So I didn’t even realize this until I started writing this article but I’ve “read” over 30 books in the past year. But I could have never sat down and actually read through them. My secret: audiobooks.
I love audiobooks. They allow me to read almost every day while I’m going for walks, working out, doing yard work, or taking long drives.
I prefer non-fiction audiobooks over fiction. I find that it’s easier to get the value out of the books while listening than with a fiction book. With fiction, it seems like if you miss a key detail you may be lost for the rest of the story. With non-fiction it feels similar to a podcast, where if I miss a quick detail I can still learn a lot from a book.
Table of Contents:
- Benefits of Listening to Audiobooks
- Best Non-Fiction Books for Men
- Best Self-Improvement Books for Men
- Best Business & Finance Books for Men
- Best Books on Dating & Relationships for Men
- Best Devotional Books for Men
- Best Fiction Audiobooks for Men
- Best War Books for Men
- Best Literary Classic Audiobooks for Men
Benefits of Listening to Audiobooks
During early childhood development, listening is the first language skill that we acquire. In fact, we acquire about 85% of what we learn by listening. Listening is also a great way to consume books, and in many cases audio consumption is more effective than visual reading.
- Increased Reading Accuracy by 52%: When listening to audio recordings of books, reading accuracy increases – as verbal accuracy is generally better than visual.
- Increased Reading Speed: Many people may avoid reading altogether because they are “slow readers”. With books on tape, you can listen much faster and “read” more easily.
- Expanding Vocabulary and Improved Fluency: When reading a book visually, it can be hard to understand unfamiliar or new words. However, when listening you immediately get to hear the word used in a sentence which can help you understand the context and pronunciation of the word.
- Improving Comprehension by 76%: Not only did reading accuracy improve with audiobooks, but comprehension also improved. Listening helps readers retain and understand books better.
- More Practical Than Visual Reading: If you have a busy lifestyle and feel like you don’t have time to read, audiobooks can adapt to your lifestyle. Play books on your smart speaker, wireless headphones, or in your car and you’ll have no problem knocking out a book in a week or less.
Best Non-Fiction Books for Men
As I said early, I prefer non-fiction books to fiction – but that’s simply a matter of personal preference. These non-fiction books recount some unbelievable stories and present some mind-blowing revelations that will help you better understand the world around you.
1. Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing
Experience one of the greatest adventure stories of the modern age in this New York Times bestseller: the harrowing tale of British explorer Ernest Shackleton’s 1914 attempt to reach the South Pole.
In August 1914, polar explorer Ernest Shackleton boarded the Endurance and set sail for Antarctica, where he planned to cross the last uncharted continent on foot.
In January 1915, after battling its way through a thousand miles of pack ice and only a day’s sail short of its destination, the Endurance became locked in an island of ice. Thus began the legendary ordeal of Shackleton and his crew of twenty-seven men. When their ship was finally crushed between two ice floes, they attempted a near-impossible journey over 850 miles of the South Atlantic’s heaviest seas to the closest outpost of civilization.
With an introduction by Nathaniel Philbrick, Endurance is the definitive account of Ernest Shackleton’s fateful trip. Alfred Lansing brilliantly narrates the gripping and miraculous voyage that has defined heroism for the modern age.
2. Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
From the bestselling author of The Bomber Mafia, learn what sets high achievers apart—from Bill Gates to the Beatles—in this seminal work from “a singular talent” (New York Times Book Review).
In this stunning book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of “outliers”—the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different?
His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing.
Along the way he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band.
Brilliant and entertaining, Outliers is a landmark work that will simultaneously delight and illuminate.
3. Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain
Anthony Bourdain, host of Parts Unknown, reveals “twenty-five years of sex, drugs, bad behavior and haute cuisine” in his breakout New York Times bestseller Kitchen Confidential.
Bourdain spares no one’s appetite when he told all about what happens behind the kitchen door. Bourdain uses the same “take-no-prisoners” attitude in his deliciously funny and shockingly delectable book, sure to delight gourmands and philistines alike.
From Bourdain’s first oyster in the Gironde, to his lowly position as dishwasher in a honky tonk fish restaurant in Provincetown (where he witnesses for the first time the real delights of being a chef); from the kitchen of the Rainbow Room atop Rockefeller Center, to drug dealers in the east village, from Tokyo to Paris and back to New York again, Bourdain’s tales of the kitchen are as passionate as they are unpredictable.
Kitchen Confidential will make your mouth water while your belly aches with laughter. You’ll beg the chef for more, please.
4. Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport
Deep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. It’s a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time. Deep Work will make you better at what you do and provide the sense of true fulfillment that comes from craftsmanship.
In short, deep work is like a super power in our increasingly competitive twenty-first century economy. And yet, most people have lost the ability to go deep-spending their days instead in a frantic blur of e-mail and social media, not even realizing there’s a better way.
In Deep Work, author and professor Cal Newport flips the narrative on impact in a connected age. Instead of arguing distraction is bad, he instead celebrates the power of its opposite. Dividing this book into two parts, he first makes the case that in almost any profession, cultivating a deep work ethic will produce massive benefits. He then presents a rigorous training regimen, presented as a series of four “rules,” for transforming your mind and habits to support this skill.
1. Work Deeply
2. Embrace Boredom
3. Quit Social Media
4. Drain the Shallows
A mix of cultural criticism and actionable advice, Deep Work takes the reader on a journey through memorable stories-from Carl Jung building a stone tower in the woods to focus his mind, to a social media pioneer buying a round-trip business class ticket to Tokyo to write a book free from distraction in the air-and no-nonsense advice, such as the claim that most serious professionals should quit social media and that you should practice being bored.
Deep Work is an indispensable guide to anyone seeking focused success in a distracted world.
5. Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant
With Give and Take, Adam Grant not only introduced a landmark new paradigm for success but also established himself as one of his generation’s most compelling and provocative thought leaders. In Originals he again addresses the challenge of improving the world, but now from the perspective of becoming original: choosing to champion novel ideas and values that go against the grain, battle conformity, and buck outdated traditions. How can we originate new ideas, policies, and practices without risking it all?
Using surprising studies and stories spanning business, politics, sports, and entertainment, Grant explores how to recognize a good idea, speak up without getting silenced, build a coalition of allies, choose the right time to act, and manage fear and doubt; how parents and teachers can nurture originality in children; and how leaders can build cultures that welcome dissent.
