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Directorate S by Steve Coll

Steve Coll is a journalist, head of the Columbia University School of Journalism, and an excellent writer. His books have helped inform all of my books. I don’t know his political bent and it’s a sign of how good he is that I don’t. He doesn’t let his politics get in the way of telling the story. This book is about the Pakistan government and its treachery toward the west and U.S. I wrote about this very thing as it was occurring in my second book, Coup D’Etat. Coll demonstrates the fact that ISI, Pakistan’s intelligence service, was helping sustain, train, and grow the Taliban even as it was telling the west otherwise.

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Grant by Ron Chernow

A fascinating book about Ulysses Grant. It’s not a thriller and don’t expect to be flipping the pages too quickly. But if you want to know Grant, which I did, this is a wonderful book, filled with details about his leadership style and personal life.

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Mad Hungry by Lucinda Scala Quinn

I like to cook and this cookbook is awesome. The author has only boys in her family and these are some of her go-to recipes. Simple to make, time savers, but also really good. Even some recipes her sons designed using pretty basic stuff. The meatloaf recipe is amazing. Basically this is a cookbook for a guy like Dewey!

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Mies van der Rohe by Franz Schulze and Edward Windhorst

I like modern architecture, especially some of the mid-century architects like Mies van der Rohe. After I took my sons to the Patriots-Chargers game in Kansas City, we got stuck in Chicago due to the weather. I found this book at the hotel and started reading it. Van der Rohe was a genius, a larger than life man who designed buildings all over the world that still, to me, are more beautiful than anything today.