5 Books Every Guy Should Read (At Least) Once in His Lifetime

There’s little better than the smell of a good book. For guys who like to work with their hands, touching a book and feeling its warm fibers between your fingertips can fill your body and soul with warmth. With winter just around the corner, it’s important to hand-pick a few great reads to bring you through the darkness and cold.

I have my personal favorites, whether because they have a certain nostalgia to them or because I truly believe they have added value to my life. Certain books are classics, and others have underrated nuggets of wisdom contained within them. Whatever your preference, the following are 5 books every guy should read at least once.

1.) Life of Pi by Yann Martel

There’s a reason this book was turned into a four-time Academy Award-winning movie. What starts as an adventure book about a boy and a tiger grows by the end of the novel into something thought-provoking and somewhat horrifying. Life of Pi delves into the complexities of human nature, solitude, and perseverance in the face of hardship. Although the beginning is slow, I promise that if you can get to the part where the Patels board the boat, you’ll be on the edge of your seat the rest of the book.

2.) Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

Siddhartha is about a young man breaking apart from his family and taking a spiritual journey. While not every man can relate to leaving their home to study Buddhism and search for enlightenment, there is a need in every one of us to discover our purpose in life. Siddhartha is about following your dreams, not giving up, and believing in yourself even when the world is telling you that you’re wrong.

3.) Lord of the Flies by William Golding

This one’s a classic, but it’s a classic for a reason. It explores the idea that there are numerous forms of masculinity, some more dangerous than others. A short novel in an easy-to-read tone, it has the unique ability to make you feel something strong in a very short span.

4.) The Giver by Lois Lowry

Don’t be fooled by the YA stamp on this book. The Giver is a look into a future not worth facing--a future in which history and love have both become irrelevant, and in which sameness is valued above all else. Through the eyes of a twelve-year-old boy, you read about challenging "the way things have always been" in the face of social reform.

5.) Breathe by Donna Jo Napoli

A severely underrated title, Breathe is about a boy living with Cystic Fibrosis during the middle ages. His illness causes him to be looked down on by his father and older brothers, and he is forced to do women’s work. A new take on the classic fairy tale "The Pied Piper," Breathe is another book that explores new ideas about what it means to be a man.

These are the 5 books I think every guy needs to read at least once. Which ones do you recommend?