10 Must-Read Books for Guys Who Don’t Like to Read

Finding what to read is always a problem, even if you are a bookworm. Just imagine how hard it may be for those who have yet to start reading, right?

With so many titles out there, it is a problem to find something that will satisfy your taste.

That is why I decided to provide a list of must-read books for men who are not big on reading but would like to start.

Buckle up and let’s go.

1. “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

  • Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Comedy

Plot Summary

The story begins with Arthur Dent, an ordinary man who discovers that his house is about to be demolished.

As he contemplates this, he learns that Earth itself is also scheduled for demolition to make way for a galactic freeway.

Arthur is whisked away by his friend Ford Prefect, who is an alien and a researcher for the titular guidebook.

Together, they go on a series of adventures across the galaxy, encountering bizarre creatures and improbable situations.

The book’s humorous take on complex scientific and philosophical concepts makes it a delightful read for anyone.

Why it’s a good pick: “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” is an excellent choice for those who enjoy humor and wit. The narrative is both funny and thought-provoking, making it a straightforward and enjoyable read.

2. “The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

  • Genre: Adventure, Classic

Plot Summary

The novel tells the story of Santiago, an aging Cuban fisherman who has gone 84 days without catching a fish.

Determined to break his unlucky streak, he sets out alone into the Gulf Stream.

After hooking a giant marlin, Santiago engages in an epic battle with the fish, showcasing his resilience and determination.

The struggle tests his strength and spirit, ultimately becoming a tale of man versus nature and personal triumph.

The narrative’s simplicity and depth make it an easy yet impactful read, ideal for those looking to dive into literature without feeling overwhelmed.

Why it’s a good pick: Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea” is a short and engaging classic that is both simple and profound. Its straightforward prose makes it accessible, while its themes of perseverance and struggle are universally relatable.

3. “Me Talk Pretty One Day” by David Sedaris

David Sedaris Me Talk Pretty One Day

  • Genre: Humor, Essays

Plot Summary

“Me Talk Pretty One Day” is a collection of essays divided into two parts, chronicling Sedaris’ life in America and later in France.

The stories range from his struggles with a lisp in childhood to his humorous attempts at learning French as an adult.

Sedaris’ unique perspective and sharp wit shine through as he describes everyday situations with a comedic twist.

His ability to find humor in the mundane and his keen observations on human behavior make this book an excellent choice for readers seeking light-hearted and engaging content.

Each essay is a standalone piece, allowing readers to dip in and out of the book at their leisure.

Why it’s a good pick: David Sedaris’ “Me Talk Pretty One Day” offers hilarious and relatable essays that are perfect for reading in short bursts. Sedaris’ witty and self-deprecating humor makes this book an enjoyable experience for anyone.

4. “Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike” by Phil Knight

A Memoir by the Creator of Nike

  • Genre: Biography

Plot Summary

Phil Knight, the founder of Nike, shares the story of his journey from a young entrepreneur with a crazy idea to the head of a global brand.

The memoir covers the early challenges, the risky decisions, and the pivotal moments that defined Nike’s success.

Knight’s narrative is honest and reflective, providing a behind-the-scenes look at the triumphs and tribulations of building a business.

His anecdotes about his interactions with key figures in the company and his relentless pursuit of his vision offer valuable lessons in perseverance and innovation.

“Shoe Dog” is not just a business book; it’s a compelling story of passion, risk-taking, and the relentless drive to succeed.

Why it’s a good pick: “Shoe Dog” by Phil Knight is an inspiring memoir that offers genuine insights into the world of business and success. It’s written in a candid and engaging style, making it accessible to readers of all backgrounds.

5. “Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood” by Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah - Born a Crime

  • Genre: Memoir, Humor

Plot Summary

The book recounts Trevor Noah’s experiences growing up in apartheid-era South Africa as the son of a black mother and a white father.

His very existence was illegal at the time, making his life inherently challenging and unique.

Through a series of vignettes, Noah details the complexities of his childhood, the influence of his formidable mother, and the societal dynamics of a divided nation.

Despite the heavy subject matter, Noah infuses his narrative with wit and humor, providing a balanced perspective on his experiences.

His ability to find light in dark situations and his insightful commentary on race and identity make this memoir a compelling and enlightening read.

Why it’s a good pick: Trevor Noah’s “Born a Crime” is an engaging memoir that blends humor with serious topics, making it both entertaining and thought-provoking. Noah’s storytelling prowess ensures that readers are captivated from start to finish.

6. “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho - The Alchemist

  • Genre: Fiction, Inspirational

Plot Summary

The story follows Santiago, a young shepherd in Spain, who dreams of finding a hidden treasure located near the Egyptian pyramids.

