On Tuesday the Marine Corps released its revamped, 2020 reading list from commandant. And, boy, did it look different than years past.

It’s in a new format: Unlike previous years, there is just one list this year, for Marines of all ranks (and reading levels ― there’s at least one with pictures!). The list also includes podcast and periodical suggestions, to really balance it out and bring it into the 21st century.

Not only were books focused on female Marines finally included on the list, but so was a graphic novel by Terminal Lance comic strip creator Maximilian Uriarte. Viral courage and vulnerability researcher Brené Brown made the list. Medal of Honor recipient Kyle Carpenter’s book got a nod, so did the memoir of Marine icon Jim Mattis.

The full list is below. Which book are you most excited to read?

Commandant’s Choice

“The Kill Chain: Defending America in the Future of High-Tech Warfare,” Christian Brose.

Profession of Arms

“After Action: The True Story of a Cobra Pilot’s Journey,” Dan Sheehan.

“Black Hearts: One Platoon’s Descent Into Madness in Iraq’s Triangle of Death,” Jim Frederick.

“First to Fight: An Inside View of the U.S. Marine Corps” Victor H. Krulak.

“Forgotten Warriors: The 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, the Corps Ethos, and the Korean War,” T.X. Hammes.

“Hesitation Kills: A Female Marine Officer’s Combat Experience in Iraq,” Jane Blair.

“The Last Stand of Fox Company: A True Story of U.S. Marines in Combat," Robert Drury and Tom Clavin.

“The Marines of Montford Point: America’s First Black Marines,” Melton A. McLaurin.

“Marine Sniper: 93 Confirmed Kills," Charles W. Henderson.

“Neptune’s Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal," James D. Hornfischer.

“We Were One: Shoulder to Shoulder with the Marines Who Took Fallujah,” Patrick K. O’Donnell.

“Women at War: Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Conflicts,” James E. Wise Jr., Scott Baron.


“Assault from the Sea: Essays on the History of Amphibious Warfare,” Merrill Bartlett.

“Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir by One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WWII,” Chester Nez and Judith Schiess Avila.

“Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World’s First Digital Weapon,” Kim Zetter.

“Curious: The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends On It,” Ian Leslie.

“Issues on My Mind: Strategies for the Future," George P. Schultz.

“Learning War: The Evolution of Fighting Doctrine in the U.S. Navy, 1898–1945," Trent Hone.

“The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World," Pedro Domingos.

“Military Innovation in the Interwar Period," Williamson R. Murray, Allan R. Millett.

“On Call in Hell: A Doctor’s Iraq War Story," Richard Jadick and Thomas Hayden.

“Sgt Reckless: America’s War Horse,” Robin Hutton.

“The White Donkey: Terminal Lance," Maximilian Uriarte.

“Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century," P. W. Singer.


“Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead," Jim Mattis and Bing West.

“Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts," Brené Brown.

“It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership," Colin Powell.

“The Leader’s Bookshelf," J. Stavridis, R. Manning Ancell.

“Legacy: 15 Lessons in Leadership," James Kerr.

“Resilience: Hard-won Wisdom for Living a Better Life,” Eric Greitens.

“Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business," Charles Duhigg.

“Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action," Simon Sinek.

“Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging," Sebastian Junger.

“Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption," Laura Hillenbrand.

"You Are Worth It: Building a Life Worth Fighting For,” Kyle Carpenter, Don Yaeger.


“Cybersecurity & Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know," P. W. Singer, Allan Friedman.

“Fleet Tactics & Naval Operations, 3rd ed," Wayne P. Hughes; Robert Girrier.

“Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...And Others Don’t,” James C. Collins.

“Humility is the New Smart: Rethinking Human Excellence in the Smart Machine Age,” Edward D. Hess and Katherine Ludwig.

“LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media,” Emerson T. Brooking and P. W. Singer.

“A New Conception of War: John Boyd, the U.S. Marines, and Maneuver Warfare," Ian T. Brown.

“Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power," Robert D. Kaplan.

“One Hundred Days: The Memoirs of the Falklands Battle Group Commander,” Sandy Woodward, Patrick Robinson.

“Red Star Over the Pacific: China’s Rise and the Challenge to U.S. Maritime Strategy," Toshi Yoshihara and James R. Holmes.

“Thinking Fast & Slow," Daniel Kahneman.

“The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds," Michael Lewis.

Andrea Scott is editor of Marine Corps Times. On Twitter: _andreascott.

Andrea Scott is editor of Marine Corps Times.

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