View Full Version : Books For the Cultured Warrior

09-29-2011, 02:37 PM
Add your picks

King James Bible
The Thomas Jefferson Reader
The Complete Edgar Allen Poe
Warrior of the Light
The Complete Works of Jack London
The Sea Rovers Practice
The 5000 Year Leap
The Thinkers Toolkit
A Brave new War
Benjamin Franklin Autobiography
Enchirdion Militis Christiani

09-29-2011, 03:09 PM
The entire "Ender's Game" series by Orson Scott Card

^^^^ This is one of the best sci-fi series I've ever read, and I think the only one that I read since Dune back in the late 70's...

Somewhat guilty pleasure as of late has been the "Song of Ice and Fire" series by George Martin. I came across it after watching "Game of Thrones" on HBO. Whole new level of sword and sorcery, with graphic, detailed and accurate descriptions of medieval lifestyle, warfare and martial arts, and the nastiest/nicest set of scheming characters since the Borgias.

Here's a short excerpt from an endless list of other all time favorites:

A Book of Five Rings - Musashi
The Iliad and Odyssey - Homer
100 Years of Solitude - Garcia Marquez
Capitan Alatriste - Perez Reverte (series)
Notes from the Underground - Dostoevsky
The Idiot - Dostoevsky
Faust I & II - Goethe
Plays and Sonnets - Shakespeare
Heart of Darkness - Conrad
Shibumi - Trevanian

John Chambers
09-29-2011, 03:26 PM
Complete Kipling's verse
"Hunter" by John Hunter. Excellent bio on one of the classic white hunter's in Africa.
"Steel my Soldier's Hearts" by David Hackworth
Complete works of Heinlein
Complete works of H. Beam Piper
ANYTHING by Vince Flynn!

09-29-2011, 03:37 PM
The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius
Plutarch's Lives
The Illiad
The Odyssey
The Aeneid
Herodotus' Histories
Cicero - De Re Publica, De Legibus, De Officiis
Summa Theologica - Thomas Aquinas
The Guide for the Perplexed - Maimonides

Base Bleed
09-29-2011, 04:03 PM
I second Plutarch's Lives. (Combine this with Dan Carlin's stunning audio series on the fall of the Roman Republic)...
-Any book detailing ancient Iraq (pre-Sardonic empire especially) and everything you ever wanted to know about the rule of man will be nicely wrapped up for you...
-Thomas Jefferson's letters...
-A biography recounting Ernest Shackleton's South Pole expedition...for a great lesson in perseverance.
-any Louis L'amour
-Nassim Taleb's The Black Swan

Sent from my ADR6400L using Tapatalk

Sam Spade
09-29-2011, 04:32 PM
Adding to the above..

Anabasis by Xenophon
Count of Monte Cristo, Dumas
Don Quixote, Cervantes
Bushido, Yamamoto
Handbook of a Christian Knight, Erasmus

09-29-2011, 05:00 PM

"The Sun also Rises"
"For Whom the Bell Tolls"
"Farewell to Arms"

09-29-2011, 05:02 PM
The Childe Cycle series by Gordon R. Dickson. Starting with "Dorsai!". It and "Soldier Ask Not" show the warrior mindset as a beneficial part of society. "Necromancer" exaggerates many of today's social pressures and takes them to a different sort of conclusion.

Anything by David Drake would also be good reading

09-29-2011, 05:07 PM
Sun Tzu's The Art of War
George Orwell's 1984 and Animal Farm
Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur.

09-29-2011, 05:14 PM
Actually, here's a good start, Dr. Eliot's Five Foot Shelf:


09-29-2011, 06:11 PM
"Wanderings of an Elephant Hunter by WDM Bell. (Karajomo Bell to his friends) This is a must read. "Groucho and Me" by Groucho Marx. Because I can't be serious all of the time. This book is as funny as a crutch, as my Grandfather used to say. "Bigger than a Breadbox" by Steve Allen is also hilarious and "Stand On It" by Brock Yates, but under the pen name "Stroker Ace". So those are my funny picks. "My Life And My Cars" by W.O. Bentley will make you proud to own a British car, but I confess to outgrowing those years ago. Still, this book is a classic. And of course, every book ever written by Gabe Suarez...its fun to see him with a .45 back in the day!

