Best Books for Men

Best Books for Men: The 100 Books Every Man Should Read

I believe in the saying, “readers are leaders”. It is through reading that we learn more and gain new perspectives about ourselves and the world around us. Plus, reading makes you smarter. It is the most powerful tool for acquiring more knowledge. That said, we encourage you to start reading more and get cozy in your reading chair.

If you are looking for best books for men to lose yourself in, then you came to the right place. Regardless of whether you read a lot or not, we have compiled a list of books every man should read. These books should form the foundation of your library.

Editor’s Recommendation: Top 3 Best Books for Men

The 100 Books Every Man Should Read

1. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby: The Only Authorized Edition
  • Great product!
  • Fitzgerald, F. Scott (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 180 Pages - 09/30/2004 (Publication Date) - Scribner Book Company (Publisher)

This American novel is a classic. Set on the East Coast of the roaring ‘20s, The Great Gatsby is magical and majestic. This is the tale of the incredibly wealthy Jay Gatsby, who tried to reinvent himself just to win back the woman he loved, Daisy Bucahan.

This book will give you a glimpse into the high life of the roaring twenties and regales you with stories of lavish parties at the Gatsby mansion.

2. Lord of the Flies – William Golding

Lord of the Flies
  • ISBN13: 9780399501487
  • Condition: New
  • Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Tracking provided on most orders. Buy with Confidence! Millions of books sold!
  • William Golding (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Set at an unchartered island, Lord of the Flies tells a story of a group of boys and their disastrous attempt at governing themselves. It focuses on the struggle for power, as well as the unspeakable things men will do when taken outside the order of civilization.

Lord of the Flies is a novel about self-governance and instincts. It is one of the best books for men every guy out there should read and learn from.

3. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner
  • Riverhead Books
  • Khaled Hosseini (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 400 Pages - 03/05/2013 (Publication Date) - Riverhead Books (Publisher)

The Kite Runner is a beautifully written novel that is set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. The book focuses on the heartbreaking, unforgettable story of the unlikely friendship of a rich boy and the son of his father’s servant.

The Kite Runner is a classic, one-of-a-kind novel that has touched the hearts of millions of readers worldwide. It was the novel that started the career of one of America’s most treasured writers.

4. 1984 – George Owell

  • George Orwell (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 328 Pages - 01/01/1961 (Publication Date) - Signet Classic (Publisher)

1984 offers political satirist, George Owell’s nightmare vision of a bureaucratic, totalitarian world and a poor stiff’s attempt at finding individuality. It resonates today more strongly that ever. Every reason to be demanding, skeptical, and watchful of your government is in there.

The fact that he wrote this in the 1940’s may surprise you. It became one of the most significant novels of the 20th century that’s why we included it in our list of the best books for men. This book is George Owell’s gift to anyone who is experiencing their moment of political awakening.

5. The Call of the Wild – Jack London

The Call of the Wild (Gold Classics)
  • London, Jack (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 56 Pages - 12/21/2020 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)

The Call of the Wild follows a domesticated dog forced to adapt to the chaos of Klondlike Gold Rush. Here, he was forced to survive in a harsh climate and dominate other dogs. Devotees of American literature “as well as dog story enthusiasts” will find this classic book a memorable and thrilling reading experience.

6. The Stand – Stephen King

The Stand
  • King, Stephen (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 1472 Pages - 06/28/2011 (Publication Date) - Anchor (Publisher)

Stephen King books can be terrifying. At times, they can be intimidating, but this post-apocalyptic horror turned fantasy adventure is something we would categorize as one of the best books he has written. It may be too long (1,400 pages to be exact), but it’s definitely a great read.

7. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  • Hardcover Book
  • Covey, Stephen R. (Author)
  • 05/27/1989 (Publication Date) - Simon and Schuster (Publisher)

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is one of the most compelling books ever written. It became an instant rage when it was first released in 1989. Upon reading this book, people have realized that their lives were headed in the wrong direction.

This book contains life-changing information. It focuses on timeless principles of human dignity, honesty, integrity, and fairness. If you understand and implement the ideals Stephen Covey has shared in this book, there should be no aspect of your life that should go untouched. Decades later, this book continues to be a best seller. We believe it is one of the best books for men.

8. The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking – Oliver Burkeman

The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking
  • Faber Faber
  • Burkeman, Oliver (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 256 Pages - 11/05/2013 (Publication Date) - Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Publisher)

This is a great book with a title that really stands out. Some of you may be wondering why we included this book on the list, but please bear with us.

If you naturally quite positive, this isn’t the book for you. Rather, this would be a great read for all you cynics out there. In this book, Burkeman argues that trying to make yourself happy often has the reverse effect. Sometimes, embracing negativity can actually be good for you.

9. How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie

How to Win Friends & Influence People
  • How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie 1998 Paperback New
  • Brand New
  • Officially Licensed
  • Dale Carnegie (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Let’s face it. Not all self-help books can help solve your problems or fix your life. But there are some that have genuinely changed people’s life. This book is one of them.

How to Win Friends and Influence People is packed with rock-solid advice that a lot of men have claimed to have helped them reach their goals. In this book, you will learn some tips and strategies on how to make people think like you do, how to change people without resenting you, as well as how to make people like you.

This book is a timeless bestseller and has sold more than 15 million copies since it was released in 1936. No doubt, it is one of the best books for men, and we highly recommend that you read it.

10. The Power Of Now – Eckhart Tolle

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Tolle, Eckhart (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 258 Pages - 10/06/2010 (Publication Date) - New World Library (Publisher)

It is all about finding inner peace and being able to get in touch with the world as it really is. Getting rid of all those thoughts, worries, and concerns that always seem to pass through our heads every moment of every day is an interesting perspective.

11. Lone Survivor – Marcus Luttrell

Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Luttrell, Marcus (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 401 Pages - 06/12/2007 (Publication Date) - Little, Brown and Company (Publisher)

There is no way to appreciate the film if you have not read the book.

Throughout the book, Marcus Luttrell’s life story is told, as well as his miraculous survival of one of the deadliest battles in history. This book is so good that you won’t want to put it down.

12. The Elephant Whisperer – Lawrence Anthony

The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild (Elephant Whisperer, 1)
  • Griffin
  • Anthony, Lawrence (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 384 Pages - 05/22/2012 (Publication Date) - St. Martin's Griffin (Publisher)

Read Lawrence Anthony’s amazing true story and learn about his relationship with a herd of wild elephants. This book will answer any questions you might have ever had about elephant spirituality!

13. Once We Were Brothers – Ronald H. Balson

Once We Were Brothers: A Novel (Liam Taggart and Catherine Lockhart Book 1)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Balson, Ronald H. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 402 Pages - 10/08/2013 (Publication Date) - St. Martin's Griffin (Publisher)

The book was recently completed by myself, and I highly recommend it. A family struggles to survive war-torn Poland during the Second World War, the story of which takes place during World War 2.

The brothers became separated at the beginning of the war and at the end. The younger brother joins the Nazi Party while the older brother becomes a local Polish boy. You can learn a lot about the late 1930s and early 1940s while following their journey and seeing how their lives unfold.

