The era of Rona as the kids are calling it offers at least one opportunity we rarely get, and that is time to just chill out and read.
Reading is poo-pooed by modern society and is often thought of as boring, but the truth is that the more you read, the less boring you are. Guys often ask: how do I get better at interacting with people and being socially competent?
If you can’t practice with real live people having real live conversation, the second best thing you can do is read novels. Fiction is by definition not real, but good fiction feels real, conveying the true nature of humanity, whether love, hate, lust, violence, stealing, sex, murder, friendship, etc.
That said, the novels that follow are particularly good for guys learning game, for reasons I’ll explain in the descriptions.
Below the fiction are my recommended non-fiction reads, again with descriptions. Full disclosure: the links are part of the Amazon Affiliate program. So, like, if you want to buy $10,000 worth of stuff after clicking through, you could.
For Whom the Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemingway
The protagonist, Robert Jordan, is an American volunteer for the Republican side of the Spanish Civil War. The reason it’s a great book for guys learning game is simple: Jordan is a pragmatist who never lets his guard down, and he maintains a perfect blend of frame, comfort and value with the young Spanish girl who becomes his lover.
Additionally, it describes a time of societal strife and upheaval–very different than our times today, but in some ways similar. And for guys who want to learn masculine language and energy, Hemingway is the master.
Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov
Probably the most famous novel as it applies to game, the plot revolves around an older man who becomes obsessed with a “nymphet” as he calls her, the 12 year old Dolores–Lo, or Lolita.
To be honest, I like my girls a tad bit older (read: legal), but the beauty of the novel is in our protagonist, Humbert’s, pining and desire for Lolita, as well as in his interactions with the other, older women in the story. Nabokov’s description of how Humbert interprets his world and the sub-communication he recognizes is brilliant in terms of understanding how women see men and their environments, particularly how mood and emotion play into female desire, action, and reaction.
As it happens, this is also a book a lot of chicks have read–or at least, a lot of girls I’ve run into–and having read it communicates two very valuable things to women if it comes up in conversation: A) that you’re smart–or at least not a total twit–and B) that you get the secret society and are in touch with your natural male desire.
On the Road, by Jack Kerouac
Another classic, but I suppose the reason I like this book for guys into game is that the narrator, Sal Paradise (really Kerouac), and his buddies are some of the Chaddiest Chads you’ll ever read about–especially Dean Moriarty.
The story doesn’t have a typical plot in terms of enemies or conflict: it’s essentially just about driving all over the US, getting drunk, doing drugs, and womanizing. Fantastic. Pay particular attention to the carefree nature of how the guys behave, especially when they’re with women–a different time, to be certain, but plenty of good lessons here about maintaining frame and being the fun, carefree guy chicks are naturally attracted to.
Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card
A classic sci-fi novel in which Card manages to pull off the impossible by engineering a pre-teen boy whose veins run cold with Machiavellian blood.
In every other way Ender Wiggins, our hero, is fairly ordinary: he loves his sister, worries about fitting in, struggles to make friends, etc. But his path is beset with bullies–first at his school on Earth, and then as he’s enrolled in a special program by Colonel Graff that takes him into outer space: Battle School.
At each confrontation, Ender is faced with a choice: do whatever it takes to win, or risk losing–potentially his life.
As it applies to game, Ender is a great example of why it’s important to take action thinking several moves ahead. Not just the open, but how the stack runs into the vibe, naturally ends in a smooth close, and the close is grounded. How on dates we need to think about first venue, second venue, so on and so forth.
The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz
Maybe Diaz should be a hero? After all, he’s been accused by several women of “sexual assault” after the fact, but if you read the description of what actually happened, it sounds more like regret on the part of the women, either what happened or more like the fact Diaz didn’t stick around. Regret and rape are not the same thing, but a lot of women think they are.
This novel, however, is instructive, because we see in close detail what good game looks like via the Dominican ballers who surround Oscar, and what it does not look like, embodied by poor Oscar. It’s also just fantastically entertaining, and unlike anything you will ever read, blending a lot of Spanish into the prose while tying in Tolkien and other nerdy allusions to the world of fantasy and sci-fi.
Additionally, there are a lot of scenes and descriptions of women and how women make choices regarding men, that are very applicable to game.
The Nix, by Nathan Hill
The reason I like this book for guys in game is simply that the author does such a good job describing the modern world–not just how it works, but how we work, in terms of our motivations, desires, needs, and wants. In some ways, the novel is a story about how, without intervention and purposefulness, life sets people on a path they don’t truly control–they “react” to their environment and by degrees become what that environment makes them.
The protagonist’s mother is also a crazy leftist who abandons him and his father at a young age for “no reason”, but any red pill aware guy sees the writing on the wall, as well as why her abandonment can only occur in a world where femininity and traditional gender roles have been eroded.
