A hallmark of a true gentleman is being well read, but King Solomon of Israel put it best when he said, “To the making of books there is no end.” So which books should every man read? Developing a “top 5 books every man should read” post is quite hard to do. Therefore this list isn’t a top 5 list, rather it is a simple list of 5 books that every man should take the time to read. (If you want an ambitious look at the top 100 books every man should read, visit The Art of Manliness blog, and make sure you check out the comments section as well.)
- Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand. One of my favorite books of all time, Atlas Shrugged is a bear, but easy to read thanks to an excellent storyline. The book challenges the most basic ways we perceive the world and holds the view that, “The most depraved type of human being…(is) the man without a purpose.”
- David Copperfield – Charles Dickens. David Copperfield… Charles Dickens… need I say more?
- War and Peace – Tolstoy. No list of must read books can be complete without Tolstoy. This one was a tough call for me between Anna Karenina and War and Peace. In the end, either Tolstoy novel will do.
- The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich – William Shirer. This one makes my list perhaps because of my mild obsession with the history of World War II. Whatever the case may be, it is an interesting, almost unadulterated look into totalitarianism.
- Catch-22 – Joseph Heller. The cover says it all, “Read it… and you’ll never be quite the same again.” Not to mention the fact that this book has heavily influenced language we still use today and no gentleman should use a term when he is not aware of its meaning or origin.