14. Long Walk To Freedom – Nelson Mandela

Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela
  • Back Bay Books
  • Mandela, Nelson (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 656 Pages - 10/01/1995 (Publication Date) - Back Bay Books (Publisher)

Among the greatest leaders to ever live, Nelson Mandela wrote his memoirs. The recent movie adaptation of this book is incredibly inspiring.

15. Into The Wild – Jon Krakauer

Into the Wild
  • Random House Into the Wild, Paperback by Jon Krakauer - 9780385486804
  • Jon Krakauer (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 240 Pages - 02/01/1997 (Publication Date) - Anchor Books (Publisher)

Find out what Chris McCandless has to say about living in the wild and inventing a new life for himself. The world seems to always throw Chris trouble as he sets out to ‘find himself.

16. Five Families – Selwyn Raab

Five Families: The Rise, Decline, and Resurgence of America's Most Powerful Mafia Empires
  • Raab, Selwyn (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 816 Pages - 10/04/2016 (Publication Date) - A Thomas Dunne Book for St. Martin's Griffin (Publisher)

Many films and books have been made about the American Mafia and its crazy stories, and why not. There is something intensely gripping and entertaining about it, and every man watching feels as if he could be a tough gangster himself.

During the 1950s, New York’s most powerful families ruled the mafia scene, and this book describes how they would fall and how they would rise again.

17. Steve Jobs – Karen Blumenthal

Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different: A Biography
  • Square Fish
  • Blumenthal, Karen (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 320 Pages - 02/14/2012 (Publication Date) - Square Fish (Publisher)

Where did he come from? Steve Jobs changed the world in more ways than one. He was the most famous entrepreneur of his generation. In Walter Isaacson’s eloquent biography, we really gain an insight into the mind of this genius.

18. The Last Rhinos – Lawrence Anthony

The Last Rhinos: My Battle to Save One of the World's Greatest Creatures
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Anthony, Lawrence (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 368 Pages - 08/20/2013 (Publication Date) - St. Martin's Griffin (Publisher)

It is just as fantastic as Lawrence Anthony’s first book. The author recounts his encounter with a few remaining northern white rhinos in the book. But where are they now? Lord’s Resistance Army, one of the most feared terrorist organizations in Africa, controlled much of the territory they occupied.

19. Paths Of Glory – Jeffrey Archer

Paths of Glory
  • St Martin s Press
  • Archer, Jeffrey (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 448 Pages - 12/01/2009 (Publication Date) - St. Martin's Paperbacks (Publisher)

A novel about the desire of one man to conquer the biggest feat of his life: mountaineering Mount Everest, inspired by the true story of the famous mountaineer George Mallory. Despite the fact that there is little to no evidence that George Mallory was the first person to summit Everest, many still believe he was.

The novel with its historical facts was very interesting to read!

20. The Way of The Iceman – Wim Hof

The Way of The Iceman: How The Wim Hof Method Creates Radiant, Longterm Health―Using The Science and Secrets of Breath Control, Cold-Training and Commitment
  • Hof, Wim (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 168 Pages - 02/26/2017 (Publication Date) - Dragon Door Publications (Publisher)

You need to start learning more about Mr. Wim Hof if you have not watched any of his videos yet. Using ice-cold water to improve our health in dramatic ways is the focus of his new book on health.

Ice baths really work for me, and I started doing them recently. I find that they help with muscle recovery, in addition to overall health.

21. The Fight – Norman Mailer

The Fight
  • Random House Trade Paperbacks
  • Mailer, Norman (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 256 Pages - 10/15/2013 (Publication Date) - Random House Trade Paperbacks (Publisher)

Muhammad Ali and George Foreman fought in Africa in one of the most famous boxing matches in history. Every sports fan should read about that event.

22. The Odyssey – Homer

The Odyssey
  • Farrar Straus Giroux
  • Homer (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 515 Pages - 11/05/1998 (Publication Date) - Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Publisher)

Despite what teachers think, this is one of the most disrespectful, unscholarly books ever written—and it’s being taught to students as a history lesson. Humans are bitten in half, smashed on rocks, lured to death by sexy women, do so many drugs that they lose all thoughts of living, and have sex with goddesses. The show is HBO dressed in tunics, not history.

23. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy – J.R.R. Tolkien

The Lord of the Rings: 50th Anniversary, One Vol. Edition
  • Mariner Books
  • Tolkien, J.R.R. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 1178 Pages - 10/12/2005 (Publication Date) - Mariner Books (Publisher)

As long as Middle Earth has existed, there is a reason for it. There are almost as many people involved in making Middle-Earth’s history as our own (mostly one), which is impressive, considering that it took billions of years to make our own.

Since Tolkien invented a whole speakable language and pieces of half a dozen others, the books feel richer because of his linguistic expertise. Its bedrock is rhyme and reason, rather than the haphazard feeling of lazy fantasy. You’ll not only have an improved understanding of history, fiction or non-fiction, after reading the trilogy.

24. Jurassic Park – Michael Crichton

Jurassic Park: A Novel
  • Ballantine Books
  • Crichton, Michael (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 464 Pages - 09/25/2012 (Publication Date) - Ballantine Books (Publisher)

Even a novel that relies so heavily on science doesn’t seem to be dated. He knows his stuff, but a smarter move is only pumping up our disbelief with as much scientific explanation as we need. By doing so, we won’t be distracted from the true purpose of the story, namely a struggle between capability and responsibility.

Humanity cannot do everything it wants. Despite the book’s stated intention to make a strong case for ethical science, it illustrates that not doing so involves having your intestines ripped out by velociraptors.

25. The Road – Cormac McCarthy

The Road (Oprah's Book Club)
  • acclaimed Cormac McCarthy's latest novel The Road
  • searing postapocalyptic novel
  • Cormac McCarthy (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 287 Pages - 03/28/2006 (Publication Date) - Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group (Publisher)

We haven’t found a better father/son relationship in literature than that between the Man and the Boy, so if you can, please tell us. Everything in the book is framed by their relationship, and their story is the spine of the story.

A movie was made about this book, and the movie was good, but you should read the book instead. Unlike the movie, it will stay with you.

26. Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451
  • Fahrenheit 451;9781451673319;1451673310
  • Ray Bradbury (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 249 Pages - Simon & Schuster (Publisher)

There is a possibility of dismissing Fahrenheit 451 as a technophobic work, but that wouldn’t be entirely accurate. With all of the popular programming and a good deal of the internet available today, I tend to agree with Bradbury that television can be abused and placated.

We don’t want to paint everything as bad, but maybe we should have listened a little better and been a little more selective with what we made popular. Moving forward, we will bear that in mind.

27. A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole

A Confederacy of Dunces
  • Grove Weidenfeld
  • John Kennedy Toole (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 405 Pages - 05/27/1987 (Publication Date) - Grove Weidenfeld (Publisher)

Ignatius Reilly is refreshing even with his flaws, as those flaws make him unique. A man who lacks intelligence is fat, ugly, cocky, insensitive, verbose, repressed, and mean, and who lets Whenever he’s around, he causes suffering to his children and everyone around him.

His hot dog cart is the part we love the best because he brings his trademark awfulness to one of the most reliable food delivery services in the world. The frustration that Toole feels with the world burns through this book more than possibly in any other. Toole was not at peace while writing this book.

