50 Best Men’s Books of All Time

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Nobody should read a single book, butBooks must be read. They educate you, they move you, they change you, and they stay with you. Across time, space, language, and identity, they provide supernatural access to the minds of others, despite sometimes drastic changes in text and context. Books can tell you a story you already know, a story you’ve never heard, or a story you didn’t know how to tell. The bottom line here is that the books are worth it, and your time, effort and curiosity. If you take anything from this list, it is simply to read – whatever you want and as much as you can.

But lists are designed for – let’s call it a discussion. It’s one of the darkest editorial arts, in part because it always works out for everyone. Even as a professional list maker who dwells in the darkest and most cynical of the old content mines, I will find my feeling stemmed from a regular countdown to VH1.

Lists reveal blind spots. They show your ass. And Men’s Books’ trusted lists still feature a strong whiskey-soda, a baseball glove, and a whiff of an Eames chair. We all want to surround ourselves with handsome mid-century furniture now and then. But take it at face value: what books will provide you, in our Master 2022 year, with what you need to know? Who will help you? Who will delight and surprise you? What will impress people? Who will make you humble? What should you read, man under 50?

Well, if you ask me –

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No visible bruising: What we don’t know about domestic violence can kill us by Rachel Louise Snyder

How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir by Said Jones

Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Liberty by David W. Plait

Claudia Rankin

The Citizen: American Lyric by Claudia Rankin

Man Alive: A True Story of Violence, Tolerance, and Transformation into a Man

Glock: The Rise of America’s Gun


red or dead Written by David Pace


Away from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity by Andrew Solomon

Little Pretty Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Sheryl Strayed

Naples Novels by Elena Ferrante

John Jeremiah Sullivan

Pulphead Written by John Jeremiah Sullivan

antique books

Another Sun’s Warmth: The Epic Story of the Great American Migration by Isabel Wilkerson

Anderson, M.T.

The Amazing Life of Thing Octavian, Traitor to the Nation, Volume One: The Smallpox Party by MT Anderson


1491: New discoveries of the Americas before Columbus by Charles C. Mann

Gilead by Marilyn Robinson

The Ghost of King Leopold: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa by Adam Hochschild

Target.com use only

savage detective Written by Roberto Bolano, translated by Natasha Wimmer


How to speak so that the children listen By Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

William Morrow & Company

Take responsibility for your fertility by Tony Wechler

like a sower by Octavia E. Butler

Brand: William Morrow n Co

lost in the city by Edward B. Jones

guards By Alan Moore, illustrated by Dave Gibbons


Joe Turner Come and Go by August Wilson

Every man’s library

midnight kids by Salman Rushdie

Penguin classics

The Blood Chamber: And Other Stories by Angela Carter

Platform by Stephen King

Penguin classics

ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko

Song from Solomon by Toni Morrison

WW Norton & Company

Death and the King’s Knight by Wole Soyinka

Robert Caro

The Powerbroker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York by Robert Caro

WW Norton & Company

Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brien

a hundred years of isolation By Gabriel García Márquez, translated by Gregory Rabasa

malcolm x biography As told to Alex Haley

Things fall apart by Chinua Achebe

Giovanni’s room by James Baldwin

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Oxford University Press

The sea around by Rachel Carson

Dragonfly Books

small island Written by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Leonard Weisgaard


The Black Jacobins: Toussaint Louverture and the Revolution of San Domingo by CLR James

Middle March by George Eliot

Dover Publications

war and peace Written by Leo Tolstoy, translated by Constance Garnett

Gibbs Smith

grass leaves by Walt Whitman

Moby Dick by Hermann Melville

Dover Publications

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Pride and prejudice by Jane Austen

Simon & Schuster

Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, translated by John D. Sinclair

Total Publishing

Water Margin: Outlaws in the Marsh Written by Shi Nian, translated by J.H. Jackson

Odyssey by Homer, translated by Robert Fitzgerald

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