What books would you recommend young men read which aren't extremely controversial?

Like everyone else, I also think Brave New World is a really good book for young men, if you have someone who can put it in perspective.

Talk about why the "savage" doesn't seem to enjoy all these comforts, the drugs and even the available sex (without love). Talk about if they ever felt that they needed masculine struggle and why comfort can't replace freedom.

Hemmingway and "The Old Man and The Sea" is also a great and easy book to read about masculinity and how it relates to age and generations. Talk about the importance of generational sharing and respect going both ways. Talk about loyalty and sacrifice.

The Lord of The Rings, might also be a good christian book, mostly about having to accept responsibility and doing what has to be done, that's a lesson we all needed to learn.
For Boys Only: The Biggest, Baddest Book Ever

This is aimed at young teen boys, and teaches them how to survive encounters with wild animals, as well as many other exciting and dangerous scenarios, which would get a young man's mind racing with interest. I'm a sucker for books like this one, and would have treasured it back in my formative days. I wish I had a son to give a copy to, and read it with him.

Oh, I did not notice the age range listed as 18-22. I would say for that, my recommendation would be "Gates of Fire," by Steven Pressfield. It is a masterpiece of historical/war writing, by one of America's greatest authors. And it is *required* reading at the military academies! I put it on my personal top ten list. I hope one day a worthy film is adapted from it.



"Lucile", by Lord Byron, an epic verse which was in continuous print for over 50 years, was published in at least 80 versions, and was written by one of the most accomplished fiction writers of all time, certainly the best of his era (mid to late 1800s), Lord Byron.

"Confessions", by Saint Augustine, lays out what a Christian life is, how it can be obtained through prayer, and also lays out fundamental tenets that formed Western civilization!

"The Aeneid", by Virgil, fictional account of the founding of Rome

"Brave New World", Aldous Huxley, a dystopian novel that explores the human need for God. Not for inexperienced Christians.

"The Holy Bible", the result of the largest academic research project. Over fifty-thousand people were involved in gathering, translating and canonizing The Bible! It's the best selling book of all time! More copies of The Bible are printed each year than any other book. It is the most banned book. It is the most controversial book. It has been in contiuous publication longer than any other book.

In several nations, Viet Nam, Burma, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Iran and others; citizens can be executed for preaching the Bible! It was the first book printed mechanically. The Chinese government prints fifty-million copies of the Bible per year, and forbids importation and/or printing of other versions.

The Bible transformed the Western world's rampaging barbarians, who were contiuously at war, into civilized men living under law and order! So, read it. Pray beforehand that you be given understanding.

Avoid "New Age", "spiritism", "the occult", "astrology", "witchcraft", "sorcery", "magic", "superstition", and all works done by "Hindus, Mulims and/or Buddhists".


Starship Troopers: Not at all like the movie. It is a classic tale of warriors and the triumph of the individual over the collective.
Gates of Fire: MovingForward already covered it well. Solid recommendation.
The Mission, The Men, and Me: A former soldier and leader describes his leadership philosophy as broken down in the title. Every young man should be preparing to lead in some way and this book is a great start.
Legionnaire by Simon Murray: The story of a man who rejected the privileges of his birth to become something more by joining the French Foreign Legion.
Fight Club: Somewhat controversial, but it resonates with many people for a reason. It also outlines rather well the biggest reason why the western church has trouble appealing to young men. "If you grew up in the Western world, your father was your model for God. If your father abandoned you, what did that tell you about God?"

Paleo Soup

Plutarch's Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans (Parallel Lives)

I feel it would be good to see what these historical men were doing, how they distinguished themselves, also in general good to learn history. These stories were formative on many other distinguished historical men after the time of the writing. Also they are pretty entertaining. You will pick up a lot of good history and a sense for it.
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I have read some of the above, lots of the others I must look into.

