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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.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom