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5 Books Every Man Should Read...Then Give Away!

Updated on July 30, 2014

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“I cannot remember the books I've read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

When I was a young boy, even through adolescence and young adulthood, I had a great disdain for reading. As I look back, I surmised that no one modeled it's joy or even offered sufficient reason to invest time inside a book. Reading simply had not taken a place of priority in my earlier musings. I just didn't see how it could replace more important activities like playing baseball, basketball or football. I couldn't understand how reading would help me interpret, convert, examine, comprehend, translate or imagine ideas and concepts of great price, as I do now in the twilight of my life. I did not yet grasp the incredible value I would one day receive through reading the writings of fellow human beings expressing their genius with the world.

Thank goodness fate had a different plan. There are so many obvious reasons to read; for fun and profit; for pleasure and entertainment; for business and scholastic, as well as all sorts of other individual and socially acceptable reasons. For me, however, reading now has two primary purposes. They are: to educate myself and to help others who, similarly, want to experience and express the journey within. So, in that vain I would like to offer the recommendation to read the following 5 books and the reasons each was of value to me on my quest for understanding and my desire to make a contribution to the collective consciousness of our universe.

Thank you in advance for reading this hub. Should reading it effectively satisfy or pique your interest about any one of these five books or just the remarkable value of reading in general, I would ask that you take one action...please share it with someone who might benefit by exploring the content or meaning and to whom it's reading could be impetus for growth. Now, on to the 5 books that are helping me re-shape my world.

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success - by Deepak Chopra

There are hundreds, no thousands, of books on success. So what makes this one so different? Well, that would depend, I guess, on your perspective of what success really is. There are as many unique definitions of success as there are books about it. What I was seeking was more than the business version which, though meaningful and highly effective for business purposes, did not serve to fulfill me in the larger framework of living. I was looking for the meaning of success that encompassed all the other definitions.

Without stealing the authors thunder, Dr. Chopra's definition fit for me. It describes how I want to feel about success. He said, "Success is the ability to fulfill your desires with effortless ease." Combined with a definition from Earl Nightingale who said, "Success is progressively realizing a worthy ideal," success becomes a natural path, a method to living. This may seem to go against the grain of those who believe that "success" only comes through hard work. While for some that may, in fact, be true, in my view using my gifts in harmony with nature for the purpose of a worthy goal associated with the natural order would cause one to be lost in their work, and therefore not be work at all.

"Success in its highest and noblest form calls for peace of mind and enjoyment and happiness which come only to the man who has found the work that he likes best." - Napoleon Hill

Discover in this book these 7 spiritual laws:

  1. The Law of Potentiality (Law of Unity)
  2. The Law of Giving (and receiving)
  3. The Law of Karma (Cause and effect)
  4. The Law of Least Effort - (The most difficult for me)
  5. The Law of Intention and Desire
  6. The Law of Detachment (in my words the law of loving non attachment)
  7. The Law of Dharma (Law of Purpose)

Read this work and you will discover more about yourself, your world and your universe.

A Book and a Movie

Way of the Peaceful Warrior - by Dan Millman

The "Way of the Peaceful Warrior" - by Dan Millman is a wonderful example of an allegory for the evolution of contemporary manhood. Dan Millman is a highly regarded author of works to assist men in re-connecting with and re-defining their true identities. I would liken this to "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho, or "The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari," a fable by Robin Sharma.

The "Way of the Peaceful Warrior" was made into a 2006 movie and though I haven't yet seen the movie, the book was compelling for several reasons.

An allegory is a great teaching tool and in this case the lessons are touching, personal and though they are geared towards men, they are indeed powerful all the same. One of the lessons I have learned recently is to be open to new possibilities in connection with achievement, healing and love. I found that when I opened up my heart to the newness of life, much goodness, kindness and accomplishment began to stream into me.

Dan Millman has written several other books that speak to living a life in the now and foregoing the past and the future as a means of identification. This book is an easy read as well and very enjoyable to those who are intrigued by a bit of truth in the world of illusion.

