The most recommended United States Navy books

Who picked these books? Meet our 31 experts.

31 authors created a book list connected to the United States Navy, and here are their favorite United States Navy books.
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Book cover of Sea Power in its Relations to the War of 1812

Carl Benn Author Of A Mohawk Memoir from the War of 1812: John Norton - Teyoninhokarawen

From my list on the War of 1812 for five-volume essential library.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a history professor at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University). Before becoming a full-time academic, I worked in the museum field for 34 years where much of my work occurred at Historic Fort York. It dates from 1793, but the site today mainly contains War of 1812 buildings and fortifications constructed between 1813 and 1815. During my time there, I developed the artefact collection, curated exhibits, and served as the historical expert in the re-restoration of the grounds and eight heritage structures (which included a 20-year archaeological project associated with the restoration work). Beyond my museum career, four of my books focus on the Anglo-American conflict of 1812-1815.

Carl's book list on the War of 1812 for five-volume essential library

Carl Benn Why did Carl love this book?

We tend to reject older histories, but sometimes they maintain their currency and their importance – and thus remain in print and would find a respectable berth on a basic thematic bookshelf. One such work is Alfred T. Mahan’s two-volume Sea Power in its Relations to the War of 1812, first published in 1905. An officer in the United States Navy during the American Civil War, Mahan later joined the faculty of the Naval War College where he combined his professional experiences with close studies of historical records to examine the theme of sea power’s importance in history from the 17th century to his own time. His 1812 text was one of his works that proved to be influential in naval circles in Britain, France, the United States, and Japan in his day and afterwards. For modern readers, Sea Power is a well-written, accessible, but sophisticated study that not…

By A. T. Mahan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sea Power in its Relations to the War of 1812 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

Book cover of A USNA Mom's Journal: Plebe Summer through Commissioning and Beyond: What You Need to Know

Robert Stewart Author Of No Greater Duty

From my list on duty and courage in peace and war.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been fortunate to write and publish three books on America’s service academies: two on the U.S. Naval Academy, and one on the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The two nonfiction books were appealing photographic and narrative presentations of academy life at Navy and West Point. The third, my debut novel happening at the Naval Academy, is an inspiring tale of moral courage and dedication to duty with war and peacetime conflicts. Each book was a rewarding creative project.

Robert's book list on duty and courage in peace and war

Robert Stewart Why did Robert love this book?

This book is one of the finest resources presenting the unusual experience of midshipmen life at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. In a conversational, informative, and warmly-written style, AN Shine helps parents and family members to learn—and admire—the military, institutional, cultural, academic, and social traditions their midshipmen follow for four years. The author certainly knows. Her father and also two of her children are Naval Academy graduates. This outstanding book about one of America's historic service academies is a pleasure to read. I had the privilege to work with her as a fellow Naval Academy author.

By AN Shine,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A USNA Mom's Journal as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A USNA Mom's Journal - From Appointment through Commissioning and Beyond! What you Need to Know, is an invaluable resource full of up-to-date information, useful tips, insights, and advice that is helpful even for military families that may not be familiar with the inner workings of USNA. This book is a must read for new and not-so-new U.S. Naval Academy parents and families alike.

I have Included everything that our family learned from our many wonderful mentors and our personal experience through our seven year journey with our two Midshipmen, from my Dad (USNA '59), from counseling other parents, as…

Book cover of The Summer of the Elder Tree

Emma Darwin Author Of This is Not a Book About Charles Darwin: a writer’s journey through my family

From my list on failing to write a book.

Why am I passionate about this?

Alongside writing, I’ve been running workshops, teaching and mentoring writers for nearly twenty years, helping people get unstuck and keep going. So I spend most of my working life thinking about creativity and writing—then suddenly I, too, couldn’t write the book I needed to write. Every book in this list is about not-writing for different reasons, in different circumstances, but between them they tell us so much about how we write, why we write, how we get writing to happen—and what’s happening when we can’t. These very different stories resonate with each other, and I hope some of them resonate with you.

Emma's book list on failing to write a book

Emma Darwin Why did Emma love this book?