28. Hard Times – Charles Dickens

Hard Times (Dover Thrift Editions)
  • Charles Dickens (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 240 Pages - 08/22/2001 (Publication Date) - Dover Publications (Publisher)

Mr. Gradgrind employs utilitarianism in a number of ways. Despite not being Dickens’ most well-known work, it still seems to offer us the most lessons at a time when economic hardships and old-fashioned prejudices hinder humans from exploring their potential.

It’s hard not to have a small reevaluation of your own after Dickens gives us his perspective. His presentation makes it very clear who is the victim of utilitarian thinking.

29. The Plot Against America – Philip Roth

The Plot Against America
  • Vintage
  • Roth, Philip (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 391 Pages - 09/27/2005 (Publication Date) - Vintage (Publisher)

Rosen’s novel presents an alternate history of the 1940s in which FDR loses his reelection bid to the charismatic Charles Lindbergh and anti-semitism becomes mainstream.

Ruth’s book explains step-by-step how the Lindbergh presidency is logical and it’s a scary, highly relevant warning against allowing prejudice to determine who holds public office. The similarities between the two are too close to ignore, especially when the 2016 election looks as if it’s going to be close.

30. Preacher – Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon

Preacher Book One
  • Vertigo
  • Ennis, Garth (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 352 Pages - 06/18/2013 (Publication Date) - Vertigo (Publisher)

Preacher’s unapologetic journey is fuelled by sex, drugs, and violence as it moves through the continent at an undetermined pace. Having traveled across the swamps of Louisiana, past Irish vampires, angels, demons, and one hell of a twisted saint, I made it to the end.

Even with all of that, none of it is enough to detract from the essence of the story, which revolves around a man who is trying to maintain his commitment to righteousness against a backdrop that attempts to hold him back.

As a result, Jesse Custer’s struggle is further amplified, as if having the strength of a god does not make his struggle any less human.

31. Catch-22 – Joseph Heller

Catch-22: 50th Anniversary Edition
  • Simon Schuster
  • Heller, Joseph (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 544 Pages - 04/05/2011 (Publication Date) - Simon & Schuster (Publisher)

It’s an old adage that “war is hell,” but Catch-22 presents its version of the phrase in a slightly different way. The war, however, becomes incredibly bizarre. In the book, a bomber squadron is forced to battle against whatever is passing for power as collective sanity.

The main character constantly makes himself look insane in order to be kicked out of the Navy, which is exactly why he is not kicked out. That is what the phrase means, and it is definitely a catch-22. We see the quirks and idiosyncrasies of everyday life played out here, but in a way affecting war.

32. All Quiet on the Western Front – Erich Maria Remarqu

All Quiet on the Western Front: A Novel
  • Erich Maria Remarque (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 304 Pages - 03/12/1987 (Publication Date) - Ballantine Books (Publisher)

One of the first books to reflect post-WWI Europe’s disillusion was All Quiet on the Western Front. There was an accepted view of war before its publication that viewed it as a gentlemanly sport like polo or the theatre.

When this book came out, it was among the first to acknowledge that getting shot is painful and that mustard gas can really put a damper on your weekend. Also, rats are terrible roommates, as are corpses.

33. Two Pints – Roddy Doyle

Two Pints
  • Hardcover Book
  • Doyle, Roddy (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 96 Pages - 11/19/2012 (Publication Date) - Jonathan Cape (Publisher)

Most guys are looking forward to becoming regulars at their local bar. In this book, you can find out how. During the years 2011 and 2012, you’re taken through most of the major events of Roddy Doyle’s imagined transcriptions of two Irishmen talking at their local.

In the time it takes to read it, you could probably drink two pints. You should definitely do so. If it’s imperial, of course.

34. Hollywood Park – Mikel Jollett

Hollywood Park: A Memoir
  • Hardcover Book
  • Jollett, Mikel (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 384 Pages - 05/26/2020 (Publication Date) - Celadon Books (Publisher)

The memoir of a tumultuous life is truly a remarkable one. During his childhood, Mikkel Jollett was subjected to poverty, addiction, and emotional abuse in one of the country’s most infamous cults. Yet, in the end, it is about love and loyalty from a truly gifted writer, told in raw, poetic terms that signal his emergence.

35. The Virginian – Owen Wister

The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains
  • Wister, Owen (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 270 Pages - 01/19/2012 (Publication Date) - Empire Books (Publisher)

It is easy to forget why westerns were popular in the first place because we have so many films, books, comics, and television shows. The Virginian is a good example of how this genre became popular. Westerns are known for their gunfights and love scenes, as well as tossing wits with villains.

This was the first of its kind. The book is still very readable and compelling, even if it has been around for more than a hundred years, and it illustrates that there is no excuse for not being a gentleman.

36. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent – Isabel Wilkerson

Caste (Oprah's Book Club): The Origins of Our Discontents
  • Hardcover Book
  • Wilkerson, Isabel (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 496 Pages - 08/04/2020 (Publication Date) - Random House (Publisher)

The winner of the Pulitzer Prize and bestselling author of The Warmth of Other Suns shows how American society has been shaped by an unspoken caste system that still exists today.”

37. Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff – Christopher Moore

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal
  • William Morrow Company
  • Moore, Christopher (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 444 Pages - 05/25/2004 (Publication Date) - William Morrow Paperbacks (Publisher)

In a postmodern interpretation of the Gospels, it seems unlikely that Moore could avoid blasphemy and sacrilege, but he does. While maintaining respect for the source material, the book is humorous.

Several people have argued that this book enhances the Christian Messiah’s character, since we see him throughout his life, demonstrating an excellent grasp of the human condition at every stage. It was difficult for us to forget that this is the story we’ve heard before, given Moore’s beautifully crafted portrayal of the crucifixion.

38. Originals: How Non Conformists Move The World – Adam Grant

Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World
  • Penguin Books
  • Grant, Adam (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 352 Pages - 02/07/2017 (Publication Date) - Penguin Books (Publisher)

Originals examines how to improve the world from a perspective of becoming original: by promoting novel ideas and values that battle conformity, stand against outdated traditions, and change the world for the better. In what ways can we come up with new policies, ideas, and practices without risking it all?’”

39. No Matter the Wreckage – Sarah Kay

No Matter the Wreckage
  • Write Bloody Publishing
  • Kay, Sarah (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 100 Pages - 03/18/2014 (Publication Date) - Write Bloody Publishing (Publisher)

Poetry collection number two from Sarah Kay is truly special. The reason she makes this list is not so much that she writes poetry that resembles fiction or that she uses especially traditional forms; the real reason is that she’s just good. In her writing, she combines a style that is at once relatable and accessible, while never sacrificing substance.

Kay returns to something that so many other poets have long since given up on–connecting with her reader.

40. The Splendid and the Vile – Erik Larson

The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz
  • Hardcover Book
  • Larson, Erik (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 608 Pages - 02/25/2020 (Publication Date) - Crown (Publisher)

Adolf Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium shortly after Winston Churchill became prime minister. There were just two weeks until Dunkirk and Poland had already fallen. Hitler’s relentless bombing campaign in the following months resulted in the deaths of 45,000 British citizens.

Winston Churchill is responsible for holding his country together, and convincing President Franklin Roosevelt that Britain is a worthy ally willing to fight to the very end.

