One of the most critical skills every man should develop if his dreams are to come to life is picking up a book time after time and turning its pages as he absorbs the knowledge that lies within. It’s no surprise that many of the world’s greatest men through the centuries were bibliophiles. For example, Thomas Jefferson had the most extensive personal library in the United States.
Books have become woven into the fabric of human culture since the very first book was printed in 868 AD. Now we can’t imagine a life without books. Here are ten books you should strive to read in the next couple of months or years. While in no way is this list exhaustive, it offers a solid foundation and the perfect launching pad for the culture of reading. Let’s jump in.
1. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
If you are to read only one of the numerous book trilogies that have been turned into movie adaptations, let it be The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Not only do these books offer one of the most famous fantasy universes ever conceived, but they also leave in great appreciation of Tolkien’s fantastic writing skills and linguistics expertise.
The Lord of the Rings is one of the best-selling books ever written, with over 150 million copies sold since 1955. Interesting fact: Tolkien didn’t want the third Lord of the Rings book to be called “Return of the King” because he felt it revealed too much about the story. But the publisher insisted on that being the title.
2. A Life on Our Planet by Sir David Attenborough
Sir David Attenborough is best known for his lifelong appreciation and unyielding love for nature and preservation. For more than seven decades, he’s been on our screens advocating for wildlife conservation. His latest book, A Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future, is a culmination of all he has learned over his long, illustrious career and serves as a wake-up call to humanity.
It delves deeper into themes he’s been addressing in his countless documentaries, such as the growing extinction rates and over-harvesting of the oceans.
3. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas
Written in 1844 by French author Alexandre Dumas(the same person who gave us The Three Musketeers,) this book is a timeless classic that looks deep into the soul of man and what drives him. In this case, it’s a young sailor’s quest for revenge and restoration of what was taken away from him.
Interesting fact: Nineteenth-century writers were often paid by the word. So it was common for them to pile it on, resulting in long novels.
4. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
A #1 New York Times bestselling novel, The Kite Runner is a story about friendship, betrayal, tragedy, sacrifice, repentance, and redemption. The depth of the plot and the complexities of the characters make the story so realistic that you’ll have trouble believing it fiction. Fair warning, this is not one for the faint-hearted.
5. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
For this biography on the Apple co-founder, the author Walter did more than 40 interviews with Jobs himself and then interviewed his family, friends, and business associates. The book goes through the life of Steve Jobs in an insane amount of detail.
The intensity of Jobs' obsession for getting it right and his remarkable achievements will make you think harder about getting up earlier tomorrow morning. This book will open your eyes to the world of an untamed genius in a way no article on him can!
6. Can't Hurt Me by David Goggins
David Goggins has over the past few years become an internet sensation. Just do a quick search on YouTube for motivation videos, and there’s a high likelihood he will pop up among the options. A former Navy Seal turned Ultra-Marathon Runner and Guinness World Record holder and now author, his book Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds has quickly become a New York best seller with over 2.5 million copies sold.
In the book, he takes the reader through his life story, starting with his tough childhood to achieving incredible feats. While some people find the brutal honesty refreshing, it’s not for everyone, especially if you mind swear words.
7. The Richest Man in Babylon By George S. Clason
Published in 1927, The Richest Man in Babylon dispenses wisdom, personal finance, and prosperity in an easy-to-read and understand, timeless way that has made it a modern-day classic. As you read through its collection of parables, you learn seven basic principles on saving and investing money.
Every man should read this book at least once in their lifetime. The basic principles in this book create the baseline for creating financial success that every man needs to know!
8. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
One for the history lovers. The Prince narrates how various historical and political figures seized and held onto positions of power. Though written in the early 1500s, its precepts are still relatable to 21st-century power politics. Cold, calculative, and ruthless, one theme is stark among the characters featured in this book, “The ends do justify the means.”
It’s not surprising that by the seventeenth century, the name Machiavelli had become synonymous with being devious and cunning, a meaning that it still carries today.
9. Whiskey Master Class by Lee Bryson
Given that we have written countless articles on the subject of whiskey, our list would be incomplete without at least one recommendation in this category. Whiskey Master Class is a culmination of three decades of knowledge from one of the most renowned whiskey journalists.
Using a lot of behind-the-scenes photography, the author takes the reader through a journey into the worlds of bourbon, Scotch, Japanese and other kinds of whiskeys. Lew breaks down the whiskey terms and all the science for newbies while exposing the more knowledgeable reader to new interesting facts. This makes it a must-read for whiskey lovers of all levels.
10. My Early Life by Winston Churchill
We just finished up our series on the legend Churchill Winston. In case you missed it: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. Churchill was not only an exceptional politician but also a prolific writer. Most people are unaware that Churchill made his living as a writer.
As a young man, his extraordinary gift with words, and his relentless energy, is portrayed in his autobiography: My Early Life. In the book, he recalls his unhappy childhood and his quest for glory as a soldier and war correspondent as a young man during the first three decades of his life. This a story of the coming of age of one of the greatest men of the last 100 years.