After eight successful books, Marie Chaix was abruptly dropped by her publisher. An editor-in-chief of another publisher picked her up, helped her dust herself down, became her writing support, friend and best reader, and published her next book. Three months later, he went to bed and never woke up. Shattered, Chaix decided that she couldn’t—wouldn’t—just didn’t write, not for thirteen years. In finally breaking her silence, Chaix draws a strange, delicate self-portrait of a writer paradoxically both stubborn and profoundly unconfident. I’m not Chaix, and I don’t always like autofiction, but as she weaves in and around the causes and consequences of her decision, her story seems to be about all writers.

By Marie Chaix, Harry Matthews (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Summer of the Elder Tree as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A meditation on the themes of separation and silence, The Summer of the Elder Tree was Marie Chaix's first book to appear in fourteen years, and deals with the reasons for her withdrawal from writing, as well as the events in her life since the death of her mother (as detailed in Silences, or a Woman's Life). With uncompromising sincerity, and in the same beautiful prose for which she is renowned, Marie Chaix here takes stock of her life as a woman and writer, as well as the crises that caused her to give up her work. The Summer of…

Book cover of Span of Control: What to Do When You're Under Pressure, Overwhelmed, and Ready to Get What You Really Want

Alison Levine Author Of On the Edge: Leadership Lessons from Mount Everest and Other Extreme Environments

From my list on how to tackle life’s mountains.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have firsthand experience in some of the harshest environments on the planet. I’ve survived sub-zero temperatures, hurricane force winds, sudden avalanches…and a career on Wall Street. I served as team captain of the first American Women’s Everest Expedition, climbed the highest peak on every continent (the “7 Summits”), and skied to both the North and South Poles. I spent four years as an adjunct professor at the US Military Academy at West Point. Awarded the 2019 Ellis Island Medal of Honor. I have a beer named after me. I love dogs. Three heart surgeries could not slow me down. NY Times bestselling author of On the Edge. I’ve had some high profile failures and have been the butt of late night talk show opening monologue jokes. Come at me!

Alison's book list on how to tackle life’s mountains

Alison Levine Why did Alison love this book?

We all feel overwhelmed and stressed out at times. And that stress can take a mental toll, a physical toll, and can prevent us from achieving our true potential. As one of the Navy’s first female F-14 pilots, Lohrenz is an expert on finding clarity of focus and blocking out the distractions that can throw our lives off-course. Her book explains how to thrive in today’s world of fast-paced change and task-overload. I would recommend the audiobook as this is a voice you want in your ear for sure!

By Carey D. Lohrenz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Span of Control as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What can you control?
What do you do when you’re under pressure, overwhelmed, and ready to get what you really want? As one of the first female F-14 Tomcat fighter pilots in the US Navy, as well as a mom, wife, business consultant, Wall Street Journal bestselling author, and global speaker, author Carey Lohrenz knows that the stress we experience can be just as intense as the stress in the cockpit of a fighter jet going Mach 2. But she’s got a secret weapon to prevail: years of training to overcome the specific natures of uncertainty, stress, burnout, anxiety, and…

Book cover of The Defiant Hero

Kathleen Tailer Author Of Marked to Die

From my list on romantic suspense to keep turning pages.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved suspenseful books, and I enjoy creating my own characters and helping them strengthen their faith as they triumph in difficult circumstances. I want to encourage other Christians with my writing, and introduce others to Christ who may be searching to see how God can change their lives. I also want to provide readers with a fun getaway of excitement, suspense, and thrills. I am an attorney and see many cases that don’t conclude with a happy ending, however, God can take what men meant for evil, and turn it into good, and there is a positive and encouraging ending waiting in each of my books.

Kathleen's book list on romantic suspense to keep turning pages

Kathleen Tailer Why did Kathleen love this book?

Another old favorite, I loved this book because it has a military hero who shows deep compassion and love for the heroine who is racing to save her young daughter’s life.

I really enjoy how the author weaves in a touch of history as she tells the story of not only the main characters, but also two other couples, all fighting to escape their own pasts. I love it when a book is set in a backdrop of true events, and Ms. Brockmann obviously does a lot of research to make sure her characters are authentic representatives of their roles and times.

