Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. I thought this would be a fun way to share a condensed version of potential rambles and thoughts that I have.
This Week’s Theme:
Top Ten Book Considerations
For Guys Who ‘Don’t Read’
You hear it so often that “guys don’t read”, or if they do, you seldom hear about them raving about the feels for a particular narrative element. I am on the belief that like all other forms of entertainment, reading is an acquired taste; so much that a potential reader just needs to find the right book which suits them. But you’ll probably wonder where certain genres are at when you go through this list. Well, aside from those classy classics of historical fiction and straight-up literary fiction, the basis of books included is what I would normally gravitate towards. So maybe I’m a shitty sample size to consider and inherently make some harsh generalizations as to what I think guys would normally buy into. If your guy-acquaintance or companion ends up hating said book because this random kid on the Internet said it was worth reading then I’m kind of sorry (but not really sorry at all) because at least they tried..and that just means you and I have been successful in making them read.
Do note that this is the intent of this listing, to focus on books I think you could recommend to the male species that you may know (seeing that most of my readers are of the female kind) mainly focusing on the age range being between 10-30. I also haven’t read all of these so maybe my superficial judgment is meaningless after all. I have also provided you some lead-in’s for your eventual conversation with said acquaintance–and they are winning statements. Yes, 100%, you should try them. (Disclaimer: I take no responsibility if it doesn’t work)
Ernest Cline – Ready Player One
The lead-in: Hey I bought you a new game (re: this book) for [insert console name]!
Pretty sure you don’t have to be a video game enthusiast to enjoy this (but it might help). My first foray into something similar was with the manga/anime Sword Art Online. I think the whole vicarious experience in living/playing a massively multiplayer online role-playing game is pretty on-point with a large gaming fan base.
Issac Marion – Warm Bodies
The lead-in: Remember that time during dinner when we talked about survivalist strategies if Zombies were a thing?
So it’s a satirical zombie-fied Romeo and Juliet. Okay… but there are zombies, right? Yes, there are zombies. Okay, cool. I found it to be witty and humourous. But then again I only read half of it before I went to see the film adaptation. But Maberry’s Benny Imura might be okay as well.
Brandon Sanderson – Steelheart
The lead-in: Blink’s powers in X-Men: Days of Future Past was pretty sick, right?
Superheroes, except not. It’s basically a comic book in straight-up text form.
Patrick Ness – The Knife of Never Letting Go
The lead-in: Wouldn’t it be cool to be able to read minds?
Uh, yes, please read the first page and then proceed to become engrossed in the trilogy. I’ve heard the series gets better with each instalment…so I am quite excited. Although I am not excited that my first book is the old cover and book #2 is the reissue.
Joseph Heller – Catch-22
The lead-in: Hey, what’s a Catch-22?
So I figured I needed something that wasn’t so fantastical or science-fictional or just my typical reads. Here is a read that is a tad challenging but seems grossly rewarding by the end of it all. Though, I’m not sure there’s a middle ground to enjoying this book. I think you’d either love or hate it. But I guess you could just Sparknotes it all (like you might have done in high school).
George Orwell – 1984
Maybe they enjoyed the dystopian nature of The Hunger Games and want to read into some classic speculative fiction? It’s great to look back to some older texts that held pervasive political commentary and insights on thought that still holds its dread from then-and-now.
Joe Abercrombie – Half a King
The lead-in: You know how Tyrion is my favourite character in Game of Thrones…?
There are other choices that fit the high-and-epic fantasy selection that I needed to round out this list…but those are all 400+ page behemoths. I think any almost first-time male reader will be daunted by the fact that it’s a fucking textbook. Not saying that this book won out due to its shorter length though (but it did help). Or maybe I just threw it in because I really wanted to read this…I’ll never know.
Neil Gaiman – Coraline
This is a pick mainly for the younger ones even though adults can still get a kick out of anything Gaiman. Coraline as a character is pretty much embodies the thoughts of a youngster: clever, adventurous, determined yet stubborn, and with an open-mind, isn’t like adults (*slowly raises hand*) who regress into a state of being scared shitless to open a door. But if you’re of an older crowd and you feel sleighted, then maybe you can go read American Gods.
Patrick Rothfuss – Name of the Wind
The lead-in: So, it’s like, but not really like Harry Potter, you know…kind of, you get me?
And by then, they’ll be confused enough to maybe consider reading the synopsis. It is probably very negligent of me to make such a gross generalization to Harry Potter when they are two completely different works with only small similarities. Actually, many fantasy books share the same overdone tropes to some extent so I’m not that far off, at least I think so anyways. (So now you’re probably wondering why I couldn’t even both to put HP in this list. Well, read the beginning to this post and you shall seek your answer.)