09-29-2011, 06:23 PM
The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius
Plutarch's Lives
The Illiad
The Odyssey
The Aeneid
Herodotus' Histories
Cicero - De Re Publica, De Legibus, De Officiis
Summa Theologica - Thomas Aquinas
The Guide for the Perplexed - Maimonides

I like the cut of your jib, sir. Cicero was very wise.

09-29-2011, 06:28 PM
I forgot Mas Oyama's classic work "Vital Karate"....who didn't read that as a kid?

Skeleton In The Closet
09-29-2011, 06:43 PM
The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius
Plutarch's Lives
The Illiad
The Odyssey
The Aeneid
Herodotus' Histories
Cicero - De Re Publica, De Legibus, De Officiis
Summa Theologica - Thomas Aquinas
The Guide for the Perplexed - Maimonides

YES! for sure. plus i have to add a few of my favorites:
hemingway: for whom the bell tolls
cooper: the last of the mohicans
tolkien: lord of the rings and the whole series of works
dumas: the count of monte cristo
doyle; complete sherlock holmes

for fun:
I,Sniper by stephen hunter
anything by the Nuge

Shannon Hogan
09-29-2011, 06:44 PM
My Wicked, Wicked Ways. A very frank autobiography of Errol Flynn.
Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell

Just two books that come to mind while reviewing some great replies to this thread.

Gabriel Suarez
09-29-2011, 06:57 PM
I would add to this list, anything by Capstick.

09-29-2011, 07:51 PM
I would add to this list, anything by Capstick.

+1 to that. I read my kid Capstick for bedtime stories when she was ~10 or so. I first came across Death In The Long Grass in college, along with some Ruark, W.D.M. Bell's "The Wanderings of an Elephant Hunter", Patterson's "The Man-eaters of Tsavo", Corbett's "The Man-eaters of Kumaon", and so on, and it had a very beneficial influence on my character.

Gabriel Suarez
09-29-2011, 07:55 PM
Well....after reading Capstick over the summer, the Jr. Staff now have Africa on their list.

09-29-2011, 08:11 PM
Well....after reading Capstick over the summer, the Jr. Staff now have Africa on their list.

Not a bad problem to have :-) I caught my daughter when she was 12 trying to convince the owner of a local gunstore to put a Krieghoff .470 NE double on layaway for her. To his credit, he treated her request politely :-)

Also for The List:

Theodore Roosevelt: The Strenuous Life, African Game Trails, Through the Brazilian Wilderness, etc.

Jose Ortega Y Gasset: Meditations on Hunting

Izaak Walton: The Compleat Angler

John Ruskin: The Seven Lamps of Architecture

Christopher Alexander et. al.: A Pattern Language

John Stilgoe: Outside Lies Magic

09-29-2011, 08:24 PM
Lots of good books listed already.

I'd add The Real George Washington

Liberty or Death
09-29-2011, 08:25 PM
I would add to this list, anything by Capstick.

Capstick is a master writer second to none, and his real life stories are awe inspiring.

If Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote non-fiction, his stuff would resemble PHC's work.

09-29-2011, 08:26 PM
I checked my own shelfs after reading the above selections, took A Rifleman Went To War by H.W. McBride, out of the bookcase, and found it much better than I'd remembered it was.

I find older books more interesting than newer ones for the most part.

Liberty or Death
09-29-2011, 08:29 PM
I checked my own shelfs after reading the above selections, took A Rifleman Went To War by H.W. McBride, out of the bookcase, and found it much better than I'd remembered it was.

Read that one back to back with John George's Shots Fired In Anger and Notes of a Sniper by Vassili Zaitsev.

09-29-2011, 09:53 PM
Tho' its been awhile,Bunyan's Pilgrims Progress.Currently Im reading "Bonhoeffer" by Eric Metaxas and Notes from the Tilt-o-Whirl by N.D. Wilson.Read it for a new perspective on creation,attitude,theology.N.D.Wilsons father Doug,has some thought provoking books on theology and spiritual perspective.

Kansas Volunteer
09-30-2011, 12:03 AM
Sun Tzu's The Art of War

But only in the original. So much is lost in translation.

