This list is a compilation of the very best books that I’ve ever read. These are some of the best books for men in existence, covering many topics.
They range from books on psychology to bodybuilding to masculinity, but they’re all incredibly valuable and we can learn a lot from them.
I’m an avid reader—I try to read a book a day (keyword: try), so I’ll be periodically updating this list with quality literature.
This list has already undergone 7 updates, and I don’t expect it to stop growing any time soon. Who knows, maybe one day it’ll hit 100 books.
If you have a suggestion, be sure to leave it in the comments section down below! I read and respond to all of the comments.
So, with that in mind, let’s get to it.
Books on Masculinity
Starting off this list, we’re going to cover some of the best books on masculinity, because, well, this is a list of books for men (of course).
These books will tackle topics like what it means to be a man, how to build a strong masculine character, the purpose of war, and much, much more.
Here are the top books on masculinity:
- The Way of Men (Check Price on Amazon)
- The Way of the Superior Man (Check Price on Amazon)
- Iron John (Check Price on Amazon)
Each book is filled with valuable lessons that you just can’t buy—you have to learn them from other men of the past, who learned the hard way.
I also chose a famous quote from each book, which I believe embodies the spirit and general narrative of it—so, without further ado, keep reading.
The Way of Men by Jack Donovan
“Strength, Courage, Mastery, and Honor are the alpha virtues of men all over the world. They are the fundamental virtues of men because without them, no “higher” virtues can be entertained. You need to be alive to philosophize. You can add to these virtues and you can create rules and moral codes to govern them, but if you remove them from the equation altogether you aren’t just leaving behind the virtues that are specific to men, you are abandoning the virtues that make civilization possible.”-Jack Donovan, The Way of Men
The Way of Men by Jack Donovan was put very first on this list, above all of the great literature, the classic stories of war, and novels for a reason.
This book explains what the core of masculinity is, and doesn’t bog you down with irrelevant information or bullshit—it’s to the fucking point.
The Way of Men provides a brutally honest, tribal framework for understanding man, and strips masculinity down to its bare bones.
Most books for men try to wrestle with the concept of masculinity and fail miserably—they grasp at illusory concepts and tell us that “masculinity is about being in touch with your feminine side!”
Jack Donovan provides us with no such nonsense—he gives us a lean, and fucking mean description of what it means to be a man.
It’s based completely off of evolutionary biology and tribalism, so it has a huge grounding in reality, unlike most social justice BS these days.
He doesn’t resort to logicizing and theoretical nonsense. He gives you four specific characteristics that you can start cultivating TODAY.
The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida
“Your woman knows your weaknesses better than anybody. She knows where you will falter and give up. She knows the degree of mediocrity you will settle for. And, she knows your true capacity as a full man, a man of free consciousness and love. Her gift, if she is a good woman, is to test you with her darkest moods, over and over and over, until your consciousness is unperturbed by feminine challenge…”-David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man
Where The Way of Men gives us a brutally primal view of masculinity, this book teaches us what it means to be a man on a spiritual level.
The Way of Men provides us with a phenomenal “material” definition of man, so to speak. It teaches us that masculinity means protecting the tribe—and you need strength, courage, mastery, and honor to do these things.
The Way of the Superior Man, however, delves into the spiritual nature of man. It explores inner growth, and how a man should relate to women.
It wrestles with such concepts as:
- Masculinity on a Spiritual Level
- The Necessity of Suffering
- Building Character Through Struggle
- Why Your Purpose Must Be #1 in Life
The Way of the Superior Man is packed with valuable information on why a man must strive to put his purpose above all else, even above his woman.
If you struggle with relationships, being motivated in life, or if you question what it means to be a man in general, I highly recommend this book.
Iron John by Robert Bly
“The Wild Man doesn’t come to full life through being “natural,” going with the flow, smoking weed, reading nothing, and being generally groovy. Ecstasy amounts to living within reach of the high voltage of the golden gifts. The ecstasy comes after thought, after discipline imposed on ourselves, after grief.”-Robert Bly, Iron John
Born out of the men’s mythopoetic movement, Iron John is one of the best books for men, particularly those who did not have a strong father figure.
The story starts off with a young boy, named “John” ironically enough, and follows him into adulthood, as he learns what it means to be a man.
One of the main premises of the book is that modern men are out of touch with reality—we live in a world that weakens men, and berates them for being men, but then expects for them to act like men.
