We've turned countless pages, through good and bad, to bring you the 150 books every man should read. From fiction and non-fiction, page turners, biographies and head scratches, there's something in here for every man.
Ulysses | James Joyce
Set in 1904 Dublin it's a modern take on Homer's "The Odyssey", Ulysses is not one for the fainthearted. Widely recognized as a tough read, it is nevertheless a masterpiece of literature that has adorned many a best of list.
praise | andrew mcGahan
A cult classic in Australia, this is a raw, edgy, utterly frank and humorous take on a life as a young adult. The bleakness and mediocrity of the main character provides a feeling of comfort and alarm. This story of drugs, drinks, sex and dependent relationships is non-put downable. Consume it in a weekend - it's really just that good.
The E-Myth | Michael E. Gerber
E-Myth 'e-,'mith n 1: the entrepreneurial myth: the myth that most people who start small businesses are entrepreneurs 2: the fatal assumption that an individual who understands the technical work of a business can successfully run a business that does that technical work. This is an absolute must read for anyone starting a business both big or small.
The Happiness Trap | Dr Russ Harris
Hand's down one of the best books I've ever read, it has literally changed my life and the way I view, well, everything. Based on a revolutionary new psychotherapy call Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). This book will have you understanding how our very search for a "happy life" is making us miserable. Practical lessons applied throughout each chapter leave you with an understanding of what thoughts, feelings and urges really are and how to use them to live a full, rich and meaningful life. This is a must read.
Status Anxiety | Alain De Botton
If you've ever felt the pang of jealousy over your friends new car, or their seemingly enviable lifestyle, this book is for you. Delving into rather hush hush feelings of our anxiety about what others think of us, and whether we're judged as a success of failure, this book examines the origins of status anxiety and how we can learn to overcome our worries.
Ice Station | Matthew Reilly
Another one from the land down under, this fast past, hold on to your seat action packed thriller will have you turning pages all night. When a distress signal is sent from an Arctic research station, a team of US Force Recon Marines led by "Scarecrow" answer the call to find French soldiers already there. The first fight scene will hook you and ordering the next in the series before you know it.
area 7 | Matthew Reilly
The sequel to Ice Station sees our hero "Scarecrow" reassigned to Presidential detail stationed on Marine One> When something doesn't feel right at a secret Air Force Base; Area 7, Scarecrow must keep the President's heart beating otherwise 14 major American cities will be destroyed by a device connected to the President's heart.
Breath: A novel | tim winton
Set on the wild, lonely coast of Western Australia, this story set as a recollection by the narrator "Bruce" seems him reflect on his boyhood friendship, and their relationship with much older, manipulating "Bill" who encourages them to seek out ever more dangerous experiences. A story of friendship, love and loss, Breath will have you hooked.
a tale of two cities | charles dickens
A classic needing no introduction, this book should be on every mans bookshelf. Set before and during the French Revolution, depicting the plight of the poor and their treatment by the aristocracy in the years leading up to the revolution and the brutality of their revenge during the revolution. This book is a classic for a reason, a great tale every man should read.
Freakonomics | Levitt & dubner
Challenging the way you see the world to understand the riddles of life, like which is more dangerous a gun or a swimming pool? What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common. It's a fascinating study in the seemingly unrelated and really gets you scratching your head.
The Richest Man in Babylon | George s. clason
A classic starter book into the world of personal finance, written as a fable it's an easy read yet powerful when applied. Devastatingly simple, the lessons within have the power to create enormous wealth - if you only they are consistently applied. A must read for every man wanting to create long term wealth
The barefoot investor | scott pape
Laying out a step-by-step formula to get your finances on track. This book gives you the skills to save a 6-figure house deposit in 20 months, save 7 years of payments on your home loan, and how to hand your kids (or grandkids) $140,000 checks on their 21st Birthday. Do your future self a favor and read this. You won't regret it.
crucial conversations | Patterson et al
Effective communication is key to succeeding in business and relationships, but guys aren't exactly known for their communication skills. So set yourself apart, and know how to handle difficult conversations to be persuasive, not abrasive. Many defining moments in your life will come from conversations, so get yourself ready.
Glue | irvine welsh
From the author that gave us Trainspotting, Glue follows the lives of a group of mates through school and into middle age. A poignant reminder of the power of true friends - how easy it is in this day and age to lose touch - and how easy it is when you all meet up again. One of my absolute favorites, I must have read this a dozen times - all with a little Scottish accent.
The prince | machiavelli
Although short, The Prince has echoed through the ages. Written in the 16th century it is sometimes regarded as the first on modern philosophy and even today you'll hear the term "Machiavellian". A direct reference to this book. As such heavy weight no study of philosophy would be complete with this.
The Intelligent Investor | benjamin Graham
An absolute favorite of Warren Buffet and really the definitive guide to value investing, no man should be buying stocks until they've read this book. In a world of start ups, venture capital and seed rounds, this book still has a lot to offer. Focused on long term value creation and risk minimization, it is one of the most important books every written on investment and deserves your full attention.
The Republic | plato
Written by pretty much one of smartest people to ever walk the planet, this is his best known work. A dialogue on justice - and an examination on whether a just man is happier than an unjust man. One of the most intellectually stimulating and historically significant works ever produced. The Republic is a book every man should read
to kill a mockingbird | harper lee
Does any book remind you of high school English classes more than this? But maybe your English teacher was on to something. A wonderful coming of age story in the deep south and an introduction to Atticus Finsh, a role model the world so desperately needs. In may have been written in 1960, but the issues it deals with are no less relevant in America today.
The Nicomachean Ethics | Aristotle
Consisting of 10 "books" it is Aristotle's best known work in which he addresses the question "how to live well?". Exploring the nature of happiness and cultivating a virtuous character, but rather than just contemplate the question it aims to create good living. It is one of the founding pieces of literature on the subject of philosophy and the source of many debates, past, present and future.