I'd like to recommend A Song for Nagasaki. The book tells the story of Takashi Nagai, an upwardly mobile Japanese pioneer in Radiology... who lived in Nagasaki... in the 40s... yeah, it's not a breezy read. Actually that's not entirely true. Despite the context of the events of Nagai's life it's one of the most life-affirming books I've ever read.

I listened to it on audio before I read it and remember being hit by the line 'this darkness is very deep, but the Lord has gone deeper still'. Also contains the most moving story about melon juice you will ever come across. He carries around Pscal's Pensees when he's training as a Dr and the book does a good job of conveying the young man's gradual but inevitable journey from Bushido to Christianity via Pascal's influence.
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Read The Decameron by Giovani Boccaccio.
This book was written in 1350 soon after the Black Death in Italy.
It is about 10 young men and women who flee Florence and head to a manor in the country side, in 1348, to 'self quarantine' from the plague.
Each night one person in the group is crowned king or queen. The book is a collection of interesting stories about all sorts of topics. A great read to put everything in perspective.
Sounds interesting.
The Holy Bible
Original Boy Scouts Manual 1911
The Histories by Herodotus
The Iliad and the Odyssey by Homer
Le Morte de Arthur by Sir Thomas Malorey
The Education of a Bodybuilder by Arnold Schwarzeneggar
The list goes on...


How about Solzhenitysn's "The Gulag Archipelago"? It's sort of a sneak attack against leftist ideology. It's not typically considered controversial in the United States, but because the parallels with today are so clear, anyone who is reading it - such as your teenage boys - would get a partial vaccination against the lies pushed by today's American left.


Letters to a Young Poet, by the great early 20th century Austrian poet, Ranier Maria Rilke.

There are many translations from the German of this quotable and epigramic very short book. Also many editions, including online. Extremely inspiring. Always a very thoughtful gift. Very psychological:

Believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it.”



I recommend Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell.

He is a Stanford University Scholar and a conservative. The book dispenses with the usually mathematics associated with the subject. Instead it espouses the the libertarian approach found at the Von Mises Institute.
A short excerpt from the review:

This book does a great job of providing examples of cause and effect relationships. It covers some things you probably never even considered as being economic based. This is the main strength of this book compared to others in its field; it lays out some of the easiest examples to understand that I have ever seen.

Thomas Sowell is a conservative and has written many books critical of liberal policies. Two come to mind: The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy and Inside American Education


Gold Member
Millionaire Next Door: Practical insight as to the habits of those who over time became wealthy. Based on an actual study of millionaires.

The Prince by Machiavelli: A classic about obtaining and maintaining power. The points that Machiavelli makes are very relevant today.


The first one that comes to my mind is The 900 Days by Harrison Salisbury. It details the experiences of Leningrad's residents during the German siege of the city.

Young people are often told they're oppressed, or they think they have it bad because of some minor problem (a car breakdown, a breakup with a girlfriend, etc.) After reading about the perfect storm of having to eat the pets, watch loved ones starve to death, worry about getting killed by cannibals for meat, artillery raining in, the bitter cold, the stench of death, etc. It was similar to what the Germans experienced during the last two months of the battle of Stalingrad when they were under siege and having to eat their transport horses and fallen soldiers. The combat-hardened German soldiers threw in the towel after two months of such deprivation. The civilians of Leningrad endured 30 consecutive months of it, many of them children. When I think I'm having a bad day, I sometimes think about that book which puts my "bad day" into perspective.
Spiritual: G. K. Chesterton: Man Alive, The Flying Inn, and Orthodoxy; C. S. Lewis: The Pilgrim's Regress

Current Times: Ray Bradbury: Fahrenheit 451; Anthony Esolen: The Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization

Practical: Aldren Watson: Hand Tools Their Ways and Workings; Alexander G. Weygers: The Complete Modern Blacksmith; Forrest M Mimms: Getting Started in Electronics

Self-Sufficiency: Carla Emery: Encyclopedia of Country Living; Cody Lundin: When All Hell Breaks Loose

Outdoors: Horace Kephart: The Book of Camping and Woodcraft; Cody Lundin: 98.6 Degrees