The Phone Rings

Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life - by Gregg Levoy

The title here gives much to think about. Callings in a person's life can purport a number of possibilities, like a religious view of what we are called to do by our creator or by recognizing our circumstances and adjusting to them to determine our life's work. As for living an authentic life, we must ask ourselves one, do I know what I want and two, am I living that knowledge out in reality. Honest answers are often hard to come by yet, working with a uniquely insightful author and an incredibly talented writer like Gregg Levoy can aid in much discovery about our "callings."

After being given this book by a friend to help in my journey I decided to assemble a book club comprised of men who were interested in self discovery too and oh, what a great time we had for almost 6 months of study. The author's ability to provide examples of elements he recalls as he walked the road to his eventual career and life paths were timely and beneficial in creating dialog and fodder for our discussions. Along with interviews of others trekking the sometimes difficult sea opportunities and disappointments, "Callings would be an integral aid to me for helping clarify my own journey, life's work and purpose as well as a tool to help others with theirs.

A Personal Favorite

More thank just a book - it's a mindset!
More thank just a book - it's a mindset! | Source

Take it From the Top: What To Do With a Peak Experience - by Edward M. O'keefe PhD.

As some of you may know I wrote a review of Take it From the Top: What To Do With a Peak Experience - by Edward M. O'keefe PhD. for Hubpages back when this book was released earlier this year. I enjoyed writing that review because I enjoyed reading the book and I knew the value of its message. Dr' O'keefe is a marvelous man and I have always been amazed by his dedication to complete this book, not only for himself and the many people he interviewed but also for his commitment to the message which has the potential, if not to change the world, to grow the consciousness of the soul of just one sole. Who knows...that just might be you or me!

One striking comment made by the author is, in my mind, enough to warrant reading this work. It is this: "it takes only a very small change in perspective, only a slight tweaking of our conscious and unconscious attention, to become aware of very different realities and to allow peak experiences to come." I say, if you don't believe it, try it. You'll be pleasantly surprised!

Inviting Silence is Golden too!


Inviting Silence: Universal Principles of Meditation - by Gunilla Norris

This last book may seem like an odd choice but, Inviting Silence: Principles of Meditation by Gunilla Norris, in fact, may be the most enlightening of all. It has been my experience that those who know about meditation are very, very different from those who practice it. Not too long ago I went to an introductory class to learn about a particular form of "mindfulness" meditation. To my pleasant surprise it was a wonderful evening. I learned enough to prove that those who speak of meditation's benefits were not entirely goofy. In fact, they were alarmingly accurate in their assessment of its mind, body and spiritual benefits.

Meditation is increasingly popular in medical circles because of it's efficacy and growing in popularity in the general public because of the peace of mind it provides to an ever growing number of people burdened with the minutiae of life clambering for attention in our brains! In my work with my clients, I continue to recommend meditation as a vehicle to awareness, the necessary ingredient to clarity of mind. If you want to know what you want, I say, take attention away from the distraction and place it on the focus of your desires...then let it go. It works almost every time.

Inviting Silence offers a magnificently poetic view, a softness if you will, of an art form that has been know for centuries to help those who pursue its purest intents. A sampling here of what other notables have said about the book may interest you.

"This is the single best book I know on the subject of the sacrament of the present moment, and a great work of devotional literature." - M. Scott Peck

"Just reading this book makes you want to sit down, take a deep breath, and refresh your spirit." - Jack Kornfield

Whatever I could say would pale in comparison. I do however recommend it!

One Last Word

I have offered 5 great books here, but I have yet to say why men should read them and why men should give them away. I work primarily with men in my coaching practice and although women would certainly benefit from reading these books, they are aimed at men because it is my experience and familiarity with them. We often seem to need a nudge to share our thoughts and feelings and sharing these works are great door openers to incredibly valuable discussions.

Most of these books can be found in your public library. I do however suggest for those who purchase works for their personal libraries that they do one of two things; either buy a second copy to give away or to give away your personal copy after digesting its meaning for you. (You can also suggest going to the library if that's where you obtained yours and here's why.) We all need a little direction sometime in our life. What happens to me, may have happened to you. What helps me through deep water may also be a life preserver for you. Reading doesn't have to be solitary, it can also be communal and the benefit is for all of us.

"I hope everyone that is reading this is having a really good day. And if you are not, just know that in every new minute that passes you have an opportunity to change that." - Gillian Anderson

Why I Read

I read to:

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Your Comments are incredibly important to me and I'm sure to other hubbers as well!