Learn from an entrepreneur who pitches his start-ups by highlighting the reasons not to invest, a woman at Apple who challenged Steve Jobs from three levels below, an analyst who overturned the rule of secrecy at the CIA, a billionaire financial wizard who fires employees for failing to criticize him, and a TV executive who didn’t even work in comedy but saved Seinfeld from the cutting-room floor. The payoff is a set of groundbreaking insights about rejecting conformity and improving the status quo.
6. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson
What is the nature of space and time? How do we fit within the universe? How does the universe fit within us? There’s no better guide through these mind-expanding questions than acclaimed astrophysicist and best-selling author Neil deGrasse Tyson.
But today, few of us have time to contemplate the cosmos. So Tyson brings the universe down to Earth succinctly and clearly, with sparkling wit, in tasty chapters consumable anytime and anywhere in your busy day.
While you wait for your morning coffee to brew, for the bus, the train, or a plane to arrive, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry will reveal just what you need to be fluent and ready for the next cosmic headlines: from the Big Bang to black holes, from quarks to quantum mechanics, and from the search for planets to the search for life in the universe.
7. The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way by Amanda Ripley
In a handful of nations, virtually all children are learning to make complex arguments and solve problems they’ve never seen before. They are learning to think, in other words, and to thrive in the modern economy. Inspired to find answers for our own children, author and Time magazine journalist Amanda Ripley follows three Americans embedded in these countries for one year. Kim, fifteen, raises $10,000 so she can move from Oklahoma to Finland; Eric, eighteen, trades his high-achieving Minnesota suburb for a booming city in South Korea; and Tom, seventeen, leaves a historic Pennsylvania village for Poland.
Through these young informants, Ripley meets battle-scarred reformers, sleep-deprived zombie students, and a teacher who earns $4 million a year. Their stories, along with groundbreaking research into learning in other cultures, reveal a pattern of startling transformation: none of these countries had many “smart” kids a few decades ago. Things had changed. Teaching had become more rigorous; parents had focused on things that mattered; and children had bought into the promise of education.
8. Crazy for the Storm: A Memoir of Survival by Norman Ollestad
Norman Olstead’s New York Times bestselling memoir Crazy for the Storm is the story of the harrowing plane crash the author miraculously survived at age eleven, framed by the moving tale of his complicated relationship with his charismatic, adrenaline-addicted father. Destined to stand with other classic true stories of man against nature—Into Thin Air and Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer;Sebastian Junger’s The Perfect Storm—it is a literary triumph that novelist Russell Banks (Affliction) calls, “A heart-stopping story beautifully told….Norman Olstead has written a book that may well be read for generations.”
Best Self-Improvement Books for Men
I’m a sucker for self-improvement and self-help books. These books can give you a motivational boost if you’re feeling flat, or can help you rethink the issues you’re experiencing in your life. Embracing the advice in these books, and taking action, can help you level up and become a better man.
1. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be “positive” all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.
For decades, we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. “F**k positivity,” Mark Manson says. “Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it.”
In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn’t sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is—a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset that has infected American society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.
Manson makes the argument, backed both by academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited—”not everybody can be extraordinary, there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault.”
Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek.
There are only so many things we can give a f**k about so we need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. A much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real-talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives.
2. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
This grandfather of all people-skills books was first published in 1937. It was an overnight hit, eventually selling 15 million copies. How to Win Friends and Influence People is just as useful today as it was when it was first published, because Dale Carnegie had an understanding of human nature that will never be outdated.
Financial success, Carnegie believed, is due 15 percent to professional knowledge and 85 percent to “the ability to express ideas, to assume leadership, and to arouse enthusiasm among people.” He teaches these skills through underlying principles of dealing with people so that they feel important and appreciated. He also emphasizes fundamental techniques for handling people without making them feel manipulated.
Carnegie says you can make someone want to do what you want them to by seeing the situation from the other person’s point of view and “arousing in the other person an eager want.” You learn how to make people like you, win people over to your way of thinking, and change people without causing offense or arousing resentment. For instance, “let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers,” and “talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.” Carnegie illustrates his points with anecdotes of historical figures, leaders of the business world, and everyday folks.
3. Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Chris Voss
A former international hostage negotiator for the FBI offers a new, field-tested approach to high-stakes negotiations—whether in the boardroom or at home.
After a stint policing the rough streets of Kansas City, Missouri, Chris Voss joined the FBI, where his career as a hostage negotiator brought him face-to-face with a range of criminals, including bank robbers and terrorists. Reaching the pinnacle of his profession, he became the FBI’s lead international kidnapping negotiator.
Never Split the Difference takes you inside the world of high-stakes negotiations and into Voss’s head, revealing the skills that helped him and his colleagues succeed where it mattered most: saving lives. In this practical guide, he shares the nine effective principles—counterintuitive tactics and strategies—you too can use to become more persuasive in both your professional and personal life.
Life is a series of negotiations you should be prepared for: buying a car, negotiating a salary, buying a home, renegotiating rent, deliberating with your partner. Taking emotional intelligence and intuition to the next level, Never Split the Difference gives you the competitive edge in any discussion.
4. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
Nearly two thousand years after it was written, Meditations remains profoundly relevant for anyone seeking to lead a meaningful life.
Few ancient works have been as influential as the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, philosopher and emperor of Rome (A.D. 161–180). A series of spiritual exercises filled with wisdom, practical guidance, and profound understanding of human behavior, it remains one of the greatest works of spiritual and ethical reflection ever written.
Marcus’s insights and advice—on everything from living in the world to coping with adversity and interacting with others—have made the Meditations required reading for statesmen and philosophers alike, while generations of ordinary readers have responded to the straightforward intimacy of his style. For anyone who struggles to reconcile the demands of leadership with a concern for personal integrity and spiritual well-being, the Meditations remains as relevant now as it was two thousand years ago.
In Gregory Hays’s new translation—the first in thirty-five years—Marcus’s thoughts speak with a new immediacy. In fresh and unencumbered English, Hays vividly conveys the spareness and compression of the original Greek text. Never before have Marcus’s insights been so directly and powerfully presented.
With an Introduction that outlines Marcus’s life and career, the essentials of Stoic doctrine, the style and construction of the Meditations, and the work’s ongoing influence, this edition makes it possible to fully rediscover the thoughts of one of the most enlightened and intelligent leaders of any era.