Beautifully narrated, and filled with Jungian archetypes, this novel will speak to you on a deep and profound level, that is very rare these days.
Bly has this incredibly unique ability to combine a great story, with elements of great literature and spirituality, while also embedding incredibly profound lessons, deeply within this text.
In short, I urge every man to buy this book and read it from start to finish, at least once. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed by this novel.
Books on Mindset & Motivation
Men read books for one of two purposes—to understand themselves, and to understand the world. These books here are to understand yourself.
Why do we read great books of the past? To understand ourselves—and while there are many ways to do this, one is by reading psychology.
This isn’t modern bullshit psychology, though, where you talk about your feelings all day and whine—this is a brutal look at the human psyche.
The top books on mindset and motivation are:
- Prometheus Rising (Check Price on Amazon)
- The War of Art (Check Price on Amazon)
These will cover a wide range of topics, from inner growth, to developing character, to motivating yourself, and conquering life as a whole.
Some of these books are available to buy on Amazon for less than $10—so, let me ask you, what price would you pay to change your entire life?
Prometheus Rising by Dr. Robert Anton Wilson
“All that we ‘know’ is what registers on our brains, so what you perceive (your individual reality-tunnel) is made up of nothing but thoughts—as Sir Humphrey Davy noted when self-experimenting with nitrous oxide in 1819, and as Buddha noticed by sitting alone until all his social imprints atrophied and dropped away.”-Dr. Robert Anton Wilson, Prometheus Rising
I am incredibly disappointed that this book is no longer in print (2020 UPDATE: it’s back in print). This book is literally the “go to” for anyone trying to understand themselves.
For anyone who is trying to overcome depression, anxiety, get better with women, or build muscle, I highly recommend reading this book. It’s definitely one of the best books on psychology in existence; and it isn’t even gender exclusive. Women can benefit from it, too.
I actually did a brief summary of the book on my YouTube Channel, but it doesn’t even begin to do a justice to the actual book.
Basically, Prometheus Rising is a manual on how your mind works and how to make the best of it—so yeah, it’s pretty damn important.
It’s an extrapolation of a theory developed by Timothy Leary, an incredibly controversial psychologist at Harvard in the 1960’s. It will teach you:
- What a “negative” imprint is, and how it leads to depression, anxiety, and chronic physical illness
- How to undo “negative” imprints, and turn them into “positive” imprints
- What “mode of thought,” or “circuit of consciousness,” you’re in right now
- Which “circuit of consciousness” you spend most of your time in, WITHOUT EVEN REALIZING IT
- How 99% of people are literally robots, acting out their childhood imprinting
- How you can awaken and literally re-program your mind to be whatever you want it to be
In short, buy the fucking book, because it’s an absolutely amazing gem, and one of the BEST books for dudes out there – not enough people know about it (which is why it went out of print temporarily).
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
“We fear discovering that we are more than we think we are. More than our parents, children, or teachers think we are. We fear that we actually possess the talent that our still, small voice tells us. That we actually have the guts, the perseverance, the capacity. We fear that we truly can steer our ship, plant our flag, reach our Promised Land. We fear this because, if it’s true, then we become estranged from all we know. We pass through a membrane. We become monsters and monstrous.”-Steven Pressfield, The War of Art
The main topic of this book is how to overcome internal resistance, and accomplish whatever you want to accomplish in life.
If you’re trying to start a business, become a musician, write a book, or literally do anything, but never get around to doing it, THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU.
This book is an absolute kick in the ass – it will teach you how to completely obliterate procrastination (it comes in more than one form) and achieve whatever you want.
If I hadn’t read this book, I probably would have never started this blog. I probably would’ve never started my YouTube Channel. I probably would’ve never began a supplement company that I’m working on, or writing an eBook that I’m working on.
The main concept that this book revolves around is “resistance.”
Resistance is that little inner voice that tells you to “just do it tomorrow,” or to “wait until you’re more experienced,” or to “just relax for now.” Resistance is that son of a bitch that keeps you from accomplishing anything worthwhile – it’s the inner obstacles that your ego has put in place to prevent you from failing and growing as a human being.
Pressfield teaches you how to get rid of that bastard resistance, which is the key to improving your life.
Books on Wealth & Finance
One of the main purposes each man has is to provide for his family and those he loves—and one cannot do this without understanding wealth.