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    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 

      4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Bruce -- No problem at all. I rather like you on your soapbox (es) :) How kind of you - both books (one is heavily footnoted Holocaust history, the other poetry and photography) are available through Amazon. Just type in my name Theresa Ast and it should pull both books up. But it it doesn't for some reason, the titles are:

      Confronting the Holocaust

      Dressing the Bones: Poetry 2012-2014

      Have a Blessed Christmas. Theresa

    • Born2care2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 

      4 years ago from Asheville NC

      Thanks Theresa!

      I would never exclude a woman...(much to wise for that) though I admit that the primary audience is intended to be men simply because the same wisdom that would preclude me from excluding a woman also admits I don't understand them as well either. LOL.

      I just think if we are to evolve culturally, we men need to evolve at an accelerated pace to catch up to our female counterparts. We got lost in our own ego's and abdicated our responsibility of owning emotional balance and collaborative lifestyles instead of dominating and competitive ones.

      It's just an opinion and message I want men to hear. They can do what they want with it. I've just seen how it worked for me and I'm willing to change and I hope they consider doing the same if they need to.

      OK, off my soap box. Sorry!

      Thanks for stopping by and please...let me know when the book comes out...I would absolutely love to read it!

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 

      4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Bruce - Equally good and encouraging on a second read. Much for men (and perhaps women too) to glean from these books and your recommendations of them. I understand that your thrust is primarily men because you work with men, but a good read for all of us. Theresa

    • Dee aka Nonna profile image

      Dee aka Nonna 

      5 years ago

      Hi Bruce,

      These are the one I have read: The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopa (love him); Callings by Gregg Levoy; Inviting Silence by Gunilla Norris; Way of Peaceful Warrior (can't remember why I got this one, but remember being hooked after only a few pages).

      I love PBS and will definitely look for the documentray. Thank you.

      I am improving....struggling a little now and again. Thank you so much for your concern.

    • Born2care2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 

      5 years ago from Asheville NC

      Hi Dee,

      Thank you for the comment. I interested in knowing which ones you have read and thought I would offer a documentary too. It's a video produced for PBS called In Between the Folds: The Science of Art and the Art of Science. It just struck me that we can do anything we commit ourselves to...anything!

      Hope you are improving every day!

    • Dee aka Nonna profile image

      Dee aka Nonna 

      5 years ago

      Good list. I have read a few of these. They are, indeed, great books.

    • Born2care2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 

      5 years ago from Asheville NC

      Thank you GmaGoldie!

      I haven't been on this site for a while but it sure was a pleasure reading your comment here. Late in life I gained an appreciation for the written word and to this day I am eternally grateful for the simple ability to express myself and the joy of reading. Thank you for being a part of that for me and I hope your readers have expressed a similar feeling to you!



    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      5 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin


      I have always loved books. My aunt was dismayed when her children did not choose college and everyone else in the family did but when we would visit her home, there wasn't even a magazine. My home is filled literature. My greatest pride and joy is from my books. I will return to this hub after I have taken your advise and read many of these.

      I also love libraries and continue to visit the Lake Geneva library. I will be sure to see if they carry your favorites.

      Wonderful hub on life and on literature. Thank you! Voted up!

    • Born2care2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 

      5 years ago from Asheville NC

      Thank you xstatic,

      Your line, "My shelf groans with reading material" made me giggle. You would think the photo up top is a library...but, it's my waiting shelf! (Kidding!)

      I appreciate the comments immensely!

      Peace be with you!

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 

      5 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      I have read and listened to some of Chopra's books and tapes, and find him wise and inspiring. The others I am not familiar with, but they sound really interesting. Excellent recommendations here. My shelf groans with reading material though.

    • Born2care2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 

      5 years ago from Asheville NC

      Thanks Theresa!

      I like the "soulful" perspective. M, Scott Peck and C.S. Lewis are both on my book shelf and Mr Lewis is a fascinating story in himself, as I'm sure you know.

      I'm grateful for the Oliver Sachs recommendation. I will put him on my list. Much of my reading right now is centered around male issues. (because we have such a long way to go to remove ourselves from the patriarchal model we've grown up in) It has been my intent for several years now to expose men to different trends of thought so they have sufficiently diverse perspectives with which to make decisions that will impact their lives. Sorry for the tangent!