Meditations | marcus aurelius
Marcus never set out to publish a book, but document his own experiences, thoughts and examinations as he took to understand himself and world around. But in developing his beliefs he created one of the most practical and important philosophical works in history. A series of wise and practical aphorisms Meditations has been the go to book for many in search of counsel.
quiet: the power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking | susan cain
In a world of YouTuber's, open plan offices, and hyper extroverts - where everyone is shouting to be heard and get attention, do we undervalue the power of introverts? Those that thrive in quiet and work in solitude and isolation? A excellently researched and presented book, whether you're an introvert or not, you'll get a new appreciation for and a better understanding of how to work with introverts.
rich dad, poor dad | robert kiyosaki
What do the rich teach their kids about money that the poor and middle class do not? Contrasting his rich dad with his poor dad, Robert is able to highlight the differences in mindset and approach between those that are (or become) rich and those that stay working poor. A bit dated in parts, it's still a great book to get change your relationship with money.
The Wolf of Wall Street | jordan belfort
I'll admit I had no idea who Jordan Belfort was when I was given this book one Christmas (well before the movie). But his story gave me equal doses of "how they hell do they make so much money" and this guy deserves everything he gets. Best described as an embellished autobiography, the movie does a good job, but the book is still so much better.
Thinking fast & slow | daniel kahneman
A major New York Times bestseller, written by a Noble Prize winner, takes us on a tour of our mind and the two systems that doing our thinking. One fast - a relic of keeping us alive, one slower more deliberate and logical. Kahneman offers a practical guide to how we can make better choices in both our business and persona lives.
extreme ownership | Willink & babin
Written by two Navy Seals on the topic of leading high performance teams, in high stakes times. Using war stories to drive home the concepts, Extreme Ownership is neither your average business leadership book nor specific to military, rather it bridges both worlds seamlessly with something in it for everyone.
principles| ray dalio
Ray Dalio is a smart man. He started one of the most successful hedge funds ever - but it wasn't always smooth sailing. As he went through various stages and events in his own life and building his hedge fund he developed a set of principles to live and see the world by. He believes that having this set of principles has been the key to his success rather than anything particularly special about him.
the power of habit| charles duhig
Why do we do what we do? Why do we always fall back into our regular programming? Why is it so hard to break habits and form new ones? Duhig argues the key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. Taking complex subject matter Duhig weaves it into an entertaining narrative he presents a whole new way we can drop the bad habits and keep the good ones.
How to win friends & influence people| dale carnegie
One of the original self-help books, it's covers a wide range of issues including; Fundamental Techniques In Handling People, Six Ways To Make People Like You, Twelve Ways to Win People Over to Your Thinking, How To Change People With Giving Offense, Seven Rules For Making Your Home Life Happier. It's quite an easy read making a great introduction to the self-help genre
think & grow rich| napoleon Hill
Another of the original self-help books, Napoleon studied successful individuals over 20 or so years, and found 13 principles they seemed to share which forms the basis of this book. Having sold over 100 million copies it's one of the most influential books written and is certainly a book every man should read.
the 4-hour workweek| tim ferriss
Bursting onto the scene in 2009, this book sets the blueprint for making a living online. Espousing the virtues of building a business you can run from anywhere with an internet connection, The 4-Hour Workweek introduced Affiliate marketing to the mainstream. If you're sick of the corporate ladder, want an earlier retirement or want to travel the world, you should read this book.
tipping point| malcolm gladwell
The tipping point is the point when an idea, or trend crosses a threshold and spreads like a wildfire (or virus). Gladwell expertly discusses these points, how they form and how products and information (or misinformtion) can be spread. A wildly acclaimed bestseller, expertly written and delivered in an entertaining and informative narrative, this is definitely a book you should read.
outliers| malcolm gladwell
Another excellent piece of work from Malcolm Gladwell that popularized the often misquoted/misunderstood "10,000-hour rule"; that it takes 10,000 of intentional practice to become an expert. Outlier's takes a look at the history, upbringing, unique circumstances, and commonalities of the world's best across a range of disciplines to answer the question - "what makes high-achievers different?"
A brief history of time| stephen hawking
A #1 New York Times Bestseller about quarks, black holes and antimatter written in a way the everyday person can understand by one of humanities greatest minds - Stephen Hawking. It's a fascinating look into the really big questions; how did the universe begin? Does time always flow forward? Is there an end to the universe? What will happen when it all ends?
life of pi| yann martel
Winner of the Man Booker Prize, and subsequently made into a film, it's a fantastical tale of survival on the high seas..in a life boat with a tiger - but which version of Pi's story is true? If you've seen the (not that great movie), do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of the book and enjoy much better story telling. In this case, the book is far superior than the movie, and deserves a place on your bookshelf
The Handmaid's Tale| Margaret Atwood
Yes it's a TV series these days, but the original book was released in 1985. It's an eerie, and unsettling dystopian novel but what makes it even harder to stomach is that it has its basis in historical facts and events. Stolen Generations, and the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge just to name two. Widely acclaimed by critics and common folk alike, it deserves a read, if only to see what humans can do to each other.
vernon god little| dBC Pierre
Another winner of the Man Booker Prize, this ridiculously funny story of the adventures of Vernon Gregory Little in small town Texas is a lesson in the bizarre and irreverent, but still it all comes together for a wonderful read. A great work of fiction it'll have you turning pages late into the night.
When Breath Becomes air| Paul Kalanithi
A 36 year old man about to finish his decade of training to be a neurosurgeon is diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he is a doctor treating the dying, the next he is a patient struggling to live. But this is no work of fiction. This is an autobiography. In a moving, and unforgettable legacy, he examines some very big questions about what it means to live and die. Making this a book you should read before you die.
sapiens| yuval harai
A hundred thousands years ago six different species of humans walked the earth. Today there is only one (Homo Sapiens), so what happened to the others? Will that happen to us? What can we learn from the rise and fall of empires throughout human history? And what does all this mean for us in the future?
the grapes of wrath| john steinbeck
Following the Joad family during the Great Depression and their cross country trip to the promised land of California. It documents their trials and tribulations, stoic strength, and the chasm between the "haves" and "have-nots" of 1930's America. A Pulitzer Prize winner, this is a possibly the most "American" of American classics.
the iliad| homer
An epic story of war, heroism, and the Gods. The Iliad speaks of the end of the Trojan war. Grim and relentless, Homer's prose, metric timing and repeated phrases make this a joy to read. Dating to the ninth century B.C it you know it must be good to still be read in this day and age. Do yourself a favor and get some culture by reading this one.
the Art of war| sun tzu
Written as a study of military strategy and operations over 2000 years ago, it also comprehensively covers economic, political and psychological factors. It's lessons can therefore be applied to many situations; business, home, neighborly relations. Avidly read by businessmen from Japan to Wall Street its a must read for every man.
