15 Must Read Books Where the Main Character Is a Master of Their Own Craft | Iris Reading
15 Must Read Books Where the Main Character Is a Master of Their Own Craft

15 Must Read Books Where the Main Character Is a Master of Their Own Craft

15 Must Read Books Where the Main Character Is a Master of Their Own Craft

Some people travel to witness countless tales and stories in each land. Others simply read books. 

Books are incredible at widening one’s horizons and teaching important life lessons you cannot learn anywhere else. They play a pivotal role in the academic years of a student, but even after you have graduated or finished your studies, books can be your best friends forever.

However, not all books touch every reader’s heart. Only some with a solid main character, an epitome of charisma, influence, and power, make it to the list of top must-read books with an unforgettable main character.

If you are looking for some inspiration through book characters that are unmatched in their resilience, here is a list of 15 books packed with motivation and a powerful storyline.

1. The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks

Set in an alternate world, the Player of Games is the second book from the Culture series. The story takes place in a machine society that holds many games throughout the galaxy. The main character is a seasoned game player, undefeated yet unsatisfied with his achievements.

He comes to know of a society that has the most ruthless of games and decides to give it a try. Being a master at his craft, he takes on the challenge head-on and goes through several obstacles with his strategy, skills, and resilience.

Get it here.

2. Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson

Who doesn’t know the artistic genius Leonardo da Vinci? Walter Isaacson’s phenomenal writing and his extensive drawings bring the maestro back to life with this spectacular biography.

Walter not only painted da Vinci as the greatest artist in the history of humankind but also included several of his scientific geniuses that paved the way for future physical, mathematical, and medical advancements. 

The best thing about this book is that it depicts da Vinci as a man who was purely an artist at heart, and his scientific findings were a by-product of his talent.

Get it here.

3. Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa

The classic Japanese Musashi is a tale about the legendary samurai Miyamoto Musashi. Japan’s greatest swordsman faces several conflicts, betrayals, love, revenge, and moments of purity but remains truthful to the samurai tradition.

The book is an excellent depiction of the Japanese culture, full of their native themes, life occurrences, and storytelling. Reading it feels exquisite for American readers.

Reading a book and understanding all it aims to deliver are two different things. Learn more about reading comprehension here.

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4. The Sarantine Mosaic by Guy Gavriel Kay

This is a series of books, The Sailing to Sarantium and Lord of Emperors, both set in a Byzantine-like empire called the Sarantium. It is a holy city, home to talented poets, artists, and the world’s most creative folks.

The first book documents the main character’s journey from his hometown to Sarantium. He is a world-renowned mosaicist but must overcome the mysteries and pagan rituals he encounters on his way. 

The second book concludes his journey but is met with the allure and turmoil of the fabled city. A physician also makes his way to Sacrantium and fights a war of his own against the city’s deadly spell.

Get it here.

5. Tools of Titans by Timothy Ferriss


Self-help and motivational books are always a sure-shot way to boost productivity. The Tools of Titans is one such book that features interviews with numerous “titans,” professionals in their field.

Learn life experiences of the most coveted celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Foxx and read the page-turning stories of biochemists operating in the black markets. This book is full of exciting encounters with people you can look up to when you feel down in your life.

Get it here.

6. Perfume by Patrick Süskind

Perfume: The Story of A Murderer is originally a German fantasy novel, but its powerful story has also been translated into multiple languages. The story revolves around a talented perfumer born with the gift of a powerful sense of smell.

The leading character apprentices with a world-renowned perfumer and learns the art of mixing oils and herbs, but his thirst for greatness does not quench. He captures the smell of the slums of Paris, wood, brass, and several other objects until his mind sets itself on creating the “ultimate”’ perfume – the scent of a beautiful virgin.

Get it here.

7. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle 

Solve crimes and uncover mysteries with the world’s most genius detective Sherlock Holmes and his side-kick and best friend, Dr. Watson. The perfect combination of corruption, forensic science, strategy, and intelligence, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes has gone down the history as a legend.