Driven by his recurring dream, he embarks on a journey that takes him across continents. Along the way, Santiago encounters various characters, each imparting wisdom and lessons that help him on his quest.

The narrative explores themes of destiny, personal legend, and the pursuit of one’s dreams. Coelho’s lyrical prose and philosophical insights make “The Alchemist” a timeless tale of adventure and self-discovery.

Its brevity and depth ensure that it leaves a lasting impression on readers, encouraging them to reflect on their own life journeys.

Why it’s a good pick: “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho is a short and meaningful book that is both engaging and inspirational. Its simple yet profound narrative makes it a favorite for readers seeking personal growth and enlightenment.

7. “Everything Bad Is Good For You” by Steven Johnson

Everything Bad Is Good For You

  • Genre: Non-fiction

Plot Summary

In this book, Johnson challenges the conventional wisdom that television, video games, and other forms of popular media are detrimental to society.

He presents a compelling argument that these media have evolved to become more sophisticated and intellectually stimulating. Johnson examines the cognitive benefits of engaging with complex narratives, multi-threaded plots, and interactive environments.

He uses examples from television shows, video games, and the internet to illustrate how they enhance our cognitive abilities and problem-solving skills.

The book’s accessible language and intriguing thesis make it a great choice for readers interested in media studies and cultural criticism. It validates the enjoyment of popular media while encouraging readers to reconsider their preconceived notions.

Why it’s a good pick: Steven Johnson’s “Everything Bad Is Good For You” offers a refreshing perspective on modern media, arguing that popular culture is more complex and beneficial than commonly believed. Its accessible and thought-provoking content makes it an intriguing read.

8. “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy

The Road by Cormac McCarthy


  • Genre: Post-apocalyptic, Adventure

Plot Summary

The novel follows a father and his young son as they navigate a bleak, post-apocalyptic landscape.

Their world is devoid of life and filled with constant danger, including marauding bands of survivors and the ever-present threat of starvation.

The bond between father and son is the heart of the story, as they struggle to survive and maintain their humanity in a world that has lost all semblance of civilization.

McCarthy’s sparse writing style heightens the novel’s tension and bleakness, immersing readers in the characters’ harrowing journey.

The themes of love, hope, and survival in the face of desolation resonate deeply, making “The Road” a powerful and unforgettable read.

It is easily among the most popular futuristic/dystopian/apocalyptic books of all time.

Why it’s a good pick: “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy is a short, thrilling, and thought-provoking novel. Its gripping narrative and minimalist prose make it a compelling read for those who enjoy intense and reflective stories.

9. “Stalingrad” by Antony Beevor

Antony Beevor - Stalingrad

  • Genre: History, War

Plot Summary

“Stalingrad” provides an in-depth chronicle of the Battle of Stalingrad, a turning point in World War II.

Beevor combines firsthand accounts, archival research, and strategic analysis to paint a vivid picture of the brutal conflict.

The book covers the initial German invasion, the desperate defense by Soviet forces, and the eventual encirclement and defeat of the German 6th Army.

Beevor delves into the experiences of soldiers and civilians alike, highlighting the immense human suffering and resilience displayed during the battle.

His narrative captures the chaos, heroism, and tragedy of Stalingrad, offering readers a comprehensive and compelling look at this pivotal event in history.

The detailed storytelling ensures that the book is not only informative but also deeply moving.

Why it’s a good pick: Antony Beevor’s “Stalingrad” is a detailed and authoritative account of one of the most significant battles of World War II. Its gripping narrative and meticulous research make it an engaging read for history enthusiasts.

10. “Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win” by Leif Babin and Jocko Willink

How US Navy Seals Lead and Win

  • Genre: Leadership, Non-fiction

Plot Summary

The book is structured around the leadership principles that Babin and Willink learned and applied during their service as Navy SEALs.

Each chapter focuses on a specific principle, illustrated with real-life examples from their combat experiences in Iraq.

The authors then translate these lessons into practical advice for business and personal leadership.

Key concepts such as taking complete responsibility, prioritizing and executing tasks, and decentralizing command are explored in depth.

The authors’ direct writing style and vivid recounting of military operations make the book both informative and compelling.

“Extreme Ownership” offers a unique perspective on leadership, emphasizing the importance of accountability and decisive action in achieving success.

Why it’s a good pick: “Extreme Ownership” by Leif Babin and Jocko Willink provides practical leadership advice through engaging military stories. Its straightforward and actionable principles make it a valuable read for anyone looking to improve their leadership skills.

The Bottom Line

Picking up any of these books can provide a fresh perspective on the joys of reading.

I am certain this will be the case for many non-readers.