Turning 25 is a significant milestone in a man’s life. By the time you turn 25, you’ve completed your fair share of formal education, found a job, fallen in love, probably had your heart broken and finally understood that you are a grown up. A potentially magnificent life awaits you.
Now’s the time you get to truly do everything you dreamed of doing as a little boy, and more. Let the following books help you do that. These are 6 books from different genres, centuries and countries. Together, they prepare you for a life full of hope, ambition, love, and guts. Reading books, especially these, lets you look within and analyze your priorities in life, and find the courage to go after them with resolve.
1. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernst Hemingway
“But man is not made for defeat,” he said, “A man can be destroyed but not defeated.”
“It’s silly not to hope. It’s a sin he thought.”
The Old Man and the Sea is a magnificent story that redefines the idea of manhood. What surfaces as a story about a man and a fish is, at its core, a story of layers of consciousness. It’s a story of courage, bravery, perseverance, and indomitable spirit.
It’s the story of Santiago, an old fisherman who hasn’t caught a fish in eighty four days. So the next day, he sets out to catch his biggest fish yet and that he does, a gigantic marlin. What ensues is a battle between a frail man and a fierce animal that drags the little boat far into the sea, jolts and rocks it, and tests the limits of human strength. The old man wins the battle, but on his way back, the caught fish bound to the boat is eaten clean by sharks.
Did Santiago win? Did he lose?
Just like he fought, it’s all that we can do. The book is an incredible reminder of the ultimate power of nature against the invincible persistence of the human spirit. It celebrates the sheer courage and the raw guts of an old man who just wouldn’t give up.
2. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
“Sometimes you gwyne to git hurt, en sometimes you gwyne to git sick; but every time you’s gwyne to git well agin.”
“Right is right, and wrong is wrong, and a body ain’t got no business doing wrong when he ain’t ignorant and knows better.”
American Fiction begins and ends with Huck Finn, said Hemingway and we couldn’t agree more. This legendary story of the tumultuous voyage of Huckleberry Finn, the runaway son of a violent, drunkard father, and Jim, a slave, is an adventure of a lifetime. More than that, however, it is a mirror of everything that was wrong in 19th-century America. It raises the themes of racism, slavery, friendship and faltering family structures. While the book makes you laugh in places, it also makes you think long and hard about life in other parts. Most of all, it will teach you to fight against the odds, rebel against oppression, and cherish your true friends.
3. The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
“If you do something too good, then, after a while, if you don’t watch it, you start showing off. And then you’re not as good any more.”
“Make sure you marry someone who laughs at the same things you do.”
If you’ve ever felt that no one understands you, you’ll find a friend in this book. The Catcher in the Rye is the fascinating journey of Holden Caulfield’s teenage angst and rebellion against the grown-up world.
The first thing you’ll discover is that regardless of your frustrations with this world, you are not alone. You just have to take what life gives you and make something good out of it.
Another thing you’ll realize is that reading is probably the best escape from the world. A good book can transport you to places you never want to come back from. And most of all, you’ll understand that in a world of madness, beauty is rare and you should cherish every little drop of it that you can. This can mean relishing the company of good friends, the love of your family or your favourite books.
4. The Prophet by Khalil Gibran
“I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the spirit.”
“If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. And if they don’t, they never were.”
Probably one of the most practical and actionable self-improvement books ever written, The Prophet by Khalil Gibran is full of gems of wisdom for every aspect of your life. From love and relationships to work, religion, marriage and children, it has everything men ought to know for a living rich, meaningful, generous and satisfied life.
The Prophet teaches you to love your work and not spend your life doing something you hate. This is something every young man needs to absorb before heading out into a career. It teaches you to respect spaces in love, cherish the simplest things in life and be grateful. It’s a surreal book that helps you make sense of the chaotic world.
5. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
“When I lost my sight, Werner, people said I was brave. When my father left, people said I was brave. But it is not bravery; I have no choice. I wake up and live my life. Don’t you do the same?”
“Your problem, Werner,” says Frederick, “is that you still believe you own your life.”
Probably the most beautiful and poetic book ever written on World War II, Pulitzer winner, All The Light We Cannot See is more than just a story. Anthony Doerr takes you by the hand and mutely transports you back in time to walk the path young boys were forced to tread to become German soldiers. He makes you close your eyes and see what the blind French girl saw. You feel the fear, the sorrow, the hope and the absence of it. You see what war does to everyone involved in it. It portrays, with profound stillness, the biggest chaos our world has seen. And you see the peril of war, the haunting and the fear.
6. Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids about Money By Robert T. Kiyosaki
“If you realize that you’re the problem, then you can change yourself, learn something and grow wiser. Don’t blame other people for your problems.”
“The single most powerful asset we all have is our mind. If it is trained well, it can create enormous wealth in what seems to be an instant.”
“But without a strong reason or purpose, anything in life is hard.”
Robert T. Kiyosaki has written what is undoubtedly a classic on personal finance. With life-changing advice on money and the management of it, this book has the potential to make all your dreams come true, after putting them in perspective. The best thing about the book is that it’s not even about money. It’s about our attitude towards money and life, and the way we make money. He urges you to step out and take risks, without being afraid of failure. When it comes to self-improvement books that serve a direct purpose to an important physical aspect of life, Rich Dad Poor Dad leads the way by a long mile.
So these are the books that help young men gain a strong foothold on the serious business of life. From emotional journeys and spiritual guides to self-improvement and personal finance, books are one of the best way to tread uncharted territories, see the unseen and experience life to the fullest.
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