Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A very Phib'y Christmas

Yes, it is that time of year. Remember what we did last year for Christmas? Well, we are going to do it even better this year.

Starting this Tuesday and working each Tuesday through the next month, we will have a different "Christmas Book Recommendations" post. The reason is multifold; (1) I can't stand shopping at the last minute and those who do; (2) If you order something, you need the lead time for it to get to you, properly wrap it, and then get it to the giftee; (3) There are few better Christmas gifts that a person can give to a friend than the gift of a good book.

For our Tuesday series, what we will focus on are - with the exception of my post - "Top 5" book recommendations from guest posters. Some you will know, some you may not know. All of them, however, represent some of the finer minds in our business. These are people of varied backgrounds and opinions - but each deserves your time to contemplate those books they recommend and why.

These recommendations are aimed at giving you ideas on what books might help fertilize the seed corn of the Navy's future.

If you are new to the Navy, a young Sailor, MIDN, or Junior Officer and have not read these books, consider adding them to your list. If you know someone like the above, or have a son, daughter, friend, brother, sister, father, mother that has an interest in the Navy - then this list is for you too.

A love of history - and a love of great books - is an essential foundation stone towards a well rounded, open, and fertile mind that is required for success in any field.

This will be fun - let's get started.

I will open the series with a very simple gift idea: the United States Naval Institute's Classics of Naval Literature.

I have 24 on my book shelf lined up and looking at me right now; yes two dozen - and there are more than that available. With authors like Baxter, Beach (twice), Borghese, Buell, Dickens, Cooper, Dodson, Evans, Exquemelin, Footner, Forbes, Heggen, Hoffman, Leech, Kennedy, McKee, Rayner, Roskill, Sledge, Taylor, Thomas, Thomason, and Von Mucke - how can you go wrong?

From Saudi Arabia to the Arctic Circle - these books were with me. Good stuff.

If you have been reading this blog long and wonder now and then, "
where did he get that idea" or "what historical example is he talking about" or "where did that arcane reference come from" --- not to mention a few of the Fullbore Friday ideas over the years --- well these were the things I read as a junior officer.

Do yourself, your Navy, and a young leader a favor. Give them the gift of hundreds of years of accumulated Naval knowledge. Give them the gift of the
Classics of Naval Literature for Christmas. Preferably on a "one book a month" installment plan. If you don't want to do it manually - call USNI and ask them to set it up for you. I am sure they will be glad to help.

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