Allie Brosh – Hyperbole and a Half
The lead-in: Hey, what’s your favourite web-comic?
Yes…this ties into my bonus additions nicely. If you’re connected to the Internet and have heard of or seen web-comics in any capacity…then I’m sure you have come across Brosh’ works. She’s also a blogger. And posts crude images drawn in Paintbrush. It’s quite genius. Now prepare to lose those calories.
Comic/Manga (Bonus) –
So maybe lots and lots and lots of text isn’t convincing enough to allow said person to enjoy the meaning of words. That’s okay, maybe manga/comics will work—and no problem, I’ve got you covered.
Bill Watterson – Calvin and Hobbes
There is the possibility that the social and political issues will go over the kids head but there is still much to appreciate from this comic; from the imagination to the friendship.
Full Metal Alchemist – Hiromu Arakawa
Maybe said person enjoys a fantasy world where alchemy exists (but not the apothecary style you might be thinking of). It’s basically an unrelenting story of right versus wrong in a society based on equivalent exchange; where evil takes the form of the seven deadly sins. You have the option of reading the entirety, or, watching Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood. I’d suggest the latter, but that’s completely up to you.
Alchemy: the mystical power to alter the natural world; something between magic, art and science. When two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, dabbled in this power to grant their dearest wish, one of them lost an arm and a leg…and the other became nothing but a soul locked into a body of living steel. Now Edward is an agent of the government, a slave of the military-alchemical complex, using his unique powers to obey orders…even to kill. Except his powers aren’t unique. The world has been ravaged by the abuse of alchemy. And in pursuit of the ultimate alchemical treasure, the Philosopher’s Stone, their enemies are even more ruthless than they are…
Kuroko no Basuke – Tadatoshi Fujimaki
Oh, they’re into sports you say? How about a basketball plot with characters who have passive super-powers? Yes, you heard me: Basketball on crack is essentially what this story is about. But don’t let that turn you off, it’s actually pretty good. I also found watching the animation for Kuroko no Basuke far more entertaining than the actual NBA. Shots fired.
Kuroko is a member from the legendary middle school basketball team known as “The Generation of Miracles,” and while nobody seems to know about him, the main five players of the team admit that he is a better player. When he joins the high school basketball team, everyone is surprised to find out that he is small, weak, and easy to miss. What is the secret that makes him so strong, and how will he help his high school team?
Shingeki no Kyojin – Hajime Isayama
Uh, if you don’t read manga then I can understand if you’ve never heard of this. But if you can sacrifice 8 hours of your life to watch the anime—it’ll be worth it. Then once you’re caught up, you can start reading at chapter 38 (don’t quote me on this). It’s kind of really epic.
In this post-apocalyptic sci-fi story, humanity has been devastated by the bizarre, giant humanoids known as the Titans. Little is known about where they actually came from or why they are bent on consuming mankind. Seemingly unintelligent, they have roamed the world for years, killing everyone they see. For the past century, what’s left of man has hidden in a giant, three-walled city. People believe their 50-meter-high walls will protect them from the titans, but the sudden appearance of an immense Titan is about to change everything.
Think I’m pretty set in my ways with what I read? (The answer is yes.)
What are some books you feel guys would enjoy reading, either for their first foray into the reading experience or as a seasoned reader? I’m definitely interested in hearing what you think our kind may want to read!
47 thoughts on “[Top Ten Tuesday] – #29 – Top Ten Book Considerations For Guys Who Don’t Read”
I’m not a guy, but I have wanted to read Catch-22 for awhile now and 1984 has always seemed good, but the fact that I had to read Animal Farm for English my Freshman year of high school and practically wanted to kill myself afterward I haven’t had the strength to read it. As for Warm Bodies, I never saw the movie, but I heard it is pretty good. The Knife of Never Letting Go looks interesting as well. Will definitely look into some of these titles!
Haha, my intents for this post were definitely to enlighten the 95% of my (female) audience on potential books they might be able to convince guys in their life to consider reading! Though, if you found interest in some of these as well then that’s definitely cool too! School reads definitely have the tendency to kill enjoyment (well…maybe. I think I’d hate Holden Caulfield either way).
The movie for Warm Bodies was surprisingly good, and Ness is such a magical writer that I’d recommend anything written by him any day!
Oh my goodness I had to read The Catcher in the Rye for school and absolutely hated it! I need to give it another try as well.
Well I am definitely going to look into a few of those titles! 🙂
Amen to that!
I hear of revelations in re-reading Catcher as an adult. Well…nope–maybe other readers can enjoy it for the rest of us but he’s forever topping the podium of being a whiny little bitch for me (pardon my language–I hope you can feel my rage).
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I’m sure I will feel the same way. (I feel your rage for sure!) I will let you know if I ever get around to trying it again. There are quite a few “school” books that people claim to be classics that I want to re-read like To Kill a Mockingbird.
