The Men Who Stare at Goats by Jon Ronson

The Men Who Stare at Goats by Jon RonsonThe Men Who Stare at Goats
by Jon Ronson
Published by Simon & Schuster
on April 2006
Genres: Nonfiction
Pages: 272
Format: eBook
Source: Scribd
From the bestselling author of The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry and So You've Been Publicly Shamed.

In 1979 a secret unit was established by the most gifted minds within the U.S. Army. Defying all known accepted military practice -- and indeed, the laws of physics -- they believed that a soldier could adopt a cloak of invisibility, pass cleanly through walls, and, perhaps most chillingly, kill goats just by staring at them.

Entrusted with defending America from all known adversaries, they were the First Earth Battalion. And they really weren't joking. What's more, they're back and fighting the War on Terror.

With firsthand access to the leading players in the story, Ronson traces the evolution of these bizarre activities over the past three decades and shows how they are alive today within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and in postwar Iraq. Why are they blasting Iraqi prisoners of war with the theme tune to Barney the Purple Dinosaur? Why have 100 debleated goats been secretly placed inside the Special Forces Command Center at Fort Bragg, North Carolina? How was the U.S. military associated with the mysterious mass suicide of a strange cult from San Diego? The Men Who Stare at Goats answers these and many more questions.


“Most goat-related military activity is still highly classified.”

I figure I’ve talked about this one enough that I owe you guys a review.

This book is bonkers. Really. How many books do you know that can say:

Remember that the crazy people are not always to be found on the outside. Sometimes the crazy people are deeply embedded on the inside. Not even the most imaginative conspiracy theorist has ever thought to invent a scenario in which a crack team of Special Forces soldiers and major generals secretly try to walk through their walls and stare goats to death.

Yes. They seriously stared at goats. To “death.”


Did they succeed? I really don’t know. But isn’t it weird to think the government even tried? Tried that, and so much more. According to this book, they have dabbled pretty heavily in psychics, remote viewing, and more. And I feel so weird saying that.

How to describe this book. It’s rather like huge conspiracy theories wrapped up in…truth? Hyperbole? Wishful thinking? I was left wondering just what the United States Armed Forces have been up to in the Middle East and other areas of the world, and that’s not necessarily a good thing. And, since this book is over 10 years old, it also left me wondering what they’ve been up to in the years since. It informs somethings I’ve heard in the media and it scares me.

Irregardless of the subject matter, Ronson is an engaging and fun writer. My skeptical feelings are completely informed by him. I could tell while reading the book that, sometimes, he wasn’t sure what to think either and rather than be annoying, it just added to the fun of the book to me. I can’t wait to read more books by him.

Have you read this book? Do you think these things really happened? CAN A MAN STARE A GOAT TO DEATH???

Top Ten Tuesday – Location, Location, Location


I had several different idea for the topic this week. First, I wanted to do books set in cemeteries, what with RIP coming up and me getting all kinds of excited about it. Well, turns out I haven’t READ 10 books set in cemeteries (I know, what???). Then, I thought I’d do books set in bookstores. Surely I have read MORE than 10 of those. No dice (again, WTH?). So then, I decided I would go with boarding schools! Eureka! It was easy.

  1. Harry Potter by JK Rowling – Because DUH.
  2. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins – Actually all three books from this series are set in a boarding school in France. They are all fun.
  3. Looking for Alaska by John Green – Still my favorite John Green novel.
  4. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray – Another British boarding school, with magic! But all girls this time. ALL GIRLS.
  5. Morning Glories by Nick Spencer – THIS boarding school is completely and homicidally bonkers. It’s freaking awesome.
  6. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart – Geeky girl in a boarding school. She’s probably a criminal mastermind.
  7. The Secret History by Donna Tartt – Mysterious! Oh so mysterious!
  8. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark – Classic.
  9. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss – ONE OF MY FAVORITE BOOKS EVER. EVER, I TELL YOU.
  10. Thirteenth Child by Patricia C. Wrede – Laura Ingalls Wilder meets Harry Potter in the American frontier. You know you want to.

What books have you read set in boarding schools, magical or not? And why are they so fun to read?


Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. More HERE.

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It's Monday!

