The best books about emotional conflict and post-war survival within a splintered psyche

The Books I Picked & Why

Tom O' Vietnam

By Baron Wormser

Book cover of Tom O' Vietnam

Why this book?

Never in my life have I read a book that so closely echoed my heart and mind as an Iraq War veteran, unsettled wayfarer, and conscientious objector. It was a true reflection of my soul as I was searching for meaning within my own life and a fractured America. 


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Dispatches

By Michael Herr

Book cover of Dispatches

Why this book?

From the opening pages, his writing knocks your britches off and never relents, driving at you, into you, paragraph after paragraph, sentence after sentence, word after word. So authentic and immediate is his writing, that when I closed the book after finishing it, I discovered I had been transported back to and into my own war.


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The Circle of Hanh: A Memoir

By Bruce Weigl

Book cover of The Circle of Hanh: A Memoir

Why this book?

This is a story of new beginnings and it shook my preconceived notions of what a memoir embodies. By going back to Vietnam years after the war, the author illustrates how love and time can change our opinions… that hate is the easy way out… that differences can allow us to understand how truly precious we all are… that we can come full circle, out of the darkness and into the light.


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Sophie's Choice

By William Styron

Book cover of Sophie's Choice

Why this book?

A whammy of a book and a knockout for the conscience of the soul. Not only does it explore the deep, darker recesses of the heart that are often filled with regret and self-loathing, but it examines humanity, humanity in all its raw coarseness, inelegance, frailties, shortcomings, and tragedies.


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Martin Eden

By Jack London

Book cover of Martin Eden

Why this book?

While admittedly not a “war” book, Jack London’s masterful novel illustrates notions associated with war and society in an artful way. And he does it within two characters… a truth seeker and a believer in the establishment. From the rich and powerful to the impoverished with no voice, he clearly understood what is behind the masks we don in society. Fantastic read.


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