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For eternity, books and the authors that write them have helped shape society and inspire the people that have changed this world. Even today, books go a long way in helping form our outlook on love, success, courage..anything, really. I attempted to make a list of 5 books that every guy should read before turning 30. Allow yourself to learn from these books and the great minds behind them.

An Unfinished Life by Robert Dallek

Enjoy Dallek’s extensive look into both the political and personal life of John F. Kennedy. At a time where real political leaders are few and far in between, this is a look back to a man that stood up for what he believed, no matter the political implications.

Say what you will about the personal choices of JFK, the man was a visionary that changed the course of America’s future.

On the Beach by Nevil Shute

Published in 1957, Shute writes a post-apocalyptic novel based in post-WW3 Australia. As the fatal remnants of the nuclear fallout descend upon the southern hemisphere, Shute dives into the psyche of the ill-destined characters. Throughout, the characters are determined to live out their final days with their beloved, doing things they truly enjoy.

Shute lays the groundwork for asking the question: If I knew I only had a couple days to live, what would I do and who would I want to do it with?

On the Road by Jack Kerouac

On the Road is an in depth look into the postwar, drug-inspired Beat Generation. Kerouac writes of his numerous cross-country excursions with friends, acquaintances and strangers.

After reading this, I challenge you to not want to buy a beat up Chevy and set out for the opposite coast.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Set on the East Coast during the 1920’s, Fitzgerald paints the picture of upper class life at the time, while focusing on the perplexing, yet intense relationship between Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan.

To its core, The Great Gatsby is a reflection of American society as a whole.

Walden by Henry David Thoreau

In the novel, Thoreau drops everything and lives in a secluded cabin for 2 years growing personally through introspection and self-reliance.

If you’ve ever been overwhelmed by the pace and stress of everyday life and wanted to leave it all behind, Thoreau’s Walden is for you.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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