Now maybe you’re a bookworm, and maybe you’re not. Maybe you used to enjoy reading, but haven’t read a book in a long time. Whatever your literary inclinations, here are five must-read books for men. Don’t think of this as an exhaustive list, but rather a good starting point for opening your mind and improving yourself.
Dale Carnegie: How to Win Friends and Influence People
This is it, right here: the granddaddy of all self-improvement books. When first published in 1936, it was groundbreaking. 77 years later, it offers nuggets of wisdom that remain ever-relevant. A must-have tome for the shelves of men everywhere, even if only to dust off and reference every once in a while.
Zig Ziglar: See You at the Top
This author, motivational speaker, and successful salesman-turned-executive never lost his tenacity for genuinely helping people while closing the sale. This, his first book, was reportedly rejected by some thirty publishers before being taken on. What more do you expect from a man who once quipped, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”
Sun Tzu: The Art of War
This ancient Chinese text is actually a military treatise – sounds dry, I know, but a) it’s not, and b) it’s required reading for leaders or aspiring leader. A large focus is on how to outsmart your opponents, and in so doing, win wars without ever having to do battle.
Jack Kerouac: On the Road
This classic is considered by many critics to be the defining work of the Beat Generation. On the Road chronicles the exploits of Kerouac and his buddies as they made their way across post-war America. It is a rich, highly-detailed world of questionable characters, jazz music, drug use, and poetry. Even if you can’t identify with the characters personally, you will almost certainly identify with the search for meaning that comes to define their struggle and ultimate redemption.
Ernest Hemingway: For Whom the Bell Tolls
Hemingway is widely known and appreciated for his sparse, understated writing style. In this, perhaps one of his greatest achievements, Hemingway tells the story of Robert Jordan, a young American engaged as a dynamiter for the republican guerillas during Spain‘s bloody Civil War of 1936-1939. The novel treats heavy themes like death, war, suicide, bigotry, camaraderie, and heroism with a frankness and dignity that became the hallmark of Hemingway’s approach.
Bonus: ANY pregnancy book!
Fellas, this one cannot be overstated. Take it from a father of three: if your wife is pregnant, there is nothing she’d rather see than you actively engaged with a book on pregnancy and fatherhood. Who knows, you might even learn something!