Hobbies are a marvelous ideas, and so is reading. The latter is more of an acquired taste, which is why, the following collection of books is going to help you guys in getting familiar with the world of literature. Think of them as food for your soul on your next trip to wilderness.
On the Road: Jack Kerouac
It is the 1950’s America, and society is set in a slightly different background. It is outside of the law, where nuances like drugs, sex and jazz run wild in the blood of its inhabitants. Non conformists are shunned and readers are engrossed into a compelling tale of survival as the story progresses. A must read for men who like non-traditional books.
A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
Think about living life under a roof of capitalism in this book. At some point, you will be able to relate to the characters as John Toole spins the tale of people living in a hilarious and woeful society. The rich are living a deceitful life, while poor are struggling to survive on daily basis.
The Prince – N.H. Thompson
The Prince was actually written by Niccolo Machiavelli and Thompson as a joint venture. It is a slender volume, with an abundant amount of information packed inside its archives. Ever heard of the “means to an end” analogy; some say that this is where it all started.
The Art of War – Sun Tzu
Sun Tzu’s Art of War is an all time best seller constituting various war strategies of tons of civilizations. As a matter of fact, this book is handed out different military organizations to their officers, to help them get familiar with the war veteran mindset.
Tao Te Ching – Laozi
Laozi’s Tao Te Ching is a tale of a man who is on the quest for inner peace. The title is roughly translated into “The Way”, while inviting readers to do a bit of soul searching on their own, once they are way past the first few chapters.
The Republic – Plato
Plato has authored many other books and philosophy journals as compared to The Republic. However, this one is considered one of his most important works. It paints the picture of a satirical world. This book is for those who want to question the roots of all other utopian and dystopian literature’s origins.
The Catcher In the Rye – J.D. Salinger
Holden Caulfield is the main character in The Catcher In the Rye. Holden is rebellious, young and hot blooded; he makes hasty decisions and grows up by the end of the book into a fully grown mature man. This is a book for those guys who have to eventually go through teenage and make life decisions on their own.
The More Than Complete Hitchhiker’s Guide to Galaxy – Douglas Adams
Douglas Adams’ book is pretty famous among men, women and people of all ages. It is a chock full of humor and intense belly laughs as science and science fiction takes an unexpected turn. The humor is often unexpected, but it definitely leaves readers smiling or laughing, depending on their “resistance” level.
Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
This one doesn’t need any introduction. Dorian Gray has been revived in several movies, and as part of other literature series over the last few decades. Dorian’s life seems perfect on the outside, but his portrait bears the brunt of his sinful actions somewhere within the confines of a dark room.
The Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
For men who want to read something written in an unusual tone, this book is where they should start. Burgess’s book is written entirely in a different slang; something of his own creation. He talks about the characters and inanimate objects in a wonderful, but yet relatable tone.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
Mark Twain doesn’t need a formal introduction. Especially if you are a 90’s kid, you have grown up with such books that are rarely found or read these days. The witty writing is a perfect reflection of modern day society; freedom is an illusion and man is slave to his own desires or unseen powers.
The Odyssey – Homer
Homer’s Odyssey is a tale of people, men and civilizations established long before superheroes were born. Think of Trojans, Hercules and Achilles type of men, who live life in Odyssey against the backdrop of love, lust and betrayal.
Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
Heller wrote Catch 22 to offer his views on war. However, while doing so, he did it in a very articulate and humorous manner. Since “war” itself is a seriously tragic subject, Heller pulled off the same context in a very different tone. References to sharing residence with a dead man, various emotional plots and a thick funny tone make this book worthwhile.
Ulysses – James Joyce
Ulysses is best read when you are on an outdoor trip. This book requires concentration and a lot of free time because of the complex subject matter. Let’s just say that its ideology oscillates between genius and madness. Therefore, at some point, while you are tempted to throw it across the room, you will still want to read and find out about what happened next.
The Wealth of Nations – Adam Smith
Wealth of Nations has been recommended as a required reading from time and time again. As a matter of fact, when I was growing up, my uncle brought up this book and wanted me to read it. I wasn’t that much interested in reading about economy, but once I got started, I began to appreciate the perfect idea of running a free market. A place where it is a win-win situation for both buyer and seller at the same time.
Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
One of the best thrillers of all time is Crime and Punishment. It is a psychological culmination of morality, murder, deceit and punishment – often times a struggle between all men these days. You should definitely read this book upon your next excursion to the wilderness.
The Stranger – Albert Camus
The Stranger talks about real life scenarios and how we perceive things according to our own perceptions. Have you ever imagined killing someone, or punching someone in the face, but never did so in real life? This is the kind of book where the main character deals with the same situation – more or less.
Don Quixote – Miguel De Cervantes
Don Quixote is perhaps every man’s dream of an ideal adventurous life. Quixote is a knight embarked on a perilous quest to save someone from something evil and vice versa. Except for the fact that all of this is in his head!
The Hatchet – Gary Paulsen
This one is quite a relatable title, especially for those who are already camping out in the wilds. The main character is lost in wilderness, with nothing but a trusty hatchet to help him survive. The hatchet is his salvation, his defense and answer to tough decisions.
Paradise Lost – John Milton
Milton’s book is an account of a man’s fall from grace. In other words, the main character’s demise explains the tale of his fall from Eden, into the world of good and evil. Paradise Lost is recommended to those of faith in today’s modern society.
Rough Riders – Theodore Roosevelt
President Roosevelt talks about his own life experiences from an early age. The day he started as a volunteer cavalry of the U.S., and going all the way to the days of his Presidency.
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
This book is far better than the recent movie adaptation. For people who question why the girl couldn’t marry the guy as per her own will and desire, you will find the answers in The Great Gatsby.
The Naked and The Dead – Norman Mailer
Norman Mailer’s book is a journalistic account of life of a platoon engaged in a bloody war. The foot soldiers’ account of horrific events is relatable at many levels – especially for those who fought in the second world war and lived to talk about it.
David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
Dickens semi- autobiographical masterpiece comes to life, every single time David Copperfield is read. At many levels, the context of this book is relatable to those who are living the life of poverty and struggle in today’s world, or third world countries.
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