Books for Men

Ladies and Gentleman,

Today marks an epic event in the history of literary critique. I’m talking massive here. Bigger than Godzilla, King Kong, Mt. Everest and Chuck Norris combined (Well, maybe not Chuck Norris. There’s nothing bigger than Chuck Norris). All exaggeration and un-deserved hyperbole aside, I do have some reasonably noteworthy news. Starting next week I’m adding a new type of post to my blog; the post will be titled: Books for Men.

Now, I know what you’re probably thinking: I’m a woman. Why do I care? It’s true, most of my readers are women. But that’s the problem too. Most of everyone’s readers are women. Women make up 80% of the readership in America and similar statistics have been found in other English speaking nations as well (Don’t believe me? Just Google search “Why men don’t read”)

Please, don’t get me wrong. I love y’all. In fact, I’ve always loved women. In college I actually minored in Women and Gender Studies (Only guy in the program), so it goes without saying that  I wouldn’t trade you for your male counterparts, I wouldn’t trade you for the world. My point is this: I would like to get more men into books, good books. I’d like to get men back into literary discussions, back into the world of fiction.

Big goal right? Well, I’m realistic. We’re starting small here. Every other week, on Sunday, I’ll post a review of a book that I think both men and women can enjoy, enjoy together perhaps.

So, what’s the criteria? War books, gore, and zombies? Not quite. Men who read tend to stick to two specific genres: biography and history. Men tend to stay away from books that are character based, books that require the reader to deal with emotions.  A man also likes to feel that the book he is reading holds some type of importance.  Cool, so what does that leave us with? Well, we need fictional books that are biographical, historical and important. So, we need books that are focused more on allegory and symbolism, politics and philosophy and less on character. We need books that have passed the test of time, reached the heights of the literary canon; we need “classics”. Not old boring classics though. Let’s stick to the twentieth century.

We need books comparable to Lord of the Flies, Brave New World, 1984, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Foundation, Things Fall Apart. Yea, that’s what we need. Books you can hand to the man in your life, whether he be a husband or boyfriend or son or father. Books that you might read along with him (That’s what my wife and I do. Kinda dorky I know. But it really brings is together. We’re currently reading Slaves of Solitude. Not manly at all. But it really sounds good when you read it out loud). Or if you happen to be one of the few men reading this, maybe these suggestions will give you ideas for new authors to read.

Check me out next week for my review of Alduos Huxley’s Ape and Essence. It’s a great read. It’s a “Book for Men.”

 

(One final note. I realize that all readers have individual tastes. It can not be said that all men, or all women are going to read a specific type of book. There are women who like allegory, there are men who like Jane Austen. I hope I didn’t offend anyone. If I did, I’m sorry)

 

Hope you check out the post next week. let me know what you think by commenting below!

Oh, and one other thing. All four novels in the series are still on sale. They are priced between 2.99 and 3.99. Great for all genders. Check out these links if you’re interested:

 

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THANKS!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

About Eric James-Olson

Eric James-Olson writes novels and short stories. Currently, he's working on a coming-of-age novel set in the Panhandle of West-Virginia. Check out the "Novels by Eric James-Olson" tab above for the titles of his other books. In addition to writing, James-Olson is a high school English teacher, an amateur woodworker, and an outdoor enthusiast. He lives with his wife and daughter in West Virginia. View all posts by Eric James-Olson

5 responses to “Books for Men

  • allthoughtswork

    Hell, I’d just like to find more men on WordPress. Every time I see a snarky, clever post title and I scroll down to find yet another female face in the avatar photo, I sigh. And often, I don’t read it. Because so few of them are destroying the old gender stereotypes in here. Sigh. If I could invent a radar detector that spotted mommy blog rants three clicks away…

    When you ask anything under 35 if he reads these days, you have to quickly blurt “And graphic novels don’t count” before you give him a chance to reply. It’s startling and painful to learn how many dudes think two sentences in a thought bubble constitute plot development. I’d like to see the stats on the eroding books-to-movies ratio. Wait a minute, no, I don’t. Never mind.

    Fuck, I need cheering up now. Autumn. Vodka. Cats purring. Trapezoids glistening with post-work out sweat. Okay, I’m good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Eric James-Olson

      Thanks for the comment; I feel your pain. I hope this turns out to be a place where both men and women can talk about good books, real literature.

      Like

      • allthoughtswork

        Thanks for being part of the solution! Ha. ha!

        Like

      • Eric James-Olson

        Good video. Definitely shows one of the major deficiencies in English classrooms over the past century: the complete lack of protagonists who were not white and were not male.

        I’d like to think that progress has been made. At least when I went through teacher education, about 7 years ago now, there was heavy emphasis on choosing literature representing a broader range of experiences, nationalities, genders, races, socio-economic classes, etc. Further, school systems have made this a requirement within curriculums for years, mostly through text book selection. The Common Core, I’m sure you’ve heard of it, is taking this an additional step forward. It requires teachers to put works from different times, places, nations, etc. “in conversation” with each other. Some good shit if you ask me. I’ve been doing it for a couple years now and the students like it too.

        As far as this blog goes, I hope the literature dubbed as “manly” includes much more than old white man classics. And with the conditions I set above, that’s possible. We’re looking at fiction that is historical, biographical, allegorical, and symbolic, fiction that is centered on milieu and plot, not character.

        Thanks again for your comments! Hope to keep hearing from you!

        Like

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