Fiction

 

1. For One More Day by Mitch Albom

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What would you do if you had that one more day to spend with a lost loved one? For daddy’s boy Charley Benetto, it was both the chance to reunite with his ever-welcoming mother and also to have a second shot at life.

Team SM’s take: Get a secluded room and some tissues ready gentlemen, you wouldn’t want to be seen near the ladies with this tear-jerker. What would you say if you had the chance to reunite with you a lost loved one? No other fiction book will have the ability to deepen your appreciation for you loved ones.

 

2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Meet Jay Gatsby, the ultimate self-made man who harbours unwavering affections for Daisy Buchanan, his lover who is already married. Be equally bedazzled by the glitz, glamour and Fitzgerald’s penmanship as he subtly exposes the hollowness of both Gatsby’s and the American dream.

Team SM’s take: We’re pretty sure the majority of you have already caught the film in the theatres but isn’t there the saying of how the movie rendition of the book is never as good? Experience the life of a wealthy gentleman in the 1920s where the parties were bigger and the liquor was cheaper. Something else worth noting: despite all that “smell of money” and corruption and bootlegging, Gatsby shines through all of that with his gentlemanliness (and suits, of course), which is probably his only redemption.

 

3. The Importance Of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

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Allow us to contextualize this from the Victorian era into the modern day: Two Bros meet. Bro A discovers Bro J has been leading a double life as E. Being the annoying prick that he is, Bro A pisses Bro J off at every opportunity with his quick wits. Bro A impersonates as E. himself to hook up with Bro J’s cute ward. Bro J proposes to Bro A’s pretty cousin. Double life gets exposed. Both trouble and hilarity ensues.

Team SM’s take: What’s so gentlemanly about this, you say? Well, a punny gent can be a real charmer. Earnestly, your name doesn’t even have to be Ernest.

 

4. Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

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More than just mindless rough-housing, the novel presents a tale about an unnamed protagonist who eventually loses himself to his insomniac and schizophrenic self. The protagonist meets mysterious Tyler Durden and soon after, the Fight Club, a club catered to bare-knuckle fighting enthusiasts was founded. The plot thickens as the protagonist discovered that he and Durden were one and the same, that Durden was simply his split personality. The schizophrenia eventually, after planning for an anti-consumerism revolution, took his own life before waking to find him admitted in an mental institution. Mind-blowing? We thought so.

Team SM’s take: This may be too heavy a read for a chilling session but we say this novel is definitely worth your time. Who doesn’t love a good mind-twisting, fist-throwing book, right? We know we’re not supposed to talk about the Fight Club so, shhh.

 

5. 11/22/63 by Stephen King

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For the history/America enthusiasts, this mystery/thriller would do more than satisfy your thirst for the events surrounding JFK’s assassination. Set in 2011, the novel tells the tale of Jack Epping, who was entrusted with the mission to travel back in time, to prevent the assassination of America’s 35th president and subsequently the escalation of the Vietnam War. With a mixture of the ordinary and the supernatural, King beautifully demonstrates the immutability of time that no big enough change can be exerted to control the tides of the future.

Team SM’s take: Yes we agree that the thickness of the novel may be a little overwhelming but this is definitely one of the better books by King. A refresher course in history is always helpful. Besides, nothing spells charisma more than an intellectual and confident man, right?

 

Non-fiction

 

1. Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer by Fred Kaplan

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A must-have in your to-read list, this intriguing biography brings you a better understanding of one of America’s most respectable president.

Team SM’s take: Fret not gentlemen, this isn’t another boring biography that’s littered with jargons from the 19th century. Be inspired by the man who made emancipation a reality, who eventually went on to become one of the greatest President known to Americans. We’re sorry to disappoint but no vampire slaying stories are included in this novel. Also, Lincoln was not a Vampire Slayer.

 

2. Rain Man by Leonore Fleischer and Kieran McGovern

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Upon receiving news of the death of his estranged father, all Charlie Babbitt could think about was his inheritance. What he didn’t know was that all the money would be going to the autistic brother Charlie never knew he had. Read as Charlie fought to grapple with this life-changing fact and how the two brothers struggled to start a new life with the other in it.

Team SM’s take: Though not a tear-jerker, we’re pretty sure this novel would touch even the hardest of hearts. This novel, we’d boldly proclaim, sheds a whole light onto brotherhood by reflecting the realities of sibling rivalry. What’s the best takeaway you ask? It’d have to be the novel’s unconventional presentation of the cliché of blood is thicker than water to its readers.

 

 

Self-help

 

1. The Gentlemen’s Handbook: The Essential Guide to Being a Man by Alfred Tong

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Well first of all, no, Team SM is not the author of this handbook. Nevertheless, this works as a pretty handy guide for all the aspiring gentlemen out there who haven’t the slightest idea where to start. From fashion tips to an introduction to the digital world, the Handbook will have you oozing sexiness in no time.

Team SM’s take: As your one-stop shop for gents’ lifestyle, there’s no way we’re leaving this out.

 

2. 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss

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This may come across as the typical get-rich-quick book but it is actually, quite the contrary. Divided into four sections, learn how to better manage your finances and in turn, achieve life goals whilst exploring new possibilities.

Team SM’s take: Don’t get too caught up with the details and focus on the broader points that Ferriss is trying to make. Soon enough, you might find yourself working only 4 hours a week and jetting off for endless vaycays.

 

3. Gordon Ramsay’s World Kitchen by Gordon Ramsay

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From appetizers to desserts, 15 Michelin stars Chef Gordon Ramsay has got you covered.  Travel the world in one cookbook and unleash that inner chef in you.

Team SM’s take: If you’ve read our previous article What is the sexiest occupation for a guy (if you’ve not, please do), you’d know that a chef is one of the top 12. So what are you waiting for? Fire up the stove and start cooking up a storm! Who’s to resist a gent who can work the kitchen like he owns it?

 

4. 1001 Beers You Must Try Before You Die by Adrian Tierney-Jones

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We saved the best for the last. Learn to better appreciate your favourite beverage with this comprehensive guide on the history of beers, temperature recommendations and the type of food that complements it. From the ales of England to the lagers of Germany and Central Europe, this guidebook will make you really, really thirsty.

Team SM’s take: We all know men and beer go hand in hand, and why shouldn’t this book? Not only will you be better able to appreciate a cold one more, dropping fun facts about brews during networking sessions at local bars is a surefire way to impress.