5. Own The Day, Own Your Life by Aubrey Marcus
The founder and CEO of Onnit, the mega lifestyle brand and one of the fastest growing companies in the country, teaches us how one single day of positive choices leads to a lifetime of concrete strategies for better living, optimal performance, and a stronger mind, body, and spirit.
Human optimization thought leader Aubrey Marcus’s personal and professional mission rests on a single question: How can we get the most out of our body and mind on a daily basis?
Marcus answers that question in Own the Day, Own Your Life an empowering handbook that guides readers to optimize every moment of the day, from waking in the morning, through work and play, until bedtime each night. With small, actionable changes implemented throughout the course of one day, we can feel better, perform more efficiently, and live happier. And these daily habits turn into weekly routines, ultimately becoming part of lifelong healthy choices.
From workouts and diet to inbox triage, mindfulness, shower temperature, and sex, this ground-breaking manual provides simple strategies for each element of your day. Drawing from the latest studies and traditional practices from around the world, Own the Day, Own Your Life delivers an optimization philosophy, including cutting-edge life-hacking tips, nutritional expertise, brain upgrades, and fitness regiments.
Own the Day, Own Your Life is a must-have “choose-your-own-adventure” guide for the everyman and everywoman—packed with pragmatic and effective strategies that empower you to enjoy your life, take charge of your health, and own the day.
6. The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle
To make the journey into the Now we will need to leave our analytical mind and its false created self, the ego, behind. From the very first page of Eckhart Tolle’s extraordinary book, we move rapidly into a significantly higher altitude where we breathe a lighter air. We become connected to the indestructible essence of our Being, “The eternal, ever present One Life beyond the myriad forms of life that are subject to birth and death.” Although the journey is challenging, Eckhart Tolle uses simple language and an easy question and answer format to guide us.
A word of mouth phenomenon since its first publication, The Power of Now is one of those rare books with the power to create an experience in readers, one that can radically change their lives for the better.
7. Awaken the Giant Within: How To Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial by Tony Robbins
Wake up and take control of your life! From the bestselling author of Inner Strength, Unlimited Power, and MONEY Master the Game, Anthony Robbins, the nation’s leader in the science of peak performance, shows you his most effective strategies and techniques for mastering your emotions, your body, your relationships, your finances, and your life.
The acknowledged expert in the psychology of change, Anthony Robbins provides a step-by-step program teaching the fundamental lessons of self-mastery that will enable you to discover your true purpose, take control of your life, and harness the forces that shape your destiny.
8. The Almanack of Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness by Eric Jorgenson
Getting rich is not just about luck; happiness is not just a trait we are born with. These aspirations may seem out of reach, but building wealth and being happy are skills we can learn.
So what are these skills, and how do we learn them? What are the principles that should guide our efforts? What does progress really look like?
Naval Ravikant is an entrepreneur, philosopher, and investor who has captivated the world with his principles for building wealth and creating long-term happiness. The Almanack of Naval Ravikant is a collection of Naval’s wisdom and experience from the last ten years, shared as a curation of his most insightful interviews and poignant reflections. This isn’t a how-to book, or a step-by-step gimmick. Instead, through Naval’s own words, you will learn how to walk your own unique path toward a happier, wealthier life.
Read More: Naval Ravikant’s Five Most Important Skills
9. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
In his mega bestseller, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, the renowned psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think.
System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. The impact of overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning our next vacation—each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems shape our judgments and decisions.
Engaging the reader in a lively conversation about how we think, Kahneman reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. He offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and our personal lives—and how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble.
Winner of the National Academy of Sciences Best Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and selected by The New York Times Book Review as one of the ten best books of 2011, Thinking, Fast and Slow is destined to be a classic.
10. The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz
In The Four Agreements, don Miguel Ruiz reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, The Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love.
Best Business & Finance Books for Men
These business and finance books for men range from how to run large companies all the way to how to manage your personal finances more responsibly. If you’re working on improving your business acumen and knowledge these books are a good starting point.
1. Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou
In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup ‘unicorn’ promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood tests significantly faster and easier. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at $9 billion, putting Holmes’s worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: the technology didn’t work.
For years, Holmes had been misleading investors, FDA officials, and her own employees. When Carreyrou, working at the Wall Street Journal, got a tip from a former Theranos employee and started asking questions, both Carreyrou and the Journal were threatened with lawsuits. Undaunted, the newspaper ran the first of dozens of Theranos’ articles in late 2015. By early 2017, the company’s value was zero and Holmes faced potential legal action from the government and her investors.
In Bad Blood John Carreyrou tells the story of Theranos, and encourages us to consider the possible repercussions of our blind faith in a small group of brilliant individuals.
2. I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi
Personal finance expert Ramit Sethi has been called a “wealth wizard” by Forbes and the “new guru on the block” by Fortune. Now he’s updated and expanded his modern money classic for a new age, delivering a simple, powerful, no-BS 6-week program that just works.
I Will Teach You to Be Rich will show you:
- How to crush your debt and student loans faster than you thought possible
- How to set up no-fee, high-interest bank accounts that won’t gouge you for every penny
- How Ramit automates his finances so his money goes exactly where he wants it to—and how you can do it too
- How to talk your way out of late fees (with word-for-word scripts)
- How to save hundreds or even thousands per month (and still buy what you love)
- A set-it-and-forget-it investment strategy that’s dead simple and beats financial advisors at their own game
- How to handle buying a car or a house, paying for a wedding, having kids, and other big expenses—stress free
- The exact words to use to negotiate a big raise at work
3. The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime by MJ DeMarco
Has the financial plan of mediocrity and survival become your plan for wealth? That sounds something like this:
“Graduate from college, get a good job, save 10% of your paycheck, buy a used car, cancel the movie channels, quit buying expensive Starbucks coffee, save and penny-pinch for decades, trust your life-savings to Wall Street, and one day, when you are oh, say, 65 years old, you can retire rich.“
Since you were old enough to hold a job, you’ve been hoodwinked into believing that wealth can be created by blindly trusting in the uncontrollable and unpredictable markets: the housing market, the stock market, and the job market. This soul-sucking, dream-stealing dogma is known as the “The Slowlane” – a risky financial gamble that dubiously promises wealth in a wheelchair.
Accept the Slowlane as your financial roadmap, and your financial future will blow carelessly asunder on a sailboat of HOPE: HOPE you can get a job and keep it, HOPE the stock market doesn’t tank, HOPE for a robust economy, HOPE, HOPE, and HOPE. Do you really want HOPE as the centerpiece for your family’s financial plan?
