We’ve scoured Amazon, a few local libraries, and a book club in the burbs for the most introspective books and novels for guys. Or at least 11 novels that every guy needs on their bookshelf. No Sparks or Steele will fly on this list.
- The Art of War, by Sun Tzu—This book dates back to 514 B.C. but is chock full of advice that can be applied to today in the workplace or even on a date.
2. A Man in Full, by Tom Wolfe—Imagine a man at the top of his game. He has it all with the exception of character and depth. The lack of both causes him to look inside himself for his own place and worth in this world.
3. The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde—A good looking guy that is anything but good, hangs onto his youth through a secret stored in an attic.
4. Life of Pi, by Yann Martel—A young boy’s life gets turned upside down after he survives a shipwreck and his only companion is a Bengal tiger.
5. Ulysses, by James Joyce—Sex, miscreant roommates and a story that moves at the same pace of the film, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
6. When You Are Engulfed in Flames, by David Sedaris—Think your childhood was screwed up? Think again. Thankfully, Sedaris has always tossed aside rose-colored lenses and replaced them with humor.
7. Moby Dick, by Herman Melville—A seasoned seaman searches the ocean in pursuit of a large beast named, Moby Dick. This was a time when whale blubber and carcasses were quite valuable and were used for tools, soaps and candles.
8. The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand—This story centers around a man of true talent and character and a “sell-out.” There is quite a bit of depth to the story even on the surface.
9. The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemmingway—You can’t get more manly than the author and legend of this classic novel. Hemmingway captures the very soul of an aging fisherman that is laughed at by locals and in many ways is viewed as unlucky. Against all odds, he sets out to prove that he still worthy.
10. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald—Jay Gatsby is a self-made millionaire throwing the most lavish parties for those of means during the golden era of jazz. But being a part of the rich and elite comes at a heavy price.
11. Jaws, by Peter Benchley—The movie was great but the book goes into more depth (no pun intended) about each character’s past and even a very sordid affair between Brody’s wife and a main character in the story that is not Chief Brody. Cue the cello!