These books will explore how wealth is built, the mindset behind wealth that is so critical, and how to go from rags to riches (no joke).
Here are the top books on finance and wealth:
- Guide to Silver & Gold (Check Price on Amazon)
- Richest Man in Babylon (Check Price on Amazon)
- Think And Grow Rich (Check Price on Amazon)
- Rich Dad Poor Dad (Check Price on Amazon)
- The Intelligent Investor (Check Price on Amazon)
Without having your wealth in order, you cannot live the lifestyle you want, let alone provide for a family—so I recommend you check these books out.
Even if the price was $100, wouldn’t it be worth it to be able to make millions of dollars? I’m not there (yet), but have learned a lot so far.
Guide to Investing in Gold & Silver by Mike Maloney
“This is a process that’s been going on over and over again throughout history, except this time it’s happening on a global scale, it has never before happened in all countries at once. That means that this is the greatest wealth transfer in history, therefore it’s the greatest opportunity in history… and it’s not going to happen again in your lifetime.”-Mike Maloney, Guide to Investing in Gold and Silver
Men of the year 2016 have a unique opportunity to multiply their wealth by vast amounts. The reason why is because the United States Federal Reserve has created an unsustainable situation, in which we rely on debt to repay debt.
In other words, within the next several years the US economy will collapse, and it will take the entire world with it.
If you want a more in depth explanation of why this will happen, I highly recommend that you check out the book. About 75% of it is dedicated to explaining why the global economy will collapse within the next few years, and the forces involved.
Mike dissects multiple topics, including:
- How the USA’s treasury is following the exact same pattern as the Roman Empire
- Why fiat currencies lead to the death of nations
- Examples from history where economies have been destroyed
- How the Federal Reserve’s economic policies will lead to hyperinflation and economic collapse
- And more
The most valuable information in this book, however, is how you can profit off of the impending global economic collapse.
The author argues that history goes through these different types of cycles; some take 30-40 years, others take a thousand years. Right now, we are approaching the shift in a 1,000 year cycle…and if you know what to do, you can make a lot of money.
For anyone looking to invest in precious metals, I highly recommend that you read this book. If you’ve been following my twitter account, you’ll know that I tweeted about a gold mining stock in January that went up 268% over the next five months. This is the power of investing in precious metals when the time is right.
The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason
“Gold flees the man who would force it to impossible earnings or who follows the alluring advice of tricksters and schemers or who trusts it to his own inexperience and romantic desires in investment.”-George S. Clason, The Richest Man in Babylon
This book is similar to Rich Dad Poor Dad, in the sense that it deals with fundamental financial lessons. The lessons in this book, however, are different than the ones in Kiyosaki’s book. Published in 1926, this book is written in the form of parables.
Parables about sheep herders that become wealthy men, and parables about men born into riches that squander them. This story-telling format ofim the book makes it very easy to read, and very easy to remember the lessons.
One of my favorite lessons from this book was this: “Start thy purse to fattening.” In other words, always pay yourself first.
I don’t care if you’re barely getting by. I don’t care if you’re earning $8 an hour, making just enough to live on—start investing in yourself before you pay off ANY of your debt. If you don’t, how else will you escape the hole you’ve built for yourself?
Ever since I read this lesson, I’ve always paid myself first before I paid off debt. Now, I always buy books, seminars, and invest in the stock market BEFORE I pay off my credit cards or pay for my expenses. Why? Well, if you’re always paying someone else first, you’ll never get ahead.
When you pay someone else, this doesn’t help you in any way—but when you pay yourself first? It makes you smarter, because you’re investing in quality books that will help you succeed in life (like the ones in this article). It makes you happier, because you invest in seminars and meditation courses. And it makes you wealthier, because it repays you and increases your ability to earn.
This is just one of the many lessons that the book teaches. Another one of my favorites is: “Increase thy ability to earn.”
Too often do men only invest in wealth investments, and they don’t realize that your greatest investment is YOURSELF! If you invest in the stock market, sure you’ll get some extra money. But if you buy a book that expands your mind? Your whole world-view will change.
For example, just the knowledge that I’ve gained from The Power of Now has been worth literally $100,000. I cannot describe how much this book has changed my life.
