The Library

A Compendium of Knowledge for Traditional Men

Over our lives, all of us here at Vital Masculinity have been shaped by many great and thought-provoking books, their words inspiring and aiding us on our journeys to manliness, faith in God, virtue, and strength. This is a collection of books from these various categories that are designed to inspire, inform, and challenge you to a greater and nobler way of life. It is curated so as to be concise and complete without being overly repetitive and is not ordered in any particular manner. 

Please note: This is not an endorsement of every single aspect of the author’s philosophy, his entire writing, or his way of life. We focus on author’s that challenge you to go against the modern paradigm and live more traditionally noble and masculine lives. There are some aspects of these books we may disagree with or accept with some reservation. Correction of this is found via your use of prudence and by taking this in as a library rather than as individual selections.

If you choose to purchase any of these books for yourself or others, please consider using the links below, as we receive a small portion of the profits from Amazon via their affiliate program.

Index

Masculinity

Books de-constructing modern masculinity and re-constructing a healthy, noble, traditional masculine identity.

Faith

Books to inspire you to faithful living, the growth of love of God and neighbor, and the forging of a strong identity as a Christian.

Virtue

Books on the formation of noble character and the cultivation of heroic, saintly virtue.

Brotherhood

Books on the creation of strong brotherhoods and communities, as well as the counteracting of our atomized, individualistic society.

Exercise

Books on fitness, exercise, and bodybuilding which we constantly reference in order to optimize our health and physiques and grow stronger.

Relationships

Books on relationships, marriage, and love, and how we can improve their quality, seek relationships, and grow to understand ourselves and our spouses.

Biography

Biographies and Autobiographies about great men in history which we should seek to emulate, learning from their successes and failures.

Aesthetics

Books on the importance of beauty, aesthetics, and art on the development of culture and civilization.

Folklore

Fiction, myth, and legends designed to inspire you and ignite a fire in your heart for heroism and nobility.

Masculinity

Books de-constructing modern masculinity and re-constructing a healthy, noble, traditional masculine identity. Some of these books are flawed, but the prudent man can discern what is worthwhile and what is to be ignored. They expand the conversation on masculine identity and serve as direct challenges to the empire of nothing in which you have been taught about masculinity.

Virtue & Character

Books on the formation of noble character and the cultivation of heroic, saintly virtue. These are drawn extensively from the Christian and pre-Christian philosophic traditions, with some modern reflections on character as well. 

1. The Four Cardinal Virtues by Josef Pieper

2. Faith, Hope, Love by Josef Pieper

3. How to be Unlucky by Joshua Gibbs

4. The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis

5. Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle

6. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

7. A Knight’s Own Book of Chivalry by Geoffroi de Charny

8. Cultivating Virtue: Self-Mastery with the Saints by Anonymous

9. The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness by Epictetus

10. Back to Virtue: Traditional Moral Wisdom for Modern Moral Confusion by Peter Kreeft

11. Treatise on the Virtues by St. Thomas Aquinas (excerpts of the Summa Theologica)

12. Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

13. Resilience by Eric Greitens

14. 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson

15. The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius

16. On Duties: A Guide To Conduct, Obligations, and Decision-Making by Cicero

17. The Way, the Enemy, and the Key by Ryan Holiday

18. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

19. Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

20. The Road to Character by David Brooks

Faith

Books from the Catholic, Orthodox, and Anglican traditions designed to inspire you to faithful living, the growth of love of God and neighbor, and the forging of a strong identity as a Christian.

1. The Noonday Devil: Acedia, the Unnamed Evil of Our Times by Dom Jean-Charles Nault

2. Rules for Retrogrades by Timothy J. Gordon & David R. Gordon

3. The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis

4. The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise by Robert Cardinal Sarah

5. The Spiritual Combat: The Classic Manual on Spiritual Warfare by Dom Scupoli

7. The Way by St. Josemaria Escriva

8. The Struggle for Virtue: Asceticism in a Modern Secular Society by Abp. Averky (Taushev)

9. Life is Worth Living by Ven. Fulton J. Sheen

10. For the Life of the World by Fr. Alexander Schmemann

11. My Life in Christ by St. John of Kronstadt

12. Everyday Saints by Archimandrite Tikhon

13. The Way of the Pilgrim by Anonymous Russian Peasant

14. American Pilgrim by Roosh Valizadeh

15. Confessions by St. Augustine of Hippo

16. Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives by Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

Brotherhood & Community

Books on the creation of strong brotherhoods and communities, as well as the counteracting of our atomized, individualistic society.

1. Building Your Band of Brothers by Stephen Mansfield

2. The Art of Being a Good Friend by Hugh Black

3. De Amicitia by Cicero

4. Building the Benedict Option by Leah Libresco-Sargent

5. The Four Friendships by Kevin Vost

6. True Friendship: Where Virtue Becomes Happiness by John Cuddeback

7. Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community by John Putnam

8. Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Exercise

Books on fitness, exercise, and bodybuilding which we constantly reference or re-read in order to optimize our health and physiques and grow stronger.

Relationships & Marriage

Books on relationships, marriage, and love, and how we can improve their quality, seek relationships, and grow to understand ourselves and our spouses.

1. The 5 Love Languages: by Gary Chapman

2. Marriage and Family Life by St. John Chrysostom

3. Three to Get Married by Ven. Fulton Sheen

4. Men, Women, and the Mystery of Love by Edward Sri

5. Courtship in Crisis: The Case for Traditional Dating by Thomas Umstattd, Jr.

6. Glory and Honor by David & Mary Ford

7. Your Brain on Porn by Gary Wilson

8. The Porn Myth by Matt Fradd

Biography

Biographies and Autobiographies about great men in history which we should seek to emulate, learning from their successes and failures.

1. Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds by David Goggins

2. The Last Lion by Paul Reid & William Manchester

3. The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris

4. The Miracle of Father Kapaun: Priest, Soldier, and Korean War Hero by Roy Wenzl

5. Franz Jagerstatter: Letters and Writings from Prison edited by Erna Puntz

6. Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow

7. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillebrand

8. Beyond Band of Brothers: The War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters by Dick Winters

9. The Storm of Steel by Ernst Junger

10. The Gulag Archipelago by Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn

11. With the Old Breed by E.B. Sledge

12. Grant by Ron Chernow

13. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin

14. Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court by John Wooden

15. Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington

16. Early Christian Lives by Sts. Athanasius, Jerome, Severus, et al.

Beauty & Aesthetics

Books on the importance of beauty, aesthetics, and art on the development of culture and civilization.

1. The Decline and Fall of Western Art by Brendan M. P. Heard

1. Beauty: A Very Short Introduction by Sir Roger Scruton

3. The Soul of the World by Sir Roger Scruton

4. The Appearance of Power: How Masculinity is Expressed through Aesthetics by Tanner Guzy

5. Aesthetics by Dietrich von Hilldebrand

6. History of Beauty by Umberto Eco

Fiction & Folklore

Fiction, myth, and legends designed to inspire you and ignite a fire in your heart for heroism and nobility.

1. The Illiad by Homer

2. The Odyssey by Homer

3. The Aeneid by Virgil

4. The Song of Roland by Anonymous

5. Beowulf by Anonymous

6. The Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson

7. The Divine Comedy by Dante

8. Utopia by St. Thomas More

9. Paradise Lost by John Milton

10. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

11. Laurus by Eugene Vodolazkin

12. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien

13. Le morte d’Arthur by Sir Thomas Mallory

14. Nibelungenlied by Anonymous

15. Tristan by Gottfried von Strassburg

16. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Anonymous