Good Books for Men

View all Best Picks for Adults book lists; This list was last updated on 2/20/2012
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release date: Jan 01, 1989
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The Frontier in American History
Frederick Jackson Turner (1861-1932) presented an essay at the World's Fair in Chicago in 1893 that would change the study of American History forever. This essay would ultimately be published with twelve supporting articles to form "The Frontier in American History". Turner was an innovator in that he was one of the first to call attention to the Frontier as an integral part of the study of The United States of America. Turner himself grew up on the Frontier, living in Wisconsin for the better part of his life. As a child, he lived along the Wisconsin River in Portage, Wisconsin, named for its use as a portage route by American Indians. Turner was consumed by his interest in history his entire life, garnering many degrees in history, both earned and honorary. Shortly after his death, Turner was posthumously awarded a Pulitzer Prize for a collection of essays, a latter volume of work on his study of American History, "The Significance of Sections in American History".
release date: Apr 29, 2003
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The Histories
Translated by Aubrey de Sélincourt with an introduction and Notes by John M. Marincola.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
release date: Jan 01, 1987
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The Killer Angels
“My favorite historical novel . . . a superb re-creation of the Battle of Gettysburg, but its real importance is its insight into what the war was about, and what it meant.”—James M. McPherson
 
In the four most bloody and courageous days of our nation's history, two armies fought for two conflicting dreams. One dreamed of freedom, the other of a way of life. Far more than rifles and bullets were carried into battle. There were memories. There were promises. There was love. And far more than men fell on those Pennsylvania fields. Bright futures, untested innocence, and pristine beauty were also the casualties of war. Michael Shaara's Pulitzer Prize–winning masterpiece is unique, sweeping, unforgettable—the dramatic story of the battleground for America's destiny.
release date: Jan 01, 2007
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The Dangerous Book for Boys
In addition to all the information which made this book such a hit, here you can read about local heroes like General John Monash at Gallipoli and the battles of Somme, find out how to skin a kangaroo, get the lowdon on creatures that crawl, bite, sting and sometimes kill, have a quick reference guide to the Prime Ministers, and more.
release date: Jan 01, 1999
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To Kill a Mockingbird
The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.

Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior - to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 18 million copies in print and translated into forty languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.


release date: Jan 01, 2009
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The Long Goodbye
Ed Bishop stars as Philip Marlowe in a powerful and atmospheric full-cast dramatisation of Raymond Chandler's classic noir novel. The first time Marlowe sets eyes on Terry Lennox, he is lying drunk in the passenger seat of a Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith. The next time, he's on Skid Row. After they share a few Gimlets, Marlowe thinks he seems like a nice guy, but he's had a hard life - his white hair and scarred face testify to that. Or could it be marriage to Sylvia Lennox that has turned him prematurely grey? Although beautiful and rich, she plays the field in a big way. Lennox says he has the promise of a job in Las Vegas, and Marlowe helps him out with the cost of the ticket. Two weeks later, he gets the money back, with a note from Lennox saying he is starting a second honeymoon with Sylvia. But the honeymoon turns sour, the dame ends up dead and Lennox turns up on Marlowe's doorstep in big trouble. He needs to get away in a hurry, and against his better judgement Marlowe agrees to take him to Tijuana. Soon after, the cops arrive, and Marlowe finds himself cooling his heels in the can, suspected of helping Sylvia's killer escape. And that's not the end of his problems, not by a long shot...
release date: Jan 01, 2011
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release date: Jan 01, 1986
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Lonesome Dove
A love story and an epic of the frontier, Lonesome Dove is the grandest novel ever written about the last, defiant wilderness of America. Richly authentic, beautifully written, Lonesome Dove is a book to make readers laugh, weep, dream and remember. Now a blockbuster television event.
release date: Feb 10, 2004
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Theodore Roosevelt
He inherited a sense of entitlement (and obligation) from his family, yet eventually came to see his own class as suspect. He was famously militaristic, yet brokered peace between Russia and Japan. He started out an archconservative, yet came to champion progressive causes. These contradictions are not evidence of vacillating weakness: instead, they were the product of a restless mind bend on a continuous quest for self-improvement.

