Every Man Should Read These Life-Changing Books

Don’t take life learning and personal growth for granted. Some of these books are guaranteed to expand your mind, provoke your thoughts, and even challenge your perception and world view.

This is an unranked and incomplete list of some of the greatest books you should read to be a better man now and in the future. They can change your life and make you a better man. All the lessons you need to build health, wealth, and wisdom are buried in these books.

1. Biography of United States President Theodore Roosevelt

The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris

“For once, he could look back at the past without regret, and at the future without bewilderment. Simply and touchingly, he wrote in his diary: “I have had so much happiness in my life so far that I feel, no matter what sorrows come, the joys will have overbalanced them.”

2. Fundamental work on free market policies

The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith

“The man whose whole life is spent in performing a few simple operations, of which the effects are perhaps always the same, or very nearly the same, has no occasion to exert his understanding or to exercise his invention in finding out expedients for removing difficulties which never occur. He naturally loses, therefore, the habit of such exertion, and generally becomes as stupid and ignorant as it is possible for a human creature to become. ”

3. A famous book about people skills

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

“It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.”
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

4. A series of personal writings (Stoic philosophy) by a famous Roman Emperor 161–180 CE

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

“You have power over your mind — not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”
“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”
“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”

5. A classic book on strategic warfare

The Art of War by Sun Tzu

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

6. Franklin explains how a man can make himself a success

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

“In reality, there is, perhaps, no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. Disguise it, struggle with it, beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive, and will every now and then peep out and show itself; you will see it, perhaps, often in this history; for, even if I could conceive that I had completely overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility.”

7. This book contains the most prominent of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s philosophies

Self-Reliance & Other Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Be yourself; no base imitator of another, but your best self. There is something which you can do better than another. Listen to the inward voice and bravely obey that. Do the things at which you are great, not what you were never made for.”
“Whoso would be a man, must be a nonconformist. He who would gather immortal palms must not be hindered by the name of goodness, but must explore it if it be goodness. Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world.”

8. An inspiring meditation for the warrior in each of us

Resilience by Eric Greitens

“I begin with humility, I act with humility, I end with humility. Humility leads to clarity. Humility leads to an open mind and a forgiving heart. With an open mind and a forgiving heart, I see every person as superior to me in some way; with every person as my teacher, I grow in wisdom. As I grow in wisdom, humility becomes ever more my guide. I begin with humility, I act with humility, I end with humility.”

9. An ultimate notebook of high-leverage tools

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Timothy Ferriss

“I wish I would have known that there was no need to wait. I went to college. I went to law school. I worked in law and banking, though not for terribly long. But not until I started PayPal did I fully realize that you don’t have to wait to start something.
So if you’re planning to do something with your life, if you have a 10-year plan of how to get there, you should ask: Why can’t you do this in 6 months? Sometimes, you have to actually go through the complex, 10-year trajectory. But it’s at least worth asking whether that’s the story you’re telling yourself, or whether that’s the reality.”

10. A description of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

“Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself.
Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run — in the long-run, I say! — success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it”

11. This novel deals with the major themes of duality, revolution, and resurrection

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

“A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.”
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

12. What are the dynamics that drive the accumulation and distribution of capital? This book answers it

Capital in the Twenty-First Century, by Thomas Piketty and Arthur Goldhammer

“When the rate of return on capital exceeds the rate of growth of output and income, as it did in the nineteenth century and seems quite likely to do again in the twenty-first, capitalism automatically generates arbitrary and unsustainable inequalities that radically undermine the meritocratic values on which democratic societies are based.”

13. The importance of living your life with purpose

The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People by Stephen Covey

“But until a person can say deeply and honestly, “I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday,” that person cannot say, “I choose otherwise.”
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”
“Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and
he will become as he can and should be.”

14. A manual for anyone interested in gaining, observing, or defending against ultimate control

The 48 Laws of Power by Joost Elffers and Robert Greene

“When you show yourself to the world and display your talents, you naturally stir all kinds of resentment, envy, and other manifestations of insecurity… you cannot spend your life worrying about the petty feelings of others”
“If you are unsure of a course of action, do not attempt it. Your doubts and hesitations will infect your execution. Timidity is dangerous: Better to enter with boldness. Any mistakes you commit through audacity are easily corrected with more audacity. Everyone admires the bold; no one honors the timid.”

15. Ego is our biggest enemy

Ego is the Enemy:The Fight to Master Our Greatest Opponent by Ryan Holiday

“Your potential, the absolute best you’re capable of — that’s the metric to measure yourself against. Your standards are. Winning is not enough. People can get lucky and win. People can be assholes and win. Anyone can win. But not everyone is the best possible version of themselves.”
“ego is the enemy of what you want and of what you have: Of mastering a craft. Of real creative insight. Of working well with others. Of building loyalty and support. Of longevity. Of repeating and retaining your success. It repulses advantages and opportunities. It’s a magnet for enemies and errors. It is Scylla and Charybdis.”

One more thing…

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