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In Digital age, our way of grasping knowledge and content consumption has changed, keeping us less bothered about reading books. Print, people say, is dying because of the digital boom and pandemic thereafter, but books are a man’s best friend ! Books have brought revolutions, infatuated cultures and entertained people through centuries. But, what are some books which every man should read in his lifetime? To counter this dilemma, here is a list of 10 best books spanning the 20th and 21st century which a man should read once in his lifetime.
- From Whom The Bell Tolls (Ernest Hemingway): Considered as one of the best works of celebrated 20th century writer Ernest Hemingway,. From whom the Bell is a novel centered around Spanish Civil War which tells the story through the eyes of an American who volunteers to fight fascists forces. The story follows intense battle scenes and American soldier Robert Jordan’s new found lust for life after founding love from a Spanish woman who has been shattered by execution of her parents and her rape by fascists forces. Written during the war tensions around 1940, Hemingway used his own experiences which he witnessed during the Spanish civil war. The novel conveys war brutality through the eyes of American soldier Robert Jordan. Being a classic, it should be on every man’s to read list.
- The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald): Considered a Masterpiece by critics and readers, The Great Gatsby is one literary piece of work which Men should read. The Great Gatspy tells the story of a narrator who meets a mysterious millionaire Jay Gtasby obsession to reunite with his former lover, Daisy Buchanan. The novel explores status hierarchies, American economic boom , flapper cultures among others in a riveting manner. The novel was inspired by the author’s own infatuation with a socialite. The novel had many official TV and movie adaptations, the latest and most prominent being the movie of the same name, starring Leonarda DiCaprio.
- One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez): Cited as one of the most prominent gems of World Literature, One hundred years of Solitude is hard to miss. The novel tells the multi-generational story of the Buendia family whose patriarch Jose Arcadio Buendia founded the fictitious town of Macondo .Known for its magic realism, this novel has sold over 45 million copies and is running. It is a long and complex novel with many characters, but it is one of the best Men will ever read.
- The Bhagavad Gita (Hindu scripture): The Bhagavad Gita is a revered Hindu ancient scripture which narrates the story of a young warrior Arjuna and his confusion amidst a war in the Mahabharata and eventual counsel by the god Krishna disguised as the charioteer. The Bhagavad Gita is said to be life changing and inspiring. In the book, Krishna advises Arjuna to take the path of righteousness and how to move ahead in times of uncertainty. The God Krishna, says we have the right to work in a righteous manner without hoping for the fruits which is the central philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita. Consisting of 18 chapters, Bhagavad Gita can inspire and transform.
- The Art Of War (Sun Tzu): Written in the 6th century, The Art of War is considered as one of the best books ever written on military strategy and warfare inspiring many military leaders, thinkers and politicians. The Book was translated into English by Lionel Giles in 1910. Men who want to harness their leadership qualities can very well relate to the book’s philosophy. The books have inspired many military strategies throughout the world.
- The Road (Cormac McCarthy): This Pulitzer award winning post-apocalyptic novel follows a grueling journey of a father and son over a period of seven months after a landscape blasted by an unspecified cataclysm that has devastated civilization. Focussing on conflict and altruism, The Road is a masterpiece. Men can learn survival instincts in a complex world. The Road was adapted into a mainstream film titled with the same.
- The Code Of Man (Waller Newell): A critique of today’s men lost in sex and violence, The code of man offers a virtuous path, idealizing men to restore values such as love, courage ,pride, family and country which the author calls five paths to manliness. The author exhorts men to look back in the traditional values and to undergo self evaluation and embrace the virtuous values. The book offers solutions for Men in redeeming values such as compassion and character. For Men, it can be an enlightening read.
- The Band Of Brothers (Stephen Ambrose): The Band of Brothers narrates ordreals of soldiers from E company, 506th regiment- a parachute Infantry company of the United States during World War II. The book narrates anecdotes and the flow of battle and the lives of common soldiers engulfed in the war. Emotive and very well written, The Band of Brothers was made into a successful commercial television miniseries by HBO in the same name. For Men, it will be a true inspiring read.
- The Odyssey (Homer): Written as far back as the 8th century, The Odyssey still tops the literary chart. It is an epic Greek adventure story written as a poem chronicling Greek Hero Odyssey’s life pursuits (King of Ithaca) and his journey home after the Trojan war which is filled with hardships and struggle. The book was translated into English in the 16th century. The book has much to offer. Men can learn commitment to duty and intelligence from Odyssey who shows how to survive through cunning intelligence.
- A House For Mr. Biswas (V.S. Naipaul): Bringing V.S. Naipaul to international stage, A house for Mr. Biswas is considered as a literary giant. The novel follows the story of Hindu Indo-Trinidadian who continually strives for success and mostly fails, who marries into the influential Tulsi family only to find himself dominated by it, and who finally sets the goal of owning his own house. It relies on some biographical elements from the experience of the author’s father, and views a colonial world sharply with postcolonial perspectives. Rated as one of the most influential novels, for men it is a must read.