With 2021 coming to a close, and the first day of winter upon us, there’s no better time to hit pause and immerse yourself in a good book. Especially when you work in the world of security, safety and protection during a year where you’ve been pushed beyond your limits and faced with the unimaginable — the Capitol Riot, office hostility, smash n’ grab crimes — to name a few.
It’s time for my Winter 2021 reading list, and this one covers cutting-edge research, New York Times bestselling thrillers, and intelligence history. Here are a few books to consider for your library:
1. The Violence Project: How to Stop a Mass Shooting Epidemic, by Jillian Peterson & James Densley
Making sense of mass shootings is a tough job. Let’s be blunt, workplace violence is never going away, but one can hope to better understand the trends, scope, drivers, and red flags, with an eye towards prevention and risk mitigation. Dr. Jillian Peterson, one of the co-authors, has also been a guest on our podcast discussing mass shootings and her work at The Violence Project.
2. The Terminal List, by Jack Carr
I run into people all the time who are huge fans of Jack Carr. I’m honored to call him a friend. The Terminal List was Jack’s first thriller and sets the stage for his brilliant follow-up novels. We are fortunate to have Jack booked to speak at our upcoming Summit in Austin, Texas (we’ll also be giving out copies of this book, signed by Jack!) In any thriller series, I like to go back to the beginning and examine how the characters and plot lines develop. This one does not disappoint and I can’t wait for the upcoming TV series. Jack has also been kind enough to have me on his Danger Close podcast.
3. The Body Man, by Eric Bishop
Everyone knows what the Secret Service does, but have you ever heard of The Body Man? I love to read exciting debut thrillers and Eric has put together one darn good read right up any protection officer’s alley. His banter between the agents is spot on and took me back to another lifetime ago when I was a special agent. It will be fun to see what’s next from Eric.
4. Days of Rage: America’s Radical Underground, the FBI, and the Forgotten Age of Revolutionary Violence, by Bryan Burrough
We learn in the protection and security business by studying failure. Sir Winston Churchill said, “The further back you look, the further ahead you can see.” Wise words from a great statesman. To help put our new days of rage in perspective, and to understand how we got here, read Bryan’s book, which may be the best book I’ve ever read on domestic violence in the 1970s. I keep coming back to his story to help me make sense of what we are seeing today on the streets of America.
5. Every Spy a Prince: The Complete History of Israel’s Intelligence Community, by Dan Raviv and Yossi Melman
I’ve learned a great deal over the years from what I read — both as an author and a security professional — and I encourage you to pick up a novel (or five) from this list, and explore my recommendations from seasons past. (The Protective Intelligence Fall Reading List and The Protective Intelligence Summer Reading List)