Almost Fall 2021 Reading List

We are a few weeks into the tenuous time of life outside the bubble, with two kids (albeit both vaccinated) back on school buses and one…

Almost Fall 2021 Reading List
Premature Fallen Leaf (17 August)

We are a few weeks into the tenuous time of life outside the bubble, with two kids (albeit both vaccinated) back on school buses and one working full time at a local big-box retailer. Many other parents are stressed as we manage multiple risks as we approach as the 2nd anniversary of the Coronavirus and a potential 5th wave as Delta seems to be peaking. Some of us have already had that first Fall cold and negative COVID test, but life goes on as the temperatures finally start to drop on the East Coast. But I digress.

In May, I heard an interesting podcast on military adaptation which shaped the course of my reading. In Adaptation under Fire, I first read about Field Marshall William Slim and how he learned from the defeats of the Burma Corps in 1942 to reshape and rebuild the most diverse, multi-cultural armies in history. While the combat itself is comparable to others in the Pacific Theatre in its brutality, the story of learning and reshaping teams is not only unique but highly inspirational. This lecture from KU captures some of this since I imagine most of you won’t fall down the Burma rabbit hole as I have recently.

Not only am I continuing to read about the war in Burma, but I’ve also been reading about the early battles of 1965 in Ia Drang valley and a couple of books by Hal Moore. (Don’t worry I won’t link to any clips of the Mel Gibson movie, which I found unwatchable! ). I actually finished Death in the Highlands (a brand new book) and it gave me a new (less positive) perspective on Col. Charles Beckwith. I remembered reading his memoir on Delta Force in the mid-1980s. If nothing else, reading about the early U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War filled some gaps and was relevant to the events of Afghanistan, but also allowed me to engage in a conversation with my neighbor about something other than our lawn and trees, since he was there in late 1965.

In terms of tech reading, I largely took the Summer off, although I did skim some of Will Larson’s latest book. Not surprisingly, I found the form and content less compelling than An Elegant Puzzle. I am a manager after all. I’m working on a technology plan for our church, which led me to see what I could find on non-profit IT.

History, Politics, and Military

  • Guadalcanal Diary by Richard Tregaskis.
  • Malevolent Republic: A Short History of the New India by K.S. Komireddi.
  • Adaptation under Fire: How Militaries Change in Wartime (Bridging the Gap) by Lt. General Barno, David, Nora Bensahel.
  • Burma: The Forgotten War by Jon Latimer.
  • Hal Moore on Leadership: Winning When Outgunned and Outmanned by Harold G. Moore and Mike Guardia.
  • Slim, Master of War: Burma, 1942–5 by Robert Lyman.
  • We Were Soldiers Once and Young: Ia Drang — The Battle That Changed the War in Vietnam by Harold G. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway.
  • Field Marshal William Slim And The Power Of Leadership by Major Frederick A. Baillergeon.
  • Death in the Highlands: The Siege of Special Forces Camp Plei Me by J. Keith Saliba.


  • Staff Engineer: Leadership beyond the management track by Will Larson, Tanya Reilly
  • Church IT: Using Information Technology for the Mission of the Church
    by Nick Nicholaou
  • Managing Technology to Meet Your Mission: A Strategic Guide for Nonprofit Leaders by Holly Ross, Katrin Verclas, Alison Levine


  • Breaking Out of Burnout: Overcoming Mid-Career Burnout and Coming Back Stronger by Rex Baker.
  • The Topeka School: A Novel by Ben Lerner