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5 Summer Reads That Will Make You Feel Like A Man

Sometimes to feel like a man, you have to read like one. And while there are plenty of young adult dystopian thrillers and beachy chick lit novels to go around, it can be tough to find a good book with some grit. Here’s five books that will make you feel manly in different ways.

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1. The International Man of Mystery

Whether you’re an open book or a sly devil, every man likes the idea of being an undetectable powerhouse. Reading about one, just might show you how.

Defector In Our Midst by Tom Fitzgerald

When Hitler ordered the total annihilation of the small village of Lidice, Czechoslovakia on June 10, 1942, a pair of newborn twin girls was secretly hidden from the Nazis while their parents and the rest of the village were massacred. The son of one of the infant girls, CIA Agent Myk McGrath, has become the world’s most prolific agent. Now he’s on a frenetic search to catch a cunning group that has outsmarted the country’s highest intelligence agency and vanished from their watchful eye. In the midst of Myk’s hunt, a defector arises whose allegiance is unknown, a defector with ties to Lidice.

Read more about Defector In Our Midst.

2. The Go-To Guy

No matter what your skill is, everyone likes being the man people can count on. See if your traits line up with Scot Harvath’s.

Act of War by Brad Thor

After a CIA agent mysteriously dies overseas, his top asset surfaces with a startling and terrifying claim. There’s just one problem—no one knows if she can be trusted.

But when six exchange students go missing, two airplane passengers trade places, and one political-asylum seeker is arrested, a deadly chain of events is set in motion.

With the United States facing an imminent and devastating attack, America’s new president must turn to covert counterterrorism operative Scot Harvath to help carry out two of the most dangerous operations in the country’s history.

Code-named "Gold Dust" and "Blackbird," they are shrouded in absolute secrecy as either of them, if discovered, will constitute an act of war.

Read more about Act of War.

3. The Problem-Solver

One of the manliest traits out there is being able to leverage your resources and fix a problem. Read a book that will have you trying to put all the right pieces together from start to finish.

Bodies on the Potomac by Daniel O'Neil

When Universal Motors threatens to shut down Karl Blumenthal's car dealership — seemingly because he's failed to financially back the reelection of the President of the United States — Karl calls in good friend and former D.C. power broker Taylor Clark to investigate. Utilizing his extensive network of Capitol connections, he and his boss search desperately for footing in the investigation, tapping sources they haven’t called on for years. When they arrive back at Blumenthal's dealership seconds too late to prevent a firearms confrontation, it becomes clear that a national catastrophe looms. It isn't long before they realize that the dealership is simply part of a grand Russian political scandal.

Read more about Bodies on the Potomac.

4. The Explorer

There are few things that can make you feel as masculine as discovering new territory and navigating unfamiliar countries is pretty masculine. Go on this continent-spanning journey a bolster your worldly appeal.

Wayfaring Stranger by James Lee Burke

In 1934, sixteen-year-old Weldon Avery Holland happens upon infamous criminals Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow after one of their notorious armed robberies. A confrontation with the outlaws ends with Weldon firing a gun and being unsure whether it hit its mark.

Ten years later, Second Lieutenant Weldon Holland barely survives the Battle of the Bulge, in the process saving the lives of his sergeant, Hershel Pine, and a young Spanish prisoner of war, Rosita Lowenstein—a woman who holds the same romantic power over him as the strawberry blonde Bonnie Parker, and is equally mysterious. The three return to Texas where Weldon and Hershel get in on the ground floor of the nascent oil business.

In just a few years’ time Weldon will spar with the jackals of the industry, rub shoulders with dangerous men, and win and lose fortunes twice over. But it is the prospect of losing his one true love that will spur his most reckless, courageous act yet—one that takes its inspiration from that encounter long ago with the outlaws of his youth.

Read more about Wayfaring Stranger.

5. The Sensitive Type

Being a man isn’t all about bullets and brawn. Brush up on some heart-filled poetry and embrace your softer side.

Chasers of the Light by Tyler Knott Gregson

The epic made simple. The miracle in the mundane.

One day, while browsing an antique store in Helena, Montana, photographer Tyler Knott Gregson stumbled upon a vintage Remington typewriter for sale. Standing up and using a page from a broken book he was buying for $2, he typed a poem without thinking, without planning, and without the ability to revise anything.

He fell in love.

Three years and almost one thousand poems later, Tyler is now known as the creator of the Typewriter Series: a striking collection of poems typed onto found scraps of paper or created via blackout method.

Read more about Chasers of the Light.

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