Drive the Slowlane, and you will discover your life deteriorate into a miserable exhibition about what you cannot do versus what you can. For those who refuse the lifetime subscription to mediocrity, there’s an expressway to extraordinary wealth capable of burning a trail to financial freedom faster than any road out there. And shockingly, this road has nothing to do with jobs, 401(k)s, indexed-funds, or a lifestyle of miserly living in a tiny house.
Just some of what you will learn:
- Why jobs, 401(k)s, indexed-funds, and 40-years of mindless frugality will never make you rich young.
- Why a Fastlane strategy is the best insurance policy again inflation, economic recessions, and pandemic lockdowns.
- Why most entrepreneurs fail and how to immediately put the odds in your favor.
- The real law of wealth: Leverage this, and wealth has no choice but to be magnetized to you.
- The leading cause of poorness: Change this, and you change everything.
- How the rich really get rich – and no, it has nothing to do with a paycheck or a 401K match.
- The indisputable mathematics of wealth is how you and any “Joe Schmo” can quickly tap into real wealth.
- Why the guru’s sacred deities – compound interest and indexed fund investing – are impotent wealth accelerators.
- Why popular guru platitudes like “do what you love” and “follow your passion” will most likely keep you poor, not rich.
4. Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio
Ray Dalio, one of the world’s most successful investors and entrepreneurs, shares the unconventional principles that he’s developed, refined, and used over the past forty years to create unique results in both life and business—and which any person or organization can adopt to help achieve their goals.
In 1975, Ray Dalio founded an investment firm, Bridgewater Associates, out of his two-bedroom apartment in New York City. Forty years later, Bridgewater has made more money for its clients than any other hedge fund in history and grown into the fifth most important private company in the United States, according to Fortune magazine.
Dalio himself has been named to Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Along the way, Dalio discovered a set of unique principles that have led to Bridgewater’s exceptionally effective culture, which he describes as “an idea meritocracy that strives to achieve meaningful work and meaningful relationships through radical transparency.” It is these principles, and not anything special about Dalio—who grew up an ordinary kid in a middle-class Long Island neighborhood—that he believes are the reason behind his success.
In Principles, Dalio shares what he’s learned over the course of his remarkable career. He argues that life, management, economics, and investing can all be systemized into rules and understood like machines. The book’s hundreds of practical lessons, which are built around his cornerstones of “radical truth” and “radical transparency,” include Dalio laying out the most effective ways for individuals and organizations to make decisions, approach challenges, and build strong teams.
He also describes the innovative tools the firm uses to bring an idea meritocracy to life, such as creating “baseball cards” for all employees that distill their strengths and weaknesses, and employing computerized decision-making systems to make believability-weighted decisions. While the book brims with novel ideas for organizations and institutions, Principles also offers a clear, straightforward approach to decision-making that Dalio believes anyone can apply, no matter what they’re seeking to achieve.
Here, from a man who has been called both “the Steve Jobs of investing” and “the philosopher king of the financial universe” (CIO magazine), is a rare opportunity to gain proven advice unlike anything you’ll find in the conventional business press.
5. The Man Who Solved the Market: How Jim Simons Launched the Quant Revolution by Gregory Zuckerman
The unbelievable story of a secretive mathematician who pioneered the era of the algorithm–and made $23 billion doing it.
Jim Simons is the greatest money maker in modern financial history. No other investor–Warren Buffett, Peter Lynch, Ray Dalio, Steve Cohen, or George Soros–can touch his record. Since 1988, Renaissance’s signature Medallion fund has generated average annual returns of 66 percent. The firm has earned profits of more than $100 billion; Simons is worth twenty-three billion dollars.
Drawing on unprecedented access to Simons and dozens of current and former employees, Zuckerman, a veteran Wall Street Journal investigative reporter, tells the gripping story of how a world-class mathematician and former code breaker mastered the market. Simons pioneered a data-driven, algorithmic approach that’s sweeping the world.
As Renaissance became a market force, its executives began influencing the world beyond finance. Simons became a major figure in scientific research, education, and liberal politics. Senior executive Robert Mercer is more responsible than anyone else for the Trump presidency, placing Steve Bannon in the campaign and funding Trump’s victorious 2016 effort. Mercer also impacted the campaign behind Brexit.
The Man Who Solved the Market is a portrait of a modern-day Midas who remade markets in his own image, but failed to anticipate how his success would impact his firm and his country. It’s also a story of what Simons’s revolution means for the rest of us.
6. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter
Rich Dad, Poor Dad is Robert’s story of growing up with two dads — his real father and the father of his best friend, his rich dad — and the ways in which both men shaped his thoughts about money and investing. The book explodes the myth that you need to earn a high income to be rich and explains the difference between working for money and having your money work for you.
20 Years… 20/20 Hindsight
In the 20th Anniversary Edition of this classic, Robert offers an update on what we’ve seen over the past 20 years related to money, investing, and the global economy. Sidebars throughout the book will take readers “fast forward” — from 1997 to today — as Robert assesses how the principles taught by his rich dad have stood the test of time.
In many ways, the messages of Rich Dad Poor Dad, messages that were criticized and challenged two decades ago, are more meaningful, relevant and important today than they were 20 years ago.
As always, readers can expect that Robert will be candid, insightful… and continue to rock more than a few boats in his retrospective.
Will there be a few surprises? Count on it.
Rich Dad Poor Dad:
- Explodes the myth that you need to earn a high income to become rich
- Challenges the belief that your house is an asset
- Shows parents why they can’t rely on the school system to teach their kids
- Defines once and for all an asset and a liability
- Teaches you what to teach your kids about money for their future financial
7. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
The most famous of all teachers of success spent a fortune and the better part of a lifetime of effort to produce the Law of Success philosophy that forms the basis of his books and that is so powerfully summarized and explained for the general public in this book.
In Think and Grow Rich, Hill draws on stories of Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and other millionaires of his generation to illustrate his principles. This book will teach you the secrets that could bring you a fortune. It will show you not only what to do but how to do it. Once you learn and apply the simple, basic techniques revealed here, you will have mastered the secret of true and lasting success.
Money and material things are essential for freedom of body and mind, but there are some who will feel that the greatest of all riches can be evaluated only in terms of lasting friendships, loving family relationships, understanding between business associates, and introspective harmony which brings one true peace of mind! All who read, understand, and apply this philosophy will be better prepared to attract and enjoy these spiritual values.