war and peace| leo tolstoy
The very definition of "Epic" at over 1200 pages, War & Peace bestows bragging rights on all who get through it. A masterpiece of story telling, intricate story lines, and colorful characters it's set during Napoleon's invasion of Russia in 1812. Following characters from peasantry to nobles, civilians to soldiers and how they struggle with the problems of their time, Tolstoy crafts them into some of the moving moving, human figures in all of literature.
fear & loathing in las vegas| hunter s. thompson
A cult classic, you've likely seen the drug addled, booze soaked movie featuring the wonderful performances of Johnny Depp & Benicio del Toro (could not have cast better actors for this story). But like most movies, the book is even better. Bold claim, but test it out. You won't be disappointed reliving one of the wildest long weekend road trips to Vegas ever taken (right through Bat Country).
zen & the art of motorcycle maintenance| robert m pirsig
A Father and Son motorcycle trip, and a look into how to live a good life and how to be better. A profound and philosophical story of a man's relationship with his son, and how the craft of motorcycle maintenance can either be dull and tedious or an enjoyable, pleasurable pastime - it all depends on attitude. Published in 1974 it has become one of the best selling philosophy books of all time.
living with a sEAL| jesse itzler
Stuck in a same ol-same ol rut, Jesse (who is a ridiculously successful and accomplished person), invited a SEAL (wildly acknowledged as David Goggins) he just met to come live with him and his family for a month to shake things up and see what he could learn. An insight into mental fortitude and the benefits of stepping out of your comfort zone, but an easy read nonetheless.
as many reps as possible| jason khalipa
A Crossfit legend and successful businessman, Jason chronicles his family's journey through their daughter's leukemia diagnosis. His realization that he was never as focused as he was when doing an AMRAP (as many reps as possible in a given time period) workout he started to apply this approach to other parts of his life. With directed reader exercises, this book will provide you with the simple process that with dedication can help you succeed by making the most of every single minute.
brave new world| aldous huxley
Another dystopian masterpiece, it is set in the futuristic "World State" where we're all genetically modified and socially caste based on our intelligence. Science has made huge advances in reproductive technology, sleep-leaning, psychological manipulation and classical conditioning. Which is all accepted but for one individual; the story's protagonist. Often compared to Orwell's 1984, Brave New World was released a good 16 years previous in 1932 and has featured in many a "must read list".
the last lecture| randy pausch
If you knew you were going to die, what wisdom would you impart before it happened? What would you tell your family and friends? What would you do with your last days? This was the reality of Professor Randy Pausch after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. In a moving last lecture to his class titled "Really achieving your childhood dreams" which this book is drawn from, Randy drives home the importance of seizing every moment, because "time is all you have, and one day you might find out you have less than you thought."
A short history of nearly everything| bill bryson
Bryson is on a quest to answer our biggest questions including, how did we go from nothing at all to there being us? To do this, he connected with the world's leading minds in anthropology, archaeology and everything in between, peppered them questions, tried to read their books and then document that for the every man. This book is the result of this quest, and provides a fascinating insight to well, nearly everything.
man's search for meaning| viktor frankl
A survivor of Auschwitz (and 3 other camps), Frankl, found strength by focusing the one thing he could control. His mind. He could accept his reality, but still take respite in his memories and the stories of his mind. Frankl's argument that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, and move forward. With over 10 million copies sold by the time of his death in 1997, this is a book that can change your life.
a song of fire & ice| george r. r. martin
Ok technically this is more than one book, but the series is definitely worthy of a place on this list. Just about everyone has seen the HBO series, but as you will know this deviates a fair bit from the books so it's worth going to the original source and seeing what's what. Did you also know the first book (there's currently 5 with another 2 planned); "A Game of Thrones" was actually published in 1996?
pride & Prejudice| jane austin
Yes, this has a reputation as chick lit, but its actually seriously good story telling, and intricate characters. You also get to put on your best English accent as you read it and pretend you're Mr Darcy. And as an added bonus not many men have read this, so you'll be a hit with the ladies.
cosmos| carl sagan
One of the best selling science books of all time, Carl was a pioneer of bringing complex scientific concepts to the masses. Exploring the beginnings of the universe, how matter became consciousness, the human brain and much more. It's a book every man should read to understand how they came to be.
for whom the bell tolls| ernest hemingway
Standing the test of time it is still regarded one of the best war novels of all time. Following a young American volunteer working as a dynamiter in guerrilla unit during the Spanish Civil War who has been sent to go behind enemy lines to blow up a bridge he meets Maria in a guerrilla camp and falls in love with her. Wildly regarded as Hemingway's best work, this is one book not to be missed.
one hundred years of solitude| gabriel garcia marquez
Having sold over 30 million copies since it's release in 1967, it is a landmark story of the multi-generational Buendia family who built the fictional Colombian town of Macondo. Isolated from the world, with the exception of annual visit of a band of gypsies who bring with them new technology, like magnets and telescopes, the families patriarch is ultimately driven insane and tied to a tree by his family for many years before his death. Grim
crime & punishment| fyodor dostoevsky
Against his better instincts a man is drawn to commit a brutal double murder which sends him into a mess of conflicting emotions; self-loathing and pride; contempt for and need of others; despair and hope of redemption. One of the greatest, most readable and tragic novels ever written, it explores the eternal conflicts of the human condition. A story deserving of your attention.
all quiet on the western front| erich maria remarque
Wildly acclaimed as one of the best war novels ever written it follow a young German man from his enlistment into the Army full of youthful enthusiasm to fighting on the front lines in World War 1. Through years of destruction, hate and unimaginable death, he holds tight to his belief to resist the hate, that pits men of the same generation but different uniforms against each other.
lord of the flies| william golding
This might have been one of the books you had to read at school, still it's worth revisiting. A plane of schoolboys crash lands on a deserted island - no more adult supervision - they can do anything they like! Anything. As terror begins and hope of rescue fades, who will survive in this order-less society
A Wrinkle In Time| Madeleine L'Engle
A strange visitor in the house in the middle of the night, claiming to have come through a wrinkle of time (a tesseract) sends Meg and her companions on a search for her father; a scientist who mysteriously disappeared on a secretive government project on tesseracts. The first book in the trilogy, winner of the 1963 Newberry Medal and now being turned into a movie, it's just a good bit of fiction.
