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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.)
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!