Thursday, April 29, 2010

Your Suggestions Needed for a Truly Masculine Book

A book club leader from London contacted me asking for recommendations for a "real" masculine book. Here is the message from Bella:
I run a book club in London and although we have nearly 30 members only 3 are male!

After reading 'Sacred Hearts' by Sarah Dunant, which the author suggests has no male characters (although there are 2 men in it!), we decided that we would like to choose the definitive 'male' book as a future choice. Not any easy ask!

We had a lively conversation and decided to mull it over until our May meeting.
I have just started a club blog and have posed this very question.

I wondered if you or any of your subscribers at masculineheart.blogspot could help us with this!

There is a link from my website to the blog and I wondered if anyone could post some thoughts tat we could share with the group.
I would love to collect some suggestions here and send them to her. So how about it guys -

What are the best male books you have read?

Please add your choices to the comments and I will pass them on to Bella and do a post here with the one(s) that come up most often.


Anonymous said...

This might have something. The founder was recently in the LA times

Jean Rivard said...

Deliverance, by James Dickey (one of the few books where the movie and book are equally excellent, maybe because Dickey also wrote the screenplay.)

C.S. Sloan said...

Best male book ever? Easy, that would be Larry McMurtry's magnum opus "Lonesome Dove". A book that's not afraid to tell men: It's not what you do in life that's important, it's how you live your life. (And it's probably not read by enough people because it's a western.) Oh, and it also has the two best male characters in ANY novel: Augustus McCrae and Woodrow Call.

Runner ups after that:
The Brothers Karamazov (And anything by Dostoevsky could be considered a good "man" book.)

Wizard's First Rule (The best "fantasy" novel about what it means to be a man AND live by a code of conduct.)

Love in the Time of Cholera (Written by THE manliest writer still living: Gabriel Garcia Marquez.)

WH said...

Thanks - those are some excellent suggestions. I'm a huge Dostoevsky fan.


chrisc said...

Can't go wrong with Cormac McCarthy. Literary AND masculine. I like that Chuck Palahniuk wrestles with the idea of masculinity in almost all of his work, though most people only know him by Fight Club.

I have found the Patrick O'Brian Aubrey/Maturin series to have some of the most insightful observations of the male mind of any I've ever read, all written with very Jane Austen-like prose. And Thom Jones' collection The Pugilist At Rest is really quite brilliant.

Last but not least, Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik is a beautiful memoir about raising a boy in today's interconnected world.

WH said...

Thanks Chris,

I had forgotten about Palahniuk, good suggestion. And I quite liked the Thom Jones collection when I read it way back.

Good choices!