“Books are the ammunition of life.”
― Theodore Roosevelt
“Personally, the books by which I have profited infinitely more than by any others have been those in which profit was a by-product of the pleasure; that is, I read them because I enjoyed them, because I liked reading them, and the profit came in as part of the enjoyment.”
― Theodore Roosevelt
It is very well-known that Theodore Roosevelt was a voracious reader, and probably the best read president ever. He was known to read a book before breakfast and could read up to three books a day.
Although I don’t have the reading prowess of Teddy Roosevelt I do enjoy reading, both fiction and non-fiction alike; I usually try to alternate: Fiction then non-fiction, then back to fiction. Below is a list of books that I have read recently and enjoyed immensely; all books on this list are non-fiction.
Although books on this list aren’t about fatherhood per se, they are all about struggle, perseverance and strength, which as parents we can relate to (the books are also very entertaining).
NOTE: This post contains affiliate links through Amazon Associates, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small sum of money. This small sum of money is generally enough to buy coffee or a doughnut. Hey, it’s still a doughnut!The links below are affiliate links.
- Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing
Perhaps one of the most amazing stories of adventure, struggle and perseverance I have ever read. Imagine being trapped in the Antarctic Circle for a year and a half with little to no hope of rescue. Sir Ernest Shackleton set out in the summer of 1914 aboard the Endurance with the intent of crossing Antarctica. As the ship and her crew approached the southern-most continent, they get trapped in thick pack ice, eventually sinking and destroying the ship.Shackleton and his crew must then survive on constantly shifting ice floes and battle the elements as they plan for their escape.
- Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer
I have always had a fascination with climbing Mount Everest. Well, let me clarify: I have always had a fascination with OTHER PEOPLE climbing Mount Everest. This book is widely known as one of the best, first-hand accounts of the tragic 1996 Everest expedition disaster. The book is extremely well written and I can guarantee that you will not want to put it down once you start reading it. At the end of this book you will have an acute understanding of what it takes to climb Everest and have a healthy respect for the harsh environment. An excellent read!
- Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
A great survival book about Louie Zamperini, who as a teen growing up in California found himself in constant trouble. From fistfights to stealing, it seemed his life was going nowhere until his brother Pete introduced him to running. Louie started running competitively and soon became one of the premier runners in the United States, competing in the 1936 Olympic games in Berlin.After the Olympics Louie continued to run at the University of Southern California and in 1941 joined the United States Army Air Corps as a bombardier. During a fateful rescue mission, the B-24 he was flying in experienced mechanical problems, causing the plane to crash-land in the Pacific Ocean. Three crew members survived the crash (one later died while adrift); Louie and the other surviving crew member lasted 47 days while stranded in their life raft.
The two survivors were then picked up by the Japanese and were prisoners of war until World War II ended. This is a must-read; if you have already seen the movie, read the book too.
- The Longest Day: The Classic Epic of D-Day by Cornelius Ryan
This is a classic book about the invasion of Normandy during World War II, the events that lead up to it and events that followed. If you are interested in WWII or just a fan of history in general, this is a must read.
- Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles by Geoff Emerick
This isn’t a story about struggle and survival like the other books on this list, but it is a very fun read. Geoff Emerick was a recording engineer for The Beatles during the band’s initial recording sessions and through Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Abbey Road. Geoff gives great insight into what the band was like and inside information on the recording sessions. If you are a Beatles fan, or even just a fan of rock music, you should read this book.
These are just suggestions on books that I have enjoyed. As Teddy Roosevelt said regarding book lists:
“The room for choice is so limitless that to my mind it seems absurd to try to make catalogues which shall be supposed to appeal to all the best thinkers. This is why I have no sympathy whatever with writing lists of the One Hundred Best Books, or the Five-Foot Library. It is all right for a man to amuse himself by composing a list of a hundred very good books… But there is no such thing as a hundred books that are best for all men, or for the majority of men, or for one man at all times.”
I write about the rather unexpected journey of fatherhood, please join me!