41. My Struggle (Series) – Karl Ove Kausgård

My Struggle: Book 1 (My Struggle, 1)
  • Farrar Straus Giroux
  • Knausgaard, Karl Ove (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 448 Pages - 05/28/2013 (Publication Date) - Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Publisher)

A series of six books by Karl Ove Kausg*rd may appear ridiculous to an uninitiated reader. This is a guy who has lived, in general, a pretty normal life. While he did have difficulties, none of them made you feel bad for him.

But he still wrote over 4,000 pages about a rather mundane existence. It’s worth reading. The authors of Kausg*rd’s books focus on being human and presenting it in a manner reminiscent of Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time. There are a few things you should know about it, and you’ll want a cigarette after watching it.

42. The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye
  • The Catcher in the Rye
  • J.D. Salinger
  • First Little, Brown and Company mass market paperback edition
  • J.D. Salinger (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

As the main character, Holden Caulfield changes over time, The Catcher in the Rye is a book that should be reread at least once every decade. At 14, Caulfield is a visionary who understands what you’re going through, as he’s one of only a handful of characters who do.

He makes you angry that you used to be that stupid, whiny kid at 24. Having kids like him made you hope that you never have kids like him, while reading this without glasses at 44 makes you happy your eyesight is still good.

43. The Prince – Niccolo Machiavelli

The Prince
  • Machiavelli, Niccolo (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 170 Pages - 10/29/2014 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)

The basic guide for acquiring and maintaining political power (even if those methods are sometimes nefarious) was written in the early 1500s. Its instructions are straightforward, if not rather cold in their formulaic pragmatism. This book asks, “Are the ends worth the means?” “means.” means.”

It is a worthwhile read for any man who wishes to gain a deeper understanding of the driving forces behind modern politics.

44. The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway

The Sun Also Rises: The Authorized Edition
  • Scribner Book Company
  • Hemingway, Ernest (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 251 Pages - 10/17/2006 (Publication Date) - Scribner Book Company (Publisher)

Hemingway’s books are all too good for you to choose just one to include on this list. The Sun Also Rises is our top choice. In 1926, the novel tells the story of expats traveling to a new From Paris, go to Pamplona. Much like A Hemingway has a knack for engaging the reader with cafe culture and conversations that happen over coffee, just as he did in A Moveable Feast.

45. Band of Brothers – Stephen Ambrose

Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest
  • Simon Schuster
  • Ambrose, Stephen E. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages - 09/06/2001 (Publication Date) - Simon & Schuster (Publisher)

The best history of WWII out there is written by Stephen Ambrose, who passed away far before his time. Band of Brothers is perhaps his greatest work. Ambrose relates the incredible story of the men of Easy Company, from their rigorous training to the end of the war.

The story of these men, who were starving, freezing, and dying for each other, lives on not just in this book, but in dozens more, as well as in the popular HBO miniseries.

46. The Things They Carried – Tim O’Brien

The Things They Carried
  • Great product!
  • Tim O'Brien (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 233 Pages - 05/28/2022 (Publication Date) - Mariner Books (Publisher)

In his short story collection, Tim O’Brien focuses more on the men involved in the Vietnam War rather than the division of the United States. O’Brien takes a tragedy that is already deeply felt and pushes it to another level by constantly making the reader question how much of the book is true and whether it even matters.

Do the events still count as tragic if they aren’t true? Are the emotional responses of the reader enough to make the story true? There are several myths about the Vietnam War that this book debunks, while it also humanizes those who served.

47. The Republic – Plato

The Republic
  • Plato (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 206 Pages - 02/15/2021 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)

Platonic’s Republic describes how a just city-state should be organized and characterized in terms of its definition of justice and a Socratic dialogue surrounding the definition of justice. One of the most influential works of philosophy and political theory in history, it is the best-known work by the great philosopher.

Among the topics discussed in this dialogue is the meaning of justice, the purpose of education, the immortality of the soul, and the role of philosophy in society.

48. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Gregory Peck
  • Atticus Finch
  • Scout
  • Boo Radley
  • Truman Capote

Many people’s first encounter with race relations, criminal justice (or a lack thereof), and weird neighbors has been Harper Lee’s most famous book.

Considering the story is set in the 30s, was published in 1960, and feels like it could have been written yesterday, it would also be an indictment of modern American society that most of the problems the characters encounter are still present today.

Seeing how this is a widely read book in the country, it’s unlikely that you haven’t read it, but if you haven’t, it’s not too late to start.

49. The Táin – Translation by Ciaran Carson

The Tain (Penguin Classics)
  • Penguin Books
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 256 Pages - 02/24/2009 (Publication Date) - Penguin Classics (Publisher)

You already know Seamus Heaney from your favorite version of Beowulf, so just the name alone should entice you to pick up this translation of The Táin, the ancient Irish epic. This text begins with an Irish king and queen comparing bulls and starting a land war after they find out one has a better one than the other.

The 17 year old and his charioteer are ultimately successful in stopping the land war. Now things get interesting. Furthermore, it implies that ancient poets were less serious than we thought they were. Poetry is a form of entertainment.

50. The Corrections – Jonathan Franzen

The Corrections: A Novel
  • Picador USA
  • Franzen, Jonathan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 576 Pages - 09/01/2002 (Publication Date) - Picador (Publisher)

The Corrections captures the anxiety and despair of a routine existence in a way few others have. Although it may not be exactly like your family, it is recognizable enough. Jonathan Franzen paints a picture of a family that you can identify with.

He then reveals the worries and fears residing deep within you by examining each character’s actions. Each child is facing problems either financially or emotionally on his or her own in cities far from their parents on the East Coast.

They are hardly getting any help from their parents at home, either. In comparison to many post-9/11 anxiety books, this book nails it better than the pre-9/11 anxiety book.

51. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao – Junot Díaz

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Diaz, Junot (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 354 Pages - 09/06/2007 (Publication Date) - Riverhead Books (Publisher)

The dialogue of The Wire contributes to its status as the most popular television show of all time. A writer must master dialogue extremely well. It is the subject of Junot D*az’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.

In the story, an overweight, nerdy Dominican boy struggles to adjust to his life in New Jersey as he grows up. Yunior is the character narrating the story, and D*az excels at speaking both eloquently and street-wise.

When used correctly, slang can give stories that extra level of realism, but D*az shows that, when done well, it can make them more believable and engaging.

52. Walden – Henry David Thoreau

  • David Thoreau, Henry (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 196 Pages - 10/25/2018 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)

The Cool Material list is not intended to include a lot of non-fiction, but Walden is so appropriate for a list of Cool Material works that we couldn’t leave it off. A rise in the number of outdoor enthusiasts has revived interest in Thoreau’s classic.

This book is a contemplation on growth, life, and simplicity. The writings document Thoreau’s time in Walden Pond by a cabin he rented for slightly more than two years. His time spent in the wilderness is filled with connection to nature, pondering the direction civilization is going and living a hermit’s life.

A very nice looking axe can be displayed on top of the book, but it is also a book that inspires and provokes thought, perhaps even more now than it was originally.

53. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay – Michael Chabon

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
  • Random House Trade
  • Michael Chabon (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 684 Pages - 05/28/2022 (Publication Date) - Random House Trade Paperbacks (Publisher)

As a historical novel, Kavalier & Clay examines many heavy topics. These include the plight of Jews in Europe prior to World War I, being gay in America at the same time, and business scams. The air of levity Michael Chabon applies to his writing makes it particularly brilliant and enjoyable to read.