This is why I’m always investing in MYSELF. I’m always increasing my ability to earn by learning new things, reading new books, and attending seminars. If you apply the lessons in “The Richest Man in Babylon,” to your life, you will be a very wealthy man in no time.
Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
“Do not wait: the time will never be ‘just right’. Start where you stand, and work whatever tools you may have at your command and better tools will be found as you go along.”-Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich
There’s a reason why this book is on virtually every single list of financial books: because it’s one of the best. This is, in my opinion, the definitive book on making wealth, because rather than focusing on the mechanics, it focuses on the internal processes.
The whole concept behind this book is that wealth is generated by the mind. It’s that simple.
Every single man who has ever become wealthy became so, due to a burning desire to accomplish something; a burning desire to make an idea into a reality. Think about it: is that not what every single business and money-making-device is? They’re simply ideas turned into REALITY.
This is the simple truth that every man overlooks. Every man wants a specific plan to wealth; they want to be spoon-fed the step-by-step plan to getting wealthy, but guess what? There isn’t one.
Sure, there’s general actions that you can take, sure there’s steps you can follow that will generally bring about wealth, and sure there’s certain investments that will make you large returns…but making wealth is much bigger than these individual mechanics. If you can follow mechanics, you’ll get rich. But if you can develop the right mindset? You’ll get wealth for not only you, but for your grandchildren.
Think and Grow Rich describes how to bring about this mindset. It describes the specific techniques that Andrew Carnegie, one of the richest men of all time, used to accumulate his wealth. This book is the origin of pretty much all visualization techniques, and I cannot recommend it enough.
I first read this book when I was a teenager, and let me tell you, every time I go back and read it, the book takes on a new meaning. Each time that I re-read this book, I find hidden gems that I thought were stupid, but that now make perfect sense. This is one of those books that provides you with value well into your old age.
Some of the lessons, a child could understand, but others, only a seasoned businessman could grasp. Either way, in my opinion, this is the best book on generating wealth in existence. If you buy ANYTHING from this article, buy this book. You will not regret it, I promise.
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
“Just know that it’s fear that keeps most people working at a job. The fear of not paying their bills. The fear of being fired. The fear of not having enough money. the fear of starting over. That’s the price of studying to learn a profession or trade, and then working for money. Most people become a slave to money… and then get angry at their boss.”-Robert Kiyosaki, Rich Dad Poor Dad
This is one of the best books out there for men who are just getting into the world of finance, because it teaches you the principles of wealth. It teaches you a series of fundamental rules and guidelines that the rich follow, that the poor don’t.
This book is so effective at helping men become rich, because it changes the rules that they play the game by.
Most men have the wrong mindset when it comes to getting rich; they think that if they just work really hard, max out their 401k, and save up, they’ll be able to become millionaires. This is a completely false belief.
Sure, MAYBE you’ll become a millionaire by the time you’re in a wheel chair, but is it really worth it to trade the best years of your life for money when you’re too old to use it? Of course not. Rich Dad Poor Dad teaches you a series of fundamental mindset shifts that are necessary to becoming rich.
It teaches you that the rich make their money work for them, rather than them working for money. It teaches you how to use tax breaks to your advantage. It teaches you that in order to get rich you must maximize assets while minimizing liabilities.
Perhaps the most controversial aspect of this book is that Robert Kiyosaki doesn’t believe your house is an asset.
Most financial investors believe that your house is an asset, but Robert Kiyosaki, and I too, believe that your house is actually a liability. Why? Because every month it takes money out of your pocket, it’s that simple.
This is just one of the few mindset shifts that Rich Dad Poor Dad will instill in you—I highly recommend that you read this book as early as possible, because the sooner that you can shift your mindset when it comes to money, the better.
The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham
“The market is a pendulum that forever swings between unsustainable optimism (which makes stocks too expensive) and unjustified pessimism (which makes them too cheap). The Intelligent Investor is a realist who sells to optimists and buys from pessimists.”-Benjamin Graham, The Intelligent Investor
The intelligent investor is a phenomenal book that will provide you with a comprehensive introduction towards investing. In fact, Warren Buffett has attributed most of his success to this single book. His entire investing strategy is based around it.
“Who’s Warren Buffett?” you may ask. He’s only one of the world’s richest financial investors with a net worth of $64 billion dollars. So yeah, I think that we should listen to him and read this book.