I’m not a guy, but most of my male friends seem to prefer plot-based books, so I think Ready Player One would go over well with them (I’ve actually meant to pick it up myself). Definitely agree with several of the others on your list though I’m not sure I could convince a guy to read a book called “Warm Bodies”.
I often end up recommending Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, Ender’s Game, Dresden Files, A Song of Ice and Fire, or something by Neil Gaiman depending on the age range/interests of the guy. I also avoid recommending books with too much romance because those never seem to go over all that well.
Ha, I guess you’ll never know if your friends would read it (or at the least watch the film adaptation) unless you try; it’s satirical after-all!
You’re pretty on the money with romance being trope to stay clear of; at least for the majority, and I’d say you have a good mix of genres in your recommendations to fill any request coming your way. I myself need to read The Maze Runner before the movie comes out!
I’m no guy, but I think the Gone Series by Michael Grant would be great, especially considering that the protagonist is male and that, should they get totally hooked, they’d end up reading six books XD
That was definitely a consideration I was fumbling with, to include a book that continued for nth books. Although, I guess you’d be a winner if you got them hooked. I’ve actually only heard great things about Grant’s Gone series but haven’t read any myself–though, I’m quite interested in Grant’s Messenger of Fear that’s coming out this fall!
I agree with a lot of these. I am dying for my cousin to read Ready
Player One, and he really liked Steelheart.
Ready Player One seems like a book that works for everyone! The general idea I went into this was that I basically assumed the average guy liked gaming, action-y stuff, and a rich and meaningful plot–so I’m glad you agree with some of these choices that might fit the bill for something you could recommend. I’m so stoked for Sanderson’s Firefight to come out next year!
Great list – and a really interesting take on the TTT for this week. What about The Tailsman by Stephen King and Peter Straub or maybe the Autumn series by David Moody? Also, The Girl With All the Gifts by MR Carey was pretty crazy in an I-think-guys-would-like-it kind of way.
Carey’s The Girl With All The Gifts is actually in my immediate TBR pile, basically staring at me forever. I couldn’t make real judgments on it because I didn’t want to sift through review/comments and potentially spoil myself! I felt like it was one of those books that the less hype and knowledge you have on it, the better off you’d be. Maybe?
Those are some interesting additions you make. I haven’t read too many King myself so I’d have to take your word for it (although my brother has read most of his works…weird). And you definitely can’t go wrong with any zombie-focused book, I’d say, if the person you’re recommending it to enjoys that kind of thing. I just enjoyed the satirical humor of Warm Bodies and thought it was something (if not the book then the film version) that could be enjoyed by both guys/girls–not being turned off by the fact that there is romance in it.
Nice topic as always! Ready Player One is one my husband enjoyed and he’s not much of a fiction reader. You are right on the mark with Warm Bodies too. And I love that you included Hyperbole and a Half! My nephew is a big fan of The Maze Runner series and Steelheart.
Great to hear that Ready Player One is validated by your husband–a success story already! (Now I know I’m not crazy in my recommendations). Also, it’s likely that I’ll be joining your nephew on The Maze Runner fan-wagon soon–the movie trailers made it look so promising!
Great list! Almost all of these books are on my To Read list, but I haven’t read them yet! I know that my husband really likes to read things that are thrilling, quick-paced, and keep his attention. But then he also loves Tolkien. So I really have no idea.
My brother, who doesn’t read anything ever, has read The Hunger Games and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo this year.
Honestly, I try to get my hubby to read MANY many books that I read and am like “OMG you have to read this!” But he only ever picks up books that he discovers and reads the summary and thinks to himself “Hmmmm, that actually sounds good.”
So I guess that the book just has to be of interest to the reader, regardless.
Who knows?! 😉
Well, if you ever decide to recommend any of these listed…you should let me know how they go over (maybe you can even use my super convincing lead-in’s to start the dialogue!)
Your husband is pretty on point with how I choose books, too. I’ll gloss over the cover but the meat of my superficial analysis is all in the blurb! If there’s a thrilling recommendation from this list that I can recommend, it’s probably Patrick Ness’ Knife of Never Letting Go! I’m only on the second book of the trilogy but I’ve heard that it gets better with each book!
Fantastic choices as always Joey. I think you’ve made some great choices for those guys that ‘don’t read’. 🙂
I hope so too! Now I’m just waiting for people to let me know of any success stories with my conversation starters…
It’s definitely important for boys to read even though a lot of boys don’t like reading. Luckily, my younger brother is an avid reader. He has a wide variety of tastes that range from normal books to comics. I’m pretty sure the only thing he’s read on this list is Calvin and Hobbes, though.
