14 of the best books for men to read in 2024

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Maybe you’ve read a handful of incredible books in the last few years. Perhaps you tore through them in a matter of days and recommended them to everyone who’d listen.

But consistently finding good books to read? That’s not always so easy.

To accompany my list of the books every man should read at least once, here are some of the best books for men to read in 2024, including the best new releases from 2023, anticipated books of 2024, and vacation reads.

As always with these posts, I don’t really believe there’s such a thing as books for men or women. If you’re a reader, you can pick up whatever you want, and the recommendations below are all books I’ve loved reading.

But that said, these are my top recommendations for the best books for men, based on what I’ve been recommending to friends and readers of the blog…

The best new books for men to read in 2024

Wellness by Nathan Hill

wellness by nathan hill cover

Read Wellness for… a satirical yet moving story of one couple’s marriage, as well as wellness fads, tech obsessions, and the bonds that keep people together.

If you love audiobooks, I would wholeheartedly recommend listening to Wellness next. Following the success of Hill’s spectacular debut The Nix, this is the story of a single couple – Jack and Elizabeth – as they navigate their relationship through kids, unfulfilled ambitions, and dysfunctional families.

With rambling but unputdownable writing over 600 pages, Hill puts modern society under a satirical, frequently hilarious, and often exhaustingly accurate microscope. Wellness is one of the best new books I read last year, and I think it’s one of the best books for men to read in 2024.

The Bullet Swallower by Elizabeth Gonzalez James

Read The Bullet Swallower for… an intriguing epic family saga turned magical realism western that’s one of my most anticipated new books for 2024. (Preorder for January 23.)

If the idea of Cormac McCarthy meets Gabriel García Márquez sounds incredible to you, add The Bullet Swallower to your reading list.

It’s 1895 and Antonio Sonoro, a Mexican bandino descended from a long line of ruthless men, sets out to rob a train laden with gold that’s passing through Houston. Jump to 1964, and Jaime Sonoro is living a comfortable life as Mexico’s most renowned actor and singer… until he finds out about a book that claims to tell the entire history of his family.

The Year of the Locust by Terry Hayes

Read The Year of the Locust if… you love stories of badass super spies like Jason Bourne and escaping into fast-paced thrillers.

A decade after the gripping bestseller I Am Pilgrim, Terry Hayes’s new novel has been a long (very long) time coming. 

As one of the best books for men of 2023, The Year of the Locust is worth the wait – although if you’d rather stay away from violence, maybe give this one a miss. For CIA operative Kane, there are no boundaries. But some missions are much more dangerous than others.

The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese

Read The Covenant of Water for… Abraham Verghese’s long-awaited novel about love, faith, and medicine for 2023, fourteen years after one of my all-time favourite books, Cutting for Stone.

Set against the historical progress of India from 1900 through to the 1970s, The Covenant of Water is a big, multi-generational book about the whole spectrum of life, including both joy and sadness. It was one of my top recommended books for men in 2023, and I still think it’s one of the most well-written and ambitiously crafted books to read in 2024.

Unnatural History by Jonathan Kellerman

Read Unnatural History for… a gripping thriller for 2023 by Jonathan Kellerman, the bestselling master of suspense. This is Book 38 in the Alex Delaware series, but it can easily be read as a standalone.

As soon as Lieutenant Milo Sturgis and Psychologist Alex Delaware discover the body of a photographer in an LA warehouse, they’re set on the path of a complex and dangerous case.

Did the victim’s recent controversial project showcasing homeless people have something to do with it? Or was the threat in the victim’s own family? If you love reading this, the next book in the Alex Delaware series, The Ghost Orchid, is available to preorder for February 2024.

Slow Productivity: The Lost Art of Accomplishment Without Burnout by Cal Newport

Read Slow Productivity for… one of the most exciting new personal growth books for 2024, written by the bestselling author of So Good They Can’t Ignore You and Deep Work. (Preorder for March 5.)

Hearing about a new book by Cal Newport always brightens my day, and Slow Productivity looks fantastic. Available from March 2024, this is Cal’s new guide to pursuing meaningful accomplishment while avoiding overload.

With timeless lessons from the routines and habits of history’s most creative and impactful writers, artists, philosophers, and scientists, Newport explores the key principles of “slow productivity” in an age of pinging notifications and overflowing inboxes. It’s a fantastic book to read next if you loved Atomic Habits.

Scarcity Brain: Fix Your Craving Mindset and Rewire Your Habits to Thrive with Enough by Michael Easter

Read Scarcity Brain for… the new non-fiction book by the author of The Comfort Crisis, one of the best non-fiction books I’ve read in the last decade.

You might have already read Michael Easter’s fantastic bestseller The Comfort Crisis. But what about his new book for 2023, Scarcity Brain? I think it’s absolutely worth reading too.