The Intelligent Investor explains a concept known as value investing—the idea that you should invest in a stock based off of its intrinsic value, rather than based off of hype or the sentiment of the times. As far as long term investing goes, this is the best way to do things.
A lot of men buy stocks for the long term based off of what some guru says, or based off of a “feeling” that it will go up. This is completely moronic and will end up sucking your bank account dry. If you want to invest in the long term, invest in stocks that are fundamentally solid.
This book discusses the fundamentals to look for—things like price to earnings ratios, stock history, CEO trust, and more. Although my medium-term investing strategy is somewhat different, whenever I invest in stocks for the long term, I ALWAYS consult this book.
According to Benjamin Graham, most of investing is actually emotional. I would agree 100%. He says that the hardest part about investing is developing the emotional resilience; most men either become consumed by greed or fall victim to panic and paranoia. The intelligent investor is one who can transcend both.
Books on Spirituality
Of course, what would a list of good books for men be without books on the very nature of life itself? Presence, meditation, and spirituality are key.
Many of these books have transformed my life, and I absolutely believe that they have the power to transform your life too, if you read them.
Here are the top books on spirituality:
- The Power of Now (Check Price on Amazon)
- Tao Te Ching (Check Price on Amazon)
- Power vs. Force (Check Price on Amazon)
The information contained within these books will absolutely change your life—seriously, these all completely transformed my life within just a year.
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
“Once you have identified with some form of negativity, you do not want to let it go, and on a deeply unconscious level, you do not want positive change. It would threaten your identity as a depressed, angry or hard-done by person. You will then ignore, deny or sabotage the positive in your life. This is a common phenomenon. It is also insane.”-Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now
This is another one of those life-changing books. It’s one of the most important modern books on spirituality, but it’s different than The Way of the Superior Man in that it’s entirely focused on one concept: presence.
The whole idea behind this book is that 99% of people spend most of their waking hours depressed over the past or anxious about the future. Very few people actually experience the present moment, without any filters, judgments, or resistance.
This book will teach you how to be happy, regardless of your life’s circumstances. It doesn’t mean that you won’t have the desire to improve anymore—in fact, it’s quite the opposite. By accepting your reality for what it is, you will better be able to improve.
The man who wrote this, Eckhart Tolle, was actually homeless for several years—he went from a state of owning absolutely nothing to being a worldwide spiritual leader and millionaire. That’s pretty damn impressive.
WARNING: THIS BOOK WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.
I recall the very first time that I read this book—something very scary happened. I recall being very interested in what I was reading, and I suddenly stumbled across a line that said “You are not your mind. You are not your thoughts.”
I literally began to shake and feel ill; I had flu-like symptoms, all of a sudden, for the next several days. Then, after this several day period, I was the happiest that I’d ever been. I walked around completely present and unperturbed by the concerns of the world.
Little did I know it, I had experienced what is known as “ego death.” (I talk about it here).
Ego death, just like it sounds, is when your ego dies—it’s when all of the false constructs and lies that you tell yourself crumble in an instant, and the facade comes tumbling down. I realized that up until that point, I had identified with my mind – I had viewed myself as a “victim,” and as a “martyr,” which had prevented me from realizing my full potential.
Reading this book gave me the tools necessary to let go of repressed pain, and ultimately become my best self. This is definitely one of the best books for men trying to escape depression and become happy.
Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
“Knowing others is intelligence;
knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength;
mastering yourself is true power.”-Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
Both Lao Tzu’s seminal work on wisdom, and the book that spawned Taoism, the Tao Te Ching is an absolute must read for any man. It wrestles with the spiritual nature of the Universe, and supplies an endless well of wisdom for both boys and men alike.
Lao Tzu is often cryptic at times—not because he intends to be so, but rather because “The Tao,” or what he is referring to, cannot be described by words. It is the underlying principles of the Universe, the underlying order, the governing forces of the world.
Once a man learns to align himself with these forces, by practicing thing such as acceptance and surrender, he can accomplish anything.
This book hit me very hard quite recently, actually. I had been hitting the gym nonstop like a fiend, for several months, and was starting to burn out. My life consisted of: gym, blog, eat, sleep. I literally did nothing for fun. My entire life was grinding and hustling for those three months.
Then, I began to read this book—I realized that I was neglecting the “regenerative” aspect of my life.
I realized that if I actually just had some more fun once in a while, I would be happier, and my work would be better. This book taught me the value of surrender—-it taught me that you don’t always have to try to be perfect, and that you can simply accept “better than yesterday.”
