The Books Every Man Should Read Once in His Life

Five tomes to make you laugh, cry or just become a better man

We should all read more. Sure, it's easier to pick up your phone or turn to Netflix in those precious moments of downtime, but there are generally more benefits (and less ageing blue light) in a good book. From novels and biographies to self-help books and horror stories, words have the power to transport us to somewhere else almost instantly, and we could all use a little of that right now. With over 2.2 million new books published every year, we're not short on choice, but some books for men should be read with more urgency than others. If you're looking to turn the page on something new, start with one of these. 


Books For Men: Five Must-Reads


Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig 

The issue of male mental health, whether it's stress, burnout or depression, is one that's finally starting to be talked about more openly. We now have more resources than ever to turn to, and writers like Matt Haig are one of the reasons. Matt's book, Reasons to Stay Alive, is an open, honest account of his own mental health crisis when he attempted suicide aged 24. "I wrote this book because the oldest clichés remain the truest. Time heals…words, just sometimes, really can set you free". If you or someone you know is struggling, reading this book may help them to start a healing process of their own. 




Man-Made: The Art of Male Grooming by Dan Jones

The world of men's grooming can be incredibly confusing. What moisturiser is best for your skin type? What haircut suits your face shape? How do you look less tired than you actually are? There are hundreds of questions, many of which are answered here on the BEAST. Journal. For anything else, there's Dan Jones' male beauty tome. Not sure where to start when it comes to the bathroom? This will get you on your way. 




Ham on Rye by Charles Bukowski 

One of the most complex and intriguing authors of the 20th century, Charles Bukowski's sharp, brutal writing style made him a star of the Beat Generation. Ham on Rye is considered to be one of his greatest works. It's an autobiographical insight into his somewhat troubled youth, featuring his alter-ego Henry Chinaski, who also featured in Bukowski's Post Office and Factotum. It hardly makes for light reading, but you're guaranteed to be moved by it in some way. 




Stretch: Unlock the Power of Less by Scott Sonenshein 

Most men are guilty of trying to get 'more' in life: more time, more resources, more possessions. In reality, most of the time we'd do better with less. Scott Sonenshein's book Stretch shows us how to do just that. In 'stretching', we learn to make use of what we already have more effectively rather than wasting energy and time on chasing more. Whether you're an entrepreneur, an athlete or you just want to live a little lighter, Stretch is for you. So limber up.




American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis 

"In the shower, I use a water-activated gel cleanser, then a honey-almond body scrub, and on the face an exfoliating gel scrub. Then I apply a herb-mint facial mask which I leave on for 10 minutes while I prepare the rest of my routine". So says Patrick Bateman, the original grooming #influencer and protagonist of Bret Easton Ellis' controversial classic, American Psycho. When he's not describing his morning routine in minute detail, Bateman is roaming the streets of NYC looking for his next murder victim. He's far from an aspirational character, but Easton Ellis' dark look at the American dream is well worth a read.