Well, would you look at that? It’s Monday again. I had a migraine all freaking weekend, so I did a lot of resting (read – sleeping) and reading. Lucky for me, it wasn’t so very bad that I couldn’t read, if I turned the size on the font up on my iPad. I finished up with The Men Who Stare at Goats by Jon Ronson (I swear, I still have a hard time believing that’s all true) and started The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Mongomery. I am so delighted with that book! So much so that I read almost half of it Sunday. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to do much reading of Dark Matter. I do a lot of my reading after dark, which means using the iPad. I have an actual BOOK COPY of Dark Matter, which is working against it at the moment. I hope to get to it some more this week.

I started listening to Colson Whitehead’s marvelous The Underground Railroad, read by the AMAZING Bahni Turpin, last week. I don’t usually get to listen to audiobooks during the weekend, so I’m excited to start back on it today. I’m so glad I decided to listen to the book. Turpin is one of my very favorite readers.

What are your plans for the reading week? Reading anything good this week?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading


Top Ten Tuesday – Just My Type

Just My

I love how the type looks all melty and stuff.

Simple and perfect.

I looooove me some serifs.

I don't mind when there aren't any serifs either.

Looks kind of like, well, hair.

I just adore this cover. All of it, not just the letters.

I've actually read this book and the way they did the title just perfectly represents it.

This is just plain fun y'all.


I bought this for that type. Honest.

Today is a day to look back at past Top Ten Tuesdays and pick one I either missed, want to do again, or some such. I’m taking Favorite Covers and adding a twist. The more I get into graphic design at work, the more I realize I ADORE TYPOGRAPHY. So, today, I’m sharing some of the book covers I love because of their typography.


Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. More HERE.

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

 It's Monday! (4)

It is a dark, stormy day in my neck of the woods and I wish I was home with these bad boys!

The Men Who Stare at Goats is completely and totally fun and ridiculous. It’s so hard to believe it’s all true. I’d love to curl up on the couch with Neil and let him read to me. And I only just started Dark Matter, but I think it’s going to be fun. (I couldn’t get into The Woman in Cabin 10 yesterday. I’m too flightly.)

What are your plans for the reading week? Reading anything good this week?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading


Currently // The Woman in Cabin 10

Right this minute | I’ve been nursing a sick kitteh all weekend (he’s much better!) and I’m tiiiiired. I’m laying on the couch, writing this post, and then I’m going to hit The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware.

Feeling | Tired. Kind blah. Can one catch a cold from a kitten?

Reading | Besides starting The Woman in Cabin 10, I’m reading The Men Who Stare at Goats by Jon Ronson (omg teh ridiculous).

Listening | The View from the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman and lots of podcasts! New favorite: Human Race by Runner’s World. IT GETS ME IN THE FEELS.

Watching | My husband is insisting I watch Stranger Things on Netflix.

Blogging | Here and there.

Promoting | Nothing…yet. Gearing up for October’s readathon!

Loving | The SLIGHTLY cooler weather. Now, if we could just do something about the humidity…..

Hating | That I seem to be getting a cold. Is there anything worse than a summer cold?

Eating | Fruit Rollup. We are gourmet up in here.

Anticipating | A Sunday nap!

Have a great Sunday!!!

Top Ten Tuesday – Give All the Money, and no one gets hurt.

Sixty Degrees North: Around the World in Search of Home by Malachy Tallack – I’m a sucker for a “looking for home” book.

Faithful: A Novel by Alice Hoffman – I’ll read anything by Alice Hoffman. We don’t always get along, but I love her writing so much I don’t care.

To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey – I completely adored The Snow Child and everything she ever writes is automatically on my wish list.

The North Water by Ian McGuire – Have you SEEN the paperback cover? It’s not why I want to read it…okay, yes it is, but look.


Hooked. Also the phrase “evil act on the dark water” didn’t hurt.

Hystopia by David Means – It just sounds completely INTRIGUING.

Trials of the Earth: The True Story of a Pioneer Woman by Mary Mann Hamilton – Trials! True Story! PIONEER WOMAN! It is all in the title.

Avid Reader: A Life by Robert Gottlieb – Avid reader. A life. Need I say more?

The Psychopath Inside: A Neuroscientist’s Personal Journey into the Dark Side of the Brain by James Fallon – Dude saw that he was a psychopath when looking at HIS OWN BRAIN SCAN. How could I NOT want to read that?

The Midnight Assassin: Panic, Scandal, and the Hunt for America’s First Serial Killer by Skip Hollandsworth – I’m a sucker for a serial killer book. Hello, Devil in the White City.

Moonglow by Michael Chabon – I admit it. I’m hoping for another Kavalier & Clay.

