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10 Epic Books Every Man Must Read

What are the Top Must Read Books For Men?

There are books that you read, and there are books that change your life. The list compiled below is an indication of some of the best books to read. From an infinite list of books, these 10 are ones that have defined generations and inspired countless authors. Some are a basis of what it is to be a man in today’s culture; to face fears and fight through them, to fight for justice and what is right, embracing the leader in us and leading a life of integrity. Men and woman everywhere, we give you, 10 Books Every Man Must Read.

// So Gentlemen, here is the Top 10 List Of Books To Read For Every Man:

1. The Count Of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas

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The epic adventure of Edmond Dantès and how he spent 14 years in a dungeon for a crime he didn’t commit, will keep you hooked to the point where your friends and family will be concerned for your well-being. This story takes you through the journey of Edmond Dante, the boy growing up to become The Count Of Monte Cristo.

2. The Screwtape Letters – C. S. Lewis

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The Screwtape Letters is an utterly original book by C. S. Lewis, writer of the Chronicles of Narnia. This book is told from only one perspective, that of the demon Screwtape who writes letters to his novice nephew Wormwood instructing him on how to tempt and corrupt a human soul. This short book (just over 200 pages) is not like any other you will read.

3. The Picture of Dorian Grey – Oscar Wilde

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A great book about the dangers of holding on to vanity and pride, The Picture of Dorian Grey is a remarkable book filled with moments of great self-reflection, we see Dorian Grey go on a sensual quest and the outcome of that is the final twist in the book.

4. The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway

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One of his most autobiographical books, Ernest Hemingway tells the story of the lost generation after World War I. It follows a group of friends through the night life of Paris and the bull fighting rings of Spain. One if his masterpiece works, the Sun Also Rises is a great read for everyone who wants to experience living a life of unfulfilled dreams and unrealized love.

5. Siddhartha – Herman Hesse

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A spiritual book bases loosely on the life of Buddha (check 10 Life Changing Quotes by Buddha here) , Siddhartha tells the story of a Brahmins journey in search of ultimate reality. This beautifully simple book has touched millions with its integration of Eastern and Western mythology and philosophy. Along with Damien, this book is a must read for any Herman Hesse fan or anyone interested in Buddhism philosophy.

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6. The Arabian Nights – Tales From 1001 Nights – Richard Burton

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The Arabian Nights is considered to be one of the greatest classic and historical texts of all time. The work was collected over many centuries by various authors, translators, and scholars across West, Central, South Asia and North Africa. The tales themselves trace their roots back to ancient and medieval Arabic, Persian, Indian, Egyptian and Mesopotamian folklore and literature. This classic piece of literature includes some of the most well-known stories such as Ali Baba and The Forty Theives, Alladin, and Sinbad the Sailor.

7. Meditations – Marcus Aurelius

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Meditations, written by Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius for himself as a source of his own guidance and self-improvement. They illustrate how the emperor struggled to understand himself and the universe but offered a stoic philosophy as the solution to his internal struggles. A great insight into the mind of such a powerful man.

8. The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho

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The story of Santiago, the young shepherds journey from Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of The Alchemist highlights the notion of everyone’s personal legend. Your Personal Legend “is what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their Personal Legend is”. After over 30 Million copies sold, The Alchemist has become one of the best-selling books in history.

9. The Lord Of The Rings – J.R.R Tolkien

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Calling Tolkiens Trilogy and epic masterpiece would be an understatement. At over 150 million copies sold worldwide, the story of Frodo Baggins and his companions journey into the shadows of the dark lord to save the world is filled with adventure and courage. The Lord of The Rings is an extraordinary work and if you haven’t seen the movies yet, make sure you read the book first.

10. The 4-Hour Workweek – Timothy Ferriss

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With the slogan of Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich, The 4-Hour Workweek tells us to forget about the old-fashioned notion of the retirement plan and deferred living. There is no need to wait and in unstable economic times, we have to change the way we work and live. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, or just living more and working less, The 4-Hour Workweek is the blueprint.

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Dr Prem Jagyasi

Dr Prem Jagyasi

Author, Publisher & Global Speaker at DrPrem.com
Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.
Dr Prem Jagyasi
Dr Prem Jagyasi

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70 comments

  1. Meh. What about the ultimate statement about love and passion, Wuthering Heights? Or the best anti-war book ever written, All Quiet on the Western Front? Or the classic Two Years Before the Mast – rich on-becoming-a-man stuff, enfolded within astonishing turns of sensitive lyricism?

