A book about one aspect of how the mind makes fast decisions


I read a lot, almost all nonfiction.  What follows are books that I value and recommend, but be careful.  As good as these books are, none are perfect.  Use your own common sense. Be skeptical.  If one of the books intrigues you, go through the bibliography and read the source material.  It’s a very big world out there and full of amazing things.  Experience what you can. Read for the rest.

Obviously the best book on violence ever written or I wouldn’t have bothered to write it...

The author gets flack, but “Inside the Criminal Mind” is the best working description of how predatory criminals think that I have found.

Simply, this is a book about why some people die. Great insights.

Primatology applied to humans and it works very well.

This was required reading when we were just forming CERT.  Outstanding.

A must-read for anyone who goes into harm’s way.  Required reading when CERT transitioned to a fully lethal HRT.

Lt. Strong describes some of the most horrific crimes and details what strategies worked.

Pioneering research in the field of killing.  Read the sources, though. Caveat emptor.

Generally, I found this book inferior to the first. Still valuable, but check against its own sources.

The description of how predators convince victims to give them access is more than worth the price of the book.

Out of print, but a solid look about how denizens of the violent and peaceful worlds see each other.

Written for the SCA, but a must-have for anyone who trains women to fight for real or sport.

A description of the common, low-level personality disorders that make life hell. Up the intensity a few notches and you get the basic flavors of criminal behavior.

Different ways of thinking means different ways of being human. Very useful for finding communication options.

A concise compilation of research into the Survival Stress Response (SSR).

Written for families and spouses of law enforcement officers it explains the changes they will go through.

An analysis of what survivors of all types- from shipwreck to the holocaust- have in common.

The diary of a man grieving for the death of one he loved. 

Klinger attempts an exhaustive but personal analysis on police deadly force.

Read it. Every year. On Independence day.

The book I gave my son for his 16th birthday.

An Air Force/TKD guy writing  writing about the warrior ethic? As an Army/JJ guy, I was skeptical. And I was wrong. A fine book.

An excellent book about the bedrock players of the criminal sub-community.

This book, and John Gidduck’s lecture hit hard. What do you do against a threat who knows your tactics and uses them against you?

Frustrating, because the author couldn’t reveal much, but excellent descriptions of the disconnect between operators and upper management.

“...and how shall I die? As befits a man returning something that was never his.”

A compilations and popularization of the theories of Lonnie Athens.  Useful.

It seems specific to prisons. It is not. This is how criminals see you and how they use you.

My favorite translation. Far more fun and clear than the Go-rin-no-sho.

The FRIENDS and WRITING pages includes some other good books... which I was too lazy to repeat here.

A good companion volume to Desmond Morris.  Amazing how many of the sources are shared with “Blink”.

THREE CRITICAL LIFE BOOKS, if you are tired of just drifting....  

Controlling your life

How money works

Controlling your time


there might be something new...

George is a very cool guy and one of the “Grand Old Men” of Martial Arts in America.  Hi, George!

I like Virgil better than Homer.

One of the basics.  Old school good.

Speaks most powerfully to poor kids who have made it to the middle class- I found it dead on.

If Sun Tzu had been a Marine...

What “Walden” would have been if Thoreau wasn’t a whiny, privileged, rich poser.

A book about art? maybe, but also a very profound introduction to some different ways to see and think

Interesting for the insights on how little people can feel while doing terrible things.

Interesting for the information on how and why we are not always thinking when we think we are thinking.

Mark and Kathy did a good job on this one. Excellent intro to the complexity of carrying.

Amazingly insightful little book. Keep an eye out for when mass movements DON’T happen...

I hesitated to recommend this one, but there are some good tools.  You NEED to realize that these tools will make you vulnerable to APDs (Anti-Social Personality Disorders, e.g. most violent criminals.)

Lot of minor issues: non-standard diagnostic language, weird premises bad statistics... but some really, really useful insights

The bad part of this book is that the people who most need it, managers who believe they are leaders, won’t read it.  A rough read, but extraordinary insight.

If you are one of the many people who have very strong beliefs about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but no actual information, you should probably read this...

As some one who has cut ties and is seeking to meet the world on my terms, this was a good one to read.

Excellent, but I find it most useful as an examination of unintended consequences. Help becomes enabling

Possibly one of the most important books of the last twenty years.

Between the title and the presentation, I almost didn’t read this.  Which would have been a mistake.  Good stuff.

Great insights on teaching from an unexpected source.  If martial arts is like acting, fighting is like improv.

An evolutionary psychology theory of murder. Makes sense with my experience

The bible for high-end Law Enforcement Force training.