What are the most influential character-developing books you've read?

I find that most self-help books are a lot more gender-neutral and based on market-orientated skills, such as: how to be confident, charismatic, and eliminate stress. 

I've had some trouble finding over the past days books based more specifically on development of the male character, on what it means to be a man. Things like values, virtue and integrity are harder to find in the modern self-help book section. 

Right now I'm looking at Benjamin Franklin's biography, The rise of Theodore Roosevelt and some Alexander the Great books. 

Does anyone have anything to recommend? does not necessarily have to be a biography of a famous person, just a character-development book. 



Views: 886

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

One of the biographies of Captain Sir Richard Burton.  He traveled through Africa, the Middle East often in disguise as a local, grew to understand and respect Islam and brought the Karma Sutra to the west. 

I read it just as my life was changing dramatically, career and life in general.  His fearlessness and embrace of adventure helped me through that period and continues to inspire me.  Although, if I had read it a little earlier I'd probably be running a bar in some third world city/tropical paradise instead of living in the "burbs" in CT. 

Arnold Schwarzenegger's biography Total Recall is a inspiring read. I am reading it right now it it gives some really amazing insight to the struggles and hardships of post war Europe. From growing up on the Austrian border with the threat of communism lurking, to struggling in Germany to make it to the U.S. while keeping his dream in mind through the entire journey is just inspiring. I am only a third of the way through and highly recommend it to anyone looking for inspiration.

Here's two that inspired me:

Will  - by G. Gordon Liddy - The autobiography of a self-professed "Zealot", G-Gordon Liddy was a watergate burglar who did 5 years in prison for the break-ins, and contempt of congress because when congress asked "Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?" He answered "No." and refused to testify

The Wilderness World of John Muir - Edited by Edwin Waye Teale. Muir was almost blinded in a factory accident, and decided upon healing to walk from wisconsin to the gulf of Mexico on his own, studying the local plants as he did - right after the Civil War when the south was lawless. Extremely independant, ingeneous man

1984 by George Orwell, and what I've read so far from They Called Him Stonewall by Burke Davis.

And although they are poems, not books, "The Present Crisis" and "My Native Land" really resonated with me.

Besides the (religious) obvious, in no particular order, Johnny Tremain (for portrayal of the mentors of the Founders, not the title character), the Aeneid (made me think seriously about fortitude and hand-to-hand combat), Bennett's collection A Children's Book of Virtues, Aristotle's Ethics, Uncle Abner Master of Mysteries (for its portrayals of near-pure evil and extreme integrity)

Johnny Tremain is a great book.

One of the most insightful books I've ever read.

This book is fantastic! It is bound to make a deep impression on anyone who reads it.

Dunno about any book, but, when Cortez stepped off in Mexico, he burned his boats behind him.

De Las Casas was the better man

Perhaps, but there's something to be said for a man willing to hang it all on fortune and glory.


Latest Activity

D.J. Cardenas replied to 2risewhenfallen's discussion Opinions Needed on Love Letter to an.... Ex
"You blew it...learn from it...move on."
20 minutes ago
Sir replied to R. Max Blease's discussion Taking Trip; Curse of the Loving People
"So where are you coming from?  What's your reason? What's the guilt about?"
1 hour ago
Arjan left a comment for Felix
"thanks for adding me up, bro."
2 hours ago
R. Max Blease posted a discussion

Taking Trip; Curse of the Loving People

  So a ways back my cousin (who happens to be my best friend) talked about going to a small country in Africa (formally a french colony) known as Gabon. He wanted to take me along, however being a minor (about a month away currently from NOT being a minor, myself) this was decided against.   While it took a little while than previously thought to get there, he's there now. And has been for over a month at this point. His catalyst for getting there was his uncle who runs a catholic mission in…See More
3 hours ago
Specs replied to Jimmy Morang's discussion Leggings/Tights for Men
"I just looked it up to be sure. Cops has been on the air since 1989."
3 hours ago
Larry commented on KermitKebab's group Depression (And Suicide)
"Hello, brothers!  The holidays are a hard time, for some people.  Please send me a PM, If you get to feeling really bad, and especially if you are considering suicide!  Talk to me, or someone, first!  I love you! "
4 hours ago
John Muir replied to John Muir's discussion Donald Trump Is A Greedy, Creepy, Ignorant Jerk in the group The Great Debate
"I pick the T-Birds "
4 hours ago
Liam Strain replied to John Muir's discussion Donald Trump Is A Greedy, Creepy, Ignorant Jerk in the group The Great Debate
"Some gangs are easier to deal with than others. CPD included."
4 hours ago

© 2015   Created by Brett McKay.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service