Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Father's Day Books for That Endangered Species: the Male Reader

I've been gloating inwardly lately. Because my now 14YO boy, who hadn't picked up a book that was not school-assigned in at least a month, finally got desperate enough to read something I'd downloaded to his Kindle.

Yeah, baby! One of the all-time greats. The pic above is from the abridged paperback copy I had in my library since high school, all the while never noticing it was abridged, until my book club tackled the Count and everyone complained at its length. Whoa. And the real book is indeed long. My boy complained more than once that, "I read thirty pages, and I'm still at 5%!"

If you've never read The Count of Monte Cristo, put it on your bucket list. There's love, false imprisonment, prison escape, revenge--everything a reader could want! There are even unfaithful movie adaptations to be annoyed by afterward. I'm planning to re-read this one so I can have a casual book club with the boy, without him even realizing it.

Why do I bring all this up? Because men read less than women. I have no idea what's going on with their half of the species, but men now go to college less and read less than women. In another couple generations, they might be drooling troglodytes, if we don't do something about it.

So buy a book for a man in your life this Father's Day, and then wheedle and hound and guilt him into reading it. Make promises. Keep that brain of his chugging along. If you hate my suggestions, The Millions makes others, including books I've also recommended in other posts.

For the golf-loving dad:

This delightful collection of interconnected short stories appeals even to those who know nothing about golf (i.e., me)--I can only imagine how fun golfers would find it. Covering the history and a colorful cast of characters from a small New England golf course, this read captures all the humor, humiliation, and highs of the addictive, maddening game.

Apparently men read more nonfiction than fiction (see article link above), so if even golf won't make your pop read fiction, try the next few suggestions...

For the history buff dad:

I'd given my hubby The Killer Angels for Christmas, and this is a perfect companion volume. Who knew all the connections between George Washington and Robert E. Lee?

For the dad who would rather watch TV:

This book reads like a long stand-up routine because it's written by a stand-up comedian. All about his love-love relationship with food. Very funny.

For the dad showing a renewed interest in the arts:

A very fun little book--perfect for the man who wants to better himself in short stints. Like in the bathroom. Forsyth takes rhetorical devices and shows how they've been used to advantage in literature. But all in a very accessible, you-heard-it-on-the-radio kind of way.

If none of these appeal to you (or to the man in mind), check back on my lists of Best Books. (By that I mean use the search function for the label "Best Books.") There's a book for every reader, so let's get our men reading while they still can sound out the words!

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