Let’s face it, in the world of books it seems much easier to come across reads for women. With countless lists like “Women’s Fiction Reads” and “What Romance Should You Read Next?,” sometimes it feels like slim pickings for guys. However, we promise you, there are plenty of books that are the right fit for men—and we’ve got 16 recommendations to get you started. From adventures in space and true crime stories to fast-paced thrillers and a “Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Dressed,” these reads are perfect for the guys.
For the Thrill Seekers:
The Midnight Line by Lee Child
Lee Child’s The Midnight Line is the latest book in the series that inspired Hollywood’s beloved Jack Reacher films.
This time, Reacher takes a stroll through a small Wisconsin town and sees a class ring in a pawnshop window: West Point 2005. A tough year to graduate: Iraq, then Afghanistan. The ring is tiny, for a woman, and it has her initials engraved on the inside. Reacher wonders what unlucky circumstance made her give up something she earned over four hard years. He decides to find out. And find the woman. And return her ring. Why not?
So begins a harrowing journey that takes Reacher through the upper Midwest, from a lowlife bar on the sad side of small town to a dirt-blown crossroads in the middle of nowhere, encountering bikers, cops, crooks, muscle, and a missing persons PI who wears a suit and a tie in the Wyoming wilderness.
The deeper Reacher digs, and the more he learns, the more dangerous the terrain becomes. Turns out the ring was just a small link in a far darker chain. Powerful forces are guarding a vast criminal enterprise. Some lines should never be crossed. But then, neither should Reacher.
A Legacy of Spies by John le Carré
Guys will love reading le Carré—the undisputed master of espionage.
In A Legacy of Spies, Peter Guillam, colleague and disciple of George Smiley of the British Secret Service, otherwise known as the Circus, is living out his old age on the family farmstead on the south coast of Brittany when a letter from his old Service summons him to London. The reason? His Cold War past has come back to claim him.
Interweaving past with present so that each may tell its own intense story, le Carré has spun a single plot as ingenious and thrilling as the two predecessors (that you’ll also want to add you to your reading list!) on which it looks back: The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. In a story resonating with tension, humor and moral ambivalence, le Carré and his narrator Peter Guillam present the reader with a legacy of unforgettable characters old and new.
The Cartel by Don Winslow
From the internationally bestselling author of the acclaimed novel The Power of the Dog comes a gripping, true-to-life, ripped-from-the-headlines epic story of power, corruption, revenge, and justice spanning the past decade of the Mexican-American drug wars.
It’s 2004. DEA agent Art Keller has been fighting the war on drugs for thirty years in a blood feud against Adán Barrera, the head of El Federación, the world’s most powerful cartel, and the man who brutally murdered Keller’s partner. Finally putting Barrera away cost Keller dearly—the woman he loves, the beliefs he cherishes, the life he wants to lead.
Then Barrera gets out, determined to rebuild the empire that Keller shattered. Unwilling to live in a world with Barrera in it, Keller goes on a ten-year odyssey to take him down.
The Cartel is a story of revenge, honor, and sacrifice, as one man tries to face down the devil without losing his soul.
Guilty Minds by Joe Finder
New York Times bestselling author Joseph Finder is back with an exhilarating thriller exploring how even the most powerful among us can be brought down by a carefully crafted lie.
The chief justice of the Supreme Court is about to be defamed, his career destroyed, by a powerful gossip website that specializes in dirt on celebs and politicians. Their top reporter has written an exposé claiming that he had liaisons with an escort, a young woman prepared to tell the world her salacious tale. But the chief justice is not without allies and his greatest supporter is determined to stop the story in its tracks.
Private spy Nick Heller is called to Washington, DC, to help out in this delicate, potentially explosive situation and has just forty-eight hours to disprove the story about the chief justice.
But when the call girl is found murdered, the case takes a dangerous turn, and Nick resolves to find the mastermind behind the conspiracy before anyone else falls victim to the maelstrom of political scandal and ruined reputations predicated upon one long-buried secret.
For the Space Junkies:
Endurance by Scott Kelly
A stunning memoir from the astronaut who spent a record-breaking year aboard the International Space Station.
The veteran of four spaceflights and the American record holder for consecutive days spent in space, Scott Kelly has experienced things very few have. Now, he takes us inside a sphere utterly hostile to human life.
