My fiancé works at an audiobook publishing company, so I have access to their rapidly growing catalog, and even have the privilege of downloading a book on the house from time to time.  Having spent 8 years getting a bachelors degree in English, I’ve put in lot’s of time reading in tents smoking Pall Malls, or posted up on random park benches with a book in hand. However, I find great value in audiobooks as a firefighter: we spend so much time in trucks and in training, mostly in groups, and this format gives us a chance to share the experience and have discussions, all the while conducting other “business”.

As a disclaimer: I don’t receive any special benefits or incentives for any of the stuff I post up here.  I’m providing links to places which have the audiobooks available.

Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win by Jocko Willingk and Leif Babin

This is “rumored” to be the Wildland Fire Leadership Development Program’s 2017 Readers challenge.  After I did the 2016 Challenge, I emailed them and was directed towards this book for this year.  Pretty great audiobook.  It is read by the authors, who were integral leaders during the attack of Ramadi with task force bruiser.  Really cool.  You can hear Willink and Babin  as two very determined individuals.  This concept of extreme ownership can be applied at any level in our fire organization, from FMO down to “Jonny on the spot”.  I’ll be re-listening a few times.  I also bought the book, so I can reference parts as I listen later on, to solidify some concepts.  Worth it!!!!

Turn This Ship Around by David Marquet

 Got this title suggestion from the fire site and wrote a post about it, here on the website.  The book is available Here 

Fire On The Mountain by John N. Maclean

Worth getting and putting in your library, whether in iTunes, or your real, tangible, sits-on-a-shelf library.  Storm King is a very powerful source for learning.  Available Here

The Fire Line by Fernanda Santos

Great audiobook covering the Yarnell Hill tragedy.  Knowing the outcome, it’s a sad curiosity which pushes the listener onward, to hear the author extol the smaller details of their crew dynamics. I recognized so much in all of the individuals on Granite Mountain depicted by Fernanada Santos. Very engaging. Found myself driving backroads out of the way in order to finish the book.  Available Here

Resilience by Eric Greitens

The way Resilience is broken into chapters works really well for running.  On my district last summer I’d run around a lake 3-4 days a week after work, for a total distance of 2.9 miles.  These chapters work well with a 20 minute run.  The basis of the book is a set of letters written to a friend who has returned from war and has fallen apart – drinking too much, trouble with work, etc.  The author tries to illustrate through his own experiences how resilience is the key to moving forward and becoming a better person. Available Here

 Young Men & Fire has been a literary cornerstone in the wildland learning community for just over 25 years. For those who cannot sustain the face-to-the-page modus operandi, go for it.  My only negation or hesitance for recommending is the voice of the narrator (John Maclean). The book is written by Norman Maclean, writer of A River Runs Through It and father to prolific wildland fire author John Maclean. And while they have given us an abundance of wildland fire literature, listening to John tell the story for hours at a time can be painful and grueling. Just my opinion, of course. Regardless, thanks for all of your extraordinary writing pursuits, John. Available Here

Small Unit Leadership by Col. Dandridge Malone

A great book for squad leaders.  The narrator really gets into the authors character, and it feels very authentic.  He talks about being a machine gunner in Vietnam, about being proficient in your job, and what inspired him to be better with the tools available to him.  Funny.  I’ve listened to this one multiple times.  Available Here

One Bullet Away by Nathaniel Fick

I saw the hardcopy book sitting on an “Assistant Fire Engine Operators” desk one time.  He told me it was required reading for an L280 or L380 course he took.  That was enough for me to go find it. On a drive to attend a different S course in Bend, Oregon I listened at a high volume, on my own developing-leader-mission.  Camped just outside town, not having the per diem or any other perks besides the course fee covered, I roughed it.  Available Here

Inside Seal Team Six by Don Mann

This book entertained my squad for a two week role.  With the hectic assignments we were getting, along with the tiresome drives down horrid roads to and from the line, it relieved a lot of stress.  The consensus among most is the Seals are some badass dudes.  With movies like Lone Survivor, it’s hard to not become enamored with this idea of pinnacle physical training and the ultimate mission.  It also provoked some good conversation.  Available Here