Curated Lists

From Wayne's Dusty Box of Words

These are lists of books that I recommend in each topic. Many are reviewed, some are starred ( 🌟 ) as particular favorites.

Woodworking as Craft & Business

These aren't your typical woodworking books. You won't learn how to make anything from them, mostly. Some are rather philosophical reflections on living the life of a craftsman and the value of what's now called a maker culture. Others illuminate the business side of being a professional woodworker. By and large, if you want to do that for a living, marry well. No one I have read about met, or spoken to is "rich". In fact, I am pretty certain I make more in IT than anyone on this list. Still, if it's your passion, reading these will either change your mind or give you some useful insights if you're dead set on this as your vocation.

  • Shop Class as Soulcraft (Matthew Crawford)
  • The Anarchist's Workbench (Chris Schwarz) 🌟
  • Boss Life (Paul Downs) 🌟
  • Every Tool's a Hammer (Adam Savage) - Review
  • A Cabinetmaker's Notebook (James Krenov)
  • The Impractical Cabinetmaker (James Krenov)
  • Making Things Work: Tales From A Cabinetmaker's Life (Nancy Hiller)

Military Strategy

If you're interested in military strategy approached in a rigorous, scholarly fashion (as opposed to "war porn", these are the books I recommend. I have read them all (and many, many others besides) and these are the best with a nice balance of width and depth and will give you a good understanding without losing you in the details or dense, turgid prose (I'm looking at you General Clauswitz).

The astute among you will notice the absence of titles from some of the "big" names like Clauswitz, Jomini, and Sun Tzu. I have read or read in them all and none of them make a good primer. Excerpts from all of them do appear in some of the titles, so relax.

  • General Strategy
    • Makers of Modern Strategy from Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age (Peter Paret) 🌟
    • On Grand Strategy (John Lewis Gaddis)
    • Masters of War: Classical Strategic Thought 3rd Ed (Michael I. Handel)
    • Supplying War: Logistics From Wallenstein To Patton (Martin van Creveld) 🌟
  • Command
    • Command in War (Martin van Creveld)
    • Challenge of Command: Reading for Military Excellence (Roger H. Nye)


I'm late to the whole manager/leader game, at least in a formal way. These are the books I have liked so far in my studies. This list will no doubt change as I learn and grow professionally as a manager. For a less varnished look at what I am reading, you can look at my KB page on Leadership.

  • The One Minute Manager (Ken Blanchard)
  • Turn The Ship Around!: A True Story of Building Leaders by Breaking the Rules (L. David Marquet)
  • Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action (Simon Sinek)
  • Extreme Ownership (Jocko Willink and Leif Babin) 🌟