15 Books that Every Man “Should” Read in his Lifetime: About Men, For Men, and Written by Men

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There are a lot of bloggers, people, and websites that tell you that you "should" read certain books if you are a man, and they focus on things like how to dress, or how to behave.

Most of them tell you that you should read “The Great Gatsby”, or “The Catcher in the Rye.”

Those books are decent, but boring, at least in my opinion. I believe that a man needs to read books that he’s actually interested in. He shouldn’t read a book because he thinks he has to, or because everyone else is.

I read a book called "Love Wins" By Rob Bell a while ago, because everyone was telling me not to, and they were actually signing a document saying that they would not read it, and did not agree with his position on a certain subject.

Two things occurred in my brain.

  • How many of these people have actually read this book? Most people are sheep, and they do what everyone else does.
  • Whenever someone tells me not to do something, I like to do the opposite. Especially if it is a majority.

Why did I read it?

  • I wanted to draw my own conclusions about the author and not listen to someone else’s opinions
  • I was interested in the subject matter.

That’s what a man does. He is going to read a book because he wants to, not because someone told him he “should” or "shouldn't".

Keep that in mind when reading this list, because I am not telling you that you must read every book on this list, but that a man can benefit greatly from reading one or several of these books during his lifetime.

I also believe that a man’s outlook and perspective changes throughout his lifetime, and sometimes different books are better in different situations.

For Example:

  • A leadership book would be of more value to you, and interest you if you are leading people
  • An adventure book would be more beneficial when in a state of creativity or exploration (I also classify Sci-Fi and Fantasy books here)
  • A military history book would be better when doing research or to better understand men and how we have changed.

The main thing that I wanted to do though, was give men a list of books, that will help them as men, in all the areas of their life. Men need to get in and maintain great physical shape. Not just for themselves but for every one around them. It's not negotiable.

Men "should" strive for mastery. They need to pursue excellence in everything they do. Why wouldn't you want to be competitive and be your best, even if you are competing against yourself?

You were made to win, and discover who you are, so that you can live the life you were meant to live and be the man that you were made to be.

Men need to pursue their inner voice, the one that tells them who they are and why they are here. You can only find your purpose by going and looking for it.

This list is in no particular order, but you will find great value in all of these books.

I have read everyone of them on journey to be the man I am made to be.


This is one of those books that grips you from the get go.

Using men in history who we see as largely talented and gifted (Einstein, DaVinci ,Darwin) the author shows us our error in thinking that.

Through analysis we can see it was discipline and listening to our inner voice that helps us become who we were made to be.

There are disciplines that he goes through in the book that will help you get to mastery in your life.

  1. Trust your Gut
  2. Find an Apprenticeship
  3. Challenge everything you Learn

There is a common thread between each of the nine masters in this book.

They all believed that they had a calling on their life, and they listened to that inner voice.

You have it too, but you have to learn to listen to it.

"Become who you are by Learning who you are"
- Robert Greene

I had been wanting to read this book for years. Finally I did it and I wished I would have done it 10 years ago.

Robert Bly uses the Fairy tale Iron John and the "Wild Man" to lead the readers through the 8 stages of male growth.

This is not a macho book by any means, but it draws us into what it means to be a real man, and takes the reader deep into the heart of masculinity.

This is a book about men, and for men.

If you want to know more about who you are, and be who you were meant to be then you have got to read this.

“Contemporary man looks down into his psyche, he may, if conditions are right, find under the water of his soul, lying in an area no one has visited for a long time, an ancient hairy man.” 
― Robert Bly

I re-read this book almost every year.

It is one of the best books about masculinity and manhood that I have ever read.

John certainly nails the male condition in his book and invites the reader into the journey for his soul.

Ther eis a workbook that goes along with it that you can buy here, that will make it more applicable.

John believes that every man, deep in his heart, longs for 3 things:

  1. A Battle to Fight
  2. An Adventure to Live
  3. A Beauty to Rescue
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive, because what the world needs are men who have come alive.”
- John Eldredge

This book is Awesome!!

I also believe that Chad get's it. He is a man, who understands manhood in the sense that, it's not about dumb stuff that our society tries to make it.

He actually focuses on the real issues that will help you be the man you are meant to be. (Yes, I took the picture on the right)

  • Boosting Testosterone
  • Doing Manly Stuff
  • Lifting Weights
  • Setting Goals
  • Living the Lifestyle you want to Live

This book isn't just about eating right, it's about countering the cultures incessant need to wussify men.

"What few people ever understand, however, is that they can define what victory is, you do not have to adhere to society's or cultures idea of what winning entails. You get to make your definition according to what you want in life and who you want to become"
- Chad Howse

This is a daily reader, and you need to have it on your nightstand.

You can learn a lot from the great philosopher stoics, especially about daily living.

There isn't a book quite like this one that has all of these philosophers and stoics teachings in one place.

The format gives you a quote or saying for the day, then Ryan breaks that out into a small paragraph with some action items or things to think about it.

Even if you are not familiar with stoicism you will benefit from this and will eventually see the relevance, reality and understanding of how to apply it in your life.

"Keep silence for the most part, and speak only when you must, and then briefly."
- Epictetus

Strategy. Discipline. Victory.

This will help you in life, business, and relationships.

There are five essentials for victory:

  • He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.
  • He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces.
  • He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks. 
  • He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared.
  • He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign.

These principles are timeless, and will help you to win. Much life the Book of Five Rings, it's a way of life.

"All Warfare is Based on Deception"
- Sun Tzu

If you could learn from possibly the greatest swordsman that ever lived, wouldn't you want to devour what he has to say?

That's exactly what this book is.

Miyamoto Musashi was a ronin, and fought many battles and duels that he amassed victory in. He did not lose once.

