Leveling Up

10 Books Every Man Must Read

Here at wearesuperiormen.com, we are major book fans. While not a completely avid reader I try to read or listen to 2-3 books a month. While we have many books listed on our Great Books page, I thought I would condense it down to the top 10 books every man must read. If you are a reader I highly recommend an e-ink type tablet such as the All-New Kindle or Kindle Paperwhite. Both of these devices allow for very natural reading without the eyestrain associated with typical tablets. If you are an audiobook fan I can’t recommend Audible highly enough. I’m approaching 200 books there and growing every month.

Now you know the best way to read or listen, here are the 10 books every man must read!


Can’t Hurt Me – David Goggins

What it’s about?

This is sort of a biography/autobiography of retired Navy Seal David Goggins. From his very early life through current, Goggins shares his triumphs and tragedies. He details his very troubled upbringing and how he came from nothing and through sheer willpower and determination forged himself into a Navy Seal and Ultra Marathon runner. He even lost 106 pounds in 3 months!

Why should I read it?

David Goggins is the textbook definition of pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps. Story after story of both failure and success will inspire you to say “WWDGD?” (What Would David Goggins Do?) Here is a hint: He’d probably hit the deck for some pushups. He believes that you can train the mind by training the body and that is just inspirational.

What will I learn from this book?

You are capable of much more than you give yourself credit for. If you put in the work, you will reap the rewards.

Favorite quote from the book?

“Our culture has become hooked on the quick-fix, the life hack, efficiency. Everyone is on the hunt for that simple action algorithm that nets maximum profit with the least amount of effort. There’s no denying this attitude may get you some of the trappings of success, if you’re lucky, but it will not lead to a calloused mind or self-mastery. If you want to master the mind and remove your governor, you’ll have to become addicted to hard work. Because passion and obsession, even talent, are only useful tools if you have the work ethic to back them up.”

Look for the Superior Man bookcast on can’t hurt me, coming September 3rd!!

On iTunes On Google

Extreme Ownership – Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

What it’s about?

Extreme Ownership details one of the most important leadership qualities: Ownership. And since the two authors are both retired Navy Seals they intermix their leadership lessons with hard-fought (literally) examples during their respective military careers. Jocko and Leif both take owning a problem to the extreme. Do you have a subordinate who isn’t following directions? First, take ownership of the problem and figure out what YOU could have done better.

Why should I read it?

To put it simply, if you ever have to give others direction, or take direction from others, you will benefit from this book. The authors give their perspectives on how a true leader is one who owns everything that happens on their team. Your directions were not followed? You take ownership of it. There are countless reasons, and many excuses, but leaders take responsibility. Plus everyone loves to hear cool war stories.

What will I learn from this book?

You will learn the principle of Extreme Ownership and how to directly apply that into the business world and your personal life.

Favorite quote from the book?

“Implementing Extreme Ownership requires checking your ego and operating with a high degree of humility. Admitting mistakes, taking ownership, and developing a plan to overcome challenges are integral to any successful team.”

The Prince – Niccolo Machiavelli

What it’s about?

Written in the 16th Century by Niccolo Machiavelli to gain the favor of the current Governor of Florence, Lorenzo de’ Medici. The text seeks to educate a future “Prince” or ruler on how to gain power and keep that power. 

Why should I read it?

Besides being a classic, Machiavelli understands the current political temperature of 16th Century Italy, which is surprisingly similar to today. The term Machiavellian today means cunning, scheming, and unscrupulous, especially in politics. This book predates 48 Laws of Power by centuries but includes many of the same nuggets of information.

What will I learn from this book?

You will learn many tactics for achieving and maintaining power. Although The Prince is clearly amoral there are many fantastic lessons to learn.

Favorite quote from the book?

There are far too many great quotes from this book, therefore I’ll give two of my favorites.

“Everyone sees what you appear to be, few experience what you really are.” 

“it is much safer to be feared than loved because…love is preserved by the link of obligation which, owing to the baseness of men, is broken at every opportunity for their advantage; but fear preserves you by a dread of punishment which never fails.” 

