Thursday, April 15, 2010

Guy Reads

According to a Harper's Index figure I read recently, 27% of Americans have not read a book in the past year. I mention this not as a cause for hand-wringing, but just as an interesting note. Until the last couple years, my own husband would have fallen into this 27%, since his brain is toast by the end of the day and we always had at least one child home on his day off. However, thanks to the miracle of children growing older and free public schooling, he now gets to indulge in some leisure reading. The guy has a PhD in English, after all, so this is a very good thing. Add to the child-free day off the fact that, after twenty-five-odd years of running every single day, his knees are giving out, and he has to work out on the elliptical, plus he's been traveling a lot, and you'll see why Scott has managed to get through several books in the last couple months. The guy will never have enough time to blog about it for you, however, so I thought he could guest-post on my Books and Beyond (only the guest post will be ghost-written by me).

So the rundown, in reverse chronological order:
  1.  LINCOLN: BIOGRAPHY OF A WRITER by Fred Kaplan. Scott found this so dry and dull that he was considering picking up something--anything-- in the airport bookstore instead. Seems like it would be thrilling for people who love history and Lincoln and language, but I also used it as a nap-aid.
  2. CITY OF THIEVES by David Benioff. (If these books start to sound familiar it's because I usually suggest to him books I enjoyed.) Total guy book. Reviewed it at Christmas, and sure enough, Scott loved it--great characters and "he does coming-of-age so well."
  3. THE LITTLEST DOUBTS by Christina Dudley. You read that right. Scott read the whole manuscript and said.....(drumroll)..."it's really hard to put down. You want to know what happens" and "it sparkles." (!!!) If he weren't my very own husband, I'd put that endorsement on the cover, but as it is, it would look rather suspect.
  4. PEACE LIKE A RIVER by Leif Enger. Another favorite from my book club. Coming of age, faith, road trip. This book has it all.
  5. THE ROAD by Cormac McCarthy. This book was unusual in that Scott read it first and recommended it to me. Father-son, lyrical, haunting, coming of age, etc. etc.
  6. DAVID COPPERFIELD by Charles Dickens. One of my favorite Dickens books (hence its inclusion in MBC), but Scott ranked it a little lower. Plus it took him a long old time to get through, and he kept forgetting who people were.
Anyone have some other good guy reads? My stepfather loves WWII history books...anyone else?


  1. The ONLY books Rob has ever read for pleasure in the 25 years I have known him are the Harry Potter series and Orson Scott Card's Ender series. Period. I love him anyway!

  2. I do not think City of Thieves is a total guy book. I read it last winter and loved it. I had participated in the Music Ministry and one Russia Short Term Mission Trip. It was easy to visualize the places in the book. As we were driving out of St. P., the translator/guide showed us where the German line was. Chillingly near to beautiful St. Petersburg.

  3. Nancy, by "guy book" I mean there is at least one reference to peeing and one to masturbation. I didn't mean women can't love guy books (I, for one, do). Thanks for your comment! How fun to see the setting. Did you read THE MADONNAS OF LENINGRAD? I'm sure you did, since you know Bev.

  4. Yes. I loved MADONNAS. While reading it,I often had the weird feeling I was having a chat with dear Bev. Funny how her voice came through Deb's writing. How does that strike you as an author?! We really do become our MOTHERS!!!