BE PREPARED! When you expose yourself to the influence of this philosophy, you may experience a CHANGED LIFE which can help you negotiate your way through life with harmony and understanding and prepare you for the accumulation of abundant material riches.
8. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferriss
The New York Times bestselling author of The 4-Hour Body shows readers how to live more and work less, now with more than 100 pages of new, cutting-edge content.
Forget the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred-life plan–there is no need to wait and every reason not to, especially in unpredictable economic times. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, or earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, The 4-Hour Workweek is the blueprint.
This step-by-step guide to luxury lifestyle design teaches:
- How Tim went from $40,000 per year and 80 hours per week to $40,000 per month and 4 hours per week
- How to outsource your life to overseas virtual assistants for $5 per hour and do whatever you want
- How blue-chip escape artists travel the world without quitting their jobs
- How to eliminate 50% of your work in 48 hours using the principles of a forgotten Italian economist
- How to trade a long-haul career for short work bursts and frequent “mini-retirements”
The new expanded edition of Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Workweek includes:
- More than 50 practical tips and case studies from readers (including families) who have doubled income, overcome common sticking points, and reinvented themselves using the original book as a starting point
- Real-world templates you can copy for eliminating e-mail, negotiating with bosses and clients, or getting a private chef for less than $8 a meal
- How Lifestyle Design principles can be suited to unpredictable economic times
- The latest tools and tricks, as well as high-tech shortcuts, for living like a diplomat or millionaire without being either
Best Books on Dating & Relationships for Men
Everyone wants to have healthier, more exciting, more fulfilling romantic relationships. These books can help you improve yourself to become a better partner, whether you’re currently in a relationship or you’re on the market and trying to improve your dating game.
Read More: Best Dating Books for Men
1. Mate: Become the Man Women Want by Tucker Max and Geoffrey Miller
The #1 bestselling pioneer of “fratire” and a leading evolutionary psychologist team up to create the dating book for guys.
Whether they conducted their research in life or in the lab, experts Tucker Max and Dr. Geoffrey Miller have spent the last 20+ years learning what women really want from their men, why they want it, and how men can deliver those qualities.
The short answer: become the best version of yourself possible, then show it off. It sounds simple, but it’s not. If it were, Tinder would just be the stuff you use to start a fire. Becoming your best self requires honesty, self-awareness, hard work and a little help.
Through their website and podcasts, Max and Miller have already helped over one million guys take their first steps toward Ms. Right. They have collected all of their findings in Mate, an evidence-driven, seriously funny playbook that will teach you to become a more sexually attractive and romantically successful man, the right way: No “seduction techniques,” No moralizing, No bullshit. Just honest, straightforward talk about the most ethical, effective way to pursue the win-win relationships you want with the women who are best for you.
Much of what they’ve discovered will surprise you, some of it will not, but all of it is important and often misunderstood. So listen up, and stop being stupid!
2. The Relationship Cure: A 5 Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Friendships by John M. Gottman
From the country’s foremost relationship expert and New York Times bestselling author Dr. John M. Gottman comes a powerful, simple five-step program, based on twenty years of innovative research, for greatly improving all of the relationships in your life—with spouses and lovers, children, siblings, and even your colleagues at work.
Gottman provides the tools you need to make your relationships thrive. In The Relationship Cure, Dr. Gottman:
- Reveals the key elements of healthy relationships, emphasizing the importance of what he calls “emotional connection”
- Introduces the powerful new concept of the emotional “bid,” the fundamental unit of emotional connection
- Provides remarkably empowering tools for improving the way you bid for emotional connection and how you respond to others’ bids
Packed with fascinating questionnaires and exercises developed in his therapy, The Relationship Cure offers a simple but profound program that will fundamentally transform the quality of all of the relationships in your life.
3. No More Mr. Nice Guy by Dr. Robert Glover
A Nice Guy, according to Dr. Robert Glover, a pioneering expert on the Nice Guy Syndrome, is a man who believes he is not okay just as he is. He is convinced that he must become what he thinks others want him to be liked, loved, and get his needs met. He also believes that he must hide anything about himself that might trigger a negative response in others.
The Nice Guy Syndrome typically begins in infancy and childhood when a young boy inaccurately internalizes emotional messages about himself and the world. It is fueled by toxic shame and anxiety. Rapid social change in the late 20th century and early 21st century has contributed to a worldwide explosion of men struggling to find happiness, love, and purpose.
The paradigm of the Nice Guy Syndrome is driven by three faulty covert contracts. Nice Guys believe:
- If I am good, then I will be liked and loved.
- If I meet other people’s needs without them having to ask, then they will meet my needs without me having to ask.
- If I do everything right, then I will have a smooth, problem-free life.
The inauthentic and chameleon-like approach to life causes Nice Guys to often feel frustrated, confused, and resentful. Subsequently, these men are often anything but nice. Common Nice Guy patterns include giving to get, difficulty setting boundaries, dishonesty, caretaking, fixing, codependency, people-pleasing, conflict avoidance, passive-aggressiveness, unsatisfying relationships, issues with sexuality, and compulsive masturbation and pornography use.
Since the publication of No More Mr. Nice Guy in 2003, hundreds of thousands of men worldwide have learned how to release toxic shame, soothe their anxiety, face their fears, connect with men, embrace their passion and purpose, and experience success in work and career. These men have also learned to set boundaries, handle conflict, make their needs a priority, develop satisfying relationships, and experience great sex.
This process of recovery from the Nice Guy Syndrome allows men to move through:
- Social anxiety and shyness
- Low self-esteem
- Loneliness and hopelessness
- Feelings of failure
- Lack of confidence and purpose
- Compulsive behaviors and addictions
- Feeling stuck in life
Contrary to what the title might seem to imply, No More Mr. Nice Guy does not teach men how to be not nice. Dr. Glover shows men how to become what he calls Integrated Males. Becoming integrated does not mean becoming different or better. It means being able to accept all aspects of oneself. An integrated male can embrace everything that makes him unique – his power, his assertiveness, his humor, his courage, and his mission, as well as his fears, his imperfections, his mistakes, his rough edges, and his dark side.
If you are ready to get what you want in love, sex, and life, No More Mr. Nice Guy will show you how.
4. Models: Attract Women Through Honesty by Mark Manson
Models is the first men’s dating book ever written on seduction as a purely emotional process rather than a logical one, a process of connecting with women rather than impressing them, a process of self-expression rather than manipulation. It’s the most mature and honest guide on how a man can attract women without faking behavior, without lying and without emulating others. A game-changer.
