First, a note on the title. As one of my close guy friends told me:
“If you’re writing for guys, just make it simple. Don’t cutesy it up, or make the title intricate and clever. ‘Books for Men’ – I’m a guy, I read, I’ll click on that.”
Personally, I enjoy thinking of creative and unique titles for my posts. It’s a fun little line to catch your attention and hopefully tell you something about the content. For this post I resisted that urge. So in the interest of making this post male-friendly, here you go — no cute/witty/elaborate stuff, just an informative and concise title to introduce a list of decidedly non-frilly, masculine and/or gender neutral books that can appeal to anyone interested in a good read.
It has come to my attention that our blog shares a lot of female friendly books, romantic love stories, and sensitive feeling etc … Its a book blog by three girlfriends, of course its going to be dripping with feminism and “chick-lit” worthy novels. But men enjoy reading as well, so if you’re a guy, or you’re sick of chick-lit, or maybe you love it, but you’re christmas shopping for someone this season who doesn’t want to read Eat, Pray, Love, this is the list for you!
- The Art Of Racing In The Rain By Garth Stein – Set in Seattle, this is the story of one family as told by their pet golden retriever Enzo. Aside from the fact that its a wonderful story of family, sacrifice, and honesty (it’s told by a golden retriever after all), it also taught me everything I know about the competitive world of racing cars.
- Water For Elephants By Sara Gruen – Have you ever wanted to run away with the circus? After a family tragedy leaves him with nothing, Jacob Jankowski leaves Cornell University to join the circus. Gruen shows a unique picture of the lives of circus performers inside and out of the big ring, and what happens after the show is over. Fun Fact: This novel is a product of the National Novel Writing Month, more affectionately known as NaNoWriMo, a project in which each year writers start November 1st with the goal of achieving a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 p.m. on November 30.
- The Island Of The Sequined Love Nun By Christopher Moore – All of Moore’s novels are hilarious, although somewhat PG13/R rated at times. He specializes in “Absurdist Fiction” where anything and everything can and does happen. The Island Of The Sequined Love Nun, follows Tucker Case, a pilot for a cosmetics company and general lifetime screw-up, on an adventure into the South Pacific. He is fired and cast adrift after his latest bad idea leaves him unemployed and essentially banished from returning to United States, let alone from ever flying again. Other great Moore novels include Fluke, Lamb, and Bite Me.
- The Alchemist By Paulo Coelho – Is the story of a poor shepherd who follows his dream of treasure through the deserts of Africa to Egypt. Along his journey he learns a lot more about himself and his dreams than expected. An inspiring novel on knowing one’s self and learning to prioritize what is truly valuable in life.
- Cat’s Cradle By Kurt Vonnegut – Like all Vonnegut novels, this one is a dark satire of society, more specifically the arms race from the 1960s. It questions science and technological responsibility through the story of one man, attempting to write a documentary on the day the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Fun Fact: After having his original thesis denied, the University of Chicago awarded Vonnegut his masters in anthropology for this book.
- The Call of Cthulhu By H.P. Lovecraft – Published nearly a century ago (1928), The Call of Cthulhu is a short but complicated read full of all the horror and death that we know and expect when discussing Lovecraft’s work. It is told through a series of letters found in the manuscript of our narrator’s, Francis Wayland Thurston’s, great uncle. Which he receives upon the sudden death of his uncle after an encounter with a mysterious sea creature. After reading the encounter, Thurston, obsessed with the mystery, determines he will go out to find the whole story behind this chilling tale.
- Ender’s Game By Orson Scott Card – In a world where the human race depends on our ability to outsmart and out-strategize the coming second invasion of alien Buggers, our only hope is to prepare the next generation for their war in the future. Ender is one of many extraordinary children selected for military training in space by the International Fleet to protect humanity. Does he have the stamina, courage and intelligence required to lead our last effort against the Buggers?
- Hatchet By Gary Paulsen – Brian is flying to visit his Dad when he is involved in a plane crash that kills the pilot, and leaves him stranded alone in the Canadian wilderness with one tool, a hatchet. With his chances of rescue dwindling, Brian must learn to survive on his own. I first read this book in middle school for an assignment, and it made such a lasting impression on me I still think of the challenges Brian faced and his strength through this story when I am faced with difficult times of my own.
- An Abundance Of Katherines By John Green – I have yet to read a John Green novel that I didn’t absolutely love. I picked An Abundance Of Katherines specifically for this list because I loved the fun “bromance” friendship between the protagonist Colin Singleton and his sidekick and only friend Hassan Harbish. Colin has dreamt of making a difference in the world ever since he was a young child prodigy. Now that he has graduated high school and his girlfriend, Katherine XIX, (the nineteenth Katherine he’s dated over his lifetime) has dumped him, Colin has lost his direction and hopes of becoming a genius one day. So Hassan steps in, like any best friend would, to snap Colin out of it with a summer road-trip adventure!