09-30-2011, 12:53 AM
Some selections...
Letters to a Stoic - Seneca
The age of reason - Thomas Paine
The rights of man - Thomas Paine
Animal Farm - George Orwell
1984 - George Orwell
Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
The Red Badge of Courage - Stephen Crane
The Jungle Book - Rudyard Kipling
anything by Edgar Allen Poe
Practical Cryptography - Niels Ferguson and Bruce Schnier
The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
Counter-Clock World - Philip K. Dick
The Road - Cormack McCarthy
The increasingly inaccurately named Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy trilogy - Douglas Adams
Where the Red Fern Grows - Wilson Rawls


09-30-2011, 07:31 AM
To add to the list:

C.S. Lewis, - "The Screwtape Letters"
Isaac Asimov - The "Foundation" and "Robot" series
Douglas Adams - "Hitchhiker's Guide" Trilogy
The Jerusalem Bible
Anything by P. G. Wodehouse
Thomas Hobbes - "Leviathan"
P.J. O'Rourke - "Parliament of Whores"
Thomas Aquinas - "Summa Theologica"
Martin Luther - "Table Talk" and "De Servo Arbitro"

09-30-2011, 08:11 AM
-Will Durant, the Story of Civilization; the definitive reference work

The Classics;

-The Epic of Gilgamesh
-The Iliad and Odyssey
-Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War
- Aeschylus, the Orestian Trilogy
- Aristotle, the Nichomachean Ethics
- Plato, the Apology and the Republic
- Virgil, Aeneid

Currently reading Montaigne's Essays. Montaigne is the fellow Shakespeare read, and is the ideal of the warrior-scholar. Served the French king in the Wars of Religion, but was disgusted by the cruelties inflicted. Retiring to his estate, he wrote his essays on dozens of different subjects, from stoic philosophy to the role of horses in war.

-Anything by Joseph Conrad.

-Memoirs of a Superfluous Man, by Albert Jay Nock

09-30-2011, 09:36 PM
Caesar's Commentaries on the Gallic War.

For Want of a Nail


Size Matters :biglaugh::biglaugh::biglaugh:

10-02-2011, 12:05 PM
The Apostolic Fathers
Athanasius, On the Incarnation (Because there ain't no such thing as a new heresy.)
Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion (Get the McNeill translation. Even if, perhaps especially if, you're not a Calvinist, Calvin's writing comes across with a lot of personal and pastoral application and will probably be a pleasant surprise. It can be very useful regardless of your background.)
Book of Common Prayer (!662 or 1928 edition. Provides a set of tools or a framework for the Christian's devotional life. In its subsidiary position to the Bible, it's been the constant companion to many great warriors.)

Big +1 to Capstick and the Classics!

10-02-2011, 02:50 PM
I would add anything by Louis Lamour; especially the Sackette line. Start with the first and read them in the order they fit in history. Good Stuff.

10-02-2011, 03:57 PM
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Robert Heinlein
Common Sense, Thomas Paine
Federalist Papers
Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand

von Clausewitz
10-02-2011, 04:04 PM
I'm hurt that no one mentioned my book...

And it's obvious that those who "planned" recent military involvements haven't read it either...

There is only one means in war: combat.
"Whenever armed forces . . . are used, the idea of combat must be present. . . . The end for which a soldier is recruited, clothed, armed, and trained, the whole object of his sleeping, eating, drinking, and marching is simply that he should fight at the right place and the right time."

On War by Carl von Clausewitz

10-02-2011, 04:47 PM
Maybe my perspecitve is weird, But most of us have a heritage from nations with proud warrior pasts whether that be recent or ancient. I get a lot of solace and I also believe grounding in reading the folklore and tales of Gaelic Ireland.

Carolina River Rat
10-02-2011, 05:18 PM
Perhaps not vital to the warrior mindset, but an excellent read nontheless, is Glen Cook's Black Company series. Good on you, HamburgO, for picking up Ice and Fire. Best fantasy series I've ever read, hands-down. I just hope Martin doesn't take quite so long to write the next one.

10-02-2011, 06:11 PM
The first published part of the Childe Cycle was in early 1959, and Dickson still hasn't finished it.

ten beers
10-02-2011, 06:15 PM
In addition to those above I'd add Machiavelli's Discourses and the Prince. A History of the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire. The Holy Bible of course and, dare I say it the koran (please note I didn't capitalize it) one should study the ways of one's enemies. Also, as a southerner, The South was Right.