Dune, by Frank Herbert
If the movie ruined it for you, that’s unfortunate, because the novel is fantastic. Herbert’s epic imagines a complex monarchical system rife with political maneuvering and intrigue, but in a universe where space travel means that instead of kingdoms, nobles control planets and in some cases, entire solar systems.
The story takes shape as Duke Atreides and his family arrive on the desert planet Arrakis to secure the valuable spice-drug, melange, but trouble manages to find them, and Paul, his son soon finds himself battling for survival as his family is beset with enemies.
Dune, simply put, is a fantastic read, even if sci-fi isn’t ordinarily your jam. For guys in game I’d add that the book is good for reasons similar to Ender’s Game–the protagonist’s transformation and willingness to do the hard work and suffer are very applicable to what a lot of us need to do to get where we want to be, both in terms of women and life.
12 Rules for Life, by Jordan Peterson
To be 100% honest, Peterson could make his points in 1/2 the text, but that said this is an excellent book and a must read–especially for young men.
A particularly interesting example he brings up in his first rule (stand up straight with your shoulders back) is about how lobsters battle for dominance, and the mere fact of winning and having success makes those lobsters more likely to have success in the future, by virtue of endorphins. Pretty cool stuff, and it makes me wonder how many men out there are so used to taking losses that they’ve conditioned themselves to lose, which is something I have to help my clients learn to overcome.
In any case, if you apply Peterson’s rules, life will certainly go better for you–and also, it turned out he was right about the whole trans-issue re: pronouns after all.
The 48 Laws of Power, by Robert Greene
An absolutely fascinating book about how we can take control of our relationships with others, whether work, love, friendships, or family.
Using history as his canvas, Greene examines why kingdoms fall, marriages form, wars were won–or lost–and ordinary people rise to positions of wealth and power, then distills it all down into a simple axiom we can use in our own lives. It’s nice too, because you can really pick the laws at random, read one here, one there, and get a ton of value out of thinking how they might apply.
It’s Machiavellian full stop, but the truth in human nature is often that you can either take advantage of a situation, or be taken advantage of.
I prefer the former.
The 4-Hour Work Week, by Tim Ferriss
This book boils down how to become an entrepreneur, work smarter not harder, and automate or batch a lot of our every day tasks so we can get more done in less time.
For guys looking to start a new business, this is a must read, but it’s good information for anyone and everyone. For an example of how it might apply to game, a lot of guys who do online game batch their time on the apps so it doesn’t become a day long attention stealer.
Highly recommend–his podcasts are good too.
The 4-Hour Body, by Tim Ferriss
Clearly I’m a Ferriss guy, but of all his material, The Four Hour Body has had by far the most impact on helping me improve me life.
It contains everything you need to know about how to maximize your body’s potential, from losing weight to getting a great night’s sleep to tricks in the bedroom–the Four Hour Body is a must read for anyone who’s looking to hack human biology. I particularly like the fact he tested his methods to yield the minimum effective dose, which is basically how to get the best bang for your buck in terms of time and energy spent on improving any particular aspect of one’s health.
For guys wondering, yes, the thing he does for the female orgasm works. I prefer using my dick or tongue, but for girls who have a hard time cumming, this works–also a kind of fun thing to do if you have a regular.
Sex at Dawn, by Christopher Ryan, Cacilda Jethá
A fascinating read for those interested in human sexuality, Sex at Dawn examines how we evolved as sexual beings, and what our behavior look like when we lived in small tribes before the rise of agriculture.
Among other things, Sex at Dawn explains why monogamy can be such a difficult challenge, showing that we’re polygamous by nature and highly sexual. What’s more, we learn that humans don’t just have sex for procreation, but also to create bonds with others and foster our own wellbeing.
TL;DR–we’re all sluts, but especially chicks. But don’t blame them or me–it’s just the way we evolved.
The Chemistry Between Us, by Brian Alexander and Larry Young
Authors Brian Alexander and Larry Young take a deep dive on the science behind attraction, sex, and relationships. A fascinating read that explains why men and women are so different when it comes to romance and love–not just because we experience the world differently, but because our chemistry is so distinct, from our brains to the hormones that drive us wild with desire.
This book is about as “Red Pill” as it gets, going into scientific detail about how and why men and women are so different.
The Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tzu
I don’t mention the bible here, or other more popular religious texts because they’re obvious and I’m not really sure how they apply to game.
The Tao (pronounced “dow” like Dow Jones), most definitely does–its clearest message is that we cannot change our nature, nor that of the world nor of women. What we can do, however, is accept and understand this nature and use it to our advantage.
You know, like that super hot chick at work who NEVER responds to your texts? The Tao tells us she’s not going to, probably ever…but that’s OK, because there are a lot of hot chicks, and some of them might actually like you.
Focus on those.