Inside Models: Attract Women Through Honesty, you’ll learn:
- The root behaviors that cause all female attraction.
- Why typical dating advice and pick up theory is counter-productive in the long-run.
- How to overcome nervousness and anxiety around attractive women.
- How any man can make himself appear attractive with a little time and effort.
- The three keys to keeping conversations with women interesting and engaging.
- How to discover the beliefs and attitudes that are sabotaging your success with women.
- How to develop a genuine and joyful sense of humor.
Best Devotional Books for Men
These devotional books aren’t all linked to Christianity or religion, so if that’s not your thing some of these may still be helpful for you. Devotional books can simply help you stay focused on your goals, check in with yourself daily, and gradually improve your life.
1. The Pocket Guide to Action: 116 Meditations on the Art of Doing by Kyle Eschenroeder
The Pocket Guide to Action: 116 Meditations on the Art of Doing by Kyle Eschenroeder lays out over a hundred short, punchy devotionals on the nature and importance of action. This pithy book is crammed with insightful advice on how to take more action in life so you can become the man you want to be.
If you spend a lot of time thinking about things, making plans, and examining possibilities, but rarely pull the trigger on any of them, this is the book for you. Turn to any page at any time to get a kick in the rear when you need it.
2. The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman
From the team that brought you The Obstacle Is the Way and Ego Is the Enemy, a beautiful daily devotional of Stoic meditations—an instant Wall Street Journal and USA TodayBestseller.
Why have history’s greatest minds—from George Washington to Frederick the Great to Ralph Waldo Emerson, along with today’s top performers from Super Bowl-winning football coaches to CEOs and celebrities—embraced the wisdom of the ancient Stoics? Because they realize that the most valuable wisdom is timeless and that philosophy is for living a better life, not a classroom exercise.
The Daily Stoic offers 366 days of Stoic insights and exercises, featuring all-new translations from the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, the playwright Seneca, or slave-turned-philosopher Epictetus, as well as lesser-known luminaries like Zeno, Cleanthes, and Musonius Rufus. Every day of the year you’ll find one of their pithy, powerful quotations, as well as historical anecdotes, provocative commentary, and a helpful glossary of Greek terms.
By following these teachings over the course of a year (and, indeed, for years to come) you’ll find the serenity, self-knowledge, and resilience you need to live well.
3. On The Threshold of Transformation: Daily Meditations for Men by Richard Rohr
For men, pain is very real.
So is the power to transform it. In one of the opening meditations of this book, male spirituality expert Richard Rohr writes, “We need to fail, to fall, to jump into the central mystery of our own existence, or we’ll have no way of finding our true path.” Those words serve as the starting point for a potentially transformative experience, one in which men come to grips with the fact that some form of suffering or letting go is essential to achieving wholeness, holiness, and happiness.
With nearly every man dealing with some form of hurt in his life, On the Threshold of Transformation acknowledges the pain and deals with it directly and redemptively. While much of our culture today would have us believe that failure and suffering are inherently bad, Fr. Rohr helps men see that pain—in whatever form it takes—is a primary doorway through which they can pass to reach their authentic, best selves, which is where they will truly encounter God.
Ultimately, this book of 366 daily meditations helps men learn how to transform their pain so they don’t pass it on. With Fr. Rohr as their guide, the path to male spiritual transformation can be found and followed.
4. Stand Strong: 365 Devotions for Men by Men by Our Daily Bread Ministries
The responsibilities of life can wear men down.. But this concise devotional will inspire men to draw strength from the Word of God. Each devotional is practical and brief, taking only five minutes to read.
Wisdom from Scripture and insights from the experiences of other men will help readers build a solid foundation—one that allows confidence in the Lord no matter what life brings their way.
5. The One Year Uncommon Life Daily Challenge by Tony Dungy
Strengthen the core of your life and faith on a year-long journey with beloved Super Bowl–winning former head coach Tony Dungy and co-author Nathan Whitaker!
The One Year Uncommon Life Daily Challenge contains 365 reflections from Tony and Nathan on living an “uncommon life” of integrity, honoring your family and friends, creating a life of real significance and impact, and walking with the Lord. This year, step up to the challenge to spend time with God—and dare to be uncommon every day. A perfect gift for sports fans, coaches, athletes, and dads!
Best Fiction Audiobooks for Men
Reading (or listening to) fiction is one of the best ways to get a complete understanding of narrative and how effective storytelling works. These are some great fiction works to help you understand the modern world, or to get a look at worlds completely unlike the one you live in.
1. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don’t know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food—and each other.
The Road is the profoundly moving story of a journey. It boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which the father and his son, “each the other’s world entire,” are sustained by love. Awesome in the totality of its vision, it is an unflinching meditation on the worst and the best that we are capable of: ultimate destructiveness, desperate tenacity, and the tenderness that keeps two people alive in the face of total devastation.
2. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
In this modern classic, the acclaimed New York Timesbestselling author explores the incomprehensible depths of madness and captures the insanity of violence in our time or any other.
Patrick Bateman moves among the young and trendy in 1980s Manhattan. Young, handsome, and well educated, Bateman earns his fortune on Wall Street by day while spending his nights in ways we cannot begin to fathom. Expressing his true self through torture and murder, Bateman prefigures an apocalyptic horror that no society could bear to confront.
3. Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
The first rule about fight club is you don’t talk about fight club.
Chuck Palahniuk showed himself to be his generation’s most visionary satirist in this, his first book. Fight Club’s estranged narrator leaves his lackluster job when he comes under the thrall of Tyler Durden, an enigmatic young man who holds secret after-hours boxing matches in the basements of bars. There, two men fight “as long as they have to.”
This is a gloriously original work that exposes the darkness at the core of our modern world.
4. We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker
Right. Wrong. Life is lived somewhere in between.
Duchess Day Radley is a thirteen-year-old self-proclaimed outlaw. Rules are for other people. She is the fierce protector of her five-year-old brother, Robin, and the parent to her mother, Star, a single mom incapable of taking care of herself, let alone her two kids.
Walk has never left the coastal California town where he and Star grew up. He may have become the chief of police, but he’s still trying to heal the old wound of having given the testimony that sent his best friend, Vincent King, to prison decades before. And he’s in overdrive protecting Duchess and her brother.
Now, thirty years later, Vincent is being released. And Duchess and Walk must face the trouble that comes with his return. We Begin at the End is an extraordinary novel about two kinds of families—the ones we are born into and the ones we create.
