The Essential Books Thread


I’ve actually been listening to this one the past few nights to completion last night on Audio Book format and whilst its not exactly aviation or any other simulation interest its damn interesting reading (hearing) and would make a very good movie if done right … maybe it is now?, but this is from Mitnicks own recollections and the detail he goes into is amazing.

He sure gave the FBI a run for their money, very clever devious guy.

Well recommended this one, 9/10 from me, not read anything so gripping as this for a while.


I’ve just finished Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX and the Quest for a Fantastic Future. I highly recommend it if you’re interested in his work.


So - in my continuing quest to read everything related to the Falklands War - I’ve just finished an awesome book by Ian Gardiner - The Yompers: With 45 Commando in the Falklands War

What a fantastic read. Basically, the book is written by one of the company commanders that marched (yomped) his troop across the brutal terrain of the Falklands Islands. Full of great analysis of the ground campaign, a lot of good humor, and a poignant reflection on the comradery of the campaign. It was interesting to read of the tactics regarding artillery, mortars, Milan missiles, and how they moved at night against the entrenched Argentine forces. The descriptions of the cold, wet, miserable conditions (apparently Commando was built to operate in such conditions) was enough to make me shiver in my relatively warm sleeping bag.


Similar time period to Ernest Gann’s masterpiece (Fate is the Hunter). After reading this book it made me greatly appreciate that I have GPS and IRS’ when I fly over the ocean, not to mention reliable jet engines…


Fate is the Hunter used to make me break out in a sweat when I was reading it in bed…


Inspired by the chat I thought I’d take a pic of a part of my book shelf. (Most WW2 books are at my dad’s house so this is not complete)

…dammit can’t post from the phone for some reason. Standby…


There it is:

You can probably tell that I kinda like planes. :smiley:


Recommended by @Klarsnow. A meditative piece on flight and piloting from an 50s ANG pilot deployed to USAFE. Also the most compelling motivator I’ve read in favor of night instrument flying and the F-84F.

Recommended by @AeroMechanical. This one is a reflection on two combat tours of duty in Thailand during the Vietnam War. It reflects on command inadequacies, combat, mental health, and the generalities of combat flying. If you can finish this book without a furious desire to roll an F-4D into a cloud of 57mm AAA to manually lay some Mk-82s on the Jungle, then I’m not sure we can be friends.


Hey, thanks for the shout-out!

War for the Hell of It is a good, fairly quick read. Though Colbeigh is a fighter pilot first, writer second (and it shows in some places) I really appreciated the book for providing a window into what it felt like to be a combat pilot in Vietnam more so than anything else. Great perspective for those of us who weren’t alive during those times.


I’d probably say the same thing about Rasimus and Broughton. Really good books.


War for the Hell of It was a good read. Fighter pilot first is not a bad thing IMO. I enjoyed the test hop flight.


Gonna push Stranger to the Ground cause its my absolute favorite book of all time and not too many people seem to know about it.

Written by Richard Bach (Author of Jonathon Livingston Seagull, which more people seem to know) It is simply the best (IMHO) flying book ever. It is an examination of a fighter pilots mind and attitude, all while being humble, not gung ho, super insightful and most of all, still incredibly relevant. I would definitely put this book as a solid 25% or more of why I am flying fighters today.

Whenever I reread it I always find something that I didn’t notice before that is either exactly how flying fighters works today, or helps me with something that I didn’t even know I was having trouble with.

If you do read it, don’t expect thrilling tales of bravado and self badassitude. It is a much more introspective examination of the man/machine hybrid thing that is a fighter pilot and his jet.

If you can read this book and not have a soft spot for the F-84F afterwards I would propose you are not human and have no heart ( Or possibly both of those and dutch, Snark).


I always like accounts from both sides, it completes the picture


While not strictly book, I’ve found these really interesting!


Darn you @komemiute! Here I was being whipped into a Normandy frenzy, but now feel the need (for speed) to fly that F-5E Aggressor BFM Campaign first. Probably get my hunkis waxed though.


Just imagine the day Heatblur release the Beta for the Tomcat, @chipwich- savor it… feel it…
Not too far- One day it will be yours!


I would argue anything by Eric Brown.

I first got Wings of the Luftwaffe, where he examines the aircraft flown by the Luftwaffe in WWII with a technical mind, and his flying skills. I hope Eric “Winkle” Brown needs no introduction in this crowd ;).

Then I got Wings of the Weird and Wonderful, where he goes through a list of aircraft that he has flown that he finds remarkable, I got this for a good friend of mine as his birthday gift, haven’t been able to read it but it looks interesting and written in the same style as Wings of the Luftwaffe.

(Couldn’t find a link for this one, used a unread subsitute :wink: )

And last but not least, Wings on my Sleeve, where he describes his whole career. All of them for a coherent story about the man, the myth, the legend.

In short, if you find aircraft interesting you must read these. He is probably one of the most capable pilots that has lived up until this point, having test flown a tremendous list of aircraft. Often with only the cursory introduction, if any at all before getting into a cockpit. I would have loved to have had a chance to pick his brain over a beer or something!


Enjoying this one - a hard sci-fi annihilation saga to cheer you up.


I positively love the beginning of that book. It’s one thing to have that event in a book, it’s quite another to escalate from there.


Have not read it. Thanks for the push. Picking it up for next read…