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos – Jordan B. Peterson

What it’s about?

Written by a college professor, this book should be required reading for all men. In this current era of me first, and instant gratification, comes this gem from Jordan Peterson. This book contains 12 rules to live your life by, that is if you are interested in living a well rounded and fulfilled life.  My absolute favorite rule is #4, “Compare yourself with who you were yesterday, not with who someone else is today.”

Why should I read it?

This book is just about 450 pages of content that you will want to read and reread. I purchased the ebook as well as the audiobook because I wanted to ingest it in different ways. Although Jordan Peterson is an academic, this book is very approachable and digestible. Personally, I chose to listen to the book first then read it while taking notes and highlights.  The book is presented using many stories from the authors personal and professional life. If you haven’t heard of Jordan Peterson, you are in for a major treat.

What will I learn from this book?

You will take away a greater understanding of yourself and the world around you by reading this book. 

Favorite quote from the book?

“So, attend carefully to your posture. Quit drooping and hunching around. Speak your mind. Put your desires forward, as if you had a right to them—at least the same right as others. Walk tall and gaze forthrightly ahead. Dare to be dangerous. Encourage the serotonin to flow plentifully through the neural pathways desperate for its calming influence.” 

1984 – George Orwell

What it’s about?

Penned in 1949, “1984” describes a dystopian future where the government has become the all-consuming “Big Brother” Everything is controlled, including thoughts and speech. The novel follows Winston as he falls in love and joins a resistance against Big Brother. While written 70 years ago, it is completely relevant to the modern reader.

Why should I read it?

This book details what America’s founding fathers knew 250 years ago, that government left unchecked can swallow us all. To quote Jordan Peterson:

“The socialism that soon afterward became so attractive to me as an alternative proved equally insubstantial; with time, I came to understand, through the great George Orwell, that much of such thinking found its motivation in hatred of the rich and successful, instead of true regard for the poor. Besides, the socialists were more intrinsically capitalist than the capitalists. They believed just as strongly in money. They just thought that if different people had the money, the problems plaguing humanity would vanish. This is simply untrue.”

What will I learn from this book?

This book is almost a “how-to” guide for an oppressive regime. The government doesn’t take over your life in one day, it’s a constant slippery slope, ever marching to its own ends.

To quote one of my favorite musicians:

“Choices always were a problem for you
what you need is someone strong to guide you
deaf and blind and dumb and born to follow
what you need is someone strong to guide you…
someone like me”

“Opiate” by Tool

Favorite quote from the book?

Again, this book is absolutely full of amazing quotes, I’ll give my two favorites here.

“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” 

“For, after all, how do we know that two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable – what then?” 

The 48 Laws of Power – Robert Greene

What it’s about?

Here at wearesuperiormen.com we are major fans of Robert Greene’s work. 48 Laws of power is a complete guide to obtaining and maintaining power. Using the 48 different laws, Robert Greene details the successes and failures of major historical. As an amoral guide, there is no better how-to when it comes to power.

Why should I read it?

Even if you are not actively seeking more power, this book gives examples of ways others are. We are all in the power game to some extent. Sitting on the sidelines isn’t possible.

Listen to the Superior Men Bookcast on 48 Laws of Power here!! Available August 6th

On iTunes On Google

What will I learn from this book?

You will learn how to move up the power ladder, maintain your own current power, or protect yourself from others seeking to obtain your power.

Favorite quote from the book?

“Half of your mastery of power comes from what you do not do, what you do not allow yourself to get dragged into. For this skill you must learn to judge all things by what they cost you. As Nietzsche wrote, “The value of a thing sometimes lies not in what one attains with it, but in what one pays for it—what it costs us.” Perhaps you will attain your goal, and a worthy goal at that, but at what price? Apply this standard to everything, including whether to collaborate with other people or come to their aid.”

The Rational Male – Rollo Tomassi

What it’s about?

This book is required reading for the red pill. It’s basically Red Pill 101.  The book is densely packed with some very good information. A few of the major points are “oneitis” or believing there is only one person for you, being the one who needs the other less, and making sure you have an abundance mindset – knowing there are more people out there.