In Theodore Roosevelt, historian Kathleen Dalton reveals a man with a personal and intellectual depth rarely seen in our public figures. She shows how Roosevelt's struggle to overcome his frailties as a child helped to build his character, and offers new insights into his family life, uncovering the important role that Roosevelt's second wife, Edith Carow, played in the development of his political career. She also shows how TR flirted with progressive reform and then finally commited himself to deep reform in the Bull Moose campaign of 1912. Incorporating the latest scholarship into a vigorous narrative, Dalton reinterprets both the man and his times to create an illuminating portrait that will change the way we see this great man and the Progressive Era.
release date: Jan 01, 2001
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Whilomville Stories
This American Civil-War classic centres on the story of Henry Fleming, a young and inexperienced soldier buffeted by panic, fear, and visions of glory, as he faces his first battle (thought to be the Battle of Chancellorsville) of the Civil War. He swaggers to keep up his spirits during the delay that precedes the slaughter, but when his turn comes to join the fight, he flees the field in unthinking terror. Tormented that he has not earned the 'red badge of courage' of the wounded, Henry returns to the fray the next day and fights with bravery.
release date: Jan 01, 2006
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The Island of Dr. Moreau

Dr. Moreau, a scientist expelled from his homeland for cruel experiments, finds a deserted island where he can create hideous creatures with manlike intelligence. But as the rigid order on Moreau's island dissolves, the consequences of his experiments emerge-and his creations revert to beasts more shocking than nature could devise.

release date: Jan 01, 2000
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A River Runs Through It
From its first magnificent sentence, "In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing", to the last, "I am haunted by waters", A River Runs Through It is an American classic.

Based on Norman Maclean's childhood experiences, the title novella has established itself as one of the most moving stories of our time; it captivates readers with vivid descriptions of life along Montana's Big Blackfoot River and its near magical blend of fly fishing with the troubling affections of the heart.

The paperback edition is now available with an evocative new cover by acclaimed Montana painter Russell Chatham.

"A masterpiece. . . . This is more than stunning fiction: It is a lyric record of a time and a life, shining with Maclean's special gift for calling the reader's attention to arts of all kinds—the arts that work in nature, in personality, in social intercourse, in fly-fishing."—Kenneth M. Pierce, Village Voice

Norman Maclean (1902-90), woodsman, scholar, teacher, and storyteller, grew up in the Western Rocky Mountains of Montana and worked for many years in logging camps and for the United States Forestry Service before beginning his academic career. He retired from the University of Chicago in 1973.
release date: Jan 01, 2011
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The Idiot
"My intention is to portray a truly beautiful soul." -- Dostoevsky

Despite the harsh circumstances besetting his own life -- object poverty, incessant gambling, the death of his firstborn child -- Dostoevsky produced a second masterpiece, The Idiot, just two years after completing Crime and Punishment. In it, a saintly man, Prince Myshkin, is thrust into the heart of a society more concerned with wealth, power and sexual conquest than with the ideals of Christianity. Myshkin soon finds himself at the center of a violent love triangle in which a notorious woman and a beautiful young girl become rivals for his affections. Extortion, scandal and murder follow, testing Myshkin's moral feelings as Dostoevsky searches through the wreckage left by human misery to find "man in man." The Idiot is a quintessentially Russian novel, one that penetrates the complex psyche of the Russian people. "They call me a psychologist," wrote Dostoevsky. "That is not true. I'm only a realist in the higher sense; that is, I portray all the depths of the human soul."
release date: Jan 01, 1999
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Into Thin Air
Into Thin Air is the definitive, personal account of the deadliest season in the history of Mount Everest--told by acclaimed journalist, and bestselling author of Into the Wild and Eiger Dreams, Jon Krakauer. On assignment for Outside magazine, Krakauer, an accomplished climber, went to the Himalayas to report on the growing commercialization of the planet's highest mountain. Even though one climber in four dies attempting to reach the summit of Everest, business is booming as guides take the rich and the adventurous up the mountain for a fee of $65,000. Krakauer examines what it is about Everest that has compelled so many people--including himself--to throw caution to the wind and willingly subject themselves to so much danger, hardship, and expense.
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The American Boys Handy Book
First published in 1882, this is a wealth of projects and games, with practical directions on how to make them, by one of the founders of the Boy Scouts of America. The ultimate pre-TV, anti-couch potato activity book, it answers the question, "What's there to do?"
release date: Jan 01, 2009
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Cannery Row
Steinbeck's tough yet charming portrait of people on the margins of society, dependant on one another for both physical and emotional survival