As you read the book, you’ll learn how we really are hardwired to crave more, thanks to the “scarcity loop” that kept our ancient ancestors alive by constantly seeking and consuming more.

Spanning the globe and with insights from scientists and innovators at the cutting edge (from slot machine designers to artisanal coffee-roasting Benedictine monks), Easter explores how we can replace scarcity with an abundance mindset for satisfaction and contentment in our modern world.

The House of Doors by Tan Twan Eng

Read The House of Doors for… the latest beautifully written historical fiction novel by Tan Twan Eng, Booker Prize-shortlisted author of The Garden of Evening Mists and The Gift of Rain.

As I read The House of Doors last autumn, I remembered just how divine Tan Twan Eng’s writing is. Set in Penang in 1921, Lesley Hamlyn and her husband Robert, a lawyer and war veteran, receive an unexpected visitor: Robert’s old friend, the famed writer “Willie” Somerset Maugham, along with his secretary Gerald.

The story that unfolds is both mesmerizingly written and incredibly insightful into the complicated nature of love and what we hide from our loved ones, the world, and ourselves. I wanted to pause and enjoy every glorious sentence.

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Read Project Hail Mary for… a fantastically well-researched, nerdy, and lighthearted book that’s easy to read and difficult to put down.

Project Hail Mary isn’t a new book, but it’s still one of the best books for men to read in 2024 (and one of the best vacation reads for men). If you love gripping sci-fi reads, you should absolutely pick this up, especially if you loved the book or movie edition of The Martian, Andy Weir’s earlier bestseller.

Bill Gates shared about this sci-fi hit: “[Project Hail Mary] is a wild tale about a high school science teacher who wakes up in a different star system with no memory of how he got there. The rest of the story is all about how he uses science and engineering to save the day. It’s a fun read, and I finished the whole thing in one weekend.”

Excellent Advice for Living: Wisdom I Wish I’d Known Earlier by Kevin Kelly

Read Excellent Advice for Living for… one of the best personal development books I read in 2023, full of bite-sized pieces of wisdom.

If you haven’t read Kevin Kelly’s personal growth bestseller yet, it’s absolutely worth picking up this year. If you’re anything like me, your copy will soon be covered in highlights and annotations.

Full of ideas, proverbs, and inspiring snippets by Kevin Kelly, technology thinker and co-founder of Wired, the idea for the book began on Kevin’s 68th birthday, when he began to write down for his young adult children what he wish he knew earlier about life. It’s an indispensable treasure trove of wisdom for living well.

James by Percival Everett

Read James for… the anticipated new novel by Percival Everett, author of the 2022 Booker Prize-shortlisted novel The Trees. (Preorder for April 11.)

“Who should read this book? Every single person in the country”, says Ann Patchett, bestselling author of Tom Lake.

Crafted as a reimagining of Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, James is a riveting story of a dangerous journey along the Mississippi River, each day bringing the characters closer to both salvation and demise.

We Should Not Be Friends: The Story of a Friendship by Will Schwalbe

Read We Should Not Be Friends for… a warm and funny memoir that follows the course of an improbable and life-changing college friendship over forty years.

I adored Will Schwalbe’s 2013 celebration of the comfort of reading, The End of Your Life Book Club. A decade later in 2023, Will shared a rare and joyful view of male friendship in We Should Not Be Friends, starting with the first time he met Maxey as a junior in college.

While Will was nerdy and creative, Maxey was physically imposing, loud, and a star wrestler who was determined to become a Navy SEAL. But thanks to a little-known secret society at Yale, the two forged a bond that transcended their differences.

Desert Star by Michael Connelly

Read Desert Star for the latest installment of the Renée Ballard series, about a driven young detective fighting to prove herself in the LAPD.

In Book 1 of the New York Times bestselling series, The Late Show, we meet Renée Ballard, a talented young detective determined to face her demons and find justice for victims who can’t speak for themselves.

Now with the fifth installment in the series for 2023, Desert Star, Renée Ballard teams up with Harry Bosch, the star of Connelly’s Bosch series, to hunt Bosch’s “white whale” – a man responsible for slaying an entire family.

The 6:20 Man by David Baldacci

Read The 6:20 Man for a gripping thriller about a cryptic cover-up and the menace that prowls beneath the opulent world of finance.

Travis Devine works at the city’s most prestigious investment firm, but as an entry-level analyst, he’s at the bottom of the pile. Each morning, he puts on a cheap suit, grabs his faux leather briefcase, and boards the 6:20 commuter train to Manhattan.

However, one morning Devine’s routine is shattered by an anonymous email. The body of his coworker and former girlfriend has been found. There’s no clear answer as to what really happened, and secrets from his own past are about to surface.

If you love The 6:20 Man, good news! The sequel (The Edge) was published in 2023, so you can enjoy reading that next.

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