Reading. Sadly, this is an activity that often falls by the wayside in our current cultural climate – since reading a computer screen doesn’t count, not by a long-shot – despite the fact that it is perhaps one of the most satisfying things a man can spend his time doing. Here at EveryGuyed we’ve debated and discussed some books that every man should read at some point in his life; books that speak to our past, present and future selves. These are the first 5 selections in a weekly series that will total 50 books in all.
Head to your local bookstore, order them off Amazon or search out a dog-eared copy from a thrift shop or library. If you must, use an e-reader of your choosing, but understand in the minimal inches and grams that you save going digital you will lose something ethereal and wholly essential. Read on, gentleman, read on.
1) ‘The Prince‘ by Niccolo Machiavelli
Considered by most to be the authoritative text on statesmanship and power (how to obtain it as well as an illustration of its trappings), this is a book that’s as relevant in the boardroom as it is in the bedroom.
Essentially, Machiavelli advocates letting your people have their property and women, but making sure that they know what you are capable of doing if they step out of line.
2) ‘1984‘ by George Orwell
If you are already worried about the information that your computer is collecting from you, this book will provide no solace. This is the prototype for the will of the individual to maintain his privacy and free will, and how dangerous it is to be blind to not only the machines we use, but the machinery of existence itself.
3)’Walden‘ by Henry David Thoreau
A bit of isolation never hurt any man. Thoreau spent two years, two months and two days writing this book in Walden, a cabin tucked deep in the woods near Concord, Massachusetts. This work of non-fiction describes the changing of the seasons over the course of a year and was intended to give the author an escape from society in order to achieve a more objective point of view.
4)’On the Road‘ by Jack Kerouac
The stream of consciousness drifting has helped us experience that sacred institution of just going, and using our own language to experience the rapid unfolding of a new town as a rich flash in a pan. Lucky for all of us, he has saved us the trouble of popping Benzedrine for 3 weeks and experiencing our own mad visions, and we can simply join his world without ferociously grinding our teeth (though Kerouac said it was made possible by coffee alone). If you haven’t read it, get it now please. If you have, you know that you will never complain about a long drive again, whether alone or with the boys.
5)’The Maltese Falcon‘ by Dashiell Hammett
There’s nothing more manly than a good hard-boiled detective novel. The Maltese Falcon is filled with ambiguities in morality. Sam Spade, the main character in the book is a hardened and cynical man, but underneath his rough exterior is a man with a sense of idealism. Is it possible to do good even if you’re a bad person? It’s a book that will entertain as well as make you think.
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