He describes navigating the extreme challenge of long-term spaceflight, the devastating effects on the body; the isolation from people and the comforts of Earth; the catastrophic risks of colliding with space junk; and the still more haunting threat of being unable to help when, on a previous mission, Kelly’s twin brother’s wife, American Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, was shot while he still had two months in space.
A natural storyteller and modern-day hero, Kelly has a message of hope for the future that will inspire generations to come. Here, in his personal story, we see the triumph of the human imagination, the strength of the human will, and the infinite wonder of the galaxy.
“An utterly gripping book that can stand comfortably in the company of Tom Wolfe’s The Right Stuff.”—Charles C. Mann, author of 1491
How to Make a Spaceship by Julian Guthrie
A riveting story about the historic race that reawakened the promise of manned spaceflight.
In 2004, test pilot Mike Melvill rocketed toward space with only eighty seconds to exceed the speed of sound and begin the climb to a target no civilian pilot had ever reached. He might not make it back alive. If he did, he would make history as the world’s first commercial astronaut.
The spectacle defied reason, the result of a competition dreamed up by entrepreneur Peter Diamandis, whose vision for a new race to space required small teams to do what only the world’s largest governments had done before.
Diamandis found inspiration in an unlikely place: the golden age of aviation. He discovered that Charles Lindbergh made his transatlantic flight to win a $25,000 prize. The flight made Lindbergh the most famous man on earth and galvanized the airline industry. Why, Diamandis thought, couldn’t the same be done for space flight?
The story of the bullet-shaped SpaceShipOne, and the other teams in the hunt, is an extraordinary tale of making the impossible possible. and in the end, as Diamandis dreamed, the result wasn’t just a victory for one team; it was the foundation for a new industry and a new age.
For the True Crime Fans:
Chasing Phil by David Howard
For fans of Catch Me If You Can and American Hustle comes a propulsive true crime caper bursting with colorful characters and awash in ‘70s glamour, that spotlights the FBI’s first white-collar undercover sting.
In 1977, J.J. Wedick and Jack Brennan—two maverick FBI agents—were about to embark on one of their agency’s first wire-wearing undercover missions. Their target? Charismatic, globetrotting con man Phil Kitzer, whom some called the world’s greatest swindler.
From the Thunderbird Motel, the three men took off to Cleveland, to Miami, to Hawaii, to Frankfurt, to the Bahamas—meeting other members of Kitzer’s crime syndicate and powerful politicians and businessmen he fooled at each stop. But as the young agents became further entangled in Phil’s outrageous schemes, they also grew to respect him—even care for him. Meanwhile, Phil began to think of Jack and J.J. as best friends, sharing hotel rooms and inside jokes with them and even competing with J.J. in picking up women.
But even as they grew closer to Phil, they recognized that their endgame—the swindler’s arrest—was drawing near.
Ranger Games by Ben Blum
Alex Blum was a good kid, a popular high school hockey star from a tight-knit Colorado family. He had one goal in life: endure a brutally difficult selection program, become a U.S. Army Ranger, and fight terrorists for his country.
In the first hours of his final leave before deployment to Iraq, Alex was supposed to fly home to see his family. Instead, he got into his car with two fellow soldiers and two strangers, drove to a local bank in Tacoma, and committed armed robbery.
The question that haunted the entire Blum family was: Why? Why would he ruin his life in such a spectacularly foolish way?
For Military History Fanatics:
The Taking of K-129 by Josh Dean
An incredible true tale of espionage and engineering set at the height of the Cold War—a mix between The Hunt for Red October and Argo—about how the CIA, the U.S. Navy, and America’s most eccentric mogul spent six years and nearly a billion dollars to steal the nuclear-armed Soviet submarine K-129 after it had sunk to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean; all while the Russians were watching.
In the early hours of February 25, 1968, a Russian submarine armed with three nuclear ballistic missiles set sail from its base in Siberia on a routine combat patrol to Hawaii. Then it vanished. As the Soviet Navy searched in vain for the lost vessel, a small, highly classified American operation using sophisticated deep-sea spy equipment found it.
So began Project Azorian, a top-secret mission to raise the submarine and salvage potential intelligence assets onboard the ship.
The Taking of K-129 is a riveting, almost unbelievable true-life tale of military history, engineering genius, and high-stakes spy-craft set during the height of the Cold War, when nuclear annihilation was a constant fear, and the opportunity to gain even the slightest advantage over your enemy was worth massive risk.