It taught me to surrender myself to the Universe—to accept that nothing is certain, and that the Universe blesses those who surrender to the Universal principles; laws, rules, and wisdom which governs all that exists.
Power vs. Force by Dr. David Hawkins
“Handling an emotional crisis leads to greater wisdom and results in lifetime benefits. Fear of life is really the fear of emotions. It is not the facts that we fear but our feelings about them. Once we have mastery over our feelings, our fear of life diminishes.”-David Hawkins M.D. Ph.D., Power vs. Force
Recommended to me by a spiritual guru in a cozy town near the Shenandoah Valley, this book has the potential to change the world. The premise is extremely simple: power is different than force. But it has absolutely world-shattering implications.
Think of force as pulling out the oars and desperately rowing your way across the ocean, while a man who simply adjusts his sail blazes past you. The man who adjusts his sail? He understands power.
Power is aligning your energies with the universe; it’s accepting reality for what it is, and even embracing it. You don’t try to fight it, but rather you try to change it. Force is when you resist reality, and fight it.
Although these concepts are extremely simple, they have profound applications and implications.
Power vs. Force even talks about varying “levels of consciousness,” which David Hawkins ranks on a scale from 1-1000. Only a handful of people have ever unlocked “Christ-Consciousness,” or 1,000 level consciousness. People like Buddha, Krishna, and Jesus have unlocked this incredibly impactful state of awareness.
Most people exist around “level 205,” according to Hawkins. As you go up the scale, however, you gain incredible powers and insights. Einstein, Beethoven, and Nietzsche, for example, were at “level 499.” Do you see how significant just a rise of several hundred points is?
The author also claims that his book raises the “level of consciousness,” of each reader by roughly 10-15 points, which is huge considering most human beings only advance by 5 points in their entire lifetime.
Hawkins grapples with the concepts of good and evil in the world, and with the various mindsets, or “levels of consciousness,” that are duking it out. For example, this book has a chart comparing the impact of different levels of consciousness on reality.
One human being at the level of 300 causes the same amount of positive change in the world as 90,000 individuals below 200 cause negative change. One human being at the level of 400 counterbalances 400,000 individuals below level 200. One human being at the level of 700 counterbalances 70 million individuals below 200.
This is how powerful spiritual awakening is. Just one fully spiritually awakened human being can permanently alter the course of reality.
I realize that this is all extremely difficult to understand, so I recommend that you get yourself a copy of Power vs. Force and let the brilliant David Hawkins explain it to you. Be warned, however. It’s a massive fucking book. It’s nearly 400 pages of extremely dense philosophizing and discussion. But, if you can plow through it, it’s nothing short of life-changing.
Books on Fitness & Dating
Every man should master his dating life and his physical fitness, otherwise what the fuck are you doing? Seriously, you’ve got one life—live it.
It’s on you to master your physical fitness, to get jacked, to be as healthy and strong as you possibly can, so you’d best start learning about how to do it.
Here are the top dating & fitness books:
- Starting Strength (Check Price on Amazon)
- Models (Check Best Price on Amazon)
I, of course, offer my own books on dating and fitness, however I figured it would be in poor taste to rep my own products instead of other peoples.
So, with that in mind, keep reading to discover the very best books on the planet, for getting your physical fitness and dating life in order.
Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe
“You do not need to do many different exercises to get strong – you need to get strong on a very few important exercises, movements that train the whole body as a system, not as a collection of separate body parts. The problem with the programs advocated by all the national exercise organizations is that they fail to recognize this basic principle: the body best adapts as a whole organism to stress applied to the whole organism. The more stress that can be applied to as much of the body at one time as possible, the more effective and productive the adaptation will be.”-Mark Rippetoe, Starting Strength
Mark Rippetoe is one of the “greats” in the world of strength training. In fact, I would argue that this book is probably the best workout for beginners in existence. It’s simple, yet extremely effective. Mark Rippetoe’s basic training philosophy is completely unparalleled by any other fitness gurus.
He presents a very simple, yet powerful routine that can benefit both beginners and experts alike. If you have literally any questions about powerlifting, squatting form, what to do when your bench press stalls, or anything else, look no further. Mark has your answer.
No other book has given me so much knowledge when it comes to powerlifting. Mark’s powerlifting mechanics and explanations of form are absolutely crucial for any weightlifter to understand.
