Recently I finished reading Goodbye, Darkness by William Manchester. It's his memoir of being a Marine sergeant in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Alternately gripping, gory, sad, and darkly funny - this book was one great read. Manchester sees things in the biggest and smallest pictures, by this I mean he knew the importance of defeating the Axis but ultimately fought for the men who served with him. The book also serves as a primer on the US efforts in the Pacific, to be honest a campaign I didn't know as well as the European campaign. Manchester writes early that this is the case for many Americans: Due to both the sheer hugeness of the Pacific and because Europe is more well-known to most Americans. Hopefully HBO's upcoming The Pacific will help rectify this.
If you are at all interested in American history read this book.