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.
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 4 separate 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 all of the comments.
Now, without further ado, here are the best books for men of all time:
I actually wrote a brief synopsis of this book in Defining Masculinity on a Primal Level, because it’s just that good. It is easily one of the best books for men out there, if not THE best.
This book provides a brutally honest, tribal framework for understanding man.
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.
He doesn’t resort to logicizing and theoretical nonsense. He gives you four specific characteristics that you can start cultivating TODAY.
Paradoxically, The Way of the Superior Man provides us with a spiritual guide to masculinity. It picks up where The Way of Men leaves off.
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 is one of the best books for men on spirituality. It wrestles with such concepts as:
This book was absolutely life-changing for me. Before I read this book, I thought that I knew what it meant to be a man. I didn’t. I had previously thought that masculinity was entirely aggressive and assertive, but reading this book taught me that there is also a “yin” side to being a man.
Being a man also means being a gentle warrior, it means having tender aggression, and it means living in your edge.
I am incredibly disappointed that this book is no longer in print (2019 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 for men 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.
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:
In short, buy the fucking book, because it’s an absolutely amazing gem, and one of the BEST books for men out there – not enough people know about it (which is why it went out of print temporarily).
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.
This is another one of those life-changing books. It’s one of the best books for men 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.
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:
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.
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.
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 best books for men trying to get into working out, if not THE best book. It provides an incredibly strong foundation in the gym upon which you can build.
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 best 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.
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.
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.
Although this book is more of a story than it is an informational guide, it is filled with countless gems of wisdom. The story takes place in the 1950’s, as a young boy begins to become fed up with society and its determination to crush the spirit out of every living man.
He grows dissatisfied with his life, and decides to hitch-hike all around the U.S., particularly along the West Coast. He meets plenty of friends along the way, such as Japhy, an aspiring Zen Buddhist, Henry, the philosophizing kook, and “Princess,” the young, blonde-haired nymphomaniac with an obsession for tantric sex.
If there’s one thing that I learned from this book, it’s the value of embracing life. The author, who acts as the character “Ray” in the novel, doesn’t know what’s going to happen. He doesn’t know where he’ll get his next meal. He doesn’t know if he’ll die tomorrow or live until he’s 100.
But what he does know, is this: he wants freedom.
And on this epic journey spanning years, all throughout the caves of Northern California and the beaches of SoCal, we get a glimpse into the life of a vagabond; a man wandering through nature without a care in the world.
This book is reminiscent of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s work, in that they both have an appreciation for how man can feel so, so insignificant when he’s in nature. There’s something about looking at the trees, hearing the birds chirp, and seeing the vast forest surround you, that makes you realize life goes on without you.
If you are a man who is afraid of living life, I highly recommend reading The Dharma Bums.
It will teach you the value of embracing life, taking risks, and going on adventures. It will teach you the value of friendship, the importance of just letting go, and it’s a phenomenal insight into the philosophy that sparked the 1960’s revolution.
This is definitely one of the best books for men who are struggling with finding themselves, or for men who don’t know where they fit into the world.
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.
Born out of the men’s mythopoetic movement, Iron John is one of the best books for men on male psychology AND spirituality.
Although the book was heavily influenced by Carl Jung’s theory of the archetypes, it is extremely spiritual. The book tells the story of Iron John, an old Eastern European folktale, but there’s a catch. Each significant event in Iron John’s life can be viewed through a spiritual, or psychological lens. Robert Bly does just this.
One of the main premises of the book is that man needs to get in touch with his inner “Wild Man,” or his primal masculinity. This is a stance that I endorse 100%.
The story starts off with a young boy, and follows him into adulthood; it analyzes the psychological developments and spiritual evolution that he goes through as a boy, and a lot of the problems that the boy faces are eerily familiar to most men.
I won’t reveal too much, because I want you to enjoy the novel, but it starts off with hunters mysteriously vanishing in a forest nearby the king’s castle. After many deaths, a conniving hunter is finally able to capture the creature causing the deaths.
This creature, which represents the Wild Man, is locked away out of fear, and the key to his cage is given to the queen. Enter Iron John, who is a young boy at this time.
As he’s playing with his golden ball, he accidentally lets it slip into the Wild Man’s cage. “Give me back my ball!” John shouts. “Not unless you let me out,” says the Wild Man. After denying the Wild Man freedom twice, the boy finally hardens up and decides to steal the key from his mother. He gets his golden ball back and accompanies the Wild Man into the forest, where he will be taught to be a man.
Just this first part of the story could be intensely analyzed, and Bly does just this. I will give a brief analysis, however.
Essentially, what’s going on here, is John exists in the “mother world,” or the world where emotions, intuition, and sensitivity reign supreme. This is the case for all of us; there is a reason why boys of the past were often torn away from their mothers at the age of 8 to become men.
John is afraid of becoming a man, however—as most young boys are. Being a man involves being courageous, decisive, assertive, and having many qualities that are difficult to develop. This is why he turns down the Wild Man’s offer.
Eventually, however, it is time to become a man—he must steal the key from his mother. This is symbolic of the fact that becoming a man is often a rebellion against the “mother world.”
Mothers want to smother their baby boys in love and affection, and keep them in a permanent state of boyhood. Ever seen a Jewish mother kiss her 45 year old son on the forehead and pinch his cheek? That’s what she’s doing.
It is no coincidence that in order to let out the Wild Man, or his inner masculinity, John must steal the key from his mother, or rebel against the mother world. It is only through standing up to our mothers and asserting our masculinity that they will come to respect us, and that we will come to be men.
John decides to man up—he steals the key from his mother, and unleashes the Wild Man. This is where his journey towards manhood begins.
Like I said, this is only a brief synopsis of the first part of the story, so if you want the full story and psychological/spiritual analysis in its full glory, I highly recommend checking out the book.
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 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.
In conclusion, these are some of the best books for men in existence.
If you haven’t read every single one of these books, you are seriously missing out.
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.
Jon Anthony is a dating coach, fitness expert, and self-improvement guru. He dropped out of college to start Masculine Development in 2015, and has since been self-employed, helping men across the world achieve their best lives. You can best reach him on social media, or via email for questions.