This is one of the most helpful books for men trying to get into working out, by fucking far. It provides an incredibly strong foundation in the gym upon which you can build.
Models by Mark Manson
“Studies show that women are equally attracted to men that they believe have the potential to be extremely successful as they are to men who are already successful. This would also explain why women find men who display great strength and skills to be attractive, even though they are dirt poor. It explains why the starving artist has no trouble finding girl friends to support him, and the college athlete can date super models even though he can’t afford a hamburger.”-Mark Manson, Models
There’s dozens and dozens of books that have been written on pickup. The most famous, perhaps, is known as “The Game,” by Neil Strauss. It covers all sorts of different routines, PUA terminology, and tactics. It’s the book that spawned the whole PUA culture, from pea-cocking to negs.
Beyond this, there’s other popular “PUA” books such as The Mystery Method and Bang, but they all fall miserably short in my opinion, because they focus on strategies and techniques rather than core principles.
Models by Mark Manson, however, completely transcends any individual pickup tactic or strategy. It focuses on the emotional steps of seduction rather than agonizing over dozens of logical steps. Models is literally one of the greatest books for men when it comes to women.
The pickup community tends to teach men how to act like attractive men, rather than be attractive men—I touched upon this in my article on How to Be an Alpha Male, but the idea is that the PUA community fusses over when to touch her on the elbow, when to go in for the kiss, what to say when she says “X” or “Y,” and so on.
But the fact of the matter is that no matter how much theory you learn, and no matter how many techniques you know, you will not be an attractive man.
Models teaches you how to be an attractive man by being the best version of yourself. It presents a brutally honest explanation of what women are attracted to, and it teaches you how to become the type of man who pulls regularly.
And the best part? It was written by a man who was once engrossed in the toxic PUA community, so he knows where most men are coming from. If you buy any book on pickup AT ALL, I highly urge that it be this book.
Note: I’m not saying that the other books aren’t worthwhile. I still think that they’re valuable reads, because like reading ancient Greek philosophy before you read Nietzsche, they teach you where modern day pickup theory emerged from and give you a deeper understanding of it. That being said, however, Models is by far one of the best books for men on pickup that I have read to date.
In conclusion, these are some of the best books out there that every man should read—covering war, to family struggles, to spirituality, and more.
If you haven’t read every single one of these books, you are seriously missing out. You’re crippling your chances at success in life.
Books are how we gain knowledge from men of the past—and it’s how they teach us lessons, they wish they knew when they were younger.
So get started. Take action. Don’t delay.
If you drive a lot, or just don’t like to read, then consider signing up for a free trial of Audible. You can download any two books of your choosing for FREE, when you sign up using this link.
❓ What Books Every Man Should Read?
Every man should read a wide variety of books, to become the most well-rounded version of himself. There's books on fitness, masculinity, style, fashion, lifestyle, philosophy, politics, spirituality, and many other things that every man should read.
A great book to start with, in my opinion, is The Way of Men by Jack Donovan. This is a great book that lays down the facts about what it means to be a man. It discusses the 4 masculine virtues, which every man must strive to follow in his life.
❓ What Are The 10 Most Important Books to Read?
The 10 most important books to read would be:
1. The Way of Men by Jack Donovan
2. The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida
3. Iron John by Robert Bly
4. Prometheus Rising by Dr. Robert Anton Wilson
5. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
6. Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
7. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
8. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
9. Power vs. Force by Dr. David Hawkins
10. The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham
These are the top books for men, that everyone should read at least once in his life.
❓ What Should I Read in 2020?
There's a ton of books every man should read, ranging from ancient books on warfare to modern books on culture and politics. If you're looking for some of the best books to read in 2020 however, then it's always best to go back to the classics. Start with Aristotle, consider Robert Greene, and work your way up to modern times.
Studies show that women are equally attracted to men that they believe have the potential to be extremely successful as they are to men who are already successful. This would also explain why women find men who display great strength and skills to be attractive, even though they are dirt poor. It explains why the starving artist has no trouble finding girl friends to support him, and the college athlete can date super models even though he can’t afford a hamburger.”
This quote is not in the book? Why do you mention it? I searched for it on my phone.
I agree 100%. Also maybe the internet doesn’t have every single possible quote in it. Maybe you have to actually read it, lol
Jon, you are awesome. Thank you for all your insight, advice and hard truths. RESPECT.