The Fleet at Flood Tide by James D. Hornfischer
The extraordinary story of the World War II air, land, and sea campaign that brought the U.S. Navy to the apex of its strength and marked the rise of the United States as a global superpower.
With its thunderous assault on the Mariana Islands in June 1944, the United States crossed the threshold of total war. In this tour de force of dramatic storytelling, distilled from extensive research in newly discovered primary sources, James D. Hornfischer brings to life the campaign that was the fulcrum of the drive to compel Tokyo to surrender—and that forever changed the art of modern war.
With a close focus on high commanders, front-line combatants, and ordinary people, American and Japanese alike, Hornfischer tells the story of the climactic end of the Pacific War as has never been done before.
For the Sci-Fi and Horror Fans:
Paperbacks from Hell by Grady Hendrix
An affectionate, nostalgic, and unflinchingly funny celebration of the horror fiction boom of the 1970s and ’80s.
Take a tour through the horror paperback novels of two iconic decades . . . if you dare. Page through dozens and dozens of amazing book covers featuring well-dressed skeletons, evil dolls, and knife-wielding killer crabs! Read shocking plot summaries that invoke devil worship, satanic children, and haunted real estate!
Horror author and vintage paperback book collector Grady Hendrix offers killer commentary and witty insight on these trashy thrillers that tried so hard to be the next Exorcist or Rosemary’s Baby.
Ninth City Burning by J. Patrick Black
For fans of Ender’s Game, Red Rising, and The Hunger Games comes an explosive, epic science fiction debut.
Cities vanished, gone in flashes of world-shattering destruction. An alien race had come to make Earth theirs, bringing a power so far beyond human technology it seemed like magic. It was nearly the end of the world—until we learned to seize the power, and use it to fight back.
The war has raged for five centuries. For a cadet like Jax, one of the few who can harness the enemy’s universe-altering force, that means growing up in an elite military academy, training for battle at the front—and hoping he is ready. For Naomi, young nomad roaming the wilds of a ruined Earth, it means a daily fight for survival against the savage raiders who threaten her caravan.
When a new attack looms, these two young warriors find their paths suddenly intertwined. Together with a gifted but reckless military commander, a factory worker drafted as cannon fodder, a wild and beautiful gunfighter, and a brilliant scientist with nothing to lose—they must find a way to turn back the coming invasion, or see their home finally and completely destroyed.
For the Comedians:
Why We Don’t Suck by Denis Leary
From Hollywood actor and bestselling author of the bestselling Why We Suck comes a searing comic look at these divisive times, skewering liberals and conservatives alike with a signature dose of sarcasm and common sense.
In an America so gluten-free that a box of jelly donuts is now a bigger threat than Vladimir Putin, where college kids are more afraid of Ann Coulter than HIV, it’s time for someone to stand up and make us all smell the covfefe.
Dr. Denis Leary is that guy and is on a devoted mission to #MakeAmericaLaughAgain.
The Tao of Bill Murray by Gavin Edwards
For the Bill Murray fan in all of us, this epic collection of “Bill Murray stories”—many reported for the first time here—distills a set of guiding principles out of his extraordinary ability to infuse the everyday with surprise, absurdity, and wonder.
New York Times bestselling author Gavin Edwards, like the rest of us, has always been fascinated with Bill Murray—in particular the beloved actor’s adventures off-screen, which rival his filmography for sheer entertainment value. Edwards traveled to the places where Murray has lived, worked, and partied, in search of the most outrageous and hilarious Bill Murray stories from the past four decades. Bill once paid a child five dollars to ride his bike into a swimming pool and the star convinced Harvard’s JV women’s basketball team to play with him in a private game of hoops.
But The Tao of Bill Murray is more than just a collection of wacky anecdotes. A sideways mix of comedy and philosophy, full of photo bombs, late-night party crashes, and movie-set antics, this is the perfect book for anyone who calls themselves a Bill Murray fan—which is to say, everyone.
For the Mad Men:
An indispensable atlas of the best cocktail recipes—each fully photographed—for classic and modern drinks, whether shaken, stirred, up, or on the rocks.
How do you create the perfect daiquiri? In what type of glass should you serve a whiskey sour? What exactly is an aperitif cocktail? A compendium for both home and professional bartenders, The Essential Cocktail Book answers all of these questions and more—through recipes, lore, and techniques for 150 drinks, both modern and classic. Cheers.