  2. ProcrastinationMan

    It’s a good list, but rather than being the 10 epic books every man must read, it’s just 10 epic books every man must read. There’s so many others you could name that would be excellent additions to this list: Kafka’s The Trial comes to mind, or how about Machiavelli’s Prince? Huxley’s Brave New World?

  3. I don’t trust this list because Lonesome Dove isn’t on it.

  4. The Art of War is the best book about relationships that I’ve ever read.

  5. Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield? The Art of War by Sun Tsu?

  6. The Road – Cormac McCarthy

  7. It’s impossible to put one of these lists together without leaving out something deserving. This is a good list of books to read, but I think “epic” is a misleading term here. An Epic, strictly speaking, tends to follow a formula with certain elements. It’s usually got a central hero who performs various deeds that are somewhat superhuman, and he usually ends up dying at the end, or at least losing everything he gained. See The Iliad, The Oddyssey, Don Juan, Paradise Lost, etc.

    Based on the list author’s definition as “books that defined generations and influenced countless authors”, there are several books that are notably absent. Like it or not, The Bible has arguably been a greater influence than just about any other book in history, and has helped shape entire cultures and civilizations. More recently, I would argue that Jules Verne was probably the main influence on the science fiction genre, so I would include The Time Machine, or 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The Catcher in the Rye and The Great Gatsby are also two of the greater influences in recent American literature, and should also be included. Not to mention some of the other notables mentioned above.

  8. Siddhartha was great. Unconventional, but great. You could say that you didn’t like it, but saying Siddhartha is a bad book is an argument that cannot be won. Just as how I didn’t like Candide, but I know it’s a good book.

    In reference to the list, I’m disappointed to see classic masculine books like Catch-22 and Catcher in the Rye missing.

  9. The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell

  10. No Catcher in the Rye?

  11. Slaughter House Five and Ender’s Game!

  12. I recently finished The Alchemist and really don’t understand why it’s so popular. All the characters seemed really shallow and I just never really connected with it.

    I read the rings trilogy and at times I found them to be overly tedious to read and had to put them down and read other books and come back months later to finish each book.

    I think Enders Game should be on this list.

  13. I was glad to see The Sun Also Rises and The Count of Monte Cristo on the list, as they are some of the best works of literature in human history.

    I would personally not recommend The Screwtape Letters, as it is clearly a work of Chrisitian apologism. If you want to read a book written by a master which immerses you in religion and myth, you can’t go wrong with Dune. Equal parts science fiction and religious fantasy with politics, tribalism, war… basically everything. It’s never dull, like Screwtape, and it doesn’t beat you over the head with it’s attempt to convert the unbelieving or reinforce the believer. It’s just amazing.

    I might include Thucydides History of the Peloponnesian War. Despite the fact it was originally written around 2,400 years ago, it remains arguably the greatest work of non-fiction on war and is (again, arguably) the first real work which could be considered an accurate historical record. The writing style is absolutely amazing, the details, reasonably well sources, reveal volumes about the ancient world, and the war itself has lessons which are every bit as relevant today as they were during the time of Ancient Athens and Sparta. I’m an anti-war kind of guy and even I love it.

  14. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

  15. I’d also add Homer’s Illiad, and Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy to the list

  16. I read like two of these already! That makes me a real man, right?

  17. A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson shoulda made the cut imo.

  18. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance? wtf?!

  19. Just wanted to add, since I didn’t see them in here so far. A few I have never seen on a list of this sort.

    Lord of the Flies, William Golding

    Call of the Wild, Jack London

    Papillon, Henri Charrière

    Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain

    Animal Farm, George Orwell

    All Creatures Great and Small, James Herriot

    Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll

  20. The Trial is one I want to read…Taleb mentions it in Fooled by Randomness and it sounded like something I’d like. I’ve just started The Black Swan (Taleb’s most famous book) yesterday and already like it more. It might just be that Taleb’s idea of uncertainty is complex and counter intuitive so that this being my second foray into it makes it easier or if the book is just actually better is hard to tell. Either way I do want to read The Trial.

  21. Just make sure to read an unabridged version of Monte Cristo. As a child I read an abridged version and it wasn’t until years later that I realized how many epic scenes had been cut. I’m reading Crime and Punishment right now and I certainly hope it gets better. I’m halfway through and I honestly have no sympathy for Raskalnikov. It makes for tough reading.

  22. This is quite a profound selection. I’d agree with these as an amazing choice of books. However, I believe War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy is an essential one you forgot. Though it is quite a handful, and the quit-essential long book, the 2 main characters in the book describe, in completeness, who we are as men.