This book is about winning, strategy, discipline, skill and mindset. It teaches you to live a life worth living and one that will have you do things that most other people will never do.

Which is exactly what a man needs to do.

"Do nothing which is of no use."
- Miyamoto Musashi

This book is all about winning and having that mindset.

This one goes right along with the book of 5 Rings in that it teaches you strategy for winning in life, and everything that you do.

You can choose to be a victim, or a winner. It's all up to you.

Jocko is a 20 year Navy Seal Veteran, and his hard earned wisdom and insight is going to make you a beast if you find a way to apply it.

This book has a fitness program near the end that is worth every penny. I have used it and continue to use it to build strength.

If you want to start winning and taking ownership of your life. This is the best how to guide you can get.

"Don't think in the morning. That's a big mistake that people make. They wake up in the morning and they start thinking. Don't think. Just execute the plan. The plan is the alarm clock goes off, you get up, you go work out. Get some.
-Jocko Willink

Do you really want to be a millionaire? Read this book.

I read this book with my wife in 2012. I was 30 years old, and $55,000 dollars in debt.

My wife and I decided to buy Dave's program, Financial Peace University, and get to work paying off our debt. I paid $100 for his program, and paid off all my debt in 2.5 years.

It was one of the biggest accomplishments of my life, and if I can do it, so can everyone else.

Freedom is really what everyone craves, and one of the best places to start is freedom from debt.

Dave has a 7 step plan called the Baby Steps. If you follow them you will inevitably have Financial Peace.

"A child does what feels good. Adults devise a plan and stick to it."
- Dave Ramsey

This book spoke to me on the most primal level. 

I read it in its entirety on a flight out to San Diego, California. I couldn't put it down.

Men were made for greatness. I say that all the time, and so do these two guys.

In this book you will:

  • Learn to lose body fat? That's easy—you can drop 20 pounds in 6 weeks.
  • Want bigger muscles? Done. A 50-pound increase to your bench press, coming right up.
  • Want to be smarter? Not a problem—the strategies in this book have been proven to increase brain function.
  • Want an awesome sex life? Yeah, there's a fix for that, too—increased libido and improved performance are just weeks away.
"You are not your fucking khakis . You were built to be strong, fearless, confident, and powerful. You were designed to tame wilderness and carve canals through mountains, to conquer nations and build empires, to cross oceans and walk on the moon."
- Joe Romaniello

11) Unbeatable Mind

Awaken the Inner Warrior.

Rarely have I ever read a book that stirred something deep inside of me. It plunged the depths of who I was and awakened something primal with in me.

In a culture where we stuff who we are away in a little box and put it on a shelf, this book will change that.

We are so busy with everyday life, that we forget who we are made to be, and that as men, the battle for our mind is the biggest war in our lives.

Mark Divine, author of 8 Weeks to SEALFIT and The Way of The SEAL, hit's home with this epic guide to life.

It is designed to help you take massive action.

“The point is that hard work is good for you and shouldn't be avoided. Our pop culture and government have vilified anything hard as "bad." This is a shame because humans grow through hard work and atrophy when things are too easy.” 
― Mark Divine, Unbeatable Mind

12) The Bible

This book changed my life, and continues to change my life.

Whether you believe it or not, there are loads and loads of stories, proverbs, and insights into everything that a man faces in his life.

If you only read 5 books in this book, let them be:

  • Job - Understand Real Suffering
  • Ecclesiastes - Wisdom for Life
  • Proverbs - Wisdom for Daily Life
  • Psalms - A Warriors thoughts and prayers
  • James - How to Live

I read something from this daily.

"A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold."
- Proverbs 22:1

13) Be Unstoppable

WOW!!

This book will teach you about perseverance, grit, and how to never give up.

It's written by a former Navy SEAL, CEO and founder of Perfect Fitness, Alden Mills.

This is another book that you will want to read from front to back overnight. Don't though. Take your Time.

He teaches you 8 Essential Actions to take to be Successful at anything:

  • Understand the Why
  • Plan in 3-D
  • Exercise to Execute
  • Recognize your Reason
  • Survey Your Habits
  • Improvise
  • Seek Expert Advive
  • Team Up
“Your Life is up to you. You decide what kind of life you live!!
- Alden Mills

14) Tools of Titans

I call this the encyclopedia of knowledge.

It is the best book of tactics, habits and insights of athletes, billionaires, doctors, psychologists and other rock stars.

It shouldn't be read all in one sitting. Instead it should be perused at your leisure whenever a topic is of interest to you.

There are some good nuggets and some that aren't so great, but overall it is a nice book to have handy on the bookshelf.

“The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.” 
- Timothy Ferris

15) The 360 Man Project

A little bit of a shameless plug, but I believe that this book will help you just as much as the rest of the books on this list.

This book, written by myself, will take you on a journey of where men have misplaced their identity and lost themselves along the road of life. Then it will show you how to find your way back.

This book will teach you how to:

  • Start taking ownership of your Life
  • Get in Shape - Build muscle and Strength
  • Gain Financial Freedom
  • Build Confidence
  • Achieve Your Goals
  • Win

Lot's of men get stuck, and few know how to get themselves out, it plagues our society. It's time to fight back.

"Be the Man You Were Made to be"
- Stephen Dull

Conclusion

There you have it! The 15 books that every man "should" read. 

Now you have to apply it. Knowledge is good, but learning how to use the knowledge is even better.

Remember, only read what you are interested in, and what you want to read on this list. Over the course of your lifetime try and read each book.

Now, it's up to you to take Action.

What did you think of the list?

What books have you read that really helped you out?

Let me know and if you found this article helpful, please share it on your favorite social channel. 


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