Of course, and thank you man! 🙂
It’s a very helpfull article.But i think you miss one book “The Magic of Thinking Big”.Thank you
Great book! Haven’t read the whole thing yet 😉
For men who grew up as a only-child together with their mother like me. In the first part of ‘The Way of the Superior Man’ there is the 3rd point: ‘Live as if your father were dead’. At first this point did not make sense to me because I grew-up spending most time away from him. Then I realised that for men who grew up as a only-child together with their mother you have the read this point as ‘Live as if your mother were dead.’ Even though this might seem stupidly obvious, it took me WEEKS to realise this. A lot of single mothers can be very controlling over their children, because deep down they have a insecurity regarding men leaving them. Them controlling many aspects of your life drains your masculinity. My advice is to move out of your mother’s house as soon as possible.
100%, man. Once I dropped out of college and moved out of my parents house, things changed. I was 100% responsible for my life. It was hard at first, but eventually I fuckin’ made it!
You missed out the book “Peace is very step”
Steve Biddulph the new manhood
I recommend ‘The Practice of the Presence of God’ written by Brother Lawrence. A 17th century monk who understood truly what it meant to know God and depend on Him entirely.
I recommend The Millionaire Fastlane and Unscripted by MJ Demarco. Both are great books on achieving financial freedom.
I first saw you blog on ROK, then navigated over to your site a few months ago. I have to say I like your blog better. I bought your body of an alfa book and in seeing great results! And the supplement guide is a great bonus. That’s one area I always wondered if I was blowing money. Now I know thanks to you Jon. One book i share and think every man needs to read 3 times is Rational Male by Tomassi. That was the book that changed me.
Glad I found you and your blog!
10x thanks Jon
Glad to hear you’re seeing progress from Body of an Alpha 🙂 – Ah yes, Rollo is brilliant.
Great List Jon. I’m going to check out Prometheus rising. Sounds interesting. One book I would add to the list is “Way of the SEAL” by Mark Divine.
Rich Dad Poor Dad is one book I bought years ago but never take some time to read it. I love your article and it made me take this book in my hands. Thank you for that.
Should add Gorilla Mindset by Mike Cernovich to the list.
Yes, I need to update this list. Good book by Cernovich.
I have read a lot of books and usually underline lines or put brackets around paragraphs I find useful but I find myself forgetting crucial lessons. Do you write notes on the book after each chapter or some other strategy to help you retain more information from the book?
I have a two step process:
1. As I’m reading the book, I highlight anything very important, and dog-ear it.
2. Then, a month later, I skim through and make a mental note of the highlights. I then put a maximum of three little sticky note things into the book, marking the three most important highlights.
That way I can go back in the future and easily go through it for important pieces of wisdom.
I have spent 40 years studying Lao Tzu, martial arts and Taoism. I have devoted my life to the Way, learning about Chinese culture and philosophy.
The Tao Te Ching is a very profound work.
The point of this comment is to let you know that you most certainly didn’t understand a single sentence of the book and to encourage you to keep studying it, for it is truly a marvelous source of harmony.
A good list!
One of my recommended books: “The book of five rings” by Miyamoto Musashi. Miyamoto was maybe one of the greatest Samurai of all times. His book describes his Martial Art, and the philosophy behind it. A great man, a great warrior, and a sage.
“There is nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, richer, stronger, or smarter. Everything is within. Everything exists. Seek nothing outside of yourself.”
I’ve definitely had that book recommended before…I’ll have to check it out. Thanks for the recommendation!
Nope! I get like 20 cents for every book you buy, but that is at no expense to you.
That’s funny, most of the people who read your work have probably gained enough wit to download all 8 of these for free. But 10/10, thank you for the recommendations. I’ve dabbled in SS, haven’t heard of the other 7.
Hahaha that’s true, but I like to have it in my hands as I read it. I can highlight and dog-ear pages and what not.
You missed out Sex & Power by Simon Sheppard.
Haven’t read it, but I’ll add it to the list of books I have to read
That Prometheus Rising book looks very interesting will have to check it out. Always interested in anything having to do with the mind. Really think that many things in life boil down to mindset.
Absolutely, man – change your internal reality and you can change your external reality.
If you read any book about psychology, I highly recommend reading Prometheus Rising.