      Thank you for reading and commenting on my work and it blesses me that I get to be in your literary presence from time to time!



    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 

      5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Wonderful Hub and great book suggestions. I have read a little bit of Chopra, but not an entire book. The Peaceful Warrior sounds intriguing. Reminds me of some books I read twenty twenty-five years ago (trying to understand men and save a marriage) when the "men's movement" was still fairly young. Titles are escaping me right now. :(

      You are right of course, these books, and others like them, speak to men and to women, but it does seem harder to get men interested in reading books that are more "soulful." There was a brief quote by M. Scott Peck in your essay. I read everything he wrote, most of it twice, and then passed them on to others, when I was in my thirties. From a more strictly religious/spiritual perspective, C.S. Lewis has had much influence in my life.

      I could mention ten other authors, but time doesn't permit, but I will mention Oliver Sachs the neurologist/author. I don't think he intends his books to be spiritual or self-help (for lack of a better word) books, but I find reading his books to be a soulful, consciousness-increasing experience. Sorry my comment is so "me-centered." This is an important essay,which I will be sharing forthwith. :) Theresa

    • Born2care2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 

      5 years ago from Asheville NC

      Thank you Eddy, that's fabulous. I often wonder what the outcome would be if we (particularly Americans) spent as much time personally sharing goodness and kindness with our family, friends and communities as we do watching sports or TV or some of the other non-productive activities.

      As you did, it doesn't take much time to share a good book, CD, or personal success story!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!


    • Born2care2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 

      5 years ago from Asheville NC

      Hi Paula!

      Thanks for your input. I am truly grateful for your time and thoughts. One in particular struck me. Of course there are many books on CD, but sometimes the lesser known authors are not and that could be significant. I'll be doing a little research and I'll get back to you!

      You are so kind and supportive. I am grateful for your friendship!


    • Emanate Presence profile image

      Gary R. Smith 

      5 years ago from the Head to the Heart

      Bruce, the movie of The Peaceful Warrior is well-done and well worth watching. I passed on our copy, and books by Dan Millman, to a young friend in Germany and he became on of Dan's avid readers. I voted your hub up, interesting and useful.

    • fpherj48 profile image


      5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Bruce...I'm flattered, to say the least......I need to ask, though....are these men that you are face to face with.....involved in personal, active conversation and interaction?

      If so, I'd speak sincerely of how these books...or one in particular, opened your heart and it encouraged you to search for more meaningful relationships and a better path to happiness.

      I think merely suggesting a book isn't enough. For instance, if you wanted me to read a book that you found "fabulous," you could interest me by sharing something within the book that made an incredible impact on you and your way of thinking...that you saw something from another perspective and what you feel you gained in that way....

      Another thought I had, many men just do not like to READ, in general....but don't readily admit this. If the books you'd like them to read, are available in disc form, this may make all the difference to them.

      I hope this helps. If you have questions, just email me.....I'll help if I can, Bruce.

    • Born2care2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 

      5 years ago from Asheville NC

      Thank You very much Paula!

      Deepak is one of my favorites too! I'd love to have a private consultation with him one day, although I'd probably ask him similar questions of any other extraordinary individual. I wonder what he reads?

      I do have a serious question for you though...let's call it...professional wisdom. How do I get other men to read these great works of the heart and soul. 5 books just skims the surface? I really would like your input...if you want to.

      Thanks for reading and responding. You've been a great support and coming from someone who I feel is eminently qualified, I would really appreciate hearing your perspective.



    • fpherj48 profile image


      5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Bruce....Way UP and all clicks but funny.....Hard to believe you haven't been reading for your entire life. You surely made up for lost time. Or perhaps you just have a natural command for the "word."

      I have "the Seven Laws....." I love Deepak. He's such a brilliant and deeply spiritual man.......Saw him in person and I SWEAR, the man glows with an aura that you can touch.

      This is a positively superb read, Bruce......for WOMEN too! UP+++

    • jdaviswrites profile image

      Jeff Davis 

      5 years ago from California

      Thanks for these! Great and inspiring article!


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