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The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is a tour de force — and one of Haruki Murakami’s many acclaimed and also beloved novels. In a Tokyo suburb, a young male named Toru Okada searches because that his wife’s missing cat — and then because that his wife too — in a netherworld in ~ the city’s placid surface. As these searches intersect, he encounters a bizarre group of allies and antagonists. Gripping, prophetic, and also suffused with comedy and menace, this is one astonishingly imaginative detective story, an account of a disintegrating marriage, and also an excavation the the hidden secrets native Japan’s forgotten project in Manchuria during people War II.


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Let’s be real: 2020 has actually been a nightmare. In between the politics unrest and novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it’s an overwhelming to look ago on the year and find something, anything, the was a potential bright spot in an otherwise turbulent trip about the sun. Luckily, there to be a couple of bright spots: namely, several of the great works of military background and analysis, fiction and non-fiction, novels and also graphic novels that we’ve soaked up over the critical year.

Here’s a short list of some of the best books we read here at task & purpose in the critical year. Have actually a reference of your own? Send an email to jared
taskandpurpose.Com and also we’ll include it in a future story.

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Missionaries by Phil Klay

I love Phil Klay’s an initial book, Redeployment (which winner the National publication Award), therefore Missionaries to be high ~ above my list of must-reads when it came out in October. It take it Klay six years come research and also write the book, which adheres to four characters in Colombia who come with each other in the zero of our post-9/11 wars. Together Klay’s prophetic novel shows, the machinery of technology, drones, and targeted killings the was developed on the Middle eastern battlefield will continue to grow in far-flung lands that seldom garner headlines.

- Paul Szoldra, editor-in-chief

Battle Born: Lapis Lazuli by Max Uriarte

Written by ‘Terminal Lance’ creator Maximilian Uriarte, this full-length graphic novel complies with a marine infantry squad on a bloody odyssey through the mountain reaches of northern Afghanistan. The full-color comic is usually ‘Conan the Barbarian’ in MARPAT.

- James Clark, an elderly reporter

The Liberator through Alex Kershaw

Now a gritty and also grim animated world War II miniseries native Netflix, The Liberator complies with the 157th Infantry Battalion that the 45th division from the beaches that Sicily to the hills of Italy and also the battle of Anzio, climate on to France and later still come Bavaria for several of the bloodiest urban battles of the conflict prior to culminating in the liberation the the Dachau concentration camp. The a harrowing tale, but one worth reading prior to enjoying the acclaimed Netflix series.

- Jared Keller, deputy editor

The Only plane in the Sky: one Oral history of 9/11 by Garrett Graff

If friend haven’t acquired this must-read account of the September 11th attacks, you must put The Only plane In the skies at the height of your Christmas list. Graff expertly describes the timeline of the day with the re-telling of those that lived it, including the loved ones the those who were lost, the persistently brave very first responders who were ~ above the floor in brand-new York, and also the organization members working in the Pentagon. My only suggestion is come not review it in windy — if she anything prefer me, you will do it be repetitively left in tears.

- Haley Britzky, army reporter

The body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking the the civilization by Elaine Scarry

Why perform we also fight wars? i will not ~ a substantial tennis tournament be a nicer method for countries to work out their differences? This is one of the countless questions Harvard professor Elaine Scarry attempts come answer, together with why nuclear war is akin come torture, why the language bordering war is sterilized in publicly discourse, and why both war and torture unmake human worlds by destroying accessibility to language. That a large lift the a read, however even if you simply read chapter 2 (like i did), you’ll come away thinking around war in new and update ways.

- David Roza, Air force reporter

Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege: 1942–1943 by Antony Beevor

Stalingrad takes reader all the means from the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union come the fallen of the sixth Army in ~ Stalingrad in February 1943. It gives you the perspective of German and also Soviet soldiers throughout the many apocalyptic battle of the 20th century.

- Jeff Schogol, Pentagon correspondent

America’s battle for the greater Middle east by Andrew J. Bacevich

I choose up America’s war for the greater Middle East previously this year and also couldn’t placed it down. Released in 2016 through Andrew Bacevich, a historian and retired army officer who offered in Vietnam, the book unravels the long and also winding history of exactly how America acquired so entangled in the center East and also shows the we’ve to be fighting one long war since the 1980s — v errors in judgment from political leaders on both political parties of the aisle to blame. “From the end of people War II until 1980, essentially no American soldiers were eliminated in activity while serving in the higher Middle East. Because 1990, essentially no American soldiers have been killed in action anywhere else. What brought about this shift?” the book jacket asks. As Bacevich details in this definitive history, the mission creep of our Vietnam experience has actually been played the end again and also again end the previous 30 years, with disastrous results.

- Paul Szoldra, editor-in-chief

Burn In: A Novel the the actual Robotic revolution by P.W. Singer and also August Cole

In Burn In, Singer and also Cole take reader on a trip at an unknown date in the future, in which an FBI agent searches for a high-tech terror in Washington, D.C. Collection after what the authors dubbed the “real robotic revolution,” certified dealer Lara Keegan is teamed up with a robot the is much less Terminator and far more of a useful, and also highly intelligent, regulation enforcement tool. Perhaps the most exciting part: Just around everything the happens in the story deserve to be traced back to innovations that are being researched today. You can read task & Purpose’s interview through the authors here.

- James Clark, senior reporter

SAS: Rogue Heroes by Ben MacIntyre

Like WWII? prefer a tape of eccentric daredevils wreaking destruction on fascists? then you’ll love SAS: Rogue Heroes, i m sorry re-tells part truly insane heists perform by among the very first modern special pressures units. Ideal of all, Ben MacIntyre grounds his background in a compassionate, balanced tone that displays both the best and also worst that the SAS men, that are, prefer anyone else, only human being after all.

- David Roza, Air pressure reporter

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

The Alice Network is a gripping novel which follows two courageous ladies through different time durations — one living in the after-effects of world War II, figured out to uncover out what has happened to someone she loves, and the other working in a mystery network the spies behind opponent lines during human being War I. This gripping historical fiction is based upon the true story the a network the infiltrated German currently in France during The good War and also weaves a story so packed full of drama, suspense, and tragedy that you won’t have the ability to put that down.