If you love to read, you’ll be happy to know that September 6 is National Read a Book Day.
Better yet, there are tons of books out there about serving and how to handle the unique challenges of military life. Whether you’re trying to explain deployment to your children or just trying to wrap your brain around life as a spouse, nearly every topic has been covered.
Reading is a great way to learn new information and to unwind in a productive, calm way. Plus, the more you read, the more you know!
In honor of National Read a Book Day, we’ve compiled a list of 17 books below for everyone in the military family.
Books for Military Family Members
If you’re serving and a part of a family unit, it’s important to remember how military life impacts your loved ones, too. These books can serve as a helpful reminder to the whole family why you decided to put on a uniform and serve your country.
By Ellie Kay
This inspirational book is a perfect guide for active duty military families. As told by the wife of an Air Force pilot and a mom of five kids, this book offers insight on how to face military challenges including frequent moves, constant deployments, and keeping in touch as a family.
By Tara Crooks, Starlett Henderson, Kathie Hightower, and Holly Scherer
Some days it can seem hard to find things to love about military life. This book written by for military spouses shares commentary on experiences that military members, veterans, and military families share. It also includes a unique look at traditions and outlooks military families have that are different from that of the everyday American family.
Books for Active Duty Service Members
Whether you’re at home or deployed, there’s nothing better than sitting down with a good book that can help you navigate service life even better. Whether you’re looking to find effective ways to communicate or learn how to reintegrate into family life, all of these reads are perfect for active duty members who want to improve their relationships.
By Armin A. Brott
For dads looking to reconnect with family back home, this book is for you. Broken into sections, you’ll find resources for pre-deployment and the effects that deployment has on military spouses and kids. The second part covers deployment and how to stay involved even from far away, including specific activities that can be done from anywhere in the world. The final section offers advice for handling reintegration and the challenges of returning home after a deployment.
By Elaine Gray Dumler
It can sometimes feel like whiplash when you are constantly given new temporary duty assignments or sent on deployments multiple times throughout the year. This book covers ways for military families to stay strong throughout the constant time apart. This guidebook offers practical (and inexpensive!) ways to connect with your family back home.
By Gary Chapman and Jocelyn Green
If you’re in a military relationship, you know very well the sting of separation and tough transitions. Couples in particular need advice on how to keep the passion when they spend more time apart than together. This edition of the original bestselling book The 5 Love Languages is specific to military couples and is co-written by a former military wife, too.
By Mark Divine
Retired Navy SEAL Mark Divine shares his thoughts on how to create a warrior’s spirit by developing mental toughness and clarity. This book is a great read for active duty members who want to learn how to concentrate better, build leadership abilities, and avoid danger by keeping ahead of the enemy. For anyone who wants to incorporate the “20X factor” into their life by doing what seems to be impossible, this read is for you.
Books for Military Spouses/Significant Others
You just can’t help who you fall for, and sometimes you fall hard for a service member. If so, this category of books is for you. From hysterically funny books to more serious tales of facing deployments, these reads are perfect for spouses and significant others who want insight into dealing with military life.
By Meredith Leyva
Sometimes it can feel like you’re really in a serious relationship with the U.S. military instead of your better half. This resource book, written by military wife Meredith Leyva, shares how you can handle the daily grind of military life with grace and ease. Whether you’re engaged, married, or just dating, you’ll find this book helpful in seeking the adventurous side of military life.
By Mollie Gross
Pretty much everything is outside of your control as a military wife. Author Mollie Gross learned this the hard way to just take everything with a grain of salt and laugh. If you’re struggling to come to terms with military wife life, check out this hilarious read.
By Jessica Redmond
This book follows six military wives whose husbands were deployed to Iraq in April 2003. Together, they experienced similar marriage challenges and forged friendships while stationed at the U.S. Army’s First Armored Division based in Germany. This read offers an inside look at what it’s like to wait for your spouse while they’re in a combat zone.
By Sarah Smiley
This true story is based on the experience military wife Sarah Smiley had when she invited one new guest each week to dinner while her husband was deployed. Sarah, a mom of three, invites everyone from artists to professional athletes to dine with herself and her sons as they navigate through a deployment. This book is focused on the power of community and the strength military couples have even when apart.
By Terri Barnes
Terri Barnes, a popular columnist for Stars and Stripes, offers her best collection of columns and interviews that reflect on the culture of military spouse life. If you’re looking for a read that dives deep into the realities of military life victories, hardships, and unique opportunities, Spouse Calls is it.
Books for Kids
Military life can be really tough on kids. They are forced to constantly move away from their friends or their parent is always working long hours or away. Reading these books for military families is an excellent way to connect with your kids while also exploring the topics that surround military life in general.
By Brenda Ehrmantraut and Vicki Wehrman
When a soldier is taken around the world away from his son, he involves the North Star for a nightly game of catch with his son. This story shares how families can still stay connected when far apart and the reminder of sweet reunions that await.
By Jerilyn Marler and Nathan Stoltenberg
There’s nothing harder for a military child than goodbyes. This book offers simple language to explain military goodbyes for children — between the ages of two and seven — while helping them learn to handle big emotions.
By Melinda Hardin and Bryan Langdo
As we all know, not all superheroes wear capes. In these books they instead wear Army boots and drive tanks a world away from their kids. Co-written by a counselor, these two books focus on the heroic work military parents do to help children better understand why their parents serve so far from home sometimes.
By Kristin Ayyar and Melissa Bailey
There’s nothing better than seeing number of days dwindle between the present and the homecoming reunion. These two separate books tell the story of a young boy awaiting the arrival of his mommy or daddy to come home. To ease the separation pains, they create rituals as a family to stay connected and make the days fly by.
This sweet book is a collection of original poems and stories focused on military life from a child’s point of view. The content includes topics like making new friends, moving, deployments, homecoming, patriotism, and family moments. This book offers a unique perspective of the challenges military families face each day.
By Shunsee Wilson and Jenny Burgei
Moms serve, too, as this book proudly points out. This book is a tribute to all females who serve and the core role family plays in supporting one another while mommy is deployed.
Relax on National Read a Book Day
National Read a Book Day is the perfect time to unwind and learn some new information about how to cope with military life.
If your nightstand book stack is growing, consider September 6 the perfect time to dive into some new reading material that’s been waiting to be devoured.
Not into reading? Consider listening to audiobooks instead.
It’s a perfect way to still activate the same parts of your brain while learning new perspectives, information, and lifestyle advice. Plus, it gets you away from other time-sucking activities that aren’t as productive. Win-win.
And, if you end of reading any of these books on the list, let us know on Facebook. We’d love to hear your review!
What are your favorite books for military families? What do you plan to read for National Read a Book Day? Share in the comments below!