These are the books that have helped me navigate my journeys, and write about them. I have no doubt they will assist you along your paths. Click on the covers for my personal reviews and purchase information.

If you haven’t read Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning, stop whatever you’re doing and crack this thing immediately. It will radically change your life. It’s The What, The How, and most importantly, The Why.

Robert Bly’s examination of “Iron John” – a parable by The Brothers Grimm about a boy’s journey into manhood with the guidance of the mysterious Wild Man – is a must-read if you want to discover true masculinity.

A profound examination of how we live and how to live better, Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is a story of a motorcycle trip undertaken by a father and his son is a personal and philosophical odyssey. The narrator’s relationship with his son leads to a powerful self-reckoning.

It may sound counterintuitive to promote “alone time” in an effort to improve your relationship with your children (and your spouse), but solitude is absolutely vital to your mental, spiritual, and relational well-being. Find the time to find yourself.

Jack Kerouac’s On the Road revolutionized American writing and culture. There is no end to the depths of influence this book and it’s author had on me as a young writer and young man.

Neal Cassady is the true hero of On the Road. Without Neal, there would be no On the Road. Without Neal, there would be no Jack Kerouac. In fact, Jack wrote On the Road trying to imitate Neal’s writing style in the infamous Joan Anderson Letter.

A cornerstone of stoicism, Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations is one of the greatest works of spiritual and ethical reflection ever written. It’s a series of spiritual wisdom, practical guidance, and a deep understanding of human behavior.

The tragic adventure story of a son who loses himself in Alaska during an attempt to find the Wild Man within. Dads need to introduce their sons to their wild natures. If we don’t, it can be deadly.

One of the best memoirs I’ve ever read. Written with muscle and grit and tenderness swinging from despair to hope, I related to Toby’s experiences in surprising ways. I laughed, I cried, I was inspired.

The War of Art arrived in one of my darkest moments – and pulled me out of it. I was a writer who didn’t write – and was about to throw in the towel. Steven Pressfield convinced me to get back in the ring.

Bukowski’s style and subject matter have had a profound influence on me as a writer.

Bukowski is here twice because of his impact on me. Second to Kerouac. A close second.

The best novella ever written.

When I discovered Eddie Vedder was an Ishmael devotee, I picked up a copy and after reading it, I became one, too – surprise, surprise.

I read this book in college. I was taking Environmental Psychology. It changed my life.

I read this book in jail. It gave me an azimuth for how I wanted to live the rest of my life once I got out.

Crystallizing religion and myth into a grand story of everything, Campbell shows us the origin and power of story within our lives, society, and civilization.

It’s the bedrock anxiety of the human condition. If you stare too long, you’ll probably break down and cry. 

The first Kerouac book I read. A beautiful novella, a portrait of a woman, a transient love. This was my introduction to spontaneous prose. I’d never read writing like this before.

An amazing testament to the will of the human spirit. 

Want to know How To Dad Badly?

Read this.

Beautifully written and bravely honest, Wayward is an eye-opening memoir I connected with in surprising ways. It’s a compelling read for anyone who has left The Fold

One of my favorite writers had a tragic, fatherless childhood and the wounds, the scars, fucked him up. He found comfort in Christian Spirituality, which is an interesting twist in itself. Miller writes with honesty and vulnerability and his story is something all men who grew up without a dad can relate to.

“Mothers don’t father and fathers don’t mother.” Fathers have always parented differently than mothers. In Fatherneed, Dr. Pruett shows why that difference is so important to a child’s physical, cognitive, and emotional development.

I needed this book when I was seventeen.

I had a lot of similar experiences as the author did growing up in a religious household, so much of this book felt familiar.

The best book on the craft, period.

A gold mine. I wish I read this before I ever started writing my own.

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