5. Shantaram: A Novel by Gregory David Roberts
“It took me a long time and most of the world to learn what I know about love and fate and the choices we make, but the heart of it came to me in an instant, while I was chained to a wall and being tortured.”
So begins this epic, mesmerizing first novel by Gregory David Roberts, set in the underworld of contemporary Bombay. Shantaram is narrated by Lin, an escaped convict with a false passport who flees maximum security prison in Australia for the teeming streets of a city where he can disappear.
Accompanied by his guide and faithful friend, Prabaker, the two enter Bombay’s hidden society of beggars and gangsters, prostitutes and holy men, soldiers and actors, and Indians and exiles from other countries, who seek in this remarkable place what they cannot find elsewhere.
As a hunted man without a home, family, or identity, Lin searches for love and meaning while running a clinic in one of the city’s poorest slums, and serving his apprenticeship in the dark arts of the Bombay mafia. The search leads him to war, prison torture, murder, and a series of enigmatic and bloody betrayals. The keys to unlock the mysteries and intrigues that bind Lin are held by two people. The first is Khader Khan: mafia godfather, criminal-philosopher-saint, and mentor to Lin in the underworld of the Golden City. The second is Karla: elusive, dangerous, and beautiful, whose passions are driven by secrets that torment her and yet give her a terrible power.
Burning slums and five-star hotels, romantic love and prison agonies, criminal wars and Bollywood films, spiritual gurus and mujaheddin guerrillas—this huge novel has the world of human experience in its reach, and a passionate love for India at its heart. Based on the life of the author, it is by any measure the debut of an extraordinary voice in literature.
6. I am Legend by Richard Matheson
The population of the entire world has been obliterated by a pandemic of vampire bacteria. Yet somehow, Robert Neville survived. He must now struggle to make sense of what happened and learn to protect himself against the vampires who hunt him nightly.
As months of scavenging and hiding turn to years marked by depression and alcoholism, Robert spends his days hunting his tormentors and researching the cause of their affliction. But the more he discovers about the vampires around him, the more he sees the unsettling truth of who is—and who is not—a monster.
Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend has been a major influence on horror literature. In 2012, it was named the best vampire novel of the century by the Horror Writers Association and the Bram Stoker Estate. The novel was adapted to film in 1964 as The Last Man on Earth, in 1971 as Omega Man, and in 2007 as I am Legend, starring Will Smith.
7. Carrie by Stephen King
Stephen King’s legendary debut, the bestselling smash hit that put him on the map as one of America’s favorite writers
“Gory and horrifying. . . . You can’t put it down.” —Chicago Tribune
Unpopular at school and subjected to her mother’s religious fanaticism at home, Carrie White does not have it easy. But while she may be picked on by her classmates, she has a gift she’s kept secret since she was a little girl: she can move things with her mind. Doors lock. Candles fall.
Her ability has been both a power and a problem. And when she finds herself the recipient of a sudden act of kindness, Carrie feels like she’s finally been given a chance to be normal. She hopes that the nightmare of her classmates’ vicious taunts is over . . . but an unexpected and cruel prank turns her gift into a weapon of horror so destructive that the town may never recover.
8. The Sackett Brand by Louis L’Amour
In The Sackett Brand, Louis L’Amour spins the story of a courageous man who must face overwhelming odds to track down a killer.
Tell Sackett and his bride, Ange, came to Arizona to build a home and start a family. But on Black Mesa, something goes terribly wrong. Tell is ambushed and badly injured. When he finally manages to drag himself back to where he left Ange, she is gone. Desperate, cold, hungry, and with nothing to defend himself, Tell is stalked like a wounded animal. While he hides from his attackers, his rage and frustration mount as he tries to figure out who the men are, why they are trying to kill him, and what has happened to his wife. Discovering the truth will be risky. And when he finally does, it will be their turn to run.
Best War Books for Men
I think most men at some point develop some sort of fascination with, or at least an interest in, war and combat. If you aren’t currently serving in the military and you aren’t a veteran, these books can help you understand the very, very harsh realities of war.
1. Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose
They came together, citizen soldiers, in the summer of 1942, drawn to Airborne by the $50 monthly bonus and a desire to be better than the other guy. And at its peak—in Holland and the Ardennes—Easy Company was as good a rifle company as any in the world.
From the rigorous training in Georgia in 1942 to the disbanding in 1945, Stephen E. Ambrose tells the story of this remarkable company. In combat, the reward for a job well done is the next tough assignment, and as they advanced through Europe, the men of Easy kept getting the tough assignments.
They parachuted into France early D-Day morning and knocked out a battery of four 105 mm cannon looking down Utah Beach; they parachuted into Holland during the Arnhem campaign; they were the Battered Bastards of the Bastion of Bastogne, brought in to hold the line, although surrounded, in the Battle of the Bulge; and then they spearheaded the counteroffensive. Finally, they captured Hitler’s Bavarian outpost, his Eagle’s Nest at Berchtesgaden.
They were rough-and-ready guys, battered by the Depression, mistrustful and suspicious. They drank too much French wine, looted too many German cameras and watches, and fought too often with other GIs. But in training and combat they learned selflessness and found the closest brotherhood they ever knew. They discovered that in war, men who loved life would give their lives for them.
This is the story of the men who fought, of the martinet they hated who trained them well, and of the captain they loved who led them. E Company was a company of men who went hungry, froze, and died for each other, a company that took 150 percent casualties, a company where the Purple Heart was not a medal—it was a badge of office.
2. Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege 1942-1943 by Antony Beevor
The Battle of Stalingrad was not only the psychological turning point of World War II: it also changed the face of modern warfare. From Antony Beevor, the internationally bestselling author of D-Day and The Battle of Arnhem.
In August 1942, Hitler’s huge Sixth Army reached the city that bore Stalin’s name. In the five-month siege that followed, the Russians fought to hold Stalingrad at any cost; then, in an astonishing reversal, encircled and trapped their Nazi enemy. This battle for the ruins of a city cost more than a million lives.
Stalingrad conveys the experience of soldiers on both sides, fighting in inhuman conditions, and of civilians trapped on an urban battlefield. Antony Beevor has itnerviewed survivors and discovered completely new material in a wide range of German and Soviet archives, including prisoner interrogations and reports of desertions and executions. As a story of cruelty, courage, and human suffering, Stalingrad is unprecedented and unforgettable.