By Suzanne Brockmann,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Defiant Hero as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Suzanne Brockmann's next thrilling Troubleshooters book, a woman must go on the run if she is to save her family. Troubleshooters: Danger can be addictive. 'The United States refuses to negotiate with terrorists'. Meg Moore remembered the warning from her job as a translator in a European embassy. Those same words will spell out a death sentence for her daughter and grandmother who have been kidnapped by a lethal group called the Extremists. Meg will do anything to meet their unspeakable demands; anything -- even kill -- to save her child. When Navy SEAL Lieutenant, junior grade, John Nilsson…

Book cover of True Devotion

Rebecca Hartt Author Of Returning to Eden

From my list on Christian military romance about overcoming fear.

Why am I passionate about this?

My passion and expertise for writing Christian Military Romance stems from the fact that I was a military wife—twice. My first husband, an Army officer died eight years into our marriage. I then married a petty officer in the Navy—all this on top of growing up all over the world as my father worked in the foreign service. As someone who views the world through the lens of faith and who relies on God to overcome hardship, I'm convinced that the elite warriors who protect us and who fight giants on our behalf must also rely on faith. Tie all those elements together, and, voilá, you have a Rebecca Hartt Acts of Valor book!

Rebecca's book list on Christian military romance about overcoming fear

Rebecca Hartt Why did Rebecca love this book?

I give Dee Henderson credit for starting me on the path to writing inspirational military romance.

Her crisp, professional voice carries throughout the story and reflects the professionalism of the warriors she describes, especially US Navy SEALs. Readers can’t help but be filled with respect for these professionals. 

The first chapter of this book acquaints the reader with a Navy SEAL widow trying to save the life of the surfer and hoping she will survive the ordeal, in order to deepen her relationship with another Navy SEAL. I adore the “second chance romance” theme.

I also appreciate Dee Henderson’s light yet profound touch when it comes to spirituality and how faith influences the actions of her characters. If not for his book, I don’t know if I would have ever turned my pen toward writing military Christian romance. Thank you, Dee!

By Dee Henderson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked True Devotion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Kelly Jacobs has already paid the ultimate price of loving a warrior; she has the folded flag and the grateful thanks of a nation to prove it. Navy SEAL Joe “Bear” Baker can't ask her to accept that risk again―even though he loves her. But the man responsible for her husband's death is back; closer than either of them realize. Kelly is in danger, and Joe may not get there in time.

Uncommon Heroes: Welcome to a world where friendships go deep, loyalties stand strong, and uncommon heroes perform the toughest jobs in the world. Dee Henderson's military romance series…

Book cover of Shadow War

Angela Greenman Author Of The Child Riddler

From Angela's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Communications expert International traveler Human relations champion Focused

Angela's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Angela Greenman Why did Angela love this book?

If you read my book you’ll see it features a badass operative. I love women characters who are willing to do what they need to do no matter how high the risk, and the Shadow War, features one such woman—Elle, a former CIA operative.

Besides being strong and smart, Elle is complicated and this adds a layer of intrigue to an already exciting book. The author is a retired Chief Warrant Officer from the United States Navy and her experiences adds a wealth of realism to the action that kept me turning the pages.

By A.M. Adair,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Shadow War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The hardest wars are the ones you can’t see…
Where the line between good and evil disappears.
For CIA Operative Elle Anderson, it started with an impossible task—her specialty. It should have been business as usual. A covert mission, another target list, and then she would disappear. Only this time, she wasn’t the only player in the shadows. By the time her enemies were unmasked, it was too late.
This war is personal.
After being set up and dismissed from the CIA, Elle is on the run, chased by Thomas Matthews, her former handler turned criminal mastermind. Driven by a…

Book cover of The Selfish Giant

Mina Javaherbin Author Of My Grandma and Me

From my list on the magical power of our shared humanity.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up in Iran, I never thought I would one day become an author in a language other than my mother tongue, and live clear across the world from my birthplace. An eclectic assortment of literature, representing core human themes of thinking, love, laughter, and science are subjects that help me bond with my fellow humans. Books have constantly reassured me of our similarities and encouraged me to make connections. The magical threads of our shared humanity are tools which help us thrive in our global village. They remind us we are more similar to one another than we may think.

Mina's book list on the magical power of our shared humanity

Mina Javaherbin Why did Mina love this book?