the girl with the dragon tattoo| stieg larsson
40 years ago the scion of one of Switzerland's wealthiest families goes missing. Her uncle who has never given up, hires a journalist assisted by a pierced and tattooed prodigy to investigate and find unimaginable corruption. The first book in the Millennium series, it's a wildly suspenseful story, that'll keep you turning pages.
east of eden| john steinbeck
Written by a winner of a Noble Prize for literature, East of Eden is widely regarded as Steinbeck's masterpiece. Following the intertwined destinies of two families who's generations helplessly live out the same fate of Adam and Eve, East of Eden explores themes such as; mystery of identity, inexplicability of love and consequences of love's absence. Turned into a movie in the '50s staring James Dean it's a classic that deserves a read.
a grief observed | c.s lewis
No best of list would be complete without an entry from C.S Lewis. Probably most famous for the Chronicles of Narnia, A Grief Observed was written after his wife's tragic death. It's a honest and raw reflection of his experiences during that period on life, death, and faith. A beautiful and honest record of lost meaning and how to move forward.
the old man & the sea| ernest hemingway
Another one from Hemingway, it tells the story of a Cuban fisherman, down on his luck and his relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin. A classic story of courage, determination, and personal triumph. Published just two years before Hemingway won the Noble Prize for Literature, it stamped his mark on the literary world and surely deserves to be read by every man.
the da vinci code| dan brown
A fast paced, intellectual thriller, read by millions and turned into a movie starring Tom Hank's. Like others in this list, the book is way better than the movie. A step into the history of Christ, the Church, and Catholicism, reading The Da Vinci Code is time well spent. Educational, entertaining and every page leaving you wanting more. Definitely a book every man should read.
self reliance | ralph waldo emerson
An essay written in 1841 it encourages people to avoid conformity, and false consistency and follow their own instincts and ideas "a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen". He encourages readers to do what they think is right - regardless of what others may think, and is critical of institutionalized religion, saying that reliance on it hinders the ability grow mentally as an individual. One of Emerson's most famous essay's it'll definitely get you thinking.
your money or your life | robin et al
A 9 step program to learn how to live more deliberately and meaningfully and change your relationship with money. This books steps you through strategies to get out of debt, save and invest money, de-clutter your life, and reduce your wastage. Selling over 1 million copies it is one of the most influential books on personal finance and should be read by every man.
if you're so smart why aren't you happy? | raj raghunathan
If intelligence helps with decision making, then smart people should make better life choices. So why are so many "smart" people profoundly unhappy? Researching business people, students, lawyers, stay-at-home parents, artists and more, Raj explores how the very determinants of success may also be the reason for unhappiness. This book will leave you with powerful perspective on your work.
essentialism | greg mcKeown
Everyone is so busy - they always have so much to do, yet never get anything done. There is so much choice these days, yet we often do nothing for fear of doing the "wrong thing". So how do we figure out what is essential to our survival and success? And how do we eliminate what's non-essential to make it as easy as possible to focus on what really matters to us? This is the core of Essentialism; The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
antifragile | nassim taleb
We usually think of stress and tension as bad things, but the fact is many things become stronger, and more efficient when subjected to stress. Human muscle and bones grow stronger when we stress them (exercise), they are more than resilient - they don't just resist the stress and tension and go back to what they were, instead they improve. Taleb takes this concept and uses it to make the argument that depriving ourselves, and systems (business, economic etc) of stress is not necessarily a good thing and in some cases can be downright dangerous
The subtle art of not giving a fuck| mark manson
"Let's be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it". Life isn't about being positive, things won't always work out, and things aren't always fair or your fault. And that's all fine according to Manson, who delivers a raw, edgy slap in the face book for every man to read. This is the hard look in the mirror, but it's also a lesson in accepting what you see and being happy and content. Laugh out loud funny, and written for the every man. Get your eyeballs over this as soon as you can.
daring greatly | brene brown
Addressing the idea that vulnerability is a sign of weakness, Brown argues it's actually our most accurate measure of courage. Because when we shut ourselves off from feeling vulnerable we distance ourselves from experiences that bring meaning and purpose into our lives. So rather than striving to appear perfect Brown's more than 10 years of research shows that we should let our real selves been seen, even when there is no guarantee of success. That is vulnerability, that is daring greatly.
The 4 hour body | tim ferriss
Following the same approach as the Paretto Principle (the 80/20 rule), Ferriss asks the question; for all things physical, what are the tiniest changes that produce the biggest results? Containing insights from elite athletes and doctors, alongside his own personal experiments, this book is the result of Tim's obsessive quest with hacking the human body. He makes some bold claims like; how to sleep 2 hours per day and feel fully rested, or how we gained 34 pounds of muscle in 28 days without steroids and in 4 hours of total gym time. Put his thesis to the test, and give it a read. It might just change your life.
Men are from mars, women are from venus | john gray
An oldie but a goodie, helping both Men and Women improve communication within relationships. Don't think of this just as romantic/sexual relationships, but all relationships - improve your relationship with your Mom, sister, daughter, co-workers. The differences between Men and Women are more than just physical, and this book encourages us to accept the different ways they express love and their emotional needs. Spending over 2 years on the bestseller list and selling more than 15 million copies its earned its place on your reading list.
the whole-brain child | siegel & bryson
One mostly for dad's and primary carer's for sure, but if you've got (or want) an active role in kid's lives this book is pure gold. Practical advice and templates for various stages of their development, it will help you communicate better, have a closer relationship and really get to know, and understand your child. The book is centered around 12 strategies that encourage healthy brain development, resulting in calmer, happier and more resilient kids. A must read for every man with kids in their life.
the 5 love languages | gary chapman
Now 25 years old, this is a classic in the relationship space. Falling in love is easy - staying in love is the challenge. This revolutionary book looks at 5 different ways people express and feel love; words of affirmation; acts of service; physical touch; receiving gifts; and quality time. Learning which language you and your partner speak will be a light bulb moment and can instantly improve your relationships. Get it, you won't regret.
