At last count the library had something like 1600 titles, I think I'll take a crack at this
Karl Marlantes - Matterhorn, maybe one of the best fictional accounts of what it's like to exist in a war
Roy Adkins - The War for All the Oceans, excellent account of the naval campaigns of the Napoleonic era
Hemmingway - anything really, For Whom the Bell Tolls might be good for the present age/times
Tom Hammes - The Sling and the Stone OR Killcullen's The Coming Age of the Urban Guerilla. If you've been to the middle east or africa in the past few decades you should know. I had some sprightly times in eastern Europe a few years ago. For those who haven't been, it's nicer to read
Frank Herbert -Dune, don't bother with the rest of the series, but this is a classic for a reason
Robert Heinlein - Variable Star, one of the best life and love stories ever written
Larry McMurry - Lonesome Dove, one of the few westerns I've actually been able to enjoy (I think I just love tomes)
Jim Morris - The Devil's Secret Name, one hell of a life, and a lot of views
Guy Sajer - Forgotten Soldier, if you ever think things can't get worse
Terry Pratchett, the City Guards series is the funniest thing I've ever read, but "Reaper Man" is, I'd like to think, how I want to face the universal question. I read it after I lost a boy when his mom left, I read it to my Grandfather as he readied himself before I left for a war, and I read it again each time we lost boys in that war.
Thomas Paine - Agrarian Justice, for a glimpse of a memory of what we might maybe have gotten, had the revolution not been betrayed by the likes of Washington
William Sherman's Journals of the War and the West, for an image of what the nation did to itself, and then a revelation of what it did to those it "othered"
Howard Zinn - A People's History of the United States, plot holes you might have wondered about in America, but were never going to be allowed to see as an impressionable young man.
Jerry Lembcke- Spitting Image, a history of the cultural experiences of Vietnam veterans
Chris Arnade - Dignity, an insight into how the "other half" lives
John Stryker Meyer - On the Ground, brilliant recollection of how MACV-SOG conducted the war in Southeast Asia
David Glantz - When Titans Clashed, one of the best Western (American?) authors of the Eastern Front, in one of his best works
Norman Polmar - Rickover Controversy and Genius, a good biography, coming from a man who hates biographies, about an amazing mind
John Scalzi - Red Shirts, everybody I talk to seems to have read "Old Man's War", this is by far a better read. If you read the annex/appendices your wife will want to read it after you
Charles Cobb - This Nonviolent Stuff Will Get You Killed. The best defense and arguement of the 2A yet written, "Under no pretext should arms and ammunition be surrendered"
Francine Hirsch - Soviet Judgement at Nuremberg - a tale not quite told
Kathryn Edin - 2$ A Day, having done it I'm not quite sure she did it justice, but a solid effort
Linda Tirado - Hand to Mouth, less broad, same context
H J Poole - The Last Hundred Yards, appreciation of the professional
Naomi Klein - Shock Doctrine, probably one of the most widely disseminated economics texts of the 21st Century
No Good Men Among the Living - Amand Gopal, a perspective far less understood
CS Gwynn (spelling? it's been awhile) - Empire of the Summer Moon, a very well written history
Peter Edelman - Not a Crime to be Poor, if only
John Krakauer - Where Men Win Glory, again, I hate biographies but an amazing portrait of an American hero by a top notch writer
Chris Hedges - Death of the Liberal Class, no holds barred examination of systematic failure
Michael Young - Rise of the Meritocracy, not what it sounds like, if you're in charge of people this should be a must read
Clark Reynolds - Fast Carriers, everything you'd ever want to know about how the birth of naval aviation
Robert Whitaker - Mad in America, one of those books you wish would have been funny to help you get through it
Cameroon Wherter (spelling? been awhile) - Red Summer, "we return from fighting, we return fighting, make way for democracy, we saved it in france, we will save it in the US, or know the reason why" a face of patriotism too many have forgotten or erased
Dr. Kolk - The Body Keeps the Score, not something I'd recommend to anyone, but if it applies to you it did help
Hanna Arendt - Eichmann in Jerusalem
Benjamin Armstrong - Small Boats and Daring Men, fascinating look at the beginning of the US Navy and Marines
Gramsci - Prison Notebooks, because I'm feeling guilty this is my first broad picture morality inclusion, but also because he is quite good, and hopefully less objectionable than something like Marx's Capital would be around here (although everyone should read Marx)
Sam Powers - The Education of an Idealist, also my nomination for one of the best titles for a memoir
Michael Thompson - Raising Cain and the Emotional Life of Boys, possibly a philosophy book I suppose, although more like a shop manual for a beloved car than something "Zen of Motorcycle Maintenance" of abstraction I suppose
VI Lenin- What Is To Be Done, this and "Defeat of One's Own Nation" ideally, but the former is probably more approachable and less likely to be thrown out by this audience. Still, like marx worth reading to see how the mind ticked.
