Reading is Sexy: One Bullet Away

I had an amazing Spartan Spirit weekend, and I’ll be posting photos and full update soon. But today, the corporate overlords are cracking the whip, so my stories will have to wait.

Instead, I want to tell you about One Bullet Away by Nathaniel Fick. You could say it’s about a guy who joined the Marines, but that would be minimizing its power. This story is about integrity, strength, honor, commitment, leadership, trust, fear, courage… life, really. Fick has a B.A. in classics from Dartmouth, so he can really write: beautiful, evocative language, and gripping storytelling. I’m only on page 63, but Aaron says it’s good right to the end.

Links to more about the book & author:

Here’s a passage from the first chapter that got me hooked:

I went to Dartmouth intending to go to med school. Failing a chemistry class had inspired my love of history, and I ended up majoring in the classics. By the summer of 1998, my classmates were signing six-figure contracts as consultants and investment bankers. I didn’t understand what we, at age twenty-two, could possibly be consulted about. Others headed off to law school or medical school for a few more years of reading instead of living. None of it appealed to me. I wanted to go on a great adventure, to prove myself, to serve my country. I wanted to do something so hard that no one could ever talk shit to me. In Athens or Sparta, my decision would have been easy. I felt as if I had been born too late. There was no longer a place in the world for a young man who wanted to wear armor and slay dragons…

… joining the Marines didn’t seem as crazy as it had to my parents’ generation. This was 1998, not 1968. The United States was cashing in its post–cold war peace dividend. Scholars talked about “the end of history,” free markets spreading prosperity throughout the world, and the death of ideology. I would be joining a peacetime military. At least that’s the rationale I used when I broke the news to my parents. They were surprised but supportive. “The Marines,” my dad said, “will teach you everything I love you too much to teach you.”

My Favorite Books of the Last 10 Years

I've heard from so many of you recently that you enjoy my book recommendations. I'm very glad! You can find hundreds of my book reviews...

Read More
The Open Book in Wigtown, Scotland

Let's travel back in time to winter, 2016. My husband David and I were living in White River Junction, Vermont; he was studying for his...

Read More