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One true joy in life is reading. When I was younger my reading tended to be more technical and focused on learning something new but as I've aged I've grown to enjoy reading just for the sake of reading. I still have some very definite tastes however.

Usually I have about three or four books going at any given time. I do not find it hard to keep up with the story in each but it does take a while to finish any single book. I also recently completed the Strategy and Policy course offered as a non-resident seminar course by the US Naval War College. This course involved a tremendous amount of reading and, as a result, I  had to put some of my "fun" reading on the table (no pun intended). I am now taking the National Security Decision Making course which also has a hefty reading load.

My favorite authors include: John Grisham, Henry Petroski, Tom Clancy, and Stephen Coonts. If any of these guys writes it, I'll read it. I also enjoy reading Greg Iles, one of my wife's high school classmates. I started reading Nicholas Sparks because he is from a state I lived in for a while and I like reading his work as well but have not read his last few--seem too formulaic to me now.

Harry Potter is also a favorite. I initially dismissed Harry Potter as a children's story until challenged by a dear friend. She got me hooked on Potter and he is now a favorite character of mine. I'm caught up on the stories and am ready for the next book. I think I'd really like to play Quidditch--as a seeker of course.

One of my concerns is that we are rearing a generation that does not like to read. At a recent talk I made a high school, I brought up the subject of books and asked what the students  liked to read. The response I received was "Read? Who wants to read when we have movies?" My explanation that my imagination used when reading was much better than anything Hollywood could put on the screen meant nothing to them. How can we expect critical thinking skills to be developed when they can't read?

I also enjoy reading periodicals. My favorites include The Economist, U S Naval Institute Proceedings, and The Wall Street Journal. I also regularly read the websites Stratfor and Thomas PM Barnett.