It’s definitely something that I had to discover on my own; not to be forced or anything (like how schooling for the most part killed my interest in many books–minus Shakespeare).
I think I selected a good mix of books that might interest him if you ever decide to recommend anything from it. But either way, glad to hear that he’s reading!
You’ve got some great examples on here. I don’t think you can go wrong with Sanderson. I love Ready Player One too. Plus, don’t get me started on Gaiman and Rothfuss. I’ve decided to continue in my groupie role – if you like Abercrombie then I think you’ll like Lawrence.
It was pretty difficult to choose just one Sanderson indeed! (But let’s be honest….superheroes. Need I say more?!)
Haha, I’ll definitely let you know how I feel about Yarvi (maybe I’ll join in on the groupie fun… no guarantees).
I absolutely love Full Metal Alchemist, though I never did read the manga, and I don’t care what anyone says, Brotherhood was waaay better than the original! Great List!
Yes it was! I think it was mainly because the manga wasn’t done when the first anime finished, but Brotherhood was just so much wonderful feels–and it ended roughly at the same time as the manga. Definitely a stellar anime recommendation if you ever had to make one.
Yes I completely agree! Brotherhood was filled with all the feels! That ending! *sigh*
Great, now you’ve made me open up a video(s) of all the opening/ending sequences..—–
UGHHH THEY’RE ALL SO GOOD.
Maybe an entire anime rewatch is in order. the feels are real.
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Hahaha sorry! Yeah seriously, I would love to rewatch soo many of them!! So many people underestimate the emotion anime can bring!
I’ve recommended both The Knife of Never Letting Go and the Benny Imura series to guys, but getting them to actually crack open said books is another problem altogether.
That is indeed a problem. But man, I totally got hooked after that first paragraph of Knife so maybe I’m biased to think that if they read the first page they’ll be off to the races! (I know I was).
What an awesome, awesome list. Love the Catch-22 and Warm Bodies, especially love Calvin and Hobbs. You should really check out Super Galactic Space Explorers, its a series of graphic novels from an indie group called Ink’D Well Comics, it’s pretty sweet, seems like it would be up your ally.
Here’s my list. I’ve started doing them on YouTube as an
experiment. Like and comment if you get a chance. 🙂
That’s an interesting recommendation–thanks for that! I do follow some web comic/series from some “indie” authors (loosely defined) so maybe I can add another one to the list!
ahhh ready player one is SOOOOOOOO great! and I agree its a good one to get guys to read
Glad you agree! I think any gamer (male or female) would find some sort of appreciation in it!
I’ve read both Ready Player One and The Name of the Wind and then bought them for my brother /dad respectively. We’re all readers, so this wasn’t an introduction, but they really loved these books. My dad went out and bought the second book the day he finished Name of the Wind and devoured it immediately.
I liked the both a lot, but I did find them a little exposition – a trend I find with books for boys. More world building, less romance 🙂 I would also include the A Song of Ice and Fire series in books for boys.
Steelheart is probably going to make it on my gift list this year.
Haha, great to hear the success stories with those picks–definitely much needed validation that I’m not crazy in what I say (well, maybe). One of my broski’s was much the same like your father–basically binge read NotW real quick, and has since kept hounding me to read it as well!
I can’t comment whether or not having an expansive exposition as one that guys enjoy or not (but I’m definitely not complaining), though kicking romance to the backseat is a plus sometimes!
ASOIAF is just a beast series (which is why I’m so thankful for GOT despite the deviations). I hope you (or whoever you’re gifting it to) enjoy Steelheart, the sequel is being released in Jan 15′ so the timing is great for Christmas!
Haha, I’m a not a guy but I have read almost all of these (I generally like books that are bit more “boy books”) The only ones I haven’t read are The Knife of Never Letting Go (because I know it has something I HATE reading about), Kuroko, The Name of Wind and Half a King (high fantasy and I rarely get along)
And I haven’t read the manga, but LOVED the anime adaptation of Full Metal Alchemist 🙂
You like what you like and no one should judge you for it!
What is this thing in Chaos Walking Trilogy that you hate (unless it’s a spoiler post-first novel as I am only on the second book…then I do not want to know LOL).
It’s definitely gotta be FMA: Brotherhood all the way! The original anime wasn’t able to fully follow the manga the way Brotherhood did.
Nice list! I love that you added Calvin and Hobbes. A couple of the books I don’t know definitely seem interesting and I’m gonna check them out.
Thrillers and Crime novels I think could also go over well with guys.
I think crime and thriller would work well too! I just haven’t read that many to make a judgment call haha. With so many crime television shows I felt like I could have gotten away with not including again!
Calvin and Hobbes are definitely a classic; especially if you grew up reading only the comic section of the newspaper!
Hope you enjoy some of the books you checked out!