One of my favorite things in life is reading. I enjoy reading almost anything and find great pleasure in continuing to learn something new. In fact, I believe we all strive to continue to learn something new every single day. There is so much out there in the world that we’ve never noticed, heard about, or considered. We are also all fucked up. Me included. One of the best things we can do about that issue is to educate ourselves about life, women, beer, fitness, culture, depression, psychology, and more, including how to be a better man.
Over the past few years I have read a great number of books about being a better man. I really believe that there is much for each of us to discover about who we are, why we act the way we do, and why we experience certain issues. Self-discovery is one of the drives that pushes me forward every day and I think that might be the same for you and other people you know.
I’ve read books about being a father, a husband, a business owner, a lover, a man, a writer, an athlete, a martial artist and much more. With every book that gets read and put down another is quickly picked up and started. Below are a list of five of the best books I think all men should read. I am going to gift them to men I know. I am going to have my son read them when he’s old enough. I want my friends and brothers and other men in my life to read them.
There is much to find out about how we operate as men and these five books are where we should all start. I also highly suggest that women read these books as well. Especially number three. You will learn a lot about your sons, your husbands, your brothers, fathers, or boyfriends.
1. Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters
This book was written by Meg Meeker, a woman, and she opened my eyes to just how important the men in a woman’s life are. Whether it’s her father or the man she loves, men are important to women, but none more important than her Father. In fact, Meeker suggests that a girl’s father is the most important person in her life. More so than Mom. Although the book does have some religious factors, the principle is what matters. So if you’re offended by God talk, suck it up chump.
Through the course of the book Meeker goes through ten “secrets” all fathers should know. If you’re not a father or are a father but don’t have a daughter, I still suggest you read this book. It will help you understand more about the women in your life. One of the ideas in the book that stuck with me the most is probably one of the greatest tools we can have to living our lives activated and being the best man we can be, the idea that Fathers should be the man they would want their daughter to marry. This is a great self-development tool and when taken seriously, can make the world of change in our lives.
(By the way, Meg Meeker also wrote a book called Strong Mothers, Strong Sons. I’ve yet to read it but it’s on the list. Ladies, get to work.)
2. The Way Of The Superior Man
There is only one book I have ever read twice. This is it. If you read one book from this list, make it this book written by David Deida. The way of the superior man is one of the best books I have ever picked up. It’s full of short chapters that are useful for just about anything in life. The book discusses thoughts about our purpose in life, being a man of purpose, sexual energy and techniques, how to be a great lover, and the difference between masculine energy and feminine energy. One thing he wrote about is how when a man lacks in masculine energy, the woman will increase her masculine energy and this creates problems. A woman with masculine energy trying to bridge the gap between the yin and yang of the relationship is a woman who can’t relax. A not relaxed woman is a not sexual woman. It is the man’s responsibility to polarize the energy and keep it that way. Ladies, I’d definitely read this book as well, buy it today for your husband or boyfriend.
This book will push you out of your comfort zone and give you several aha moments.
3. Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus
Probably the best-selling relationship book of all-time. Dr. John Gray writes about the difference between Men and Women and why we need to know and accept and embrace these differences. If you ever thought to yourself “I have no idea what goes through her head or why she acts the way she acts when I do this or that”, read this book.
As men, we have “caves” as Gray calls them that we retreat to. After a long day of work and being super stressed out, we retreat to our caves. We want to sit down and unwind with a beer, a book, or a game on the television. Women on the other hand want to talk about their day. When men have problems, they retreat to their cave. When women have problems, they want to talk about them. Most people don’t understand this and when they do, tensions and useless arguments can be avoided.
Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus helps us understand the differences between the “rubber band” energy that men have the “wave” energy that women have. It also discusses meeting emotional needs, avoiding arguments, communicating difficult feelings, scoring points with the opposite sex, and keeping the magic in the relationship alive.
Men need this book because, honestly, when was the last time you were taught how to be in a good relationship? Women as well.
4. No More Mr. Nice Guy
Nice guys finish last. We’ve heard it before, we’ve shaken it off as nonsense, we’ve been friend zoned, we’ve experienced it, the truth is Nice Guys finish last. Dr. Robert Glover, author of No More Mr. Nice Guy, started support groups for men and was a nice guy. He was going through all the problems Nice Guys experience in relationships and as we was recovering from being a Nice Guy, he wrote this book. Are you a nice guy who always appears to be nice and do you avoid conflicts at all costs? This book is for you.
If not, this book is for you too.
Glover writes about men being conditioned by our childhoods and society to believe that in order to have a great relationship, good things in life, and a happy life, we need to be nice, make everyone else happy, and avoid any problems at all costs. Men don’t need approval. Nice Guys try to find it. This creates self-loathing and frustration.
One main thing repeated in the book is how men have needs and wants and often they brush them off to please other people first and create a conflict free environment. This is what Glover calls “Nice Guy Syndrome”. The book goes into great detail about how men must embrace, develop, understand, and grow their masculine traits instead of being afraid of them and suppressing them.
This is the book I just read. I wish I read this when I was a teenager and I will definitely have my son read this book. This will become only the second book I have ever read over. There are issues all Nice Guys have that relate back to our childhood that are important to work through. Glover states that Nice Guys are givers, fixers, caretakers, approval seekers, repressors of feelings, and conflict avoiders. Operating out of these states can bring disaster to relationships, work, and happiness. This book has the steps to take to work through them and become the best man we’re meant to be.
Next to The Way of The Superior Man, this is the most brilliant book for all men to read in their life. Better now than later.
5. The War of Art
Steven Pressfield wrote a gem, a best-selling, no-nonsense book about crushing resistance and doing the work we should all be doing. There are many fears we have about action. Whether that is starting a workout routine, creating a new business, improving a relationship, starting a new hobby, or sitting down to read these five books. We have a resistance that makes us lazy and afraid. Afraid of what to do next, the unexpected, the unknown, and being too lazy to get up a little earlier to workout, too lazy to cook good healthy food and too lazy to romance the woman in your life.
While the book is a lot about the creative process and starting something new that we’re scared to start, there are many principles in the book that we can use and put into work in our lives that will help us become better men and people. We have the talent, the ability, and the desire to do what we choose to do and want to do, but we allow things to stand in our way of ACTION.
Pressfield writes about overcoming that resistance from a writer and writing perspective, but you’re smart enough to understand the principle.
“Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.” ― Albert Einstein
Now you have a list of five books I believe all men should read in their life. It’s close to being a should read, but that choice is yours. Only you can decide what to do with your life but in my opinion, these books will make you a better man, a better lover, a better husband or boyfriend, a better worker, and a happier person who lives their life activated.