Where Did You Get Your Reading List?

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Where Did You Get Your Reading List?

Avid Readers Reveal Their Sources for Good Books

Victor Rogers | May 14, 2018
• Atlanta, GA

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The New York Times best sellers list is the ultimate guide to must-read books for many avid readers. However, some readers, like Jonathan Etress, prefer reading lists that are not as well known — such as the Commandant’s Professional Reading List of the U.S. Marine Corps. Every Marine is required to read five books from the list each year.

Etress, facilities manager for the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, discovered the reading list about two years ago while listening to a podcast on organizational effectiveness.

“It intrigued me because I had no idea that the Marine Corps has an intentional structure in place for promoting reading at every level of the organization, from the highest-ranking officer to the newest Marine,” Etress said. “I’ve always had a deep respect for our armed services, and I was looking to put some structure around what I was reading, so I started working through the list.”

He said the reading list changes slightly every year, with most of the books remaining the same.

“I’m not normally interested in sci-fi or really even fiction for that matter,” Etress said, “but I really enjoyed Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. It offers some great lessons on leadership and team dynamics.”

Voracious reader Margaret Tate also chooses what to read from a list — an American literature reading list from her daughter’s AP English class when she was a high school junior in 1998.

“The list was compiled by her teacher,” said Tate, a senior writer and editor in Institute Communications. “It’s not a definitive list of great American literature, although most of the books could be found on any such …

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