Why should I read it?

You would be hard-pressed to find so much good information in one book. When I read this book I would read a chapter and let it digest a while before coming back to it, which is not at all normal for me. Overall it took me more than a month to read it because of my self-reflections. Also included in this book are the 9 iron rules, including #6 “Women are utterly incapable of loving a man the way he expects to be loved.”

What will I learn from this book?

If you are brand new to a red pill philosophy, you will come away from this book with a new world view. If you have already swallowed the red pill, you will have a great reference manual and a gift to give other men.

Favorite quote from the book?

“Women would rather share a high-value man than be saddled with a faithful loser.” 

The Way of the Superior Man – David Deida

What it’s about?

This was the first book I read post-divorce that really opened my eyes. In fact, while on vacation in Costa Rica I was reading this book by the pool I had a man stop me and tell me how much this book changed his life. How many books can you say that about? This book is about Masculine growth. Not the fake masculinity, the masculinity which balances out femininity. David Deida seeks to instruct men on how to be comfortable with their own maleness so that they will be better for any woman who comes along.

Why should I read it?

Deida really stresses finding your purpose and living through that. Far too many men have their woman or the pursuit of women as their purpose. This is a very hollow and shallow pursuit.

What will I learn from this book?

You will learn how to be a better man by criticism from all sources and how to stand on your own as a man. He teaches you to embrace the criticism from your woman because a good woman is a mirror that reflects who you are, not who you want to be.

Favorite quote from the book?

“Your woman knows your weaknesses better than anybody. She knows where you will falter and give up. She knows the degree of mediocrity you will settle for. And, she knows your true capacity as a full man, a man of free consciousness and love. Her gift, if she is a good woman, is to test you with her darkest moods, over and over and over, until your consciousness is unperturbed by feminine challenge, and you are able to pervade her with your love, just as you are here to pervade the world. In response to your fearless consciousness, she will drench your world in love and light.” 

The Mindful Attraction Plan – Athol Kay

What it’s about?

This book is a work of art for those who struggle with shit relationships. Athol Kay throws a lifesaver down no matter how far down the abyss you are. This book also gives you the step by step instructions to put your house in order, and as a sad reality, this may not include the failed relationship.

Why should I read it?

Because you have a shitty relationship, be it romantic, business, whatever. The steps to rid it are systematic and very easy to follow, and probably the exact opposite of what you are actually doing.

Listen to the Superior Men Bookcast on “The Mindful Attraction Plan” 

On iTunes On Google

What will I learn from this book?

You will learn to rid yourselves of the “Vampires” in your life which only take and nothing more.

Favorite quote from the book?

“The truth is most things and people are fungible. For instance, if you want an apple and you pick a bad apple, you just throw it away and get a new apple. You don’t get upset about the old apple being bad, because you have a new apple and all you wanted was an apple. All apples are replaceable by other apples. Apples are fungible.” 

The Way of Men – Jack Donovan

What it’s about?

This book is all about men getting back to their roots, becoming primal, and ditching the modern comforts of the world. We must understand that society may have evolved quite rapidly over the past 100 years but we have not. Jack Donovan also talks about the 4 tactical virtues: Strength, Courage, Mastery, and Honor.

Why should I read it?

If you want to distill masculinity away from the pryings of modern life, this is the book for you.

Listen to the Superior Men Bookcast on “The Way of Men” 

On iTunes On Google

What will I learn from this book?

You will learn about the four pillars of manhood and what is at the root of all men. If you’ve ever wanted to search for your purpose, this is a great place to start.

Favorite quote from the book?

“It’s tragic to think that heroic man’s great destiny is to become economic man, that men will be reduced to craven creatures who crawl across the globe competing for money, who spend their nights dreaming up new ways to swindle each other. That’s the path we’re on now. What a withering, ignoble end…” 


There it is. Do you agree with this list? What other books must every man read?

Thank you for reading and as always,

Stay Superior!!

 

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Matt

Matt is a husband, a father, an avid motorcycle rider, and an all around awesome guy.

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