Lifelong learning is an integral part of a man’s journey in Freemasonry. The quest to become the best a man can be is fueled by continuous exploration, curiosity, and, of course, reading. While we often revisit historical writings and earlier pieces of Masonic literature in our degree conferrals and in the lodge or Valley, there’s much to be gained from more modern interpretations, discussions, and research of Freemasonry.

As we savor the last few weeks of summer and prepare for the season ahead, why not add a contemporary Masonic novel to your reading list? Whether you’re looking to indulge in historical fodder, find greater meaning in the craft, or you need a new idea for your lodge’s book club, check out the list below for our top five recommendations:

1. The Renaissance of Freemasonry: The Revival of Speculative Masonry in Modern America by David L. Brunelle

Raved as “required reading for old and new Brothers in the craft,” Brother Brunelle’s work is an insightful and introspective novel on what Freemasonry was, is now, and is becoming. Brunelle, in exploring the history, allegorical writings, and practices of Freemasonry, offers solemn contemplation of the topics addressed, encouraging his readers to reassess their own perception and beliefs of the fraternity - a requirement, he argues, necessary to recreate a period of Masonic Renaissance first seen in the 18th century. For those looking to ponder and reflect on their Masonic journey further, this book is for you.

2. Nobly Born by Stephen Dafoe

Whether you’re well versed on the Knights of Templar or have been newly initiated into the craft, Brother Stephen Dafoe offers a comprehensive, accurate, and fresh examination of the world’s earliest “warrior-monks,” as Dafoe refers to the group. In great detail, Brother Dafoe explores what is truly known about the Templars from the perspective only a true historian could decipher. With his trusted background in Masonic history, having had several pieces of work published in The Scottish Rite Journal, Templar History Magazine, Masonic Magazine, among many others, readers can enjoy, with great accuracy, learning more about the history of the Knights of Templar.

3. All Men Free and Brethren: Essays on the History of African American Freemasonry by Stephen Kantrowitz

Get your reading glasses ready for this next book; it’s a dense but “superbly written” read on the formation, history, and significance today of Prince Hall Freemasonry. All Men Free and Brethren is the first in-depth historical consideration of its kind, examining not just the accounts and writings of Prince Hall lodges and Masons themselves, but broader themes in African-American history that Freemasonry has played a role in along the way. Complete with a glossary of Masonic terms, lists of archival depositories, and much more, History Professor Stephen Kantrowitz’ book is the perfect reading for “Anyone interested in how African American Freemasonry links to the main narratives on abolition, emancipation, and Reconstruction.”

4. The Working Tools of Leadership: Applying the Teachings of Freemasonry by Michael Kurcab

With so many lessons in the craft to be inspired by and learn from, new and veteran members alike can feel overwhelmed by how to begin applying the teachings of Freemasonry to one’s own life. In The Working Tools of Leadership, Brother Kurcab discusses leadership development at home, work, the lodge, and beyond through the symbolism found in the “working tools” of the craft. Written through the lens of Kurcab’s personal experience in the fraternity, the book combines practical tips for applying the rituals and philosophies of the craft with an interactive workbook sure to set current and aspiring leaders on a path towards greater enlightenment and success.

5. Lodge Leadership: A Five Step Guide to Masonic Reform by Matt Nelson

Are you a Mason looking to make the most of our ancient fraternity? Then look no further than Brother Nelson’s five-step program designed to help any and every Mason become an exceptional leader in and outside the lodge or Valley. The nonfiction book dives into topics ranging from mentorship and biases to ritual and scripture for the purpose of helping men unify and inspire brethren and, ultimately, grow our beloved brotherhood. If you’re a long-time member or have ever asked yourself “Now what?”, add this book to your shopping cart.

Looking for more Masonic books? Check out our other list of recommended Masonic reading or read up on the origins of Scottish Rite rituals with The 1783 Francken Manuscript.