Historians and reviewers worldwide have hailed Antony Beevor’s magisterial Stalingrad as the definitive account of World War II’s most harrowing battle.
3. Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win by Jocko Willink
Sent to the most violent battlefield in Iraq, Jocko Willink and Leif Babin’s SEAL task unit faced a seemingly impossible mission: help U.S. forces secure Ramadi, a city deemed “all but lost.” In gripping firsthand accounts of heroism, tragic loss, and hard-won victories in SEAL Team Three’s Task Unit Bruiser, they learned that leadership—at every level—is the most important factor in whether a team succeeds or fails.
Willink and Babin returned home from deployment and instituted SEAL leadership training that helped forge the next generation of SEAL leaders. After departing the SEAL Teams, they launched Echelon Front, a company that teaches these same leadership principles to businesses and organizations. From promising startups to Fortune 500 companies, Babin and Willink have helped scores of clients across a broad range of industries build their own high-performance teams and dominate their battlefields.
Now, detailing the mind-set and principles that enable SEAL units to accomplish the most difficult missions in combat, Extreme Ownership shows how to apply them to any team, family or organization. Each chapter focuses on a specific topic such as Cover and Move, Decentralized Command, and Leading Up the Chain, explaining what they are, why they are important, and how to implement them in any leadership environment.
A compelling narrative with powerful instruction and direct application, Extreme Ownershiprevolutionizes business management and challenges leaders everywhere to fulfill their ultimate purpose: lead and win.
4. Walk in My Combat Boots: True Stories from America’s Bravest Warriors by James Patterson and Matt Eversmann
Walk in my Combat Boots is a powerful collection crafted from hundreds of original interviews by James Patterson, the world’s #1 bestselling writer, and First Sergeant US Army (Ret.) Matt Eversmann, part of the Ranger unit portrayed in the movie Black Hawk Down.
These are the brutally honest stories usually only shared amongst comrades in arms. Here, in the voices of the men and women who’ve fought overseas from Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan, is a rare eye-opening look into what wearing the uniform, fighting in combat, losing friends and coming home is really like. Readers who next thank a military member for their service will finally have a true understanding of what that thanks is for.
5. The Forgotten 500 by Gregory A. Freeman
The astonishing, never before told story of the greatest rescue mission of World War II—when the OSS set out to recover more than 500 airmen trapped behind enemy lines in Yugoslavia…
During a bombing campaign over Romanian oil fields, hundreds of American airmen were shot down in Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia. Local Serbian farmers and peasants risked their own lives to give refuge to the soldiers while they waited for rescue, and in 1944, Operation Halyard was born. The risks were incredible. The starving Americans in Yugoslavia had to construct a landing strip large enough for C-47 cargo planes—without tools, without alerting the Germans, and without endangering the villagers. And the cargo planes had to make it through enemy airspace and back—without getting shot down themselves.
Classified for over half a century for political reasons, the full account of this unforgettable story of loyalty, self-sacrifice, and bravery is now being told for the first time ever. The Forgotten 500 is the gripping, behind-the-scenes look at the greatest escape of World War II.
6. The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War by Ben Macintyre
If anyone could be considered a Russian counterpart to the infamous British double-agent Kim Philby, it was Oleg Gordievsky. The son of two KGB agents and the product of the best Soviet institutions, the savvy, sophisticated Gordievsky grew to see his nation’s communism as both criminal and philistine. He took his first posting for Russian intelligence in 1968 and eventually became the Soviet Union’s top man in London, but from 1973 on he was secretly working for MI6.
For nearly a decade, as the Cold War reached its twilight, Gordievsky helped the West turn the tables on the KGB, exposing Russian spies and helping to foil countless intelligence plots, as the Soviet leadership grew increasingly paranoid at the United States’s nuclear first-strike capabilities and brought the world closer to the brink of war.
Desperate to keep the circle of trust close, MI6 never revealed Gordievsky’s name to its counterparts in the CIA, which in turn grew obsessed with figuring out the identity of Britain’s obviously top-level source. Their obsession ultimately doomed Gordievsky: the CIA officer assigned to identify him was none other than Aldrich Ames, the man who would become infamous for secretly spying for the Soviets.
Unfolding the delicious three-way gamesmanship between America, Britain, and the Soviet Union, and culminating in the gripping cinematic beat-by-beat of Gordievsky’s nail-biting escape from Moscow in 1985, Ben Macintyre’s latest may be his best yet. Like the greatest novels of John le Carré, it brings readers deep into a world of treachery and betrayal, where the lines bleed between the personal and the professional, and one man’s hatred of communism had the power to change the future of nations.
7. The Operator: Firing the Shots That Killed Osama Bin Laden and My Years as a SEAL Team Warrior by Robert O’Neill
In The Operator, Robert O’Neill describes his idyllic childhood in Butte, Montana; his impulsive decision to join the SEALs; the arduous evaluation and training process; and the even tougher gauntlet he had to run to join the SEALs’ most elite unit. After officially becoming a SEAL, O’Neill would spend more than a decade in the most intense counterterror effort in US history. For extended periods, not a night passed without him and his small team recording multiple enemy kills—and though he was lucky enough to survive, several of the SEALs he’d trained with and fought beside never made it home.
“Impossible to put down…The Operator is unique, surprising, a kind of counternarrative, and certainly the other half of the story of one of the world’s most famous military operations…In the larger sense, this book is about…how to be human while in the very same moment dealing with death, destruction, combat” (Doug Stanton, New York Times bestselling author). O’Neill describes the nonstop action of his deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, evokes the black humor of years-long combat, brings to vivid life the lethal efficiency of the military’s most selective units, and reveals details of the most celebrated terrorist takedown in history. This is “a riveting, unvarnished, and wholly unforgettable portrait of America’s most storied commandos at war” (Joby Warrick).
Best Literary Classic Audiobooks for Men
So maybe you’ve already read a few of these in your high school or college English classes, but these are some of the best classics for men to read. Having a grasp on popular literature can help you connect with people, and can help you sound like you’re not a total dumb ass in conversations with your well-read friends.
- Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
- The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
- For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
- Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
- The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
- The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
- The Odyssey by Homer
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Lord of the Flies by William Golding
- 1984 by George Orwell
- On The Road by Jack Kerouac
- In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
- Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell
- Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
- Travels with Charley in Search of America by John Steinbeck
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
- Hamlet by William Shakespeare
- A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
- The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
- The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
- One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
- One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
- The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
- Dubliners by James Joyce