In part, this is because the characters are childlike, and there is also the element of comic books, and thus, an age of wonder.

54. East of Eden – John Steinbeck

East of Eden (Penguin Twentieth Century Classics)
  • Penguin Books
  • Steinbeck, John (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 691 Pages - 05/28/2022 (Publication Date) - Penguin Classics (Publisher)

Of Mice and Men and The Grapes of Wrath are perhaps Steinbeck’s best known works, both of which should have made the list. The best Steinbeck writing, however, is in his novel East of Eden. Steinbeck probably agrees with you.

As soon as he finished the 690-page book, he assured a friend, “This is ‘the book.’ If it does not work, I have stood in my own way. This is a milestone for me and I feel free. I don’t intend to be stopping, however.

Now that this has been accomplished, I can do anything I want. I have always wanted to write this book.

55. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Crime and Punishment
  • Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 430 Pages - 08/22/2001 (Publication Date) - Dover Publications (Publisher)

To sink your teeth into, we gave you one Russian book. Spend countless hours creating a character chart and trying to recall relationships if you want to “sink your teeth into” the game. Dostoevsky’s classic tale of moral struggles, Crime and Punishment, should be your reading choice instead of War and Peace.

Rodion Raskolnikov (you should put that name on your chart), a man with a sinister plan, gets himself into trouble by killing a man and walking off with his loot. He says he’s doing good with his money and taking out a bad person.

Sounds like a good deal, doesn’t it? Despite still being a great example of storytelling, this work resonates on a philosophical level like most Russian works of the period.

56. Between the World and Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates

Between the World and Me
  • #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER | NAACP IMAGE AWARD WINNER | PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST | NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST | NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review O: The Oprah Magazine The Washington Post People Entertainment Weekly Vogue Los Angeles Times San Francisco Chronicle Chicago Tribune New York Newsday Library Journal Publishers Weekly
  • Hardcover Book
  • Coates, Ta-Nehisi (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 176 Pages - 07/14/2015 (Publication Date) - One World (Publisher)

Occasionally, a book appears just when we need it to reveal the inner workings of our environment. Several of us will have their thoughts put into words eloquently and beautifully. Some of them will be considered seminal works of history.

I believe Between the World and Me is an outstanding example of this. As a series of letters to his son, this book was written by The Atlantic writer Ta-Nehisi Coates. In this book, Coates describes the painful truths he shares with his son, the emotions he experiences, and even a little hope. This book is essential.

57. Pastoralia – George Saunders

  • Riverhead Books
  • Saunders, George (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 188 Pages - 06/01/2001 (Publication Date) - Riverhead Books (Publisher)

Today, George Saunders is one of the most respected short story writers. Often, the characters in his stories become embroiled in ridiculous situations. Saunders is truly a great writer when it comes to using these stories to comment on contemporary life. Sure, it’s satire, but it has a distinctive Saunders feel.

He allows you to insert your own emotions into his writing as if he’s sucking emotion from the page. Among the six stories he collected in 2000, Pastoralia, six stories first appeared in The New Yorker. In the last six years, four of the six stories have received the O.

Henry Award, an award given to outstanding short stories. You should start here if you want to follow George Saunders’ wonderful, weird and poignant path.

58. Dune – Frank Herbert

Dune (Dune Chronicles, Book 1)
  • Herbert, Frank (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 704 Pages - 08/02/2005 (Publication Date) - Ace (Publisher)

What is the best way to get into science fiction? The best-selling science fiction book of all time is also incredibly approachable – how about that? A futuristic tale of planet ownership and warfare, Dune, the first book in the Dune saga, was written by Frank Herbert. The usual stuff you find in science fiction.

Herbert’s book departs from the heavy, technical sci-fi genre you might be imagining by not using robots, computers, and other stereotypical components in order to simply tell a political tale that resonates with the average reader.

59. 2666 – Roberto Bolaño

2666: A Novel
  • Picador USA
  • Roberto Bolaño (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 912 Pages - 09/01/2009 (Publication Date) - Picador (Publisher)

There are no impatient readers in Roberto Bola*o’s final novel. Although 900 pages long, it won’t bead, since it is In reality, 2666 is Bolao’s magnum opus, a final work that abides solely by his own writer’s rules. The novel’s unexpected moments are several.

At its core, however, the novel is about the murder of women in Santa Teresa, a city modeled on Ciudad Juárez, which Bola*o wrote during his final years as his health deteriorated.

The novel is broken up into five parts (Bola*o originally intended to release five separate novels so that his offspring would have more wealth), showcasing Bolano’s skills at creating a hostile atmosphere and anxiety of a The Savage Detectives depicted how he traveled from place to place.

There is smart slang, discomfort that is painful, and words that are a joy to read.

60. I am Legend – Richard Matheson

I Am Legend
  • Tor Books
  • Matheson, Richard (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 320 Pages - 10/30/2007 (Publication Date) - Tor Books (Publisher)

This movie title is based loosely on the book by Will Smith, which was released in 2007. “Loosely” is the key word. In contrast to the movie (up to a point), the book goes into much more depth about Robert Neville’s philosophy, fleshes out the world more, and draws a less bold line between hero and villain.

Additionally, the book title makes much more sense in the context of the story. It is difficult to imagine anyone else other than Will Smith who played Neville in the movie.

61. A Visit from the Goon Squad – Jennifer Egan

A Visit from the Goon Squad
  • Anchor Books
  • Egan, Jennifer (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 368 Pages - 03/22/2011 (Publication Date) - Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group (Publisher)

A Visit from the Goon Squad falls somewhere between a novel and a short story collection. Having heard its inspirations, Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time and HBO’s The Sopranos, you probably guessed that it was unique.

Even though the stories are based on the appearance, disappearance, and reappearance of a number of main characters, each chapter/story has a particular feel, with some aspects relating to music. As beautiful and free as the Woodstock jam session is the novel that Egan creates.

62. The Call of the Wild – Jack London

The Call of the Wild (Aladdin Classics)
  • London, Jack (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 160 Pages - 02/01/2003 (Publication Date) - Aladdin (Publisher)

From Buck’s perspective, this is a fascinating story about an adaptable domestic dog who was forced to work in Alaska during the Yukon gold rush. As he learns to endure the cold, he hardens his exterior and manner.

His comfort is replaced by survival, and he becomes more tough and determined. The writing of Jack London is among the most exciting, captivating, and virile you’ll ever read.

63. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

Brave New World
  • HarperCollins Publishers
  • Aldous Huxley (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 288 Pages - 10/18/2006 (Publication Date) - Harper Perennial (Publisher)

A similar story to 1984, although where that novel forecasts governmental rule changes, Aldous Huxley’s 1931 classic explores technological changes that would transform society – babies born in laboratories, entertainment that is formulaic and based on formulas rather than narrative, and society that is heavily stratified.

In spite of his high status, Bernard Marx can’t seem to find his place in society. The result is a vacation gone wrong, during which he discovers some unsettling things about the world he left behind.

64. Roman Honor – Carlin Barton

Roman Honor: The Fire in the Bones
  • Hardcover Book
  • Barton, Carlin A. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 401 Pages - 06/04/2001 (Publication Date) - University of California Press (Publisher)

No other book compares to this on honor. From the earliest days of the Republic through the fall of the empire, Barton explores how honor shaped the lives of ancient Romans. Imperialism destroys honor by creating large, insular groups.

