Of all the emblems of masculinity in pop culture, one of the most enduring also happens to be one of our favorite writers: the big game hunting, gruff talking, bullfighting enthusiast war hero, Ernest Hemingway. Today being the 113th anniversary of the author’s birth, we decided to honor him with a little list of books that might help you live up to the Hemingway memory by putting a little hair on your chest — totally metaphoric hair, that is (well, probably). Click through to see our reading list for tough guys and gals of all persuasions, and let us know which books you’d add in the comments.
The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner: 14 Colors of Hair
The Sound and the Fury is widely considered to be one of Faulkner’s most difficult works — not least because it’s filled with multiple perspectives and time periods that shift with very little indication, so many that Faulkner originally imagined it as being printed in fourteen different colors to make the whole thing easier to parse. “I’ll just have to save the idea until publishing grows up,” he said. Luckily for us, publishing has grown up enough to make an edition like that possible — but we still think everyone should read it in black first. That was the metaphorical chest hair can have all the colors.