The Art of Manliness' 100 Must-Read Books

The Art of Manliness blog has a huge archive of the manly things manly man should do, like How to Break Down a Door, or How to Hug like a Man, so it's refreshing to see something different.

Here's a neat list of the 100 must-read books, the essential man's library, by Jason Lankow, Ross Crooks, Joshua Ritchie, and Brett McKay:

There are the books you read, and then there are the books that change your life. We can all look back on the books that have shaped our perspective on politics, religion, money, and love. Some will even become a source of inspiration for the rest of your life. From a seemingly infinite list of books of anecdotal or literal merit, we have narrowed down the top 100 books that have shaped the lives of individual men while also helping define broader cultural ideas of what it means to be a man.

Good to see some of my favorite books listed, (yes, they're not *just* for guys). Link

I normally hate lists like these, but this one is really good. I haven't read most of the Russian lit, but they seem to have a good selection.
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I thought there were entirely too many Roosevelt books for a list of only 100 books. And what about such classics as Anthem (Rand), A Clockwork Orange (Burgess), Cold Mountain (Frazier), The Road (McCarthy), A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Joyce)...I would have put these above the many Roosevelt pieces listed. Isn't it just more of the same? And you are telling me one of the 100 books isn't Peter Mayle's "What's Happening to Me?" PAH! Come on! Otherwise, I totally agreed with the list.
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Jo-E -

Since they already had Atlas Shrugged, I think they figured two Ayn Rand books would be repetitive. As for the multiple Teddy Roosevelt bios... yeah, I don't get that. I would have had Glory Road or Starship Troopers by Heinlein at the top of the list, myself.
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jeez......don't get me wrong, i love teddy roosevelt and have read a lot about and by him, but way too many books on him in there. i also sat there wondering when hunter thompson, tolstoy, and sir walter scott were going to show up....definitely more important reads than some they had in the list....."into the wild"....c'mon.....a good book, yes, but a MUST read? no way.
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A very nice reading list. I was particularly glad to see Cyrano de Bergerac included, since most people overlook the fact that romance is the manliest of arts.

But if you are looking for a manly role model, there's none better than Robert B. Parker's Spenser.

Jack Reacher, in the series of novels by Lee Child, comes close, except that he's a little short on hygiene and compassion.
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I have more than half of those books on my bookshelf. Dostoevsky ranks up there as one of my favorite authors of all time, but seemed a little heavy on the list along with Roosevelt. As a woman, I think there should have been at least one chick book on there if for no other reason than to give men insight into the incomprehensibly twisted, emotional minds of women.
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Something really rubs me the wrong way with The Art of Manliness' self-branding and its subsequent popularity with Digg. Don't get me wrong, I love most of what its articles have to say, as they contain sound life, practical, and career advice. But the fact is, TAOM applies to anyone who wants to be a level-headed, well-balanced mature adult who lives life to the fullest. To suggest that such concerns are purely the domain of men makes me feel like we've stepped back into a less enlightened time...

And what more, the site's prose often has glimmers of homophobia and a dated appeal to the fantasy of rugged individualism, and often moans about the emasculating nature of today's society, romanticizes war, denies the value of psychiatry and the medical nature of depression, and also brazenly perpetuates the stereotypes and accentuates societal gender differences between the sexes, mistaking them for inborne traits essential to a sexual identity.
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thanks alecks.. i was hoping someone would say something along those lines. agreed 100%. although yes, it's great to identify with series of books, but they should not be used in order to establish a particular identity (here, it is to be identified as 'manly'), rather, they should be used to gain perspectives that help shape your identity. i think HALF of those books should have been by women because half of the world is female. if you only know and exhibit the patriarchal perspective, half the world is going to hate you.
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Even if this site seems to have a slight tinge of testosterone poisoning, this is a fairly good list of books. There are a few I would've left off (I actually think that The Dharma Bums is a much better Kerouac novel than On The Road), but overall, not a bad list. I also really like a lot of the pictures of books that accompany the list.
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