Published in 1945, Cannery Row focuses on the acceptance of life as it is: both the exuberance of community and the loneliness of the individual. Drawing on his memories of the real inhabitants of Monterey, California, including longtime friend Ed Ricketts, Steinbeck interweaves the stories of Doc, Dora, Mack and his boys, Lee Chong, and the other characters in this world where only the fittest survive, to create a novel that is at once one of his most humorous and poignant works. In her introduction, Susan Shillinglaw shows how the novel expresses, both in style and theme, much that is essentially Steinbeck: “scientific detachment, empathy toward the lonely and depressed…and, at the darkest level…the terror of isolation and nothingness.”

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
release date: Jan 01, 2008
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Paradise Lost
Paradise Lost, an epic poem in blank verse, written by the 17th-century poet John Milton as he became blind at the end of his life, is a retelling of the Biblical story of the Fall of Man. While based on the Christian tale, the poem incorporates many topics, and spends most of its verses detailing the journey of Satan and his war on the angels. The depiction of Adam and Eve draws an elaborate panorama of their trials. This classic of Western literature is wide-reaching and enormously influential, and should not be absent from the modern reader's bookshelf.
release date: Jan 01, 2001
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Undaunted Courage
From the bestselling author of Band of Brothers and D-Day, the definitive book on Lewis and Clark's exploration of the Louisiana Purchase, the most momentous expedition in American history and one of the great adventure stories of all time.

In 1803 President Thomas Jefferson selected his personal secretary, Captain Meriwether Lewis, to lead a voyage up the Missouri River to the Rockies, over the mountains, down the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean, and back. Lewis and his partner, Captain William Clark, made the first map of the trans-Mississippi West, provided invaluable scientific data on the flora and fauna of the Louisiana Purchase territory, and established the American claim to Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.

Ambrose has pieced together previously unknown information about weather, terrain, and medical knowledge at the time to provide a vivid backdrop for the expedition. Lewis is supported by a rich variety of colorful characters, first of all Jefferson himself, whose interest in exploring and acquiring the American West went back thirty years. Next comes Clark, a rugged frontiersman whose love for Lewis matched Jefferson's. There are numerous Indian chiefs, and Sacagawea, the Indian girl who accompanied the expedition, along with the French-Indian hunter Drouillard, the great naturalists of Philadelphia, the French and Spanish fur traders of St. Louis, John Quincy Adams, and many more leading political, scientific, and military figures of the turn of the century.

High adventure, high politics, suspense, drama, and diplomacy combine with high romance and personal tragedy to make this outstanding work of scholarship as readable as a novel.
release date: Jan 01, 2010
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Fear and Trembling
In our time nobody is content to stop with faith but wants to go further. It would perhaps be rash to ask where these people are going, but it is surely a sign of breeding and culture for me to assume that everybody has faith, for otherwise it would be queer for them to be . . . going further. In those old days it was different, then faith was a task for a whole lifetime, because it was assumed that dexterity in faith is not acquired in a few days or weeks. When the tried oldster drew near to his last hour, having fought the good fight and kept the faith, his heart was still young enough not to have forgotten that fear and trembling which chastened the youth, which the man indeed held in check, but which no man quite outgrows. . . except as he might succeed at the earliest opportunity in going further. Where these revered figures arrived, that is the point where everybody in our day begins to go further.
release date: Jan 01, 2008
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Ghost Train to the Eastern Star: On the Tracks of the Great Railway Bazaar
Thirty years after the epic journey chronicled in his classic work The Great Railway Bazaar, the world's most acclaimed travel writer re-creates his 25,000-mile journey through eastern Europe, central Asia, the Indian subcontinent, China, Japan, and Siberia.

