Sebastian Junger


This is a collection of articles written by Junger about dangerous jobs and dangerous places, starting with forest fire fighting and ending with war between the Taliban and the Northern Alliance in Afganistan. Some of the articles are gripping and interesting, others are less so. It's a good read and really informs the reader about life in some of the most dangerous places on earth, but it's overall a little unsatisfactory due to its format as a compilation of unrelated writings. The section on Cyprus is a bit long. Still, well written.

Black Hawk Down

Mark Bowden


The subtitle of this book is "A Story of Modern War", and that's a very good description. If you want to get a feel for the reality of being mercilessly shot at, read this. Mark Bowden fills the pages with real feelings and actions of real american soldiers, in and out of combat, and methodically takes the reader through the entire mission in the heart of Mogadishu, Somalia which left 18 soldiers dead. The movie's good too, but here's all of the facts.

Report from Ground Zero

Dennis Smith


The first part of this book is accounts from the police and fire fighters who survived the destruction of the World Trade Center towers. The second part is essentially a daily diary of what was happening at the site and with the fire fighters and families, written by Dennis Smith, a retired fire fighter who had access to the site from day one. Good insight into the tragedy from the perspective of a rescue/recovery worker.