Carolina River Rat
10-02-2011, 06:50 PM
Arrrggghhhhh! Don't get me started on authors that start large long series and then don't ever seem to finish, or it takes forever.

Jordan died before the Wheel of Time was finished. I'm still waiting for his successors to finish it before I start it over again.

Stephen King very nearly never finished the Dark Tower (Gunslinger) Series

I'm still waiting for George to finish the Ice and Fire series before I begin reading it again.

A Dance with Dragons was excellent. Well worth the wait. I've read both of Sanderson's Wheel of Time contributions, and they're good. His style is very different from Jordan's; not better or worse, just different, and that took about half a book to get used to.

Carolina River Rat
10-02-2011, 07:04 PM
My wife has read them and said much the same. (Waiting impatiently for the final book. :grumble:)

Sometime this year, if I remember correctly.

10-02-2011, 07:09 PM
"War As I Knew It" by George S. Patton, Major General

10-03-2011, 10:04 AM
The Gift of Fear -Gavin de Becker. This is good reading, not only how to use fear to your advantage, but also, apply it in your normal everyday life in "reading people"

10-04-2011, 09:09 PM
The works of Henry Miller

The works of Charles Bukowski

'Low Life' by Luc Sante

'Journey To The End of the Night' by Celine

10-04-2011, 09:34 PM
We by Yevgeny Zamiatin
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
The Anti Federalist Papers
No Treason By Lysander Spooner
The Hologram of Liberty by Boston T. Party

I'll second The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein

I was informed by family members that according to genealogical research I am a descendant of Marcus Aurelius.

10-05-2011, 06:26 AM
The Bible
The Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
The Art of War by Sun Tzu
Short story: Winter Dreams by F. Scott Fitzgerald

10-05-2011, 11:03 AM
So many great choices listed already. Here are a couple more:

The One That Got Away - Chris Ryan
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich - Shirer

10-05-2011, 12:39 PM
Sigmund Ringeck's Commentaries on Liechtenauer- C. Henry Tobler
The Art of Dueling- Salvator Fabris (trans. Tom Leoni)
Paradoxes of Defence- George Silver
Flos duellatorum- Fiori Dei Liberi
Bushido- Nitobe Inazō
Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters- Robert C. Davis

That's a start.


10-05-2011, 04:39 PM
Karate-Do My Way of Life - Gichin Funakoshi
Strategy - B. H. Liddell Hart
Essential Manners for Men: What to Do, When to Do It, and Why - Peter Post
Monster Hunter International - Larry Correia
Monster Hunter Vendetta - Larry Correia
Monster Hunter Alpha - Larry Correia
Dead Six - Larry Correia
(Next to Larry Correia, Orson Scott Card is my favorite Mormon author)

10-13-2011, 10:58 PM
Great list so far. "Hell, I was there!" by Elmer Keith.

10-14-2011, 07:49 AM
Anything by Ion Idriess... great hunting, tracking, sniping and guerrilla warfare info. Most of his stuff is hard to come by. But well worth the time and cost.


10-15-2011, 08:02 PM
I have been reading (2/3 the way through) D-Day by Stephen E. Ambrose. It is chronicle of over 1400 1st hand accounts from American, British, Canadian, French and German veterans of the day.
Can make you feel like a douche-bag for all the time you spent bitching about the shit you've been dealt in life.

10-31-2011, 07:36 PM
"The Christian in Complete Armour" by William Gurnall
"Never Let Go" by Dan John
"A Ready Defense" and "Evidence that Demands a Verdict" by Josh McDowell
The Martian Tales Trilogy by Edgar Rice Burroughs
"Legend" and "Druss the Legend" by David Gemmel
"Lord of the Rings" by J.R.R. Tolkien
"Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis
"The Once and Future King" by T.S. Elliot
"Wizards First Rule" by Terry Goodkind (don't bother reading past this book, it just goes downhill)
The Bible, specifically the book of Psalms, Romans, Matthew 5-7, and Hebrews 11

Almost forgot - "Seven Pillars of Wisdom" by T.E. Lawrence

10-31-2011, 08:24 PM
Capstick, Death in the tall grass still makes my hair stand up on my neck. I kind a like that.

10-31-2011, 09:32 PM
Lots of good books listed so far.
The one's that stick out in my mind are

Machiavelli(Prince, Discourses)
5 rings

here's the Commandant's list