12 rules for life | jordan peterson
Not without controversy, this is the book that launched the "thought leader" career of Peterson; a highly experienced psychologist. In in he extols 12 rules to create a meaningful life, not for it's own sake, but as a defense to the suffering intrinsic to our existence. A massive advocate for personal responsibility and ancient wisdom, Peterson is nothing if he isn't polarizing. Love him or hate him, it's a book worthy of debate.
In search of lost time | marcel proust
One of the most influential novels of the Twentieth Century, and undoubtedly Proust's most prominent work. It's a series of 7 volumes following the narrator's recollections from childhood through to adulthood and focuses heavily on one's memory, and how it can involuntarily transport you to another time just by a certain smell, taste, sound or other trigger. Epic, intricate and like nothing else that written at the time. They certainly don't make them like this anymore.
remote: office not required| fried & hansson
"Move work to the workers, rather than workers to the workplace", so is the mantra of Fried & Hansson; the founders of the software system "Basecamp". And they are right, in this day and age, it doesn't make much sense for desk based workers to commute (and clog up traffic) just to sit at a desk and do computer based tasks they could do at home sans pants. Remote work increases the talent pool, decreases traffic congestion, reduces real estate footprint which reduces operating costs - but it's not without its challenges. A worthwhile read for every man looking to do things differently in the workplace
the hard thing about hard things| ben horowitz
Wisdom about building a business - that business school doesn't teach you. Written on a completely practical level, by one of Silicon Valley's most respected entrepreneurs, it shares the refreshingly honest truth about hard it is to start, build and run a business. Whether you're thinking about starting a business, have just started one or have been doing it for years, there is something in this book for every man.
the renaissance diet 2.0| Dr mike isratel
One for those who want the (scientific) truth about foods, what to eat, why, how much and when. This isn't a lose 50 pounds beginner guide. This is a summary of the science around weight manipulation (either up or down), with practical guidelines to not only lose weight but keep it off for the long term. I've personally used it lose 22 pounds of fat (whilst maintaining muscle mass) in 12 weeks. So yeah this works.
love & respect| emerson eggerichs
You don't need to be told Men and Women are different, they react differently to the same messages, the need and crave different things. So how can we meet each others deepest needs if we're so different? This book reveals a way; without love she reacts without respect, without respect he reacts without love. And the downward spiral begins. An excellent resource for those wanting to build closer, more loving relationships in their lives.
shit my dad says| justin halpern
Finding himself living back home at 28, Justin started recording shit his 73-year old dad said on Twitter and people loved it. Next came this book, and then a short lived TV show. Weaving funny anecdotes and musings from his dad into a very real and relatable portrait of a father and son relationship, this is a laugh out loud book that you won't regret picking up. A must for every man, whether you're a father or son (or both).
everything is fucked| mark manson
Isn't it great to be alive right here right now? In all of human history we have never been so wealthy, we've got the best medical treatments that can literally save us from death, clean running water and yet, everything seems to fucked. Economies collapsing, governments are failing and everyone seems perpetually offended by something. Where did it go wrong? And how do we fix it? In his follow up to his run-away success the sublte art of not giving a fuck, Manson tackles the big issues in society with his trademark style - making this a book you should read before you die.
the art of racing in the rain | garth stein
A dog's perspective on living life, death and dying. Enzo (a dog) believes that a dog who is prepared will be reincarnated in his next life as a human. So he watches and learns the ways of humans through TV and his family to "prepare" himself for this reincarnation. He watches as his owner marries, has kids and loses his wife to brain cancer. I'm not crying - you're crying.
the call of the wild | jack london
A gripping tale of a dog going from pampered pet to leading a wolf pack in the wild Yukon. Written way back in 1903 it's been the subject of a few movies, and was a hugely popular book just after it's release. Anything where a dog triumphs is in my opinion something worthwhile so get into this one and follow Buck on his journey into the wild
mindhunter | douglas & olshaker
Obviously now a Netflix series this is the original Mindhunter. A behind-the-scenes look at the FBI Serial Crime Unit through John Douglas' 25 year career. A chilling look into the most gruesome, fascinating and challenging cases. Douglas has interviewed and studied scores of killers including Manson, and Bundy and was the model for Jack Crawford in The Silence of the Lambs. A gripping book - just don't read it late at night.
this is going to hurt | adam kay
We all know Doctors have it pretty sweet right? Prestige, big pay packets, you get to call yourself a Dr. Apparently it's not all scrubs and writing your own prescriptions. This is an inside look to life and death decisions on little sleep, working 97-hour weeks, to body fluids - so many fluids. This is real, and at times dark and horrifying of story of first year doctors
fight club | chuck palahniuk
I can't really talk about it but it's awesome, you should totally get in on this. In fact every man should read this book. Yes it's an awesome movie too and you could just watch that, but that's not going to help you improve your reading now is it? Plus you know the book is always better than the movie.
the gods behaving badly | marie phillips
Think for a second if you were immortal - and you'd been that way for few thousand years. Bored yet? What if because no one really believes in Greek Gods anymore, you had to move in with the other 11 Gods into a London Townhouse and get a day job? In this hugely entertaining and original story, the Gods are doing just that Artemis is a dog walker, Apollo a TV Psychic, and Aphrodite a phone sex operator. This is a laugh out loud, page turner and just the right amount of naughty.
Trainspotting | Irvine Welch
Renton, Sick Boy, Spud, Begbie. Unforgettable story, written in Scottish Dialect, forcing you to read it with the best Scottish accent your mind can muster. Dark (really dark), funny, bleak, tons of drugs and sex and not too ridiculous that you can imagine some of this actually happening somewhere in Scotland. Made into a fantastic movie but reading is good for the brain.
manhood for amateurs | michael chabon
Written as a collection of autobiographical essays on being a father, son and a husband, Chabon discusses being a man in all it's complexity and roles we undertake during our life. Examining life as many of us do as a series of memories, regrets, and re-examinations each triggered by an event in the day-to-day. Wonderfully written by a Pulitzer Prize winner, this is a book well worth the read.
the power broker: robert moses & the fall of new york | robert caro
Opening up the way politics really happens in America's city halls this look into the life of twentieth century New York's single most powerful man, and his shaping (and mis-shaping) of the city. Winning Caro the Pulitzer Prize this biography makes public what few outsiders knew. How Moses, rebuffed from the normal path to power, took matters into his own hands and accumulated vast wealth and power. This is one of those books that opens your eyes to the way the world really works and is a book you should read before you die.
watchmen | alan moore
Written in 1986 it bought superheros and comics to the mainstream. Set in an alternate history where the US won the Vietnam war and Watergate never happened it follows the personal development and moral struggles of a group costumed vigilantes. Written in a 9 panel grid layout with recurring symbols and supplemental backstories, that are intertwined with an in-story comic being read by one of the characters. It jumps through space, time and plot and is nothing like anything before it.
of mice & men | john steinbeck
Another from Steinbeck that will grip you and not let you put it down. Set in California during the Great Depression it tells the story of laborers George & Lennie and their "hustle" to build their dream. An acre of land with a shack to call their own. A frequent target of censors due to its vulgarity, and what some view as offensive and racist language it can be found on the lost of the "Most Challenged Books for the 21st Century" by the America Library Association. That in itself means it's worth a look.
steve jobs | walter isaacson
Probably the best biography of Jobs ever written, based on over 40 interviews with Jobs himself over a 2 year period and hundreds more interviews with family members, friends competitors and colleagues. It's a bit of a tome at more than 600 pages, but traces Jobs' journey from college, to his time in India, to meeting Woz and starting Apple, how he got the boot, led Pixar and his ultimately triumphant return to Apple and transforming it into an icon of quality, style and innovation until his death. A really interesting read.
emotional intelligence | daniel goleman
We all know there's two different types of smart; book smart, and street (people) smart but until this book we didn't know why. Goleman was the one who coined the term Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and bought psychology and neuroscience to the masses. Detailing the 5 skills of emotional intelligence and how they determine success at work, at home, in relationships and even on our own physical well-being. If you want more success and increase your EQ, then this is book you should read
the smartest guys in the room | mcLean & Elkind
The amazing rise and scandalous fall of Enron. Of all the countless stories and dissections of Enron, this one stands tall. Charting the much admired success of Enron in the 1990s to the spectacular implosion and the institutionalized and systemic accounting fraud behind it all that bought down not only Enron, but one of the "big 5" accounting firms; Arthur Andersen. A fascinating insight to one of the biggest modern day frauds and its overwhelming audacity.
wherever you go, there you are | jon kabat-zinn
A simple path for creating mindfulness in your life. Discussing what meditation is, and how it is used to examine our own thoughts not by trying to change them by thinking more, but by watching the thoughts themselves. This book goes to the heart of Buddhist meditation and how it can be used to open our eyes to the beauty in each and every moment.
beyond anger | thomas harbin
Men are often more prone to violence and less willing to deal with the underlying emotions. Our reptilian brains seem hard-wired to fight pretty quickly. A trained psychologist, Harbin shows us how to change our life and relationships for the better by understanding our anger, and provides simple practical exercises to control the feelings.
hell's angels | hunter s thompson
Another one from Thompson, with his usual "gonzo" style. It's a vivid account of his 2 years with the gang in the 1960s. It's a gripping insight to the truth behind one of the most notorious motorcycle gangs in America. Defining the "biker lifestyle" and bringing it to the masses at a time when counter-cultural movements were abound, it's as illuminating now as it was when it was written.
Dubliners | james joyce
A collection of 15 short stories about middle class life in "dear dirty Dublin" in the early Twentieth Century. A much easier read than Ulysses, and really the introduction to Joyce, Dubliners centers around epiphanies and the life changing self-understanding of the story's main characters.
two pints | roddy doyle
Being two Irish mates talking shit over a couple of beers you can be sure it's good for a laugh. Just like you when you and your mates get together, no issue is off the table; their wives, their kids, football teams, the Euro, the Queen, the death of Whitney Houston, Greek debt and whether you'd ever let yourself be digitally enhanced. A feel good book to make you smile and remember the power of catching up with mates.
My struggle (Series)| Karl ove knausgaard
A 6 novel autobiographical series outlining the banalities and humiliations of his life. Featuring many of his actual family members with names unchanged, it covers private life and dark thoughts. Finishing just two volumes when the first book was released, he ended the series by writing about the fallout from the previous volumes including a breakdown suffered by his wife and her subsequent hospitalization. Brutally honest, raw and unflinching. This series is like nothing else. A peak inside another man's life. A book every man should read
tribe of mentors| tim ferris
Another from Tim, this one is a collection of wisdom, advice, tools and tactics from billionaires, athletes, entrepreneurs and artists. A series of profiles on each, it gives insights into these top performers and what we can learn from them to answer life's most challenging questions, achieve success and ultimately transform your life.
can't hurt me| david goggins
From the only man in history to complete the elite training as a Navy Seal, Army Ranger and Air Force Tactical Air Controller. It's an inside look at his life from his early childhood full of physical, emotional and racial abuse, to how he transformed his life from overweight, and depressed to became one of the fittest, and most determined men on the planet. Detailing his 40% rule, he lights a path that we can all follow to push past pain, defeat fears and achieve full potential
nudge theory| thaler & sunstein
Richard Thaler is a noble prize winner in Economics - you might have seen is cameo in "The Big Short". He's the father of behavioral finance - the understanding of how we make choices - what to eat, what financial investments we make (and when), our children's health any millions more. The problem is humans often choose poorly. Nudge is about how decisions are presented to us with bias, and how we are susceptible to the biases to make bad decisions. By knowing how people think, we can nudge them toward better decision making. An excellent book on a complex and interesting topic.
trillion dollar coach| schmidt, rosenberg & Eagle
That's Schmidt, as in Eric Schmidt. Head honcho at Google for ages. How he finds the time to write a book I don't know. But this one's about a man called Bill Campbell, who was a coach (mentor) to pretty much every success story in Silicon Valley, including Apple and Google. This book is homage to Bill, to inspire and teach future generations by codifying his wisdom. This book explains his principles resulting in a forward thinking blueprint to help you create high performance teams, cultures and companies. And if people like Schmidt think he's worth honoring, then you can bet its a book we should read.
into the wild| jon krakauer
Roaming the countryside straight after his graduation Christopher McCandles, from a well to do family, gave $25,000 to charity, abandoned his car, burned the money in his wallet and hitchhiked to the wilds of Alaska. Giving himself a new name; Alexander Supertramp, and leaving is desperate mother and sister behind he vanished. Four months later his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter. A riveting insight to an incredulous true story. A book well worth a read.