Kissinger - On China, because its basically THE book of his to recommend, and also because it's interesting to read and recognize how one of the brightest minds of his age could do so many evils
Churchill - The World in Crisis, for the same reasons as Kissinger, and also because if you imagine him narrating to you and growling every word it makes the pages flip that much faster...although it was a LOT of flipping
Alan Huffman - Here I Am Tim Hetherington I hate biographies, you might not, one of the best photojournalists of our time. Also, a dead reminder of why you should learn how to use an aid bag
Mustafa Hamid - The Arabs at War in Afghanistan, if you can't tell yet, I've got a thing for unconventional perspectives and things off the trail and into the weeds
Felix Kuehn - The Taliban Reader, see above
Abdullah Anas - To the Mountains, " "
Doris Goodwin - Team of Rivals, my all time favorite of Lincoln
David Graeber - Bullshit Jobs, if you've ever seen the movie "Idiocracy" or "Office Space", or even if you've ever just applied to keep the roof up, probably the most relatable on this list (sorry lol)
Ed Heinemann - Combat/Aircraft Design, okay now THIS is niche, but if you're interested in the topic this is the man who basically dreamed up every major US Navy carrier combat aircraft that Grumman made, from the F4 Wildcat to the F14 Tomcat
Amanda Brusky - Ideas with Consequences, vastly underappreciated aspect of modern American history
Lon Savage - Thunder in the Mountains, why every American should love rednecks and hillbillies.
Robert Taber - War of the Flea The Classic Study of Guerrilla Warfare, the subtitle says it all
Francis Fukayama - The End of History, because I suspect no man will go down in it as being struck down so hard by hubris
Bernard Fall - Hell in a Very Small Place, a masterpiece of scholarship from a man who gave his life in an attempt to understand and convey French Indochina while it existed
Alistair Horne - A Savage War of Peace, a cautionary against winning at all costs, also, british wit
Mao - On Protracted War, the man broke the Japanese Army for us, and then managed to come back from probably the worst defeats in military history to crush the Nationalists, quite the accomplishment, also printed by the millions for distribution
Jean Larteguy - The Centurions, I can't not include Marlantes and Fall and not include the man who blended them before they existed
Graham Allison - The Thucydides Trap, not because it's intelligent, or clever, or even particularily well written, but for the same reason you should read the front page of the New York Times, scan ESPN scores, and watch Fox News highlights...it'll give you a starting point to navigate around what 95% of the rest of the country "knows"
Annette Lareau - Unequal Childhoods, the kind of book that shouldn't be eye opening, but all too often is
Grant- Personal Memoirs, the man who broke Lee's back to save the Union. In an era where it seems SEALs have fabricated and falsified half their service record for the book deal before they've even half finished their career the values he displays can seem alien
Anthony Bourdain - Kitchen Confidential, he meant it to be frank, and it was.
Simon Webb - The Suffragette Bombers, a homage to the west's first terrorists and an exploration of the appropriation of revolutionaries. In a nation fought for on the ideals of Thomas Paine and Jefferson, and founded on and conducted by the actions of Jefferson and Washington the the juxtaposition is powerful
Sebastian Junger - Tribe, everybody it seems knows his other works, this, written without his coauthor, has both a story and a point
Bing West - The Village, I'd hesitate to call this the West's response to Mao, but considering the context of them each I'd hazard to say they're a fitting pairing
Peter Cozzens - The Earth is Weeping, a tale of erasure
Robert Sutton - The No Asshole Rule, because if you don't think you need it you might be it
Franz Oppenheimer - The State, the starting point for some things, the ending of most others
Kristin Beck - Warrior Princess, the kind of alternative I never thought I'd find myself reading
Dan Simmons - Hyperion, one of the best SciFi world building and story telling experiences I've ever read
Feel free to edit for length!