Self Improvement Books for Men: 7 Must Reads

Feelings Disclaimer 

Self improvement books for men are the ones most guys get defensive about.  Most guys protect their egos by refusing to accept they might have something to learn about girls or sex or making a living.  It’s easier to put on the blinders than to admit deficiencies and begin the hard journey towards improvement.

The statistical truth is, most dudes are average at making money, attracting women, and having sex.  Translation: they’re not particularly good at those things.  I wasn’t.  And I’m still not done improving.

It doesn’t matter.  The point is not to be awesome.  It’s to become awesome.

So check your ego at the door. Open your mind.  Wider than its ever been.  I’m about to imply that you are not as perfect as you may want to believe.

And I’m about to imply that the solution is reading 7 books with ridiculously cheesy, self-helpy titles.

Deep breath.  Cool?

For yourself, get over it.  You’ve got nothing to lose in reading them but a few bucks and a few hours time.  Pass them up at your own peril.

Self Improvement Books for Men: The Top 3

1)  The Four Hour Work Week

What it is about: A how-to guide on dramatically reducing the amount of time you spend on stuff you don’t like.  A paradigm buster of epic proportions.

What is does:  Gives you clarity on what matters in your life and what you need to make it happen (financially and psychologically).  Hint: The answer does NOT involve compound interest.

I pray to Thor, God of Thunder and king of the Avengers: May you find this book before you’ve invested your time and psychic well-being in climbing the corporate ladder.  If thinking of your job gets you down and you don’t have a plan to get out FOR GOOD in the next 2 years, stop reading now, and pick up this book.

Tim says it best: most people’s idea of a a job “is predicated on the assumption that you dislike what you are doing during the most physically capable years of your life. This is a nonstarter—nothing can justify that sacrifice.”  And after years of investing your energy into something you aren’t really even passionate about “your job description becomes your self description.”

Fuck.  That.  Noise.

This book tears that paradigm apart and gives you the perspective to become so much more than your job title.  It will help you focus on the most important things in life and free your time to live fully.

2) Sex God Method (sorry, this one is tough to find these days)

What is is about: How to be better at sex.  Pretty straight forward.

What is does:  Teaches you that sex isn’t mechanical.  Good sex has little to do with duration, or measurements, or numbers or all the things young boys tease one another about.  It has everything to do with frames and communication.

Guess what?

Statistically speaking, you’re probably pretty average at sex.  And you almost definitely rate yourself better than you are.  Good news.  You can JUMP in the ranks in 24 hours by reading one book.  No lie.

Of all these books, this one is the one that you can implement in full force TODAY.  You don’t need to practice your technique.  You don’t need to learn a secret new way to thrust.

Great sex isn’t about technical prowess.  Great sex is about emotional arousal.

Read this and you’ll be better than 97% of guys by TONIGHT.  For real.

Being awesome at sex is a superpower.  Trust me when I say that it will affect your relationships in every single way.  Even if you think you know everything there is to know on the subject, this book is worth a read.

3)  How to Win Friends and Influence People

What it is about:  How to make the people around you happier while getting more of what you want and need from your relationships.

What is does:  Makes you a better person.  Destroys shitty habits and replaces them with ones that will make people feel good being around you.

I credit this book with:

  • Helping me convince my employer to let me work remotely from New York City
  • Countless free chipotle burritos
  • Pretty much every positive interaction I have

How to Win Friends is one of those books I’ll need to read every few months for the rest of my life.  It is that important.

Forget that it has the worst name of all the terribly-named books on this list.  How to Win Friends is basically the How To Guide for the human race.  Don’t miss it.

If you’re good with people, if you have healthy relationships, if you can lead and persuade and make people feel good about being around you, you’ll live a charmed life.

Read up.

Honorable Mentions

4)  Six Pillars of Self Esteem

This book is fantastic, but couldn’t quite make the mandatory list.  The gulf is large.  The above 4 books CHANGED MY LIFE.  For me, the Six Pillars is just regular awesome-sauce.

Read this book to improve “your reputation with yourself.”   It’s become a cliche that some of the most successful people–the ones who run their own business, date countless supermodels, and act like the happiest people in the world–really feel awful.  It’s because of garbage self esteem.

Improve your self esteem and you’ll feel fundamentally “alright” in the world.

If you doubt you can do the awesome things detailed in the other books, read this book.  If you think you are God’s gift to everyone you meet, read this book.  If you can read, read this book.

(Some people struggle with the first 50 or so pages.  Stick with it because the chapters on the pillars are where it’s at.)

5)  Awaken the Giant Within

I thought Tony Robbins was a huckster before I read this book.

I had seen footage of his seminars and it reminded me of a cultish, Pentecostal church.  They still do.  And with good reason.  Like the Pentacostal Church, Tony is a master of altering people’s states and he is an amazing resource if you are interested in making changes in yourself and others.

You can use his stuff to help with approach anxiety, beat procrastination, stick to your diet, or to help others make positive changes in their lives.

He is a genius.  A man of true charisma.  And while long-winded at times, Awaken The Giant Within touches on just about everything he teaches. One of the best self improvement books I’ve ever read.

