7 Essential Books You Must Read on Masculinity and Becoming a Man

top 5 masculinity manly books for men

When it comes to self help books for men, the books I recommend may not be what you expect. They’re not tactical books on improving your habits or focus. They’re books that dive deeper and focus on the inner psychology that are preventing you from taking action on the tactics you read about it. This may includes books on building the fundamental traits of a healthy man.

We currently live in at an era where many men are frustrated and functioning far from their potential. We’re angry, frustrated, fearful, or anxious with our situation or lack of results and if we will stay in this plateau forever.

It’s not completely your fault. Society and your upbringing may have failed you. Many of the strong fundamentals of becoming an attractive man, like a coming of age, rite of passage, male role models, and understanding assertiveness and aggression were eliminated in the modern world.

Because of this, many men lack strong friendships with other men, a spine to stand up for themselves or others, or the ability to effectively behave as a man, which can damage their success in their career, dating life, ability to make male friends, or romantic relationship.

A few books have helped me see what has occurred and how to improve it. You see, I’m a stereotypical nice guy. I’m overly passive, I’m scared of conflict, I dwell on anxiety for too long, I please for approval, and I have done kind things expecting something back.

I’ve learned that false belief systems prevent us from getting the results we want but we cling onto them hoping our results will change. I discovered that our beliefs came from a mixture of possible factors including radical feminism views that demonized male traits like assertiveness or dominance, lack of male role models and friends growing up, having few male teachers, past trauma with interactions with other men, and the rise of cities to replace towns.

This modernization of the world has removed vital parts of what we genetically need to become attractive, functional men in society. Our happiness and social skills could be low because of a lack of a tribe to develop strong, recurring relationships. Our extreme views on assertiveness and expressing sexuality could cause so much shame that we never stand up for ourselves or express romantic interest. Our lack of strong friendships could dramatically cripple our dating lives, emotional intelligence, and mental health.

Watch the video below for the five books that will help change your life as a man:

Once again, the books mentioned are:

  1. Way of Men by Jack Donovan
  2. The Way of Superior Men by David Deida – This man describes masculinity as it appears to a woman better than any other book. Women talk a lot in the perspective of energies, and this book will explain how the masculine energy is about action and piercing through, while the female energy is about relaxing and receiving. It’s a bit woo-woo but it’s a well known classic for a reason.
  3. No More Mr. Nice Guy by Dr. Robert Glover
  4. What Women Want by Dr. Geoffrey Miller and Tucker Max
  5. The Mask of Masculinity by Lewis Howes – The modern guide to understanding masculinity in digestible terms with action steps. This book is great for uncovering the lies and myths of what people assume masculinity means. Masculinity isn’t about being the toughest, strongest, funniest, richest, or man with the most women. You can have all those and lack masculinity.
  6. Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus by John Gray – Half the planet aren’t men, so it’s important to understand how to deal with them once you know who you are. Women are a different breed, and this book explains how to communicate with them well. One big takeaway is that women just want to rant and for someone to listen to them, not for you to problem solve. This book confirmed something my mom taught me after many fights. Don’t solve the problem for her — she’ll figure it out. Your job is to just acknowledge you heard her rant and emotions.
  7. Single, Shy, and Looking for Love: A Dating guide for the Shy & Socially Anxious by Shannon Kolakowski, PsyD – an honorable mention that explores the behaviors of a growing population of modern men. Even if you’re not shy, you can learn from the science explained in this book on how and why men these days struggle to express themselves.

Disclaimer: If you go through my links and buy a book on Amazon, I will get a commission at no extra cost to you.

Note: I am not blaming women for all my problems. I am simply trying to have higher quality relationships with men as friends and women romantically in my life. I want to do that by working on my emotional behaviors (or Nice Guy qualities) that are holding me back from an evolutionary biology perspective. 

I added this note as an update because one of my readers asked if knew about the MGTOW, Red Pill, and the Pick Up Artist communities. I’m aware of their existence but don’t follow their principles. In his email, I could see a lot of hatred and resentment towards women and men. That’s one reason I don’t follow their teachings. Another reason is that they harbor elitist and toxic views with hatred and psychological issues focused on manipulation or blame. I follow an honest, kind approach. For example, you can become more in tune with your masculinity by being assertive while still having kindness and love in your behavior.

Now, I’d like to hear from you. Is there a book I missed that really helped you? Has any piece of advice, influencer, or book impacted your life positively in your journey to become a better man? Let me know in the comments.

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By Will Chou

I am the the founder of this site and I am grateful you are here to be part of this awesome community. I help hard-working Asian American Millennials get rich doing work they love.


  1. Cool, nice list. I’ve bought the first two on audio books so far and will probably give the rest a listen/read too. Never had a great male role model and being raised in an all-female environment, I’ve kind of grown-up without forming a healthy, mature relationship with masculine energy.

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