As part of the May 2009 issue, Esquire published multiple pieces around the topic of "How to Be a Man"... with two that stood out as particularly interesting.
The first was an extremely well written and compelling essay by Tom Chiarella titled "What is a Man?". I suppose some of the points he makes you could quibble with and I'm sure you could add others, but all in all... it's definitely worth the short read.
The second can't really qualify as being well written as it's more of a list with pictures. The slideshow titled "Things Every Man Should Own" has 30-some items that Esquire feels a man shouldn't be without. Similar to the Chiarella piece, there's probably other needed things not on the list, but... I don't know that someone would be the worse for it by having each of these things along with a competency of how to use.
Also from this issue of Esquire was mention of a few different books to read...
- "The Corrections" by Jonathan Franzen. Having begun and not yet finished (but, someday I will), I can say that it falls into that category of "writing so good it makes you feel you can't write".
- "Empire Falls" and "Bridge of Sighs" by Richard Russo. Similar to my above statement, I've had the change to read Russo's "Straight Man" and found Russo to be both an excellent writer and storyteller.
- "A Fraction of the Whole" by Steve Toltz. Whereas the books above by Franzen and Russo were recommended by Esquire readers, Toltz's book was actually highly trumpeted by Tom Chiarella in a Feb 2008 review. High praise indeed from Chiarella...