  23. I’m slightly offended by the gender specific title of this stumble upon. Do you think women are too busy reading garbage like Fifty Shades of Gray?

    • No but I cant tell women what they should read. My girlfriend will be working on a list for women shortly. Thanks for checking out the post.

      • you can tell men what to read because you’re a man, but you can’t tell women what to read because you’re not a woman… look dude, we’re all people here.

        • I didnt compile the list of books for women. There is no need to make assumptions based on something you don’t know. I value your opinion but the list on books for women was made after consulting many women, forums, reviews and look dude, we’re all entitled to our opinions, even if you don’t agree

    • Why is it that every time something is pointed towards men specifically someone has to pipe up with “What about the wimminz”?

      • It doesn’t need to be like that. Its not an exclusion, more of a niche for a certain type of audience.

      • maybe because it happens all the time. maybe because the gender dichotomy is total bs.

        • You need to understand that there are differences between men and women and there are things that interest us that you may not be interested in. This is not your chance to stick up for womens rights, its just about varying interests and NOT bs

  24. A lot of nice posts for people to soak in, well done. I think these books are great for everybody and glad that I StumbledUpon this page.

  25. The list was quite good to the point that I read The Alchemist on it. This book is the biggest plagiarism and poor writing. I tried to read it because a friend insisted it changed his life and his perspective on so many dif levels. Well, I thought, why not give it a try. Not even the love for my friend was enough to go thru the third page.

  26. Into the wild

  27. The Old Man and The Boy by Robert Ruark

  28. Point Counter Point – Huxley

  29. Paulo Coelho, que legal!

  30. Sorry but: 10 epic booksevery PERSON must read…

  31. Dostoyevsky “Crime and Punishment” or “The brothers Karamazov” should be on the list

  32. Anna Karenina

  33. Fight Club? I mean the whole book is about discovering a sense of masculinity?

  34. Good list.
    I know people always, in some sort of self referential outrage, proclaim what a travesty it is that [insert book title] never made the list, it is in fact a pet peeve of mine, like there is such a thing as a definitive list, but I’m going to do it anyway.

    A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole

    A book doesn’t always have to be dramatic, intense, life changing or life affirming, sometimes, it can just make you laugh your ass off

  35. Don Quixote is essential reading and something everyone should experience.
    The great Harold Bloom makes reference to it for all the right reasons.

  36. Why exactly is it that men need to read these; but, not women?

    • As a man, these books were a great read and in some cases life changing. We’re currently working on a list for women, written by our guest blogger coming out next week which is based on her recommendations.

      • i can enjoy things that men enjoy. just because your girlfriend shares my anatomy doesn’t mean she’ll know what books i’d like. the dichotomy of this is ridiculous.

        • Well done for learning the word dichotomy and using it relentlessly. To repeat my response to an earlier comment of yours, its about varying tastes and you dont see any men complaining that Cosmopolitan magazine is sexist as it doesnt cater to men. We understand that we are different and we dont feel the need to talk about someones personal life to make a point.

  37. Great list! Thanks for sharing!

  38. cardo was taken

    So are you offended if you see helpful tips for kids bc you’re not a kid?? Get over yourself, Muddy.

  39. And why must men read these books? There is nothing in the article that explains this.

    And this reads like a college student’s reading list.

  40. How about, Le Morte D’Arthur, The Curious Case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde, Dracula, War of the Worlds, Frankenstien, Hound of the Baskervilles, The Pit and The Pendulum, The Time Machine, The Andromeda Strain and The Stand.

  41. Lives of a Cell Notes of a Biology Watcher

  42. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
    is my best book of 2013

  43. Blood and freedom by Gordon Greenwood should be on the list

  44. The Pelican Briefs is must read for every male

  45. the fact that this is about MEN and not people is pretty silly. there’s no reason women wouldn’t enjoy these books. just because some of them are specifically about different notions of masculinity doesn’t mean I, as a female, can’t appreciate them. maybe if we focused on what we had in common and tried to understand our differences, we wouldn’t need shit like “50 best pick up lines to make girls hate themselves and love you” or “mascara that will make men think you worthy”.

  46. Why are these tomes gender specific? Lord of the rings? Cmon… Why not read books where you actually learn somthing you can apply like a great math book or physics book for the nonscientist. The world is more complex than phantasy and aged philosophical broodings. It is no wonder were so anemic in helping our youngsters understand thenatural world and live in a world of self introspection.

    • Have you taken the time to read LOTR? If you’re unaware of the benefits of the messages in fictional stories as well as the benefits for your imagination, then I urge you to read it. We have a list for becoming smarter here and there are some science books which you may like.

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