Do REAL MEN join book clubs?

Do REAL MEN join book clubs?

real-menCheap shot, that title. I suspect there are a healthy number of men who do join book clubs — in fact I read about one just recently. 

The Second Monday Men’s Book Group in Melbourne, Florida, is featured in the Nov-Dec ’08 issue of Bookmarks magazine.  Funny story—before they formed their group, they thought they’d see if they could join one of their wives’ book clubs. Here’s what happened:

We brought it up.  They shot it down.  We’d change their dynamics by merely being present—and what would happen if we opened our mouths?

Which brings to mind the joke: If a man is alone in the forest and he speaks ... is he still wrong? Apparently so. Anyway, the guys decided to form their own club, now numbering around 7.

In an earlier post, I wondered what kind of books men read.  Well here’s how the Second Monday group weighs in:

Nonfiction

Tuxedo Park (radar)  |  Cadillac Desert (dam-building)  |  Soul of a New Machine (computers)  |  Jungle (meat packing)  |  Washington’s Crossing (history)  |  American Theocracy (politics)  |  Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman (physicist’s memoir)  |  Everglades, River of Grass (history)  |  West With the Night (female aviator’s memoir)  |  Why Americans Hate Politics (politics).  


Fiction

Amsterdam by Ian McEwan  |  Saturday by McEwan  |  Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brien  |  My Antonia by Willa Cather  |  Foundation by Isaac Asimov (sci-fi)  |  Maltese Falcom by Dashiell Hammett  |  Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler  |  Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon  |  Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky  |  The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.

Observations? 

  1. Heavy on non-fiction—50%. 
  2. Preponderance of male writers—80%. 
  3. Similar novel choices to female clubs—along with sci-fi (Asimov) and action-adventure /historical fiction (O'Brien).  

Question:  Is this a typical list for men’s book clubs—with 50% of the books nonfiction and 80% of the writers male?

Also, see So…Where Are the Guys? — an earlier post about men and book clubs.

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