Recommended Books for Young Men and Boys

All too often, young men and boys do not like read because English courses make reading a chore, rather than something to do for leisure. The books taught in schools all too often do not appeal to boys, either; classes often focus on stories such as To Kill a Mockingbird, The Catcher in the Rye, or—one of the most unbearable books for me to read in high school—Their Eyes Were Watching God. This is not to say these particular books are bad or poorly written; rather, it simply means they are not the kind of stories that would foster a love of reading in boys and young men. I have read all of these books unless otherwise indicated, and I intend to add to it as I read more. I’ve also included a non-fiction section, as history offers just as many compelling stories as fiction. I hope this list can help a parent or man that would like to read more.

William Golding, Lord of the Flies

Robert H. Heinlein, Starship Troopers
Ibid., The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions

Ibid., Cat’s Cradle

Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms
Ibid., For Whom the Bell Tolls
Ibid., The Sun Also Rises [much less action oriented than the preceding novels, may seem boring to some]

Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? [Adapted into the excellent movie Blade Runner]
Ibid., Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said
Ibid., A Scanner Darkly
Ibid., The Man in the High Castle

Cormac McCarthy, The Road
Ibid., No Country for Old Men

Max Brooks, World War Z

Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

George Orwell, Animal Farm
Ibid., 1984

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

Franz Kafka, The Metamorphoses

Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game

Frank Herbert, Dune

William Gibson, Neuromancer

Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series

Bernard Cornwell’s Richard Sharpe series

Louis Ferdinand Celine, Journey to the End of the Night
Ibid., Death on the Installment Plan [A warning: while these are very well written and insightful, they do not make for pleasant reading.

Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

Cornelius Ryan, A Bridge Too Far

Byron Farwell, The Great War in Africa

John Keegan, The Face of Battle

Fred L. Ray, Shock Troops of the Confederacy

Winston Groom, A Storm in Flanders

Bernard Fall, Street Without Joy

Rick Atkinson, An Army At Dawn

Robert Kershaw, It Never Snows in September

Simon Murray, Legionnaire

Max Hastings, Das Reich [The cover claims it’s a history of the German Waffen-SS division, however, it mostly covers the French resistance in 1944, after the Allied invasion. Not a bad book, though]

Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings

C.J. Chivers, The Gun

Paul S. Moorcroft & Peter McLaughlin, The Rhodesian War

Kevin Birmingham, The Most Dangerous Book

Christine Alexander & Mason Kunze, Eastern Inferno

Eugene Sledge, With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa

Ernest Hemingway: A Moveable Feast


2 thoughts on “Recommended Books for Young Men and Boys

  1. Pingback: Creating the New Literary Fiction | Samuel Stevens

  2. Pingback: The Cruel Irony of Dystopian YA | Samuel Stevens

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