Despite being a challenging book to read, it is well worth the effort. Almost as startling as the insights are the fascinating sidebars in the footnotes to the book.

65. Slaughterhouse-Five – Kurt Vonnegut

Slaughterhouse-Five: A Novel (Modern Library 100 Best Novels)
  • Delta
  • Vonnegut, Kurt (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 288 Pages - 01/12/1999 (Publication Date) - Random House Publishing Group (Publisher)

An alien abducts Billy Pilgrim, the protagonist of this absurdist, unconventional novel, and unsticks him from the boundaries of time. Billy’s entire life is shown, but the focus is chiefly on his experiences as a POW during Dresden’s infamous firebombing in 1945 (a story that Vonnegut also told himself).

As Vonnegut explores the realities and absurdities of war through sci-fi, humor, and autobiography, he sometimes takes the reader on an uncomfortable journey.

66. For Whom the Bell Tolls – Ernest Hemingway

For Whom the Bell Tolls
  • Scribner
  • Hemingway, Ernest (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 480 Pages - 07/01/1995 (Publication Date) - Scribner (Publisher)

The Spanish Civil War saw Robert Jordan as a young dynamite. He is an American who has decided to fight against Spain’s fascists and is sent behind enemy lines to destroy an important bridge to prevent the advance of the enemy.

While living in a rudimentary camp with anti-fascist Spanish guerillas, he begins to embrace the culture and way of life of the Spanish guerillas. Furthermore, Hemingway’s experiences as a journalist in the Spanish Civil War influenced some of the battle scenes in the book.

67. Swiss Family Robinson – Johann David Wyss

The Swiss Family Robinson (Signet Classics)
  • Wyss, Johann D. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 352 Pages - 12/07/2004 (Publication Date) - Signet (Publisher)

The Swiss family Robinson ends up shipwrecked on a deserted island after they become shipwrecked during a terrible storm. Despite nature’s obstacles, the group upholds some semblance of community and civility within their new surroundings through teamwork, ingenuity, and a bit of grit. What an outstanding survival story!

68. On the Road – Jack Kerouac

On the Road (Penguin Classics)
  • Penguin Books
  • Kerouac, Jack (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 307 Pages - 12/31/2002 (Publication Date) - Penguin Classics (Publisher)

This semi-autobiographical novel of two friends’ road trips across the United States is considered to be one of the most influential novels of the Beat Generation. It features jazz, poetry, drug use, and the drunken revelry of a back-alley bar culture.

Their journey is about finding freedom, ambition, hope, authenticity, and freedom that many young men are searching for.

69. The Iliad & The Odyssey – Homer

The Iliad / The Odyssey
  • Homer (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 1264 Pages - 05/27/1999 (Publication Date) - Penguin Classics (Publisher)

Some of the oldest poems in the world are found in these epic poems. Thousands of years have passed since we read, enjoyed, and studied these books. In addition to being beautiful to the ear, they contain important lessons about courage, heroism, and manliness that every man should learn.

In the Iliad, heroes Achilles and Hector undertake heroic deeds as well as numerous other stories and legends that depict the final year of the Trojan War. After the Trojan War, Odysseus took a journey home in the Odyssey, a sequel of sorts.

In addition to seeing how his family back home dealt with the rumors of his death, we also see various obstacles he faces upon returning to Greece.

70. The Lord of the Flies – William Golding

Lord of the Flies
  • Penguin Books
  • Golding, William (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 192 Pages - 10/01/1999 (Publication Date) - Penguin Books (Publisher)

The story unfolds inside the story of a group of boys stuck on an uninhabited island, confronted with primal instincts and self-governance. Initially, it’s fun, but devolution occurs once you actually have to think about your survival for the long run.

In addition to morality tale, parable, and treatise, this story is also apocalyptic in nature. This 1954 book still holds true today despite its age.

71. Into Thin Air – Jon Krakauer

Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster
  • Author: Jon Krakauer
  • ISBN: 9780385494786
  • Jon Krakauer (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 332 Pages - 10/19/1999 (Publication Date) - Anchor (Publisher)

One of Mount Everest’s deadliest climbing seasons occurred during the 1996 season. In the midst of a devastating and unexpected storm, journalist and author Jon Krakauer was reporting on Everest.

This book depicts not only an adventure story (made all the more dramatic by its realism), but also a story of mountains, and the great struggles people go through to reach their summits, even when they face death at the top.

72. King Solomon’s Mines – H. Rider Haggard

King Solomon's Mines 
  • Haggard, Henry Rider (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 226 Pages - 12/23/2011 (Publication Date) - Empire Books (Publisher)

Novelist Allan Quatermain joins a search and rescue party in a place of great mystery and unexplored civilization, where rumors of the location of King Solomon’s gold mines lead him on one of the greatest adventures of all time.

73. The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexander Dumas

The Count of Monte Cristo (Penguin Classics)
  • Penguin Books
  • Alexandre Dumas père (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 1276 Pages - 05/27/2003 (Publication Date) - Penguin Classics (Publisher)

Betrayed and revenged is the ultimate story. After being betrayed by his beloved Mercedes, Edmund Dantes is arrested for treason and detained in a French prison on an island. Days before they are to marry, he is brutally betrayed by a woman he once loved.

He escapes prison by the end of the story (don’t worry, it’s early in the book, so it won’t spoil anything) and becomes wealthy and becomes educated and sophisticated before reentering society. Then he plots his revenge, searches for reclaiming his love, and…well, you’ll have to read the story to find out what ends up happening.

74. Pride & Prejudice – Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Austen, Jane (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 228 Pages - 05/16/2012 (Publication Date)

She is often seen as a women’s author, but her classic works are interesting and worthwhile for men as well. In Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet is the focal point of the romantic story.

The aspiring young lady is being pressed into marriage, and when she meets the upper-class and handsome Mr. Darcy, sparks fly. Nevertheless, no relationship is quite so straightforward, and no one really seems to be who they appear on the outside to be.

I greatly enjoyed the wit and sarcasm in Austen’s writing. His observations about human hypocrisy make this book a delight to read and relate to.

75. Lonesome Dove – Larry McMurtry

Lonesome Dove: A Novel (Lonesome Dove, 3)
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Hardcover Book
  • McMurtry, Larry (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 864 Pages - 11/10/2000 (Publication Date) - Simon & Schuster (Publisher)

The best Western novel ever written is most likely Lonesome Dove. A cattle drive from the Rio Grande to Montana is the subject of this story about two lifelong friends. Aside from outlaws and Indians, they run into old flames and old enemies.

You should know this is a monster of a book. It’s definitely worth it to read it (and reread it). Watch the miniseries after you complete the task.

76. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett

The Maltese Falcon
  • ISBN13: 9780679722649
  • Condition: New
  • Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Tracking provided on most orders. Buy with Confidence! Millions of books sold!
  • Dashiell Hammett (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

It’s impossible not to enjoy a good hard-boiled detective novel. The genre is one filled with moral ambiguity, as with any great piece of work. As the protagonist, Sam Spade is a hard-boiled cynic with a code of ethics.

