Ross's Bookshelf - Ideas for what to read (or to avoid!)

Yes, this is an actual bookshelf at my house (though some of the books are, quite obviously, my wife's.) My wife is an artist and decide to arrange the books by color, rather than by subject, author or any other way by which a normal human could ever actually find the book he's looking for...

Anyway, please continue below the picture for a frequently-updated list of books that I read

I receive a fair number of book "pitches" from publishers which I enjoy because I can pick and choose among what I think will be some of the best new books for my listeners to read. I also get the opportunity to interview many of the authors. In addition to these books, I sometimes read other things, whether classics, or books recommended to me by friends, etc.

I'm going to use this page to keep a record of the books I read and the authors I interview, with links to the audio of those interviews.

There are a lot of potential ways to organize a page like this, but for simplicity I will simply list the books in the order I read them (latest on top) but try to include category information and keywords so you can simply search the page for "fiction" or "Trump" or "military" or "fishing", etc. I'll also give each book a rating (out of 5 stars)

The book title will be a link to buy the book.


The Russia Hoax: The Illicit Scheme to Clear Hillary Clinton and Frame Donald Trump, by Gregg Jarrett

My rating: ★★★★ ½ (July 2018)

Interview link:

Keywords: Non-fiction, politics, Donald Trump, Fox News

The Russia Hoax is simply the best book of its type, namely the best book weaving together the threads of what the FBI and DOJ did (or didn't do) regarding Hillary Clinton's actual (criminal) behavior and the investigation into Russia "collusion" by Donald Trump or people surrounding him -- an investigation which appears to have begun without probable cause that a crime had been committed. 

It will leave you shaking your head and wondering if public confidence in our federal justice system can be restored.

The reason I'm giving it 4 1/2 stars instead of 5 is simply that it's a book whose relevance will probably diminish fairly rapidly once the Mueller investigation is completed. 


The History of Jihad: From Muhammad to ISIS, by Robert Spencer 

My rating: ★★★★★ (July 2018)

Interview link:

The History of Jihad is what its title suggests: As comprehensive a history of this aspect of Islam as you'll find in a single volume. From its creation until today, "jihad" has been an essential tenet of Islam. Robert Spencer is a true scholar and, given that he's been banned from visiting the UK and poisoned in Iceland, a brave one at that. Spencer argues that "liberal" westerners risk underestimating the potential/likely harm to civilized society by downplaying what jihad really means and how many Muslims are willing to engage in it. 

It's a book sure to offend those who look to reflexively defend Islam, while not recognizing that it is, far more than any other major religion, an expansionist political system as much as a faith. 


Echo in Ramadi, by Maj Scott Huesing (USMC ret)

My rating: ★★★★★ (May 2018)

Interview link:

Keywords: Non-fiction, Iraq, military, Marines

Echo in Ramadi does a remarkable job of embedding you with Huesing's marines, not just in combat but also in the stresses of daily life in the war zone that is Iraq. How do you kill the bad guys while protecting innocent civilians? How do you dispose of human waste, and how can that be made funny (and dangerous)? What does it mean when you see a Military-Aged Male wearing running shoes? How does a leader tell the parents of a young man under his command that their son has lost his life?

A thoroughly enjoyable book...and the first war book I've ever recommended to my wife (who also loved it.)


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