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Combat-Ready Reading for an Army Officer

For Brig. Gen. William Grimsley, downtime for reading doesn't necessarily mean a break from the battlefield.

Grimsley is the deputy commanding general of the Army's 4th Infantry, based at Fort Hood in Texas. He tends to choose books directly related to his job, a habit that finds him routinely plunging into heavy nonfiction about combat, wars and world history. His family, he says, gives him "heat" for his nonfiction addiction.

Grimsley begins his third deployment to Iraq in December. He tries to read during deployment, he says, "just to completely divert my mind from everything else."

Reading has always been routine for Grimsley, who picked up the habit from his father, a voracious reader. In turn, Grimsley passed on his love of books to his two sons.

But Grimsley admits that he can lighten up a little — at least during vacation. He's planning a trip to the beach soon, and is looking for some good action and mystery books. Topping his list? Books by David Baldacci and David Halberstam.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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