Half a lifetime ago, Paul Theroux virtually invented the modern travel narrative by recounting his grand tour by train through Asia. In the three decades since, the world he recorded in that book has undergone phenomenal change. The Soviet Union has collapsed and China has risen; India booms while Burma smothers under dictatorship; Vietnam flourishes in the aftermath of the havoc America was unleashing on it the last time Theroux passed through. And no one is better able to capture the texture, sights, smells, and sounds of that changing landscape than Theroux.
Theroux's odyssey takes him from eastern Europe, still hung-over from communism, through tense but thriving Turkey into the Caucasus, where Georgia limps back toward feudalism while its neighbor Azerbaijan revels in oil-fueled capitalism. Theroux is firsthand witness to it all, traveling as the locals do—by stifling train, rattletrap bus, illicit taxi, and mud-caked foot—encountering adventures only he could have: from the literary (sparring with the incisive Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk) to the dissolute (surviving a week-long bender on the Trans-Siberian Railroad). And wherever he goes, his omnivorous curiosity and unerring eye for detail never fail to inspire, enlighten, inform, and entertain.

PAUL THEROUX was born in Medford, Massachusetts, in 1941 and published his first novel, Waldo, in 1967. His fiction includes The Mosquito Coast, My Secret History, My Other Life, Kowloon Tong, Blinding Light, and most recently, The Elephanta Suite. His highly acclaimed travel books include Riding the Iron Rooster, The Great Railway Bazaar, The Old Patagonian Express, Fresh Air Fiend, and Dark Star Safari. He has been the guest editor of The Best American Travel Writing and is a frequent contributor to various magazines, including The New Yorker. He lives in Hawaii and on Cape Cod.
release date: Jan 01, 1997
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A Confederacy of Dunces
A Confederacy of Dunces is an American comic masterpiece. John Kennedy Toole's hero, one Ignatius J. Reilly, is "huge, obese, fractious, fastidious, a latter-day Gargantua, a Don Quixote of the French Quarter. His story bursts with wholly original characters, denizens of New Orleans' lower depths, incredibly true-to-life dialogue, and the zaniest series of high and low comic adventures" (Henry Kisor, Chicago Sun-Times).
release date: Jan 01, 1981
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Treasure Island
Treasure Island has to be one of the greatest adventure novels and best pirate stories, a tale of "pirates and buried gold." Traditionally considered a coming-of-age story, it is an adventure tale for all ages, known for its atmosphere, characters and action. That's why it's also one of the most frequently dramatized of all novels. The influence of Treasure Island on popular perception of pirates is vast, including treasure maps with an "X", schooners, the Black Spot, tropical islands, and one-legged seamen with parrots on their shoulders.
release date: Jan 01, 2009
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On The Road
REA's MAXnotes for Jack Kerouac's On the Road

MAXnotes offer a fresh look at masterpieces of literature, presented in a lively and interesting fashion. Written by literary experts who currently teach the subject, MAXnotes will enhance your understanding and enjoyment of the work. MAXnotes are designed to stimulate independent thought about the literary work by raising various issues and thought-provoking ideas and questions.

MAXnotes cover the essentials of what one should know about each work, including an overall summary, character lists, an explanation and discussion of the plot, the work's historical context, illustrations to convey the mood of the work, and a biography of the author. Each chapter is individually summarized and analyzed, and has study questions and answers.
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The Pearl
“There it lay, the great pearl, perfect as the moon.”
 
Like his father and grandfather before him, Kino is a poor diver, gathering pearls from the gulf beds that once brought great wealth to the Kings of Spain and now provide Kino, Juana, and their infant son with meager subsistence. Then, on a day like any other, Kino emerges from the sea with a pearl as large as a sea gull's egg, as "perfect as the moon." With the pearl comes hope, the promise of comfort and of security....