The short stories proved fate-changing for their author and the magazine that first published them. The genius of the main character has inspired television series and movies and has become one of the most famous book characters to date.

Get it here.

8. Fighters Mind by Sam Sheridan

Sam Sheridan takes his readers within the ropes with his sensational story of a professional fighter. The main character goes under relentless training from Bangkok to Rio to Iowa to emerge as a world-class fighter.

The story uncovers the challenges a fighter’s mind faces to stand up against the toughest in all MMA. How do fighters think? How do they overcome their fears? What goes into their mind when they land a head-smashing punch? Learn it all in the Fighters Mind.

Get it here.

9. Mastery: the Key to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment by George Leonard

A book about mastering an art from a master himself. George Leonard talks about his skillset in Aikido and how readers can learn important lessons from his experience and be a master of their craft.

The book revolves around how you can achieve excellence in all life matters once you master one skill. Braving a challenge is life-changing and can have loads of positive impacts on one’s lifestyle and mindset.

Have you ever found a book hard to read? Find out the reasons here.

Get it here.

10. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

This gruesome story of an investor and serial killer is bone-chilling and the most disturbing thing you will ever read.

Do you love suspense and thrillers? Then American Psycho is a must-read for you. The main character is a young, intelligent, handsome man who is also a psychopath. The story unfolds as he lives his life in our society that we all recognize but fail to own.

Get it here.

11.  The View from the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman

Gaiman is well-known for his fictional masterpieces, but The View from the Cheap Seats is his first non-fictional collection. The book covers his experiences in Hollywood at the 2010 Academy Awards.

He goes about his encounters with analytical, playful, and exquisite details. His meeting with America’s music, travel, and art world is often touching and eye-opening.

Get it here.

12. The Very Nice Box by Laura Blackett, Eve Gleichman

If you are a feminist and looking for some boss lady vibes, Laura Blackett and Eve Gleichman’s brainchild The Very Nice Box is a strong take on male entitlement and patriarchy. 

The main character is a hard-working, traumatized girl struggling to move on after her girlfriend is killed. She finds comfort in a newfound romance with her boss but soon finds out people are often not what we think they are.

In an array of suspenseful, thrilling, and comic events, the girl must find peace in her life and go over the circumstances with courage and strength of character.

Get it here.

13. Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis, E.L. Doctorow

Published in 1925, Arrowsmith may be the first novel based on science. It is an extraordinary tale of Sinclair’s father, who was a doctor. Hence the story imparts valuable wisdom regarding medical and health sciences.

The book revolves around complex concepts of immunology, drugs, and public health that will pave the future of medicine. It also documents the pursuits of famous practitioners and medical doctors who have gone down as legends in history.

Get it here.

14. The Martian by Andy Weir

A modern take on character strength and resilience, the Martian is a story of an astronaut, Mark, who is left behind by his team on Mars during an emergency take-off due to a sand storm. 

Mark has no contact with Earth, limited food and water, damaged machinery, and an alien environment. But with firm conviction and a desire to survive, Mark uses his engineering genius and skills to make it to Earth alive and well.

Get it here.

15. The Feather Thief by Kirk Wallace Johnson

Kirk Wallace Johnson stars as the main character in his stellar novel about crime, suspense, and justice as he sets out to uncover a rare bird specimen heist. 

A thief steals hundreds of dead birds’ skins from a museum, which are worth several years of research and a lot of money, and vanishes into darkness.

Two years later, the novel’s leading character becomes obsessed with the crime and bringing the criminal to justice. The rest of the story revolves around his search for clues and pursuit of the law.

Get it here.


Books are excellent sources of inspiration and motivation if you choose the right ones. Strong main characters who are masters of their craft instill a will to improve and a desire to achieve greatness.

The best way to acquire these traits is to read as many such books as possible. But for slow readers, it is easier said than done. That is why Iris Reading provides a speed reading tool and a course that helps readers gain maximum knowledge from books in minimum time.

So are you ready to be the master of your own life? But you will have to master the art of speed reading. Learn more about the course here and unlock your true potential.

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