We at The Guide are kicking off the holiday gift-giving trend with a Secret Sprezza giveaway of our own! Wipe your reading glasses clean in prep for Delaney’s winter book list below, and then catch the promo details in lieu of a bibliography…
My dearest, dapperest gentlemen:
Last month I went on a rant about why the well-rounded gentleman should be reading books. In the spirit of the giving season, I have come up with a list of 10 books that every gent can specifically benefit from.
It may surprise you to know that making this list was not easy. I asked several male friends which selections they believe every man should read. Every answer I received was useful, although one stood out more than the rest: “A man should read what is important to him.”
I couldn’t agree more.
However, if you aren’t certain of what sort of books you would like personally, I hope that you are inspired by the suggestions listed below. I made sure to include fiction as well as nonfiction, both male and female authors, and I tried to feature choices that I have at least embarked upon myself. Additionally, each highlighted piece of literature has some New Year’s Resolution potential hiding in its pages…
Most of all, I chose books that are entertaining, so enjoy!
1. “The Art of Manliness” by Brett and Kate McCay
We are off with a running start with a book so on the nose it’s impossible for me not to include it on this list. This guide written by a husband and wife duo covers social skills, style skills, survival skills, and even the proper execution of a bro hug. It is equal parts humorous and helpful without being dull and pretentious.
Bonus: for those of you who are more visual learners there is an “Illustrated Art of Manliness”!
2. “Gumption” by Nick Offerman
This second book by Nick Offerman (the beloved Ron Swanson of Parks and Recreation) focuses on twenty-one historical figures – men and women – that Offerman finds inspiring. Sprinkled with personal anecdotes from Offerman’s life, this is the history lecture you wish all applicable professors of yours had given. This book made ME want to go buy a flannel and whittle something.
3. “The Subtle Art of Not Giving A [Bleep]” by Mark Manson
That title captured your attention, didn’t it? This is a very different sort of self-help book that utilizes one of my favorite properties: brutal honesty. Rather than read page after page of instructions to surround yourself with positivity and good vibes, this book is designed to help you handle the world we currently live in, which is…well, reference the name once more. But this is not a depressing book by any means. The difficult ‘slap in the face’ moments are balanced by well-timed jokes, so a unique, helpful and enjoyable read indeed.
4. “Ender’s Game” by Oroson Scott Card
This is the novel that turned me on to science fiction as a genre and it is still one of my most cherished to this day. “Ender’s Game” is a study of human nature, morals, and politics. But also SPACE GUNS! It is the story of a young boy enlisted in Earth’s intergalactic army and the trails he faces during training. Card writes brilliantly, urging the reader to reflect on humanity without being too preachy. Also, did I mention SPACE GUNS?!
5. “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Was there ever a man more dapper and gentlemanly than Jay Gatsby? You’ve probably read this book before – rather, you were forced to read this book for a grade. Instead of being allowed to enjoy the story, you were forced to dig for symbolism. While this narrative is rich with symbolism and other cleverly used literary tools, it is also a wonderful story that deserves to be appreciated recreationally. Jay Gatsby is the master of self-reinvention as he turns himself into the epitome of wealth, class, and gallant charm. Take notes, my dapper dears.
6. “Wishful Drinking” by Carrie Fisher
“Wishful Drinking” is the funniest book I’ve ever read in my entire life. As we approach the one-year anniversary of Carrie Fisher’s (best buns in the galaxy) death, I could not help but include her biography, inscribed with wry and off-color wit. She is brutally honest when she recounts her adulterous father, her addictions, and her time playing Princess Leia of the Star Wars saga. There is something to be learned from the way she picks herself up and carries on after life just decks her in the face over and over.
7. “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho
I find myself quoting this regularly because I am pretentious like that. The best way I can describe this book is tranquillity in print. The story itself is simple, but it’s heavily peppered with lessons and smooth truths of the world that are incredibly important but often forgotten.
8. “I Married Adventure” by Osa Johnson
Fans of franchises such as Indiana Jones, The Mummy (not you, Tom Cruise) and other films of that ilk will love this chronicling of the wife of Martin Johnson. Johnson was a pioneer in the field of nature documentaries with an obsession towards the lesser known tribes of cannibals and head hunters. His wife, Osa, stuck by his side for every moment, being equal parts helpful and snarky.
9. “A Game of Thrones” by George R.R. Martin
I may be beating a dead horse but hear me out. I watched the TV series before I read the books. I decided to read the books not only because I’m a bookworm and it’s my job, but because the waiting time between seasons was agony. It is common knowledge that film or television adaptations of books leave things out: scenes; secondary plot lines; and even whole characters are cut simply because it’s not feasible to include them. Reading GOT means more of your favorite characters, more plot twists, and more heartbreaking deaths designed with the sole purpose of ruining your life. What’s not to love?
10. Um…literally anything by William Shakespeare
There is a reason the works of good ol’ Willy Shakes are still completely relevant in this day and age. Shakespeare understood human nature more conclusively than any other writer to date. He also knew when precisely to make a dirty joke or a bad pun. Take a page from Tom Hiddleston and acquaint yourself with the most classic of all classic authors (note how it is far easier to tackle the Bard via audiobook).
I sincerely wish that one of these subject-to-judgment covers tickled your fancy. If not for your own eyes then still consider giving one of these books as a gift this holiday season. Bookish relatives will be particularly touched by your thoughtfulness. As always, stay sharp both inside and out.
Delaney G. // The Guide
HOLIDAY GIVEAWAY DETAILS!
Which holiday book listed would YOU most likely gift for a loved one (or even yourself) and why? Remember to 1) jot down your response in the comments below, 2) share this post with #TheGuide on either Facebook, Twitter OR InstaGram and 3) fill out this form. You’ll find yourself entered into our random raffle for a specially curated holiday giveaway box!