Wilde suggested this story be read aloud. My father, ever the storyteller, obliged. He adored Wilde’s other writings as well. I remember borrowing other Oscar Wilde’s books, as a young adult, from my father’s library. However, my dad had modified the ending of The Selfish Giant by eliminating the nail and blood part. I only found out about the actual ending years later, but somehow he had managed to keep the essence of the story regardless of his change to the ending. The Selfish Giant, is a vast story with all the beautiful seasons and all the tender love a human needs. I will cherish this story in my heart, forever.

By Oscar Wilde, Jeanne Bowman (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Selfish Giant as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

A beloved tale that has lasted for generations, The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde, one of the world’s greatest writers, tells the tale of a very selfish giant, his wonderful garden, the curious and playful village children, and, of course, the little child who changes the giant’s heart. A beloved classic in English literature, The Selfish Giant may be Oscar Wilde’s greatest story of redemption and forgiveness.

Newly illustrated by renowned artist Jeanne Bowman, this fantastic edition of this famous tale showcases Wilde’s story in a pallet and composition that will delight and inspire both young and old and will…

Book cover of Leadership Is an Art

Steve Arneson Author Of What Your Boss Really Wants from You: 15 Insights to Improve Your Relationship

From my list on for helping leaders develop to their full potential.

Why am I passionate about this?

After a career as an HR and learning & development executive at PepsiCo, AOL, and Capital One, I founded Arneson Leadership Consulting to provide coaching, talent management, and leadership development solutions to corporations and non-profit organizations.  I have a passion for helping leaders develop to their full potential and believe all leaders have the capacity to learn and grow. But development doesn’t just magically happen – you have to be willing to work at it. Whether it’s taking a course, gathering 360 feedback, or reading a best-selling book, the best leaders know they must never stop learning.

Steve's book list on for helping leaders develop to their full potential

Steve Arneson Why did Steve love this book?

This classic by Max De Pree (the former CEO of Herman Miller) looks at leadership as a kind of stewardship, stressing the importance of building relationships, initiating ideas, and creating a lasting value system within an organization. Rather than focusing on the “how” of corporate life, he stresses that leaders need to explain the “why.” He writes that the first responsibility of a leader is to define reality and the last is to say thank you. De Pree offers dozens of memorable leadership anecdotes that will have you wishing you’d worked for him at some point in your career! A wonderful gem of a book, it’s lessons will resonate with any leader who is trying to build a winning culture. 

By Max DePree,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Leadership Is an Art as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In what has become a bible for the business world, the successful former CEO of Herman Miller, Inc., explores how executives and managers can learn the leadership skills that build a better, more profitable organization.

Leadership Is an Art has long been a must-read not only within the business community but also in professions ranging from academia to medical practices, to the political arena. First published in 1989, the book has sold more than 800,000 copies in hardcover and paperback. This revised edition brings Max De Pree’s timeless words and practical philosophy to a new generation of readers.

De Pree…

Book cover of Worth the Fall

Mignon Mykel Author Of Butterfly Save

From my list on to get lost in a romance series binge.

Why am I passionate about this?

I hate saying goodbye. Picking up a book and being introduced to an entire group of people—family, friends, teammates—and knowing you get to continue to watch these relationships bloom over a course of books is part of the reason I pick up a book in the first place. I want to see these characters pop in twenty books down the road. I absolutely love cameos of old characters! Because of this, I write in a singular world as well. My Prescotts may be the base of the world at the moment, but it’s also their friends at O’Gallaghers and their teammates with the Enforcers hockey team that keep the world growing—and it’s not ending anytime soon.

Mignon's book list on to get lost in a romance series binge

Mignon Mykel Why did Mignon love this book?

Connor introduces us to the McKinney brothers with this emotional single mom romance. This book tugs are your heartstrings, making you fall in love not only with Matt and Abby, but with Abby’s kids and the entire McKinney clan. Once you’re done with the McKinneys, you’re going to want to dive right into the Walkers—whose sister is featured in book two of the McKinney Brothers series!

By Claudia Connor,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Worth the Fall as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Prepare to be swept away by a talented debut author with a passionate, powerful story to tell.
They meet on a beach. . . . Abby Davis isn’t wearing a skimpy bikini or sipping umbrella drinks, not when she’s busy chasing around four little ones. And Matt McKinney isn’t looking for fun—he’s a Navy SEAL, a grown man with a long list of missions . . . and fallen brothers.
They only have a week. . . . Abby has brought her children to this beach to start over, to give them the enjoyable memories…