Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of US Central Command, has released his 2018 reading list. With twelve books across five categories, Gen. Votel’s list makes for a great edition of our weekly War Books series. Whether you’re looking for a book or two to read over the holidays or beginning to compile your own 2018 professional development reading list, the books below are a great place to start.


Patrick Lencioni, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

W. Brad Johnson and David Smith, Athena Rising: How and Why Men Should Mentor Women

Managing Complexity

Joshua Cooper Ramo, The Age of the Unthinkable: Why the New World Disorder Constantly Surprises Us and What We Can Do About It

Thomas E. Ricks, Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom

Joseph McCormack, Brief: Make a Bigger Impact by Saying Less


Richard Rumelt, Good Strategy/Bad Strategy

Graham Allison, Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?

Understanding the CENTCOM Area of Responsibility

Sandy Tolan, The Lemon Tree: An Arab, A Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East

Peter Frankopan, The Silk Roads: A New History of the World

David Crist, The Twilight War: The Secret History of America’s Thirty-Year Conflict with Iran

Tim Marshall, Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps that Explain Everything About the World


Marc Goodman, Future Crimes: Everything is Connected, Everyone is Vulnerable, What We Can Do About It


Image credit: Spc. Christopher Brecht, US Army