What books would buy right now if you had the money?


Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. More HERE.

Monthly Wrap Up – July 2016

Monthly Wrap Up (1)

July. HOW is it the end of July? And how did I get so much reading in? Yes, most of it is of the graphic nature, but I still read five book books. Two of which will be on my favorite list for the year, for sure. Here’s what I read:

84. Rutabaga: The Adventures Chef – Book 1 by Eric Colossal
85. Rutabaga: The Adventures Chef – Book 2 by Eric Colossal
86. Scott Pilgrim Vs. the Universe (#5) by Bryan Lee O’Malley
87. Free-Range Chickens by Simon Rich
88. Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour (#6) by Bryan Lee O’Malley
89. Season to Taste by Natalie Young
90. The Southern Education of a Jersey Girl by Julie Primak Sullivan
91. Giant Days, Issue 16 by John Allison
92. Lab Girl by Hope Jahren, read by Hope Jahren
93. Lumberjanes, Issue 27 by Shannon Watters
94. Lumberjanes 2016 Special: Making the Ghost of It by Jen Wang
95. Toil & Trouble, Issue 3 by Mairghread Scott
96. Toil & Trouble, Issue 4 by Mairghread Scott
97. Toil & Trouble, Issue 5 by Mairghread Scott
98.. Toil & Trouble, Issue 6 by Mairghread Scott
99. Criminal: Lawless by Ed Brubaker
100. Morning Glories – Volume 3: P.E. by Nick Spencer
101. Morning Glories – Volume 4: Truants by Nick Spencer
102. You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott
103. My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix
104. Mind the Gap, Issue 1 by Jim McCann
105. Mind the Gap, Issue 2 by Jim McCann
106. Mind the Gap, Issue 3 by Jim McCann
107. Mind the Gap, Issue 4 by Jim McCann
108. Mind the Gam, Issue 5 by Jim McCann
109. Morning Glories – Volume 5: Tests Nick Spencer
110. Fatale, Volume 2: The Devil’s Business by Ed Brubaker

Lab Girl by Hope Jahren and You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott will both be favorites. It will take a reread or two, but I’m almost certain Lab Girl will go on my all time favorite list. Thanks to Comixology Unlimited, I read a ton of comics. Criminal and Fatale are both highlights, as well as all the Morning Glories. MG blows my freaking mind, in a fantastic way.

Here’s hoping August is just as fantastic. How was your July?

Currently // Be It Ever So Humble….


Right this minute | I’m home!! We had a blast. The Great Smokies were great. But I’m so glad to be home.

Feeling | Sore! We went horseback riding twice last week and that last right was ROUGH. I feel like I got quite the spanking. *blush*

Reading | I started The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson on my last day of vacation. I was too busy to really get into it, but I hope to sit with it some today while I do recovery laundry.

Listening | I was listening to Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler before I left for our trip, and I didn’t get to listen to it at all while we were gone. Needless to say, I’m not that into it any more, so I’m going to leave it for later. Ergo, I’m not “listening” to anything.

Watching | The kids are super into food shows right now, so I’m watching Good Eats with Alton Brown. Thank goodness they have good taste.

Promoting | I’ve started doing a bit of promoting for the October readathon. We joined Litsy! Follow us @deweysreadathon!

Loving | Home. Air conditioning. Comics. Kittens. Sundays.

Hating | The heat. It’s just oppressive. Also flies. And gnats. All insects in general.

Eating | Nothing yet. We have no food, since vacation! and I will have to go get something if I really want to eat. It’s hard to be lazy AND hungry.

Anticipating | Some reading, so laundry, Apparently grocery shopping, and kitteh snuggs.

Have a great Sunday y’all!

Currently // Happy Trails….

Right this minute | Getting ready to have a cup of coffee, then finish packing up everything we need for a week in the mountains.

Feeling | TIRED. I stayed up til 2:30 to finish YOU WILL KNOW ME by Megan Abbott. SO WORTH IT.

Reading | Gotta start something new. I’m taking 7 books with me. 7 books, 7 days. Makes sense, right?

Listening | My stupid neighbor, who is sawing wood at this terrible hour of the morning. Jerk.

Watching | My daughter sleep. So peaceful.

Blogging | I think I’m going to take the week off.

Loving | That I’m going on vacation!!! WOOT!

Hating | My neighbor.

Eating | Just had some Cheerios. Gotta use up the milk!

Anticipating | Traveling!

Have a great week everyone!! See you next week!