Recommended reading

SciFi/Fantasy.  Anything by Modesitt,  Stephen Hunter, , David Brin, Stephen Baxter, Greg Bear, Gregory Benford, Orson Scott Card, W. Michael Gear, Peter F. Hamilton, Julian May, Christopher Rowley, Stephen King.

General Fiction. Anything by Robert B. Parker, Dean Koontz, Stephen Hunter, James Clavell, John R. Maxim, Robert Mason, Leonard B. Scott, Michael Crichton, Robert Littel, Dan Brown

Evolution.  Incredible novel that follows mammalian evolution from some gerbil critter to the final heat death of the planet.  The daily struggle for survival in these pages will help you understand Man's basic drives.

Atlas Shrugged.  Ayn Rand's seminal work in a world where Libertarianism and Capitalism are trumped by Socialism.  She calls her guiding philosophy "Objectivism", but that gets a little deep.

Non-Fiction.

Blink.  How snap decisions are frequently the best, and how your subconscious communicates thru facial expressions.

The Heritage Guide to the Constitution.  Non-partisan look at the US Constitution and the intent of the Founding Fathers.  If the idea that the Constitution can be warped by activist courts and lawmakers, appeals to you, than this is not the book for you.

The Hot Zone.  Non-fiction account of plagues that just stopped short of becoming pandemics.  In some cases we dodged the bullet by a hair's-breadth.  An eye-opener.

Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus.  Seminal work on how men and women communicate.  If you are heterosexual, or hope to be so someday, this is must reading.

Weapons of Mass Distortion.  A  fascinating study of media bias by the only folks on the planet that approach it every day with rigor.  Will make you wonder about the information that you've been fed your whole life, and how that has impacted your opinions today.

The Crisis of Islam.  Very interesting study of how Islam got to where it is today, and why some of them are so pissed at us.

Freakonomics.  A couple economists tackle various questions using rigorous economic data analysis tools.  Very interesting look at subjects ranging from "are children's car seats effective", to "nature or nurture".  Will surprise you.

Current events and Political Science.

The Death of Common Sense.  How we have become a culture of governmental micro-management by laws and regulations.  The anecdotes are eye-openers.

The Collapse of the Common Good.  How America's Lawsuit culture undermines our freedom.  Really an eye-opener about how our increasingly litigious culture has bogged itself down into a standstill on every important issue of the day.  We're losing the ability to make value judgments, and every action merits a "due process" inquiry.

The Closing of the American Mind.  How Higher Education has developed it's own culture of values and that's mostly all they are interested in teaching.  Another eye-opener.

Why Government Doesn't Work.  A basic text for anyone interested in understanding how less government might be better.  Great thought provoking examples.  A bulwark of Libertarian thought.

Losing the Race.  Studies why Black's are lagging behind other population groups.

You Can't Say That.  How anti-Descrimination laws and Political Correctness are now infringing on Freedom of Speech.

History.

Anything by David McCullough and Stephen E. Ambrose.

The Guns of August.  How WW1 started, and the first month of the fight.  How many folks realize that the French wanted the war to start as badly as the Germans?  The French plan was to drive through a Southern Flank to Berlin.  The German plan went better.

Afternoon of the Rising Sun, the Battle of Leyte Gulf.  Incredible tale of US Navy bravery against a vastly superior force.  Will stand the hair up on the back of your neck and bring tears to your eyes.

Dereliction of Duty.  Great book about the Johnson/McNamara effort in losing the Vietnam war.  Will piss you off.

History of the Middle Ages The story of how the Western World became what it is.  I was surprised by the significance of Germany and Byzantium.

Legends, Lies and Cherished Myths of American History.  What really happened.

Desperate Deception.  The story of early-WW2 British operations intended to sway US public opinion towards intervening in WW2.

The Sword and the Shield.  The story of KGB operations against the West.

The Outline of History

A History of Rome.

No end save Victory. Perspectives on WW2.

Crusade.  Behind the scenes in Gulf War 1.

The Persian War. Herodotus.  Greeks vs. the Persians.

From Dawn to Decadence.  Western History post-Middle Ages.