A Masonic book club is a great way for your lodge to strengthen bonds between Brothers, while also learning more about Masonic teachings and history. As both a social and an educational event, a book club gathering is the perfect event to add to your lodge’s calendar.

If you’re looking for some inspiration for your next book to read, we’ve put together a list of our top ten picks, spanning classic Masonic texts, history and biographies, and even fiction. There’s something here for every Brother’s taste, so the main challenge will be deciding which one to read first!

The Lost Keys of Freemasonry by Manly P. Hall

The Lost Keys of Freemasonry by Manly P. Hall A classic Masonic book, The Lost Keys of Freemasonry is a great book club pick for Brothers who have not yet read it. Bro. Hall writes about the history and the spiritual side of the Craft, as well as the ethical training and character traits that a Mason builds within himself on his journey toward more light. If you’re looking for a deeper understanding of the teachings from the three Blue Lodge degrees, Hall provides some useful insights that can help you progress on your own Masonic journey.

Crown of Serpents by Michael Karpovage

The Meaning of Masonry by W. L. Wilmshurst If you’re looking to dig deeper into the philosophy and teachings of Freemasonry, Bro. Wilmshurst’s classic is a great place to start. He explores the meaning and symbolism that underlie the Masonic rites, ceremonies, lodges, jewels, and more. If you’re ready to delve deeper into your Masonic education and journey of self-discovery, The Meaning of Masonry will be a useful resource, especially if you pair it with an in-depth discussion among Brothers.

A Pilgrim’s Path: Freemasonry and the Religious Right by John J. Robinson The world at large has not always understood Freemasonry. In this book, Robinson strives to correct the misperceptions and anti-Masonic attacks that have been leveled at Freemasonry over the years. Although Robinson was not a Freemason himself, his outsider’s perspective provides a balanced defense of Freemasonry, as well as some useful ideas for how to promote a positive image of Masonic values in the world.

Sworn in Secret: Freemasonry and the Knights Templar by Sanford Holst If you’ve ever wondered about the possible connection between the Knights Templar and Freemasonry, Sworn in Secret delves deep into history to find the missing links. The origins of our Brotherhood may not be entirely clear, but Bro. Holst makes a strong case for Freemasons having descended from the Knights Templar. Whether you agree with his conclusion or not, this book provides a great basis for a book club discussion.

The Craft Driven Lodge by Daniel D. Hrinko

The Better Angels of Our Nature: Freemasonry in the American Civil War by Michael A. Halleran History buffs will appreciate the chance to learn more about the role of Freemasonry during the turbulent time period of the American Civil War. Bro. Halleran’s in-depth study tells the stories of Masons on both sides of the war and how they fulfilled their Masonic obligation to care for one another -- even across enemy lines. This well-researched book explores how the fraternal bond can transcend extreme circumstances to unite Brothers.

G. Washington: Master Mason by Allen E. Roberts If you’re looking for insight into the lives of famous Freemasons, there’s no better place to start than with the life of Bro. George Washington. Bro. Roberts illuminates Washington’s life, his influences, and what his peers thought of him, based on research of hundreds letters and texts. Washington’s original writings are also peppered throughout, telling his story in his own words. You are sure to learn something new about Washington by reading this biography!

The Craft Driven Lodge by Daniel D. Hrinko Whether you’re an officer or you just want to get more involved with your lodge, The Craft Driven Lodge is sure to give you some inspiration for making your lodge the best it can be. Bro. Hrinko’s approach empowers Masons to reflect on their interests and resources, and then use that self-reflection to determine how to operate a lodge that provides fulfilling experiences for members. Your book club discussion can include some brainstorming for how to apply your learnings to your own lodge.

Reclaiming the Soul of Freemasonry by John Wm. McNaughton In 2016, the Scottish Rite conducted the most comprehensive, data-driven analysis of the Scottish Rite and Freemasonry in over 20 years. Here, Former Sovereign Grand Commander John Wm. McNaughton, 33°, outlines the results of this study. Based on the learnings from this research, Reclaiming the Soul of Freemasonry also highlights the path forward for the fraternity to flourish in the 21st century and beyond. If you’re interested in the state of modern Freemasonry, this book will definitely provide inspiration for how to embody the ideals of Freemasonry in today’s society. Plus, all proceeds from the book go to the Scottish Rite’s Grand Almoner’s Fund, so your book club pick will also help Freemasons, their widows, and their families.

Understanding Manhood in America: Freemasonry’s Enduring Path to the Mature Masculine by Robert G. Davis What does it mean to be a good man in America today? In Understanding Manhood in America, Bro. Davis explores topics of masculinity and maturity in the context of Freemasonry and Fraternalism. As Masons, we strive to become the best men we can be, so this book is sure to spark interesting discussions about how to be a good Brother, husband, father, and role model for other men in our lives.

Crown of Serpents by Michael Karpovage Finally, if you’re looking for a change of pace from non-fiction Masonic books, consider reading the mystery thriller Crown of Serpents by Bro. Michael Karpovage. Main character Jack Tununda is a field historian, combat vet, and Freemason who deciphers cryptic Masonic passages from an American Revolutionary War officer’s journal. Based on the journal’s clues, Tununda embarks on a fast-paced adventure to find--and protect--an ancient shaman’s crown. Based on historical research, Crown of Serpents is an exciting read that will also give you some insight into Revolutionary War era Freemasonry.

Once you’ve chosen a book, you can look forward to engaging with the text on your own, sharing your thoughts during the book club meeting, and learning from your Brothers’ varied perspectives. And if your lodge book club is a success, you can start thinking about which book to read for your next meeting! (If you're interested in the origins of the Scottish Rite and its rituals, might we suggest The 1783 Francken Manuscript?)

Does your lodge have a book club? We would love to hear about it! Please contact us and send us a short blurb and pictures from a recent book club meeting – you just might be featured on the SRNMJ blog. Send your information to [email protected].