are you ready to defend your privacy?

Thrillers / Action Books / Spy Books

General Fiction

Allmen and the Dragonflies by Martin Suter A privileged bachelor, having squandered his father's estate, now lives with his former gardener and steals art to keep up appearances. Beautifully crafted writing!

Political Books / World Politics

ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror (Updated Edition) by Hassan Hassan When I saw there was an updated version of this MOST informative book on ISIS, I grabbed it right away. This is one of the first books I encourage my teams to read to help them understand the birth of ISIS.
Al Qaeda, the Islamic State, and the Global Jihadist Movement: What Everyone Needs to Know® by Daniel Byman One of several books I read preparing to teach a Summer Course on Terrorism at UAB.
Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 by Steve Coll How did the CIA's activity in Afghanistan give birth to modern Islamic jihad? This Pulitzer Prize winning book has the complete history.
In the Graveyard of Empires: America's War in Afghanistan by Seth Jones To understand our war in Afghanistan, you really need to read this book.
Chechen Jihad: Al Qaeda's Training Ground and the Next Wave of Terror by Yossef Bodansky To understand how fundamentally interconnected the various Islamic jihad groups are, you really should read this book.
Terrorism: A History (Themes in History) by Randall Law Birmingham Southern College professor Law has assembled a great timeline of the history of terrorism. I referred to this book heavily as I planned my own course on Terrorism.

Haiku Books / Poetry Books

Assorted Non-Fiction Books

Fatal System Error: The Hunt for the New Crime Lords Who Are Bringing Down the Internet by Joseph Menn Another book for the "to understand the history of our cybercrime state" from journalist Joseph Menn.
American Radical: Inside the World of an Undercover Muslim FBI Agent by Tamer Elnouri Fascinating true story of an FBI agent's many missions infiltrating terror cells in America.
The Looting Machine: Warlords, Oligarchs, Corporations, Smugglers, and the Theft of Africa's Wealth by Tom Burgis The "Resource States" of Africa are rich with minerals, gold, diamonds, rare earth metals, and oil. But their corrupt governments are allowing foreigners to take all of that wealth, as long as they help keep the current leadership in power and personally wealthy. Burgis really shows how China is now dominating this space.
How to Steal a Million: The Memoirs of a Russian Hacker by Sergey Pavlovich Russian cyber criminal tell-all written during his decade in a Russian prison for being one of the early "top carders." I had the privelege of reading an early manuscript copy. Fascinating story.
Communicating with Intelligence: Writing and Briefing for National Security (Security and Professional Intelligence Education Series) by James Major The Intelligence Community doesn't read news the way you or I do. If you plan to write for them, this essential guide will truly help you understand the differences.
Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy Mark Lowenthal Lowenthal is the master at explaining how our Intelligence process works. Now in the 7th edition.
This Present Darkness: A History of Nigerian Organized Crime by Stephen Ellis This book is fundamental to understanding how Nigerian organized crime is a natural outcome of the formation of their government from colonial times through the current presidency.

Computer Books / Computer Security Books / Network Security Books / Hacking Books

Placing the Suspect Behind the Keyboard: Using Digital Forensics and Investigative Techniques to Identify Cybercrime Suspects by Brett Shavers Yes, the digital forensics say that this computer was involved in the crime. But who was at the keyboard when that computer was used to commit that crime. Some great suggestions for proving that in court.

Management Books / Leadership Books / Business Books

It's Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy, 10th Anniversary Edition by Michael Abrashoff A great book full of practical advice for building and encouraging team work and quality.

Religion / Philosophy / Spiritual

The Christian Atheist: Believing in God but Living As If He Doesn't Exist by Craig Groeschel Why do we strongly declare that we are Christians, and therefore against abortion, or whatever your current issue is, and then primarily live as if God doesn't exist? Groeschel challenges us to actually put our Christian faith into practice.
Own The Moment by Carl Lentz The pastor of Hillsong NYC addresses the question "How to live a spiritual life in a secular world.
The Daniel Dilemma: How to Stand Firm and Love Well in a Culture of Compromise by Pastor Chris Hodges My pastor's most downloaded sermon series ever was his series called "The Daniel Dillema." As a result, he turned it into this book.