A story of classic simplicity, based on a Mexican folk tale, The Pearl explores the secrets of man's nature, the darkest depths of evil, and the luminous possibilities of love.
release date: Jan 01, 2009
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Robinson Crusoe
Robinson Crusoe is among the first novels written in English. Thanks to its extraordinary realism and drama, it is easily the longest-enduring work of popular fiction in the language. The story, probably based on the Pacific-island ordeal of castaway Alexander Selkirk, was presented by Daniel Defoe as a true account, and is utterly convincing in its topography, action and character, even 300 years after its first publication. Robinson Crusoe is a true page-turner: Dr Samuel Johnson said it was one of only three books he had read that would have been better for being longer. Illustrated by George Cruikshank, with an Afterword by Ned Halley.
release date: Jan 01, 1999
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A Separate Peace
An American classic and great bestseller for over thirty years, A Separate Peace is timeless in its description of adolescence during a period when the entire country was losing its innocence to the second world war.

Set at a boys' boarding school in New England during the early years of World War II, A Separate Peace is a harrowing and luminous parable of the dark side of adolescence. Gene is a lonely, introverted intellectual. Phineas is a handsome, taunting, daredevil athlete. What happens between the two friends one summer, like the war itself, banishes the innocence of these boys and their world.

A bestseller for more than thirty years, A Separate Peace is John Knowles's crowning achievement and an undisputed American classic.
release date: Jan 01, 1991
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The Boys of Summer

This is an audiobook about young men who learned to play baseball during the 1930s and 1940s, and then went on to play for one of the most exciting major-league ball clubs ever fielded, the team that broke the color barrier with Jackie Robinson. It is an audiobook by and about a sportswriter who grew up near Ebbets Field, and who had the good fortune in the 1950s to cover the Dodgers for the Herald Tribune. This is a book about what happened to Jackie, Carl Erskine, Pee Wee Reese, and the others when their glory days were behind them. In short, it is an audiobook about America, about fathers and sons, prejudice and courage, triumph and disaster, and told with warmth, humor, wit, candor, and love.

“A work of high purpose and poetic accomplishment. The finest American book on sports.” –James Michener

release date: Jan 01, 2004
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Hamlet

Each edition includes:


• Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play

• Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play

• Scene-by-scene plot summaries

• A key to famous lines and phrases

• An introduction to reading Shakespeare's language

• An essay by an outstanding scholar providing a modern perspective on the play

• Illustrations from the Folger Shakespeare Library's vast holdings of rare books


Essay by Michael Neill


The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., is home to the world's largest collection of Shakespeare's printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs.

release date: Jan 01, 1994
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Frankenstein
"I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life and stir with an uneasy, half-vital motion." A summer evening's ghost stories, lonely insomnia in a moonlit Alpine's room, and a runaway imagination--fired by philosophical discussions with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley about science, galvanism, and the origins of life--conspired to produce for Marry Shelley this haunting night specter. By morning, it had become the germ of her Romantic masterpiece, Frankenstein.

Written in 1816 when she was only nineteen, Mary Shelley's novel of "The Modern Prometheus" chillingly dramatized the dangerous potential of life begotten upon a laboratory table. A frightening creation myth for our own time, Frankenstein remains one of the greatest horror stories ever written and is an undisputed classic of its kind.


From the Paperback edition.
release date: Oct 21, 2003
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Essential Manners for Men

Essential Manners for Men helps men make the right decisions about what to do and say in every situation that counts. Peter Post, great-grandson of Emily Post, distills the essential information men need for all the important roles they play in life.

Organized into three parts -- "Daily Life," "Social Life," and "On the Job" -- Essential Manners for Men resolves situations that can stump even the savviest. Peter Post's advice is sharp-witted and sensible, with tips, boxes, and candid anecdotes about his own etiquette blunders. Topics include:

  • The most important behaviors to avoid and emulate at the gym, at work, on the golf course, at home, out with friends, at a business social event, and a child's ball game
  • Tipping, driver's "ed-iquette," introductions, sportsmanship, and parenting
  • Successfully sharing living spaces with a roommate, significant other, or spouse -- from the toilet seat to the remote control to the kitchen sink
  • How to throw a great party or be the perfect guest
  • How to successfully navigate the business dinner
  • Things men do wrong that make women wince, and things men do right that women love
  • The five-step process to resolve any situation where there is no etiquette "rule"

Short and shoot-from-the-hip honest, Essential Manners for Men is a book no man can afford to be without.

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