Alright, so you’ve built the bookshelf, now it’s time to fill it out with some masculine reading material. Rather than attempting a comprehensive list of books all men ought to read, this list is specifically designed to get that testosterone pumping through your veins. With that in mind, we proudly present...
So, I'm gonna throw down and get controversial for a sec: William Shakespeare was the greatest playwright and poet who ever spoke English, and I'd relish a comment-fight-to-the-death in the comments anyone who disagrees (not really, but I encourage the conversation).
To argue the man's merits feels redundant; the work speaks for itself. The Bard's plays are so influential that he's taught us how we understand storytelling and character development in the modern and post-modern world. His words have become so ubiquitous that I'd bet good money everyone reading this knows unique phrases from at least 4 of the 5 speeches below (also lots of movies take their titles from his phrases). I challenge any man considering himself an educated member of our society read these speeches and attempt committing them to memory. You'll find them helpful in more than a few settings.
Whether you're planning your own adventure or just looking for a little literary escape to combat cabin fever, it's always great to learn the tales of those who have gone before you.
Looking to get away from the limelight of his success in 1940, Ernest Hemingway sought out this private home in Havana and purchased it for $12,500. The quiet he experienced there helped serve as the inspiration for this Pulitzer-Prize winning novel The Old Man and The Sea and is worth taking a tour through by photo.
I know "summer reads" are the cultural icon: books to be read on the beach, on long car trips, during a much needed week off work. But, I'm always more of a fall reader... Summers are for magazines and research for all the outdoor activities and bike trips and all-day grilling sessions and staying out during the long days and evenings.
Artist Bob Staake snagged a collection of vintage children's books, then scanned the artwork, fired up Photoshop, and gave them plenty of new, but very, very not child-friendly covers and titles.
As I type this, it's 12:07p where I live. Which means, according to this blogger body, it's time to stand up, stretch, walk around a bit, and grab a snack. If there's one thing I've learned from working at home, it's that I won't remember to eat an actual lunch until it's too late, so I've gotten into this groove where I eat breakfast as early as I can, then have little mini-meals thoroughout the day. It actually helps me to eat smaller portions at dinner time, and I find I'll choose healthier munchies in general. Win win.
So, last week, in my epic marathon of singleguyness, and in an attempt to replenish my to-be-read pile, and the Twitterverse exploding about the final film, I decided something, pretty revolutionary for me.
I'm gonna read all the Harry Potter books. For the first time. In order, and fast, so I can then watch the movies, and be up to date with the rest of the Western world. My sweetheart had them all (but the third one, I discovered yesterday), andI was able to score the audiobooks from my local library, and have been reading while home, and listening while doing some long bike rides. (Trail only, one earphone in, just talk, no music. Be safe people.)
I mean, I guess it makes sense: The kind of person who violently claws and maims one's way to evil autocracy is likely the kind of person who can get themselves published.
And by "published," I mean, write a really terrible book and get it printed. Name a despot, and dude's got a book. A bad one.
- Muammar al-Gaddafi - Hallucinogenic stream of consciousness
- Saddam Hussein - erotic allegorical fiction
- Kim Jong Il - revolutionary film criticism
- Joseph Stalin - Georgian pastoral odes
- Ayatollah Khomeini - Persian mystical poetry
And the list goes on and on. Weird, right?
Malcom Gladwell, The New Yorker staff writer, has written a wildly successful series of books (The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, What the Dog Saw) that deal with, more-or-less, a super fascinating premise: explaining why seemingly unexplainable things happen.
Sports fans remember the year in wins, music fans in what records were released, and for avid readers, the year is measured in books.
But in the midst of the "Best ofs" and "Top Tens" for 2010, a great read is still a great read, regardless of what the New York Times says or when it was released. So "might it also be an opportunity to look back, reflect, and share? We hope so, and so, for a seventh year, The Millions has reached out to some of our favorite writers, thinkers, and readers to name, from all the books they read this year, the one(s) that meant the most to them, regardless of publication date. Grouped together, these ruminations, cheers, squibs, and essays will be a chronicle of reading and good books from every era. We hope you find in them seeds that will help make your year in reading in 2011 a fruitful one."
Apple's iTunes allows you to purchase audiobooks formatted specifically for your iPod, allowing you to enjoy some literature on the go. But simply importing an audiobook from CDs or an mp3 leaves you with hundreds of poorly labeled, two-minute tracks that make it very difficult to pick up where you last listened.
But, with a little knowhow, you can create your own audiobooks from CDs (ones you may already own, or have borrowed from the library or a friend) or mp3 files and take advantage of bookmarking, avoidance on shuffle mode, and clear chapter organization, and the special "Book" category in your library.
I. Importing from CDs (If