You’ve got a lone thief, a pretty woman whose loyalties shift often, and a valuable falcon statue lost in the wilderness – and you’re ready for an exciting read.

77. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
  • Touchstone
  • Franklin, Benjamin (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 160 Pages - 01/06/2004 (Publication Date) - Touchstone (Publisher)

America’s first self-help book, many consider this autobiography to be its first book. Franklin not only shares his life story but also demonstrates how a person can do well by sharing their own techniques.

A barefoot boy with rolls in his pocket, Franklin begins the story as a child and ends as a successful businessman, scientist, and statesman. Tips on personal development and productivity are woven throughout the story.

78. The Histories by Herodotus

The Histories
  • (shelf 14.4.3)
  • Herodotus (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 784 Pages - 04/29/2003 (Publication Date) - Penguin Classics (Publisher)

Our fate will be determined by our inability to learn from our past. Herodotus’ Histories is often cited as the author of Western literature’s first work of history and is considered a foundational work of western literature.

Western Asia, Northern Africa, and Greece are portrayed through its ancient traditions, politics, geography, and clashes of cultures. Histories is one of the ways the Founding Fathers learned from the mistakes made by ancient Greeks about democracy, and they did not repeat them.

79. The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler

The Long Goodbye
  • This is a Perma-Bound edition, hardcovers for the price of a paperback book!
  • Chandler, Raymond (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 379 Pages - 08/12/1988 (Publication Date) - Vintage Crime/Black Lizard (Publisher)

Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe detective series ends in The Long Goodbye, his last novel. The film follows the friendship between Marlowe and Terry Lennox, a war veteran who has scars from battle.

Afterwards, he discovers Terry had been divorcing and remarrying Terry’s very wealthy wife who had ended up dead. The cops are now seeking Marlowe, but Lennox is still on the run. This is the best hard-boiled novel you’ll ever read. It’s full of gangsters and beautiful femme fatales.

80. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

The Master and Margarita
  • Great product!
  • Mikhail Bulgakov (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 384 Pages - 03/19/1996 (Publication Date) - Vintage (Publisher)

A fight with the Devil is one of the most manly things you can do. It was written at the height of Stalin’s reign by the Russian author Mihail Bulgakov as a commentary on Moscow’s bureaucracy. At the request of the atheistic city, Lucifer visits the spiritually skeptical residents in order to dispel their misgivings.

A visit to Pontius Pilate’s ancient Jerusalem is also included in the novel. A book like this one will give even the non-religious plenty to think about.

81. Steppenwolf -Herman Hesse

Steppenwolf: A Novel
  • Picador USA
  • Hesse, Hermann (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 224 Pages - 12/01/2002 (Publication Date) - Picador (Publisher)

In his best known work, Steppenwolf, Herman Hesse depicts a sad and lonely intellectual with no joy in life. There’s a rational man inside Harry Haller, and a wild primeval wolf inside him, and he has difficulty reconciling the two.

However, he begins to realize that life’s pleasures aren’t as hollow as he once thought when he meets a romantic and carefree woman, Hermine.

82. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

Don Quixote (Penguin Classics)
  • Penguin Classics
  • De Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 1072 Pages - 02/25/2003 (Publication Date) - Penguin Classics (Publisher)

It’s all well and good to have dreams, but men must also keep their feet on the ground. The novel, widely considered the world’s first novel, elucidates this important lesson in Don Quixote’s eponymous work.

Together with Sancho Panza, Quixote sets out on a quest to find great adventures and heroic deeds of bravery that will earn him the title of Knight. Despite the odds, and even in situations where common sense prevails, he persists.

Although it’s more than 400 years old, it’s funny and easy to read, and gives lessons on the aspirations of heroism that any man can learn from.

83. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Invisible Man
  • Vintage Books USA
  • Ralph Ellison (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 581 Pages - 01/01/1995 (Publication Date) - Vintage Books (Publisher)

In this noir-style tale about the Brotherhood, a group of men who supposedly fight for justice and equality, a nameless black man in New York City grows up in the South, but moves to the city in search of opportunity.

Eventually, however, he understands the political motivations behind the movement and retreats in an attempt to find his identity in white America as a black man. It’s a book everyone should read. It’s about race, identity, acceptance, and feeling comfortable with oneself.

84. Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle

Nicomachean Ethics
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Aristotle (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 392 Pages - 12/01/1999 (Publication Date) - Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. (Publisher)

Describes how a man should live, and is Aristotle’s key work on ethics. Virtue, morals, and individual qualities that men should strive for are discussed, such as courage, justice, magnanimity, temperance and so on. One of the most important philosophers of all time.

85. Gift from the Sea – Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Gift from the Sea: 50th-Anniversary Edition
  • Great product!
  • Lindbergh, Anne Morrow (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 144 Pages - 01/30/1991 (Publication Date) - Pantheon (Publisher)

Despite being translated into 45 languages, this 1955 non-fiction bestseller presents important lessons for us all. Florida’s Captiva Island is home to a cottage rented by a woman.

Her time away as a mother of five consists of sweeping up dust from her cabin, seeking nature, and meditating. While walking on the beach and picking up seashells (a metaphor for musing on life), she enjoys savoring time away from busy daily routines as a mother of five.

Even though it sounds impossible, this program will give you a completely new outlook on everything, from work to women to the importance of taking a break every once in awhile.

86. Swell: A Sailing Surfer’s Voyage of Awakening – Liz Clark

Swell: A Sailing Surfer's Voyage of Awakening
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Clark, Liz (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 432 Pages - 04/02/2018 (Publication Date) - Patagonia (Publisher)

A travel writer’s dream, nightmare, or a bit of both, this 2018 memoir covers the world from the comfort of your own chair. From Santa Barbara, California, to the South Pacific, Clark sets sail alone in her autobiography in 2006. If you spent half of quarantine watching YouTube videos of people living interesting, nomadic lives, you should definitely check this book out asap.

87. World Travel: An Irreverent Guide – Anthony Bourdain and Laurie Woolever

World Travel: An Irreverent Guide
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Bourdain, Anthony (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 478 Pages - 04/20/2021 (Publication Date) - Ecco (Publisher)

In the spring of 2021, this posthumous travel guide was already ranked the No.1 best seller in the New York Times. The pale blue dot looks like ours when it’s funny, sharp, and practical.

If you are interested in Bourdain’s thoughts on Tangier or where to stay in Toronto, this book contains them all, plus some great essays by Bourdain’s friends and coworkers. Bourdain led many of us to desire to travel to places we have never been, regardless of whether they are around the corner or halfway around the globe.

88. Manhattan ’45 – Jan Morris

Manhattan '45
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Morris, Jan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 282 Pages - 07/23/1998 (Publication Date) - Johns Hopkins University Press (Publisher)

While the world lost Morris when she passed away at 94, you’ll feel her spirit with you as you wander through the streets of New York-from Harlem to Wall Street, up and up, past the dazzling architecture of the buildings, and even to the Manhattan Club for a cocktail.

During a time when we often feel disconnected from our cities, it’s a fast read that proclaims a reaffirming tribute to metropolitan dwellers: I wouldn’t relocate to rural Michigan.

89. Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions – Valeria Luiselli


Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Luiselli, Valeria (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 136 Pages - 03/13/2017 (Publication Date) - Coffee House Press (Publisher)

Valeria Luisell’s 2017 non-fiction piece demonstrates her mighty writing skills. A volunteer interpreter in federal immigration courts in New York City, Luiselli poses forty questions to children detained because they are undocumented.

The Goodreads reviewer who gave this book five stars described it as “shattering and vital.

90. Inner Ranges – Geoff Powter

Inner Ranges: An Anthology of Mountain Thoughts and Mountain People
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Powter, Geoff (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 211 Pages - 10/23/2018 (Publication Date) - RMB | Rocky Mountain Books (Publisher)

The 2019 Banff Mountain Book Award for Climbing Literature, as well as the 2019 National Outdoor Book Award for Outdoor Literature, can’t be beaten by this collection of alpine stories.

In keeping with its title, the book contains essays on adventuring in the 21st century, as well as stories about life at great heights, glory, and terror.

91. Once Upon a River – Bonnie Jo Campbell

Once Upon a River: A Novel
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Campbell, Bonnie Jo (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 349 Pages - 07/05/2011 (Publication Date) - W. W. Norton & Company (Publisher)

There are a lot of good things about rural Michigan, especially when 16-year-old Margo Crane serves as your guide. The journey along the river is action-packed and packed with adventure.

In a story that covers topics like factory pollution, human trafficking, and living off the land, this coming-of-age tale from 2011 will leave you wanting more.

92. Under the Wave at Waimea – Paul Theroux

Under The Wave At Waimea
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Theroux, Paul (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 421 Pages - 04/13/2021 (Publication Date) - Mariner Books (Publisher)

It is Theroux at his most fictive best in this spring 2021 release: nuanced, sagacious, descriptive, and just a touch unlikable for how he is such a good writer. When an intoxicated surfer accidentally runs over and kills a homeless man with his car, the novel follows his story.

There are so many things in these 421 pages to love, from surf culture to Hawaii to the road to renewal.

93. The Mosquito Coast by Paul Theroux

The Mosquito Coast
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Theroux, Paul (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 386 Pages - 06/01/2006 (Publication Date) - Mariner Books (Publisher)

Theroux’s picks don’t make up the entire list. Despite being shortlisted for the American Book Award in 1982, this book is a must-read even if you’ve already read it five times. It’s the story of crazed inventor Allie Fox and how his family moves from America to the jungles of Honduras, and how he changes how the rest of the world in turn looks at him.

The novel was filmed in 1986 with Harrison Ford starring, and it makes for an especially timely read, or reread, as Theroux’s nephew Justin Theroux stars in the Apple TV adaptation.

94. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail – Cheryl Strayed

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (Oprah's Book Club 2.0 1)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Strayed, Cheryl (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 338 Pages - 03/20/2012 (Publication Date) - Vintage (Publisher)

This is one of the best hiking memoirs ever written. The New York Times praised it as one of the top books of the year after its release in 2012, and NPR called it one of the best of the year.

In it she tells a moving, This is a sometimes funny, sometimes moving account of how she made the decision to hike the PCT through the Cascades in an attempt to find what life is all about after her mom died, her marriage fell apart, and she became addicted to drugs in her early to mid-20s.

95. Can’t Hurt Me – David Goggins

Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds
  • Hardcover Book
  • David Goggins (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 364 Pages - 12/04/2018 (Publication Date) - Lioncrest Publishing (Publisher)

The book is dark, that’s for sure. Yes, it’s a dark book, but the characters are real. There is no denying David Goggins’ badassery. There were many reasons for the former Marine turned ultra-marathon runner to quit.

Rather than allow excuses to hold him back, Goggins relentlessly pursued his goal. In order to become the toughest bastard on the planet, he had to dig deep within himself and find strength. His achievements are truly remarkable.

Goggins has learned to embrace, and maybe even enjoy the dark times, where it would be easy to get down and curse their luck. The suckers in your life will also be challenged in this book. This book could be instrumental in improving your mental toughness, resilience, and sheer willpower.

Goggin goes to extremes in this book, and I definitely don’t recommend you to follow in his footsteps. Nevertheless, I would advise following Goggins’ example in that one should know when to be tough.

Bring your light to life by channeling the darkness within you. You will feel it in your soul.

96. Never Split The Difference – Chris Voss

Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It
  • Harperbusiness
  • Hardcover Book
  • Voss, Chris (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 288 Pages - 05/17/2016 (Publication Date) - Harper Business (Publisher)

There is no such thing as a fixed price… Those are the lessons I learned from this book. I also learned a lot of other things.

I learned specifically from this book that we negotiate more frequently than we realize. Negotiating on a promotion or on a house’s price is clear evidence. In fact, you don’t realize that we negotiate with little or no strategy every day. As a result, we are left with what has been given, not what has been wanted.

Do you think that’s an inefficient way to live? There are strategies and practical tips in Never Split The Difference that will help you to effectively negotiate and achieve what you actually want in certain situations. There is no manipulation involved in this book. Communication and understanding are at the core.

Using his experience as a former FBI international kidnapping negotiator, Chris Voss explains how to listen and build trust by mirroring, labeling emotions and much more. Conflicts will be approached in a different way, and ultimately, your approach to life will be transformed. Put this book on your shelves today.

97. Cyrano de Bergerac – Edmond Rostand

Cyrano De Bergerac
  • Rostand, Edmond (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 240 Pages - 08/05/2003 (Publication Date) - Signet Classics (Publisher)

Cyrano de Bergerac is the hero of this 1897 play. Besides being a poet, musician, and swordsman, he is also an accomplished musician. As a result, Cyrano has trouble admitting his feelings to Roxane, believing he isn’t worthy of anyone’s love due to his tragically large nose.

In such a situation, what can he possibly do? Find out in this article.

98. The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer

The Naked and the Dead: 50th Anniversary Edition
  • Picador USA
  • Mailer, Norman (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 736 Pages - 08/05/2000 (Publication Date) - Picador (Publisher)

The Naked and the Dead takes inspiration from Mailer’s experiences as a soldier in the Philippines, as was common with WWII novels from the late 1940s and early 1950s. A fictional south Pacific island is the focus of a story that features American soldiers who have to drive out the Japanese so that they can advance into the Philippines.

The plot is balanced between character dialogue and “time machine” sections, which focus on soldiers’ backstories, letting us see what it was like to be an American soldier during World War II. It isn’t always a pretty picture in novels of that era.

99. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

  • Great product!
  • Paulsen, Gary (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 192 Pages - 12/26/2006 (Publication Date) - Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (Publisher)

In the movie, a city boy named Brian Robeson is flying in a bush plane and crashes in the middle of a Canadian wilderness. His pilot is killed, but he survives. In the wilderness for 54 days without anything but a hatchet, Brian is forced to learn how to survive.

Boys and men alike can benefit from learning survival and self-reliance lessons offered by the book, even though there are no twists and turns.

100. Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Tarzan of the Apes (Dover Thrift)
  • Edgar Rice Burroughs (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 224 Pages - 04/14/1997 (Publication Date) - Dover Publications (Publisher)

Over twenty sequels and feature films followed the original character first introduced here. After finding the truth of his origins among the gorillas, Tarzan is forced to fight the gorilla king who murdered his father.

Burroughs successfully captures under the trappings of civilization the wild longings and primal abilities typically hidden under them.

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