the price of inequality| joseph stiglitz
Stiglitz, a noble prize winning economist, argues against America's growing inequality that has (and is being) shaped by politics. He argues dynamic capitalism has been curtailed by the vested interests of societies wealthiest looking to compound their wealth and examines the way this inequality affects national policy and offers a vision for a more just, prosperous future and a program to achieve it. A sophisticated look at the national economy well worth the read.
irrational exuberance| Robert Shiller
Another one written by a Noble Prize winning economist, this books shows us the signs that investors irrational exuberance has only increased since the GFC. Sky high stock, housing and bond prices, in an environment of low debt may well prove to be the next illustration of Shiller's proficiency in predicting economic meltdowns - like he did with the Tech Bubble and the GFC. If psychological driven volatility is an inherent characteristic of all asset classes, Shiller puts forward strategies investors can use to decrease their risk before the bubble pops. Everyone whose retirement is dependent on investment returns needs to read this. This is definitely a book every man should read.
a random walk down wall st| burton malkiel
An absolute classic in finance circles. It's based on the theory of the (much debated) efficient-market hypothesis and that asset prices resemble a "random walk" and that you can't consistently "beat the market". Examining both technical and fundamental analysis Malkiel argues that for most investors these methods will provide inferior results (particularly over the long term). If you're interested in investing or the stock market in general this is a good addition to your collection.
big debt crises| ray dalio
One of the world's most successful investors and head of the hedge fund Brightwater Capital, Dalio is carving a niche for himself in explaining complex topics for the everyman. He believes that patterns repeat themselves over and over, and by studying these patterns we can learn the cause and effect of them. This book is a 3 part template to big debt crises. Crises that have happened before, over and over and is a must read for every man who wants to understand the economy and markets.
business adventures: twelve classic tales from the world of wall st | john brooks
Delving into the drama and volatile world of finance, this book (that is one of books Warren Buffet recommends) looks at the moment of infamy or notoriety of some of Wall St's biggest companies. Reading it you'll get the sense that history can't help but repeat itself. But by knowing these stories perhaps you'll be better prepared to spot the opportunity if history does repeat. If Warren Buffet recommends, then who am I to disagree?
beating the street | peter lynch
Invest in what you know. Sounds simple enough, but it's a philosphy that's made Peter a legend on Wall St. In this book he explains the strategies he uses, and that every one can use, to create a successful portfolio of stocks and mutual funds. If there is one thing to learn from this book, is that stocks aren't lottery tickets, there's a business behind every stock, and the stock performs as well as that business does. If you want to get into investing and building wealth this is one for you.
the design of everyday things | don norman
Why do some products frustrate us, but other's seem to nail it? If you've ever had to try every switch to get the right light to come on, can't operate the TV remote, pushed a pull (or sliding) door, then you know what I mean. In this book Norman argues, it's not us, its a design fault. This book argues the goal of design is to effortlessly guide users to the right action on the right control at the right time. If you're interested in design, or want to make your products easier for your customers to use. This one is for you.
outsiders | s. e hinton
The Socs and The Greasers. Rival gangs, rich and poor, a classic piece of fiction you probably had to read in English class. But there's a reason this book is still a cult icon 50 years after its release. The first book to look into the "real", truer world of adolescence, and the darkness it can hold. Pick this one up and revisit as Ponyboy trys to piece it all together after one of The Greasers kills one of the Socs.
the little book of common sense investing | john c. bogle
The simple things in life are often the best. But people dismiss them or overlook them due to the simplicity. They caught up in excitement, the buzz, and when it comes to money, wanting millions - instantly. The problem is with investing is that its a zero sum game, for every buyer, there's a seller. No wealth is created, only transferred. History has shown again and again that "buying the market" in a low cost way consistently outperforms fund managers. In this book, the founder of Vanguard; the largest low cost provider of Index Funds, John Bogle gives practical insight into how to execute this strategy. A must read if you want to build wealth over the long term.
bad blood | john carreyrou
If you're familiar with the company Theranos, you'll love this inside story into the spectacular rise and complete explosion of one of the biggest frauds in recent times. If you haven't heard of Theranos, you'd be forgiven thinking this was the latest from Hollywood. But this is no work of Fiction. A company valued at $10 billion based on being able to test a range of medical issues from a single drop of blood. The problem is, the technology didn't work.
21 lessons for the 21st century | youval harari
In a globalized and digitized world, are nations and religions still relevant? How do we deal with fake news? What do we teach our children? In a more polarized world than ever, where technology is improving faster than we can understand and war is now waged via computer terminals how do we navigate life with it's constant change and disorientation? Presenting these complex challenges clearly in a way we can all understand this book is essential reading for every man.
homo deus | youval harari
Where do we, as humans go from here? We've overcome famine, plague and war and become the self-made gods of planet Earth. More people now die from eating too much, rather than too little. More people die from old age, than infectious diseases and more people die by their own hand, than get killed by soldiers. What will replace famine, plague and war - what destiny will humans set themselves? In another thought provoking book Harari addresses these issues and is well worth a read.
collapse | jared diamond
If you were to think of what would be the catalysts for civilizations to collapse things like climate change, uncontrolled population growth, and political discord would be high on the list. Unnervingly we seem to have all 3 happening right now, so are we on the precipice of a collapse just like the Romans, Mayans and Vikings before us? Diamond's absorbing explorations of these issues and the collapses before us is a must read
guns, germs & steel | jared diamond
A brilliant, and multi-award winning book, Diamond argues that the modern world has been shaped by geographical and environmental factors rather than racially based histories presented to date. His argument: that the those societies that had a head start in food production advanced well beyond hunter-gather stage, and then developed religion, weapons of war, and killer germs enabling them to explore by land and sea to conquer less advanced societies they found. A fascinating chronicle of human history well worth your time.
how not to be wrong | jordan ellenberg
"The Freakonomics of Math" this book explores the hidden beauty of maths and how it touches everything in daily life. How early should you get to the airport? Why do tall parents have shorter children? How likely is it really that you'll develop cancer? Using his maths super skills Ellenberg considers these questions in more to show us that maths can be far from boring.
the god delusion | richard dawkins
Examining God in all its forms, from the raging old tyrant in the Old Testament, the Crusades and 9/11. Dawkins a pre-eminent Scientist and one of the world's most prominent atheists makes the compelling case that belief in a God is holding the world back from truly appreciating the universe's wonders.
the selfish gene| richard dawkins
Selling over a million copies, this has become a classic in evolution literature. Dawkins drills down to the gene level view of evolution and their view of organisms as vehicles for replication. Generating much debate and stimulating research into new areas of biology, this book is as relevant today as it was 40 years ago when first published.
what if?| randall munroe
Scientifc answers to absurd hypothetical questions. Based on his popular webcomics/website, Munroe provides hilarious and informative answers to questions you never thought to ask like in a robot apocalypse how long would humanity last? How fast can you hit a speed bump and live? Running computer simulations, interviews with subject matter experts, solving differential equations and more the answers are scientific and not glib. Great reading for anyone who likes to ponder the hypothetical
How to lie with statistics| darrell huff
13% of statistics are made up, 100% of people know that. But how exactly do we get fooled by statistics? From sample sixes, tabulation methods, and interview methods, Huff shows us how we can be fooled rather than informed. Understanding how statistics works and what they mean is a vital skill in working out whats BS and whats not. And every man should know that.
the signal and the noise| nate silver
Most of us have a poor understanding of probability and uncertainty, that's why we play lotteries, go to casinos, and invest in stocks we don't understand. But some of us are experts at it, their very jobs are to predict the future (like the weather, what the stocks will do, who will win the election) and they still don't get it right. But accurate prediction can not only make us wealthy, it could stop terrorist attacks, and elect different leaders. With startling accuracy Nate Silver is a true expert in his field, making this a must read.
shoe dog| phil knight
From a borrowed $50 to one of the world's most recognizable brands with turnover in excess of $30 billion dollars - all in less than one lifetime. We all know Nike, but until this book, we didn't really know the man who started it all and how he did it. This is his memoir - and a much wanted to look behind the immense growth of the "Swoosh"
Einstein| walter isaacson
One of the smartest people ever to live, we all know his name and theory of relativity (even if we don't understand it). But who was Albert Einstein? In this definitive work, Isaacson explores how Einstein, who at one point couldn't get a teaching job or doctorate, became the man who would decipher the secrets of time, space and universe itself. A great insight into the man behind the mind.
leonardo da vinci| walter isaacson
Another excellent work from Isaacson, this time delving into one of histories most creative and intelligent men. From art, anatomy, fossils, birds, the heart, flying machines, botany, geology, and weaponry, da Vinci - a illegitimate, gay, vegetarian, left-handed, easily distracted, and at times heretical man gave us not only 2 of the most famous paintings in history; the last supper and the Mona Lisa, he also left us the Virtuvian Man amongst many others. An extraordinary person, this look at da vinci is unmissable
on immunity| eula biss
"On Immunity is a great book that is not out to demonize anyone who holds opposing views." - Bill Gates
Is there a topic as polarizing as immunization? Biss, a new mother delves into the concept of immunization, but also addresses our fear of government, what might be in our children's air, mattresses, medicines and vaccines. A bold look into mind of a parent and how one looks at protecting their children.
change by design| tim brown
Design Thinking is all the rage at present. But what is it exactly and why is it becoming the standard? Ideas, don't leap out from brilliant minds fully formed. Rather, its a rigorous process of examination that yields ideas. But this is not a book for designers - its bigger than that. Design thinking can, and as Brown posits should, be used by all creative leaders to deliver new alternatives to business and society.
the rational optimist| matt ridley
If you listen to world leaders, and politicians you'll commonly hear the voice of the pessimist. That things will soon be getting much worse. And indeed this has been the voice for the last 200 years. But things haven't got worse. They have got much, much better. Longer life span, better quality of living, and less people in poverty. In this book Ridley looks at why things have gotten better, from the Stone Age to the Internet, this book will change they way you think about the world.
the end of poverty| jeffrey sachs
One of Times, most influential people Sachs has worked with governments across the world advising on how they can alleviate poverty and he draws on this work to introduce a integrated set of solutions to the world's poorest countries. A classic in its field, it's as relevant today as it was when published in 2006. A deep insight into economic prosperity and extreme poverty it deserves your attention.
the man who fed the world| hesser hesser
Dr Norman Borlaug has got to be one of the greatest heroes of our time, yet he isn't famous. Winning the Noble Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Gold Medal and the Padma Vibhushan, the higest civilian award the government of India can present to a non-citizen he is widely credited with saving a billion lives from starvation by developing semi-dwarf, high-yield, disease-resistant wheat varieties. Varieties which helped Pakistan and India nearly double their wheat harvest. A great look at a man who has shaped the world.
my early life| winston churchill
One of the most famous, and arguably greatest leaders in modern history, Churchill was the most eloquent spokesman against Nazi Germany. Here in his own words is the first 30 years of his life, from home life, to schooling to being a war correspondent in the Boar War to his foray into politics. Churchill gives us insight into what shaped him and the leader he became. To understand the time and the man, this is essential reading.
brief answers to big questions| stephen hawking
In his final book Hawking turns his focus on the most urgent problems on Earth. Although best known for his work on space and the universe he also believed science is critical to fixing the problems here on Earth. "Will humanity survive? Should we colonize space? Does God exist? Just a few big questions Hawking covers in the wide ranging, intensely argued book. For all those who want to get their head around some big issues, this one definitely earns its place in our 150 books every man should read.
american sniper| chris kyle
The autobiography of the most lethal sniper in U.S Military History and the source of the hollywood movie of the same name. This is the story in his own words. Writing honestly about the pain of war and in moving first person passages throughout, his wife speaks openly about the strain of war her family including Chris. One of the greatest war memoirs around, this unforgettable account is a book everyone should read.
no easy day| mark owen
The first person account of planning and executing Osama Bin Laden. Owen, an operator in SEAL Team Six, has been involved in countless missions. No Easy Day puts us side by side with the team as the train for the biggest mission of their lives. This blow by blow, boots on the ground narrative gives us insight into the mental and physical challenges faced by these elite soldiers who risk everything for their country.
Moneyball| Michael Lewis
Another instalment from Lewis, this time he follows the low budget Oakland A's as they assemble a team based on data rather than hype and money that shows the team is more than anyone player. Now a Hollywood film, this insightful easy to ready, page turner is everything you expect from Lewis. As always the book gives you more than the movie.