10 books every man should read

It’s World Reading Day. So for once, pick up a book and read.

Meryl D'Souza March 3, 2016

In December last year, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan declared 2016 as the ‘Year of Reading’. The aim was to create a generation of book lovers and bridge the knowledge gap.

“Our goal is to consolidate the UAE as a global capital of culture, bring about lifelong behavioural change and immune next generations culturally," he said.

About three months after the President’s announcement, Vice-President and Prime Minister, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, unveiled an AED 1-billion library set to open in 2017. Located in Al Jaddaf, the seven-storey, one million square foot facility will be in the shape of an open book and the biggest library in the Arab world.

With all that emphasis on reading and the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature underway till March 12, it’s time you partook in the good habit. Here are a few to get you started, you wannabe bookworm.


The Great Gatsby

Writer: F. Scott Fitzgerald

Published: 1925

Because: Fitzgerald’s story is almost as famous as the novel itself — he died believing he was a failure, but is now widely regarded as one literature’s greats.


 The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life and Times of America’s Banana King

Writer: Rich Cohen

Published: 2012

Because: It tells the incredible story of Sam Zemurray, from penniless Russian immigrant to CEO of United Fruit, the biggest fruit company in the world. All the while influencing and becoming instrumental in Washington DC's foreign policy.


What I learned losing a million dollars

Writers: Jim Paul and Brendan Moynihan

Published: 1994

Because: The only thing better than reading about a man who made it from rags-to-riches, is the comforting sense of schadenfreude you have when you hear of a guy who made it, got overly cocky and then lost it all.


Status Anxiety

Writer: Alain de Botton

Published: 2004

Because: Everyone has been there, that unhappy, uncomfortable place where you feel like you need to do more, be more. However, even if you’re at peace with what you have done, society pressures you into believing you’re not worthy. This book gives you a crash course in managing all your expectations and ambitions.


The Namesake

Writer: Jhumpa Lahiri

Published: 2003

Because: It’s the Indian version of immigrant experience in the US, but also talks about the burden of nomenclature, all while meticulously describing the life of a man, from birth to middle age, and all the choices and obsessions that guide him through it.



Writer: Andre Agassi and J.R. Moehringer

Published: 2009

Because: This book is everything you ever wanted a book co-written by a sporting legend to be. And then some.


Steal like an artist

Writer: Austin Klein

Published: 2012

Because: It’s the feel-good book you need to get your spirits up. The book essentially tells you how to be creative without being a genius. Which is all that us non-eccentric folk want to hear.


The Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Writer: Junot Diaz

Published 2007

Because: "Dude, you don't want to be dead. Take it from me. No-pussy is bad. But dead is like no-pussy times ten" is an actual line from the book. ‘Nuff said.


Modern Romance

Writer: Aziz Ansari

Published: 2015

Because: we’re in the digital age and all that ‘being connected’ tosh we have shoved down our throats by our service providers, we’re less than useless when it comes to navigating through the minefield of finding love. Aziz Ansari dissects that world with his irreverent humour.


To Kill a Mockingbird

Writer: Harper Lee

Published: 1960

Because: It’s literary gold, filled with phrases like:

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”

"The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience."

 "When a child asks you something, answer him, for goodness sake. But don't make a production of it. Children are children, but they can spot an evasion faster than adults, and evasion simply muddles 'em."