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. 

Cheers, 

Dave

Views: 872

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I agree that To Kill a Mockingbird describes some manly virtues and particularly, the character of Atticus Finch offers much to be commended and perhaps emulated. I also think Plato's Republic, and other Socratic dialogues, as well as the philosophies of Marcus Aurelius, are excellent classical sources for modern wisdom. Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington is quite inspirational; hard to feel sorry for yourself after reading of the rise of a man born into bondage who later become one of the most learned and respected men of his generation. The Survivor's Club is a good book for getting inspiration from ordinary people who have prevailed in extremely dangerous, life-threatening conditions - most of them without any prior or specialized training. I happen to enjoy historical fiction and have always admired the determination of the fictional Horatio Hornblower - the novels may seem old-fashioned but they are surprisingly gripping tales of the Age of Fighting Sail. Some Cold War era espionage fiction such as Ice Station Zebra by Alistair McLean offers the same sort of admirable character study. Trustee from the Toolroom by Nevil Shute is one of my favorites - another book about an ordinary man who fulfills a moral obligation that ends up being a rather gruelling adventure tale.

I also agree that the biographies of any historical person you admire can offer a lot of insight and inspiration. It doesn't have to be the bio of a great adventurer like Captain Richard Burton - some of the great romantic male leads from the Golden Age of Hollywood - Gary Cooper, Humphrey Bogart, Clark Gable - had fascinating early lives before they became stars. Even some ho-hum types - e.g. David Oreck, the vacuum cleaner guy - led fascinating lives, so biographies can be an excellent source.

If you haven't read East of Eden, you should. It may not fall into the character development category, but it will leave a mark on you in some way. You will identify with a character and gain perspective on life, family and generations. 

Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter -great study on the psychology of guilt. Also Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Crime And Punishment and/or The Brothers Karamazov - a great theological book.

Here are two great ones -

Nine Things Every Guy Oughta Know 

and

What Every Man Needs to Know

written by myself

http://livingreal.net/nine-things-every-guy-oughta-know/

I would recommend The Brothers Karamazov or the 48 Laws of Power

Don't read self-help books.  They are a new phenomenon brought on by a sissified society.  Instead read the great classics.

RSS

Latest Activity

Ramona the Pest replied to Ramona the Pest's discussion The New Girl to This Group
"Thank you for the welcomes gentlemen!"
9 minutes ago
Ramona the Pest replied to Ramona the Pest's discussion The New Girl to This Group
"Thanks, I appreciate being accepted as a member. :) "
10 minutes ago
Ramona the Pest replied to Ramona the Pest's discussion The New Girl to This Group
"Well when are Han Solo and Griedo getting here? LOL "
11 minutes ago
Stein replied to Gus Parker's discussion Honorifics
"There is a thread from a few years ago that i atarted entitled " Being Called By Your Last Name." You may want to look asome of those comments. Stein"
2 hours ago
John White replied to Nick the Clever's discussion What Did You Major in, and Why?
"yes it was wise to leave. It actually hurt going because I owe on loans."
3 hours ago
dana blouin replied to Nick the Clever's discussion What Did You Major in, and Why?
"Mike,  I always say passion is the most important things for education. If you are following your passion you will find opportunity. I know a lot of students who took up majors because they thought it was practical or easy and they are the ones…"
3 hours ago
Mike S. replied to Nick the Clever's discussion What Did You Major in, and Why?
"Dana, I started with philosphy, which I enjoyed, but realized that there wasn't much of a future in. Then I switched to International Relations. It meshes with my current job and I could have stuck with it, but it wasn't something I was…"
4 hours ago
Regular Joe replied to Will's discussion Herbal supplements that actually contain herbal supplements
"Short of growing your own, or knowing someone who does, it's always a gamble with this sort of stuff. "
4 hours ago

© 2015   Created by Brett McKay.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service