6)  Ethical Slut

If you are at all curious about open relationships, this book will give you a peak into that world.  It will show you that healthy, loving open relationships can exist and help you to manage some of the problems that can arise when you try to go open.

While short on tactical detail, this is a great intro to the world of open relationships.  If you’re at all interested in multiple relationships, this book will open your mind to new possibilities.  As for the lack of tactical detail, I’m working on a post to make up for the gap.

7)  Charisma on Command

Take what I say with a grain of salt.  After all, I wrote the darn thing, you’d be crazy not to!

That being said, learning everything I break down for you in Charisma on Command has been the vehicle for the most fulfilling period of personal growth in my life.  It’s my small contribution to the word of personal development and (in my insanely biased opinion) the best book on charisma out there.


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17 Responses to “Self Improvement Books for Men: 7 Must Reads”

  • Hey Charlie, I’m a big fan of your site… I found it through seddit, have read all of your articles at this point. I don’t know why you’re not getting more now. Keep it up!

    I’ve seen you recommend magic bullets a number of times, and I was wondering if you’ve read Mark Manson’s stuff on pickup. He seems to approach game from the angle of authenticity, vulnerability, unscripted behavior, essentially he says raising your self esteem will cause the tone of your behavior to become more attractive. I get that magic bullets provides a framework for getting yourself out the door to talk to people, but routines and other scripted behavior is approaching communication with the perspective that what you can say without a script isn’t good enough.

    A lot of your ideas resonate with me, except for your endorsement of the mystery method type game material.

    • I actually haven’t read Models though I am familiar with Mark’s site and I really like his stuff. I’ll put it on my reading list for sure.

      As for scripts, I think they get a bad rap and are a bit misunderstood. I personally don’t have any conversation scripted out in my head and wouldn’t recommend anybody try that. But I would recommend developing good conversational habits, which might mean having go-to responses in certain instances. If she stares at me I’ll say “You can’t look at me like that and not say hi.” If we are talking about work, I’ll tell her I am more interested in what she would do if she could do anything rather than the particular job she has today.

      We all have scripts, in the sense of go-to conversation pieces. “Hi, how are you?” is a script. “What do you do?” is a script. Talking about traveling or places you’ve lived or what you do for work is all scripts. Basically anything you’ve ever said twice is a script. What I think MB has done for me is teach me how to replace those boring scripts/habits with fun, interesting scripts/habits. “You can’t look at me like that and not say hi” might be a line, but what winds up happening is that conversation inevitably lasts longer and you wind up with the opportunity to connect on a deeper level.

      Looking forward to checking out Models and seeing how it affects me 🙂

      • Hi Charlie I really like the way your explaining this stuff it resonates a lot with my experience. What is the MB thing you’re talking about here? . I have trouble developing the masculine in me because often i found myself where the woman was emasculating me. It is so frustrating for me that I can’t even pull women who are legitly attracted to me or when super hot women give me their undivided attention. Please suggest books for me to uphold my self esteem and suppress the anger and frustration. Your advice is very much appreciated. Ill do it likewise

  • Hi Charlie! I found your blog through Reddit and I must say that it instantly clicked with me.

    When I read the title of this post, “The Rules of the Game” immediately came to mind as one of the must-read self-improvement books since it encompasses such a great deal of areas of development.

    TRofG is more practical and mission-oriented than The Game, according to my understanding, so it should have a bigger impact on self-improvement. Have you read it? What are your thoughts about it?

      • Thanks Bruno! Always nice to hear wonderful compliments like those 🙂

        I read some of Rules of the Game a while back and remember it vaguely. I remember getting to like Day 5 of the missions and then having to make phone calls to get movie recommendations from strangers. Ben and I spent a half hour trying to get movie recommendations and couldn’t do it, haha! We wound up reading ahead (cheating, I know) and found that we already doing a lot of the later things like getting numbers and makeouts so we didn’t wind up finishing the challenge.

        I thought the order of some of the things was a bit off, but I think that a program like that where you steadily work your way up is a great way to learn. It’s what we work on with the guys we take out and it’s crazy how fast you can improve when you start small

  • Nice work Charlie. I havent gone through any of the books but i am impressed by the Feelings Disclaimer. i will surely try to read atleast 1 book you hv listed.

  • Just wanted to say I’m a big fan Charlie. Your book is great, I really enjoyed reading it as well as those others (minus Sex God, I’m getting that book soon). I would definitely recommend them to anyone as well. Keep doing what you’re doing buddy. Looking forward to more of your work, and of course making my dreams a reality.

  • Thank you for posting this books! I will be definitely checking out a few, if not all of them.

    Can I offer a suggestion for your book “The Anti Pick Up Line”? Try to get amazon to do an audible recording of it and you may get more sales. (i find listening to audible books much easier to do than actually reading, especially at work)

  • Hey, I read your articles for some months now and and felt bad because I did not realize how to support you since I just can’t afford cu. But I hope by buing your books I can give back at least something until I have enough for the hole package.
    Thank you for all the great work you do and and sincere greetings from Germany, if you’re interested in where around the world you have an (at least small) impact 🙂