In today’s highly modernized, sanitized world where reading has been reduced to occasional tweets, Facebook posts and few quick news articles on your mobile device, books have become a rarity.
This is also evident in literature itself, it has become superfluous, shallow and promote selfishness and consumerism.
Most popular genres are self-help, yoga, and biographies of reality stars.
Books were once a key part in forming one’s personality. Novels were a serious issue and the used to convey real messages.
Recognizing the value of books in forming young man’s personality, we propose 10 books every man should read before he turns 30.
A classic historical novel by Sir Walter Scott, a Scottish romanticist writer. Ivanhoe is a novel echoing chivalrous values, telling the story of a period of struggle in English history, following the Norman conquest of England in 1066.
The novel is set during the reign of Richard the Lionheart, returning to England after a failed Crusade in Holy Land and prolonged captivity by the Duke of Austria.
The story revolves around the struggle of a knight, Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe to redeem himself in his service to the king.
Ivanhoe is a classic novel which introduces readers to the world of chivalry, honor, and masculinity.
The Treasure of the Silver Lake
Another classic story, this is a depiction of the Old West by the German author Karl May. Basically an adventure book, it involves a treasure hunt, involving famous characters such as Old Firehand and Winnetou.
This is a perfect book for young males who crave adventure and exploration.
Charles Dickens’ second novel, and one of the most popular books ever written in English language, Oliver Twist is a realistic, bleak and sometimes cruel picture of Victorian Britain, but at the same time, a novel of incredible strength and emotion.
Telling the story of the orphan Oliver Twist, who escapes his apprenticeship and goes to London, Dickens is leading is through the dreary images of Victorian London while representing both extraordinary cruelty and the strength of friendship and devotion.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Mark Twain’s classic of American literature, the novel is a story from the American south during the XIX century, the story unravels around the adventures of Tom Sawyer, a flamboyant youth in the constant quest for mischief.
Although the novel is clearly intended for a younger audience, almost anybody can have a good time reading it, while learning some important lessons of adulthood in the process.
War and Peace
Widely acclaimed classic written by famous Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace is an intricate historical novel set in the beginning of the XIX century, during Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812.
The novel provides a comprehensive picture of Russian society, depicting the world of Russian aristocracy to which the author himself belonged, but also deals with the issues of war and its influence on Russian society.
Tolstoy vividly depicts the lives of both private and public individuals and their role in the struggle against Napoleon.
As opposed to the scenes of splendor and upper society, Tolstoy also evokes scenes of domestic life.
Wonderfully told, complex and profound, War and Peace represents a pinnacle of realist literature.
The Lord of the Rings
Tolkien’s already immortal work, The Lord of the Rings is often wrongly called a trilogy, while it is, in fact, a single book consisting of six parts.
This is a novel which defined a genre and set a future trend for numerous other authors to follow. And while there are many other Epic fiction novels, Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings remains a unique monument to creativity.
Set in the world of ‘Middle Earth’, which Tolkien referred to as a ‘Secondary world’ it tells the epic story of a struggle between free people of Middle Earth and Sauron. However, many themes are subtly interwoven in the structure of the work.
Tolkien’s devoted Catholicism, love towards nature and a Germanic mythology form a unique surrounding.
Already an immortal work of Spanish Shakespeare, Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote is seemingly a comic tale of a wannabe knight, Alonso Quixano, on a quest to revive chivalric values.
It is almost impossible to sum this monumental novel in one or two paragraphs.
Don Quixote represents a titanic study of human character but is truly comic and straightforward at the same time.
This is also a book of contrasts and contradictions, and as such, it has been interpreted in many different ways, depending on the character of the reader.
Don Quixote has served as an inspiration for countless works of art through centuries. The archetypal character of Don Quixote has influenced other authors and has remained relevant to this day.
Masters of Rome
A masterful depiction of Ancient Rome by Collen McCullough, Masters of Rome are a series of books set in I century BC during the times of struggle in the Late Republic.
The books open with the story of an aged Roman general, Gaius Marius and his ambitious ally, and future dictator Lucius Cornelius Sulla.
After a series of brutal civil wars between Marius and Sulla, the series continues to tell the tale of the rise of Julius Caesar and his struggle with his great rival Pompey.
Surely one of the best novels ever written about Ancient Rome, the Masters of Rome Series offers a glimpse into Roman society and character.
Man’s Search for Meaning
A novel by Auschwitz concentration camp survivor Viktor Frankl, and an existentialist work, the book is based on Frank’s experiences in Auschwitz and examines psychological reactions experienced by prisoners.
Though a harsh story of human suffering, Frankl nevertheless manages to send important messages, that we are unable to avoid suffering and that the purpose of human life is not pleasure, but the inner pursuit of our notion of meaning.
Struggle and the meaning of life are main themes of the book, which has often been included in a list of ten most influential books in the United States.
The book has sold over 10 million copies in more than 24 languages.
The Old Man and the Sea
Another classic, Hemingway uses ever inspiring themes of courage and the fight with loss and pain which leads to ultimate triumph in the face of adversity.
Hemingway’s style is clear, direct and powerful, and the book’s main protagonist, Santiago, evokes Hemingway’s own notions of manhood.
The book was arguably inspired by the Christian themes of redemption through suffering, and there are clear references to the crucifixion.
Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea received Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and also played a prominent role in the subsequent Nobel Prize for Literature awarded to the author in 1954.
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