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On the Shelf


On the heels of the Bond collection, we thought we’d take a closer look at the old Kempt bookshelf.

The Art of Manliness recently put up a list of the Essential Man’s Library, which seems like as good a place to start as any. After all, a well-stocked bookshelf is as vital as a well-cleaned floor if you’re trying to make an impression.

The 100 books range from middle-school English class fodder (*Lord of the Flies*, *To Kill a Mockingbird*) to dense philosophy (*The Republic*, *Beyond Good and Evil*), but there’s something oddly syllabus-like about it. After all, it would be nice to have something you’ll actually want to *read*.

To that end, we’d throw in picks like Larry McMurtry’s *All My Friends Are Going to be Strangers*, one of the best novels about post-adolescent drift, along with John Cheever’s *The World of Apples*, a handful of short story-length riffs on WASPy repression and class anxiety. And, naturally, more than a few toggle coats. And, of course, you’ll have to make room for Mr. Bond.

On the other hand, you could always just fill out your bookshelf by the foot.