I have written before on the nature of my personal reading program. Since I published that post I have received email and blog comments (both at my personal blog, and at Chicago Boyz) from various people requesting a copy of my reading list.
I have, until now, failed to produce the copy for electronic dissemination. That was partly because of the nature of my list–specifically, it’s a constant work-in-progress. My reading list is actually a compilation of several reading programs, starting with the various US armed forces reading programs. It also includes the reading lists of various military experts and officers, the reading lists of various institutions of learning, and even a few noteworthy reading lists from the blogosphere. This list is lengthy…over 4900 books, articles, films, monographs, and other media, and it’s compilation has taken place over the last six years.
This list was, and continues to be a massive effort on my part, but this effort is worth the trouble. In constructing this list I am able to see with great breadth the nature of writing within my profession. With understanding of the breadth of the scholarship of my profession, I am able to more easily study in depth a given subject area, as well as study tangential subject areas.
I have not really left any subject area out of this list. This program is obviously dominated by works directly related to armed conflict, since that is my profession. But works of broader history, as well as sociology, political science, economics, psychology, business management, philosophy, biography, literature, the hard sciences, and foreign area studies all have their places within this list.
Here are a few meta-notes on the list. It is a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. The first two columns are the title and author (if any) of the work. The next column (green) specifies the media used. The next three (yellow) columns contain any pertinant notes relating to the work. The next column (cyan) contains any related internet URLs. The next two columns (blue) allow the user to annotate whether the work has been purchased or downloaded, and whether the work has been read. The next column (gray) specifies the number of occurances that particular work has in the reading lists.
The remaining columns contain the individual lists that are compiled into my reading list.
Since the list is stored in an Excel file, the list may be easily sorted by author, title, etc.
SE’s Reading List can be downloaded from this page.
Cross-posted at Antilibrary, Chicago Boyz, and Smitten Eagle.
3 thoughts on “Now Available: SE’s Reading List”
I wish desperately I had more time to read.
I have been keeping a Word document divided into tables by subject area, for many years. It’s remote ancestor is a handwritten list on yellow lined paper I made in sixth grade, which I still have.
The current list is about 330 pages long.
Unfortunately, it does not have ALL of the books I have already read and already own listed on it.
The physical impossibility of doing more than scratching the surface used to depress me. Now I just take it as reality and don’t have any emotional response to it.
I’ve gotten interested in the various military service reading lists and have set up a small web site that let folks track their progress when reading books from these lists. For example, here’s the page showing my progress so far. One interesting thing for me has been to see the overlaps in the various lists – for example, Bernard Lewis’ “Crisis of Islam” is on the Navy, Marine Corps, and Army lists!
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