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The Must Read List for Men

Sailun Tires

We are a pretty smart bunch of people here at Swagger Magazine, if we do say
so ourselves. Last week we were talking about the factors that make us so smart
and one of the most common things was that we all read books. With that in mind,
we’ve assembled our very first “must read” list. Most of the books we’ve chosen
were written before we were born, but we picked them for being the perfect mix of
smarts, badass-ness and significance. Not only will these books look good on any
shelf, but they’ll give you a shot in the arm culture-wise, too. Hop in to these tomes,
boys. The water’s just fine.

I, Claudius by Richard Graves
Publisher, Unknown

I, Claudius is the story of the young Roman Empire as seen through the eyes of its
fourth sovereign. This is one hell of a book that takes the best and worst of mankind
and sets them in a brutal game of chess. Graves does a great job with manipulating
the story, notorious for always sticking to the more scandalous versions of events
that has history recorded. He brings the characters to life in such a way that has
been hard to duplicate with any piece of historical fiction in living memory. This
book is not the feel-good book of the year, but it will keep you interested until the
very end. If anything, you’ll remember which Emperor was who for the rest of your

The Prisoner of Sex by Normal Mailer
Publisher, Little Brown & Company

A genius of letters, a man who’s gotten more women naked than bath time, and
a guy who, Bill Buckly said with a tongue firmly in his cheek, could “lick any man
in the room”. The Prisoner of Sex isn’t a novel per se, but a treatise on the sexual
revolution as told by one of the best American writers of our time. You may not
agree with everything Mailer writes, but you’ll be more than satisfied that there was
someone around who had the balls to say it.

Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
Publisher, CreateSpace

This book is a semi-biographical account of Henry Miller’s time in Paris in the dirty
thirties. About as far from Ernest Hemingway as you could get and still be on the
same planet. The protagonist is broke, drunk, and along with his associates, sleeps
with any woman with a heartbeat. One might consider this book to be slightly
misogynistic, but the sex scenes are so honest and so raw, that any woman with an
IQ over water level will be ready to hit the sack with the man who reads this list
maker, Fifty Shades be damned.

Famous Last Words by Timothy Findlay
Publisher, Faber & Faber

Guys, this is hands down the greatest World War II novel you have never read.
Findlay looks long and hard at how the Illuminate dealt with the movements of the
axis and allies. It’s violent, seditious, and is probably the most effed up love story
between Wallis Simpson and Edward VIII. It’s one of the best books our team has
ever read to capture the real essence of what a World War actually means. Simply
and elegantly, this book lets you know that the ugliness of mankind wasn’t just on
the battlefield.

Have you read any of these books? We’d love to hear your comments and what
you think of our first Must Read Booklist for Swagger Magazine. Interested in
participating in the next Must Read list? Send your suggestions and commentary to and we’ll make our book monkey read them and if we
agree, we may feature you in the next list! Happy reading!


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