Last week we put forth five books that we feel are essential reading for any man. There was a lot of argument, angry tweets and incendiary FB posts, but we stand by our choices. Here are our five more selections for this week, including at number 5 an essay with particular relevance this week. Enjoy, gentleman.
6)The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Set on the East Coast in the roaring 20′s, this American novel is a classic. From it we learn that often the wanting of something is better than actually having it. It is relevant to every man’s life. Furthermore, one true friend is worth infinitely more than a multitude of acquaintances. One of the great novels addressing the decline of the ‘American Dream’, The Great Gatsby is as relevant today was it was when it was first published in 1925.
7) The Republic by Plato
This is a book that most men will never read unless they find themselves being forced to for a freshman year philosophy credit, but it’s a fundamental text that serves as a cornerstone of Western thought. Working through topics like justice, government and political theory this text is essential reading because although you may never quote from it, the ideas and thought processes you take form it will likely shape how you think about the world. Being a fairly dense philosophical work, the process of reading is its own lesson in commitment and reward.
8 ) Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
Considered McCarthy’s masterpiece (which is saying something, since by most standards he deals in ‘masterpieces’), Blood Meridian or the Evening Redness in the West is a book so vividly violent and well written that even hardened men have been known to have nightmares while reading it. McCarthy is a master of the written word, creating characters so real that even physical, let alone emotional reactions to the book are par for the course. Reading Blood Meridian is to the be in the grip of something captivating, giving yourself up to the world captured in its pages.
9)Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
One of the great ‘post-colonial’ novels to come out of Africa, Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart is a beautifully poignant examination of the role of the individual in society and vice-versa. The main character Okonkwo is a man torn between a culture he feels deeply connected to and the pervasive changes which inevitably come as time passes. It’s a book that still maintains relevancy today as colonial actions are more pervasively taken up by corporations and the process of globalization.
10)The Kentucky Derby is Decadent &
Depraved by Hunter S. Thompson
This actually isn’t a book, but since the Kentucky Derby happens to be this coming Saturday, we here at EveryGuyed decided to include it in the list. Notable for being one of Thompson’s earliest forays into the ‘Gonzo’ style of journalism that would characterize his body of work, The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved also marked the beginning of his life-long collaboration with English artist Ralph Steadman. In classic Thompson style, the alcohol-fueled piece scarcely makes mention of the actual race, opting to instead examine the true ‘beasts’ of the event; the crowd. You can – and of course should – read the entire essay in Ralph Steadman’s archives.