1) A is for Armageddon: An illustrated Catalogue of Disasters by Richard Horne - A brilliantly funny, thoroughly factual and stunningly illustrated guide to every feasible disaster scenario — from plague, drought and famine, to animal flatulence, obesity and World War III, from economic collapse and terrorism to ozone depletion and chemical sink — accompanied by a critical timeline for when we might expect to die — now, soon, later, or too late. . . it’s already started.
2) As a Man Thinketh by James Allen - This is a self-help book by James Allen, published in 1903. It was described by Allen as "... [dealing] with the power of thought, and particularly with the use and application of thought to happy and beautiful issues. I have tried to make the book simple, so that all can easily grasp and follow its teaching, and put into practice the methods which it advises. It shows how, in his own thought-world, each man holds the key to every condition, good or bad, that enters into his life, and that, by working patiently and intelligently upon his thoughts, he may remake his life, and transform his circumstances. The price of the book is only one shilling, and it can be carried in the pocket." It was also described by Allen as "A book that will help you to help yourself", "A pocket companion for thoughtful people", and "A book on the power and right application of thought."
3) Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing - Experience one of the greatest adventure stories of the modern age: 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. In Endurance, the definitive account of Ernest Shackleton's fateful trip, Alfred Lansing brilliantly narrates the harrowing and miraculous voyage that has defined heroism for the modern age.
4) Meditations by Marcus Aurelius - Nothing happens to any man which he is not formed by nature to bear. Throughout his life, the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius kept notes for self-improvement, and Meditations is a collaboration of these notes ranging from a single sentence to long paragraphs. Segmented into twelve chapters, or “meditations,” Marcus Aurelius’ famous philosophical work chronicles 12 important times in his life and provides a modern understanding of stoic philosophy that was prevalent during the Roman Empire.
5) The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield - A succinct, engaging, and practical guide for succeeding in any creative sphere, The War of Art is nothing less than Sun-Tzu for the soul. What keeps so many of us from doing what we long to do?Why is there a naysayer within? How can we avoid the roadblocks of any creative endeavor—be it starting up a dream business venture, writing a novel, or painting a masterpiece? Bestselling novelist Steven Pressfield identifies the enemy that every one of us must face, outlines a battle plan to conquer this internal foe, then pinpoints just how to achieve the greatest success.The War of Art emphasizes the resolve needed to recognize and overcome the obstacles of ambition and then effectively shows how to reach the highest level of creative discipline. Think of it as tough love . . . for yourself. Whether an artist, writer or business person, this simple, personal, and no-nonsense book will inspire you to seize the potential of your life.
6) Manhood in the Making: Cultural Concepts of Masculinity by David D. Gilmore - In the first cross-cultural study of manhood as an achieved status, anthropologist David D. Gilmore finds that a culturally sanctioned stress on manliness—on toughness and aggressiveness, stoicism and sexuality—is almost universal, deeply ingrained in the consciousness of hunters and fishermen, workers and warriors, poets and peasants who have little else in common.
7) Wild at Heart Expanded Edition: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul by John Eldredge - God did not create men to be nice boys. He created us to live a life of passion, freedom and adventure. To be dangerous men living in a really big story. God designed men to be powerful. Simply look at the dreams and desires written in the heart of every boy: to be a hero, a warrior, to love a beauty, to live a life of adventure. But sometime between boyhood and the struggles of yesterday, most men lose heart. All those passions, dreams, and desires get buried under deadlines, pressures, and disappointments. Christianity feels irrelevant to the recovery of their heart. No wonder most men leads lives of quiet resignation, meanwhile looking for a little “life” on the side. In this provocative book, Eldredge invites men to wholeheartedness by
8) Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl - This seminal book, which has been called “one of the outstanding contributions to psychological thought” by Carl Rogers and “one of the great books of our time” by Harold Kushner, has been translated into more than fifty languages and sold over sixteen million copies. “An enduring work of survival literature,” according to the New York Times, Viktor Frankl’s riveting account of his time in the Nazi concentration camps, and his insightful exploration of the human will to find meaning in spite of the worst adversity, has offered solace and guidance to generations of readers since it was first published in 1946. At the heart of Frankl’s theory of logotherapy (from the Greek word for “meaning”) is a conviction that the primary human drive is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but rather the discovery and pursuit of what the individual finds meaningful. Today, as new generations face new challenges and an ever more complex and uncertain world, Frankl’s classic work continues to inspire us all to find significance in the very act of living, in spite of all obstacles.
9) Sovereignty: The Battle for the Hearts and Minds of Men by Ryan Michler - Every man is born with just one thing: his sovereignty—his power to respond to his environment and his circumstances. Unfortunately, most men have spent much of their lives giving away that sovereignty. Every time a man passes blame or shirks his responsibility, every time he makes excuses for his performance, and every time he trades his unlimited potential for a little perceived safety and security, he willingly submits himself to the mercy of others. Is it any wonder that men, in general, seem to have lost their way? You don’t have to look very far to recognize that men don’t seem to possess the same amount of vigor and purpose they once did. Take one sobering statistic—the rate of suicide in men—and you begin to see how damaging the effects of the voluntary subjugation of men to their families, their businesses, and their governments can be. It’s not hard to understand why we give up control to others—it’s easy and we’re expected to. Sovereignty: The Battle for the Hearts and Minds of Men is a call for men to once again rise up and establish themselves as they once were—a revolution if you will. Inside the pages of this book, we’ll uncover the battle each man will inevitably engage in, the external forces fighting against the call to masculinity, and the internal struggle all men must overcome. But make no mistake, this revolution is not a call for men to go their own way and rally against society. It’s a call for men to become fully the men they are meant to be so they may more adequately take care of themselves and those they are responsible for. Men have always been expected to protect, provide, and preside over themselves, their families, their businesses, and their communities. By embodying the thirteen Sovereign Virtues we detail inside, every man will be more capable of fulfilling his masculine duties and responsibilities. The words in this book go well beyond principle and theory, however, as we build the framework for establishing a battle plan to combat the external and internal threats to our masculine power and give every man the tools, resources, guidance, direction, and ability to reclaim what has always been his: his sovereignty.
10) An Astronaut's Guide to Life by Chris Hadfield - Colonel Chris Hadfield has spent decades training as an astronaut and has logged nearly 4000 hours in space. During this time he has broken into a Space Station with a Swiss army knife, disposed of a live snake while piloting a plane, and been temporarily blinded while clinging to the exterior of an orbiting spacecraft. The secret to Col. Hadfield's success-and survival-is an unconventional philosophy he learned at NASA: prepare for the worst- and enjoy every moment of it. In An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, Col. Hadfield takes readers deep into his years of training and space exploration to show how to make the impossible possible. Through eye-opening, entertaining stories filled with the adrenaline of launch, the mesmerizing wonder of spacewalks, and the measured, calm responses mandated by crises, he explains how conventional wisdom can get in the way of achievement-and happiness. His own extraordinary education in space has taught him some counterintuitive lessons: don't visualize success, do care what others think, and always sweat the small stuff. You might never be able to build a robot, pilot a spacecraft, make a music video or perform basic surgery in zero gravity like Col. Hadfield. But his vivid and refreshing insights will teach you how to think like an astronaut, and will change, completely, the way you view life on Earth-especially your own.
How about you? Do you recommend any great reads for the guys in our lives?