Monday, July 13, 2009

Man-Lit: A Definition

One night last summer, I had experienced something in my marriage for the very first time. My husband, freshly showered, smelling of soap and shampoo, gave me a longing look. He bounded into bed beside me full of vigor and expectations. I had chills, feeling the excitement surrounding him. He leaned over me, and I felt the full weight of him, catching my breath ever so slightly. He took something off my nightstand, fell back onto his side of the bed with a sigh, and opened a book. It was one of the proudest moments of our marriage. I had turned The Man into a reader. Since that time, The Man has read quite a few books, but most of them I would have to categorize as "Man-Lit". I have tagged some of the books in my book reviews as "Man-Lit" and after fielding some questions, I realized it was time for further explanation.

I was turned on to the idea of Man-Lit when I read a blogger, Twilight Guy, who took us through the Twilight series from his point of view, chapter by chapter. I found his take on a series with a predominantly female fan base down right hysterical. It made me wonder, are there books out there that appeal more to men? Why is Chick-Lit classified, for easier finding, but men have to search? If men read differently, and have different taste, shouldn't they have their own classification?

Some of the books that fall into the Man-Lit category are: I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell by Tucker Max, Too Fat to Fish by Artie Lange, and A Pitcher's Story by David Cone. Man-lit is often non-fiction, but it's not a requirement, as in The Man's latest read, Playing for Pizza by John Grisham, which I will have in my The Man's Review later this week. When searching for a book for The Man, I do look for more traditionally manly subject matter -- sports, violence, military, CIA/Government, humor, or anything with lots of action. Think of the movies you might find on Spike TV, these are the books I might pick up for The Man.

I have to make one quick note. My husband is a private person. He has asked to remain nameless on Book Marks. I asked him if he wanted me to use an alias, like Mr. Darcy, Edward, or Jay (he didn't get any of those references...he's a work in progress), but he prefers to be called The Man -- as in , "You're The Man." This was my idea. He's my man, thus, in my life, he is The man. And I must admit, I am one lucky woman to be married to this man. So, from this point forward, my husband will be known as...The Man. Oh, boy, do I have my hands full or what?

Back to Man-Lit. Before I get a ton of hate mail from angry women telling me how I'm being sexist or discriminatory, hold your handbags, ladies. I myself am a fan of Man-Lit. Conversely, chick-lit often lets me down. I'm not sure what that says about me, but I'll leave the psychoanalysis for later. My point is, most of the books that The Man reads have simply moved from my nightstand to his own. Only lately has he been choosing his own reading material. Actually, it's quite nice. He now gives me his reviews of the books he reads, and knows which to recommend to me, since he has a very good idea of what I like, and how much manliness I can tolerate without nausea setting in. It's all a matter of personal preference.

I will always let my readers know what is on The Man's nightstand, and occasionally, I am able to pry a review out of him. If you read the tags on my posts, and see "Man-Lit" now you know what that means, I hope.

Ladies, do you read Man-Lit?
Do your men read Man-Lit?
Gentlemen, what do you read?
Is it the same stuff that the woman in your life reads?
Talk to me about your Man-Lit!


Blodeuedd said...

I think I have read some man-lit...Gayle? Hm, cna't remember what the guy's last name was. It was ok, but I do prefer chick-lit

Btw, do try Angel's Game. I had heard things too and was a bit afraid. Sure it's not as great as The shadow of the wind, But it's still great and it has that same feeling to it. But in the end i can't say since people who love the first hate the 2nd from what I have seen. And then there are those who don't

~Mary said...

I can't get my hubby to read, butt hat's because he only ever see's me reading chic-lit, or YA fantasy. I'm gonna have to look into this man-lit stuff and try to find something that might interest him. I'm dying for him to get into reading! How could I have married a man who isn't into reading?!?! HELP!

Alison said...

Mary, what is he into (when you're not trying to make him read?). I am married to a GUY, so it was easy: beer, guns, sports. That's where I started. Non-fiction at first. I tried to get him to read The Kite Runner, but it didn't fly (forgive the pun) and as much of a reader he has become, he's still got a long way to go. Good luck! Keep trying!

Anonymous said...

Alison Alison,
Man-Lit ? your kill'en me. Lots of men read and there are borderline men / women books.
I read a book a week and have been an avid reader for 30 years.

Books to try Men and Women
Open Season by C.J. Box (A great series)
A Cold Day in Paradise by Steve Hamilton
Iron Lake or Copper River by William Kent Krueger
Clive Cussler Any early novels
Nelson DeMille Plum Island
Craig Johnson The Cold Dish (My favorite Author right now)
P.J. Tracy Monkeewrench
Stephen Ambrose Band of Brothers
Doris Kearns Goodwin Wait until Next Year
Jack McDevitt
David Baldacci
Robert B. Parker
William Dietrich

By the way Great Web Site
Thanks Steve Kennedy

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