“The Art of Manliness” Website’s 100 Books for Men
More of a reading list, really, but this blog doesn’t need another category. In the course of my fashion writing, I’ve had some interaction with a few of the minds behind The Art of Manliness, a multi-author blog that’s everything it sounds like, good and bad. I can’t fault their dress advice, enjoy the run-downs on some basic world-ready skills that everyone should know (jumping a car battery, shining your shoes, etc.), and find much of the social perspective somewhere between charming and heinous.
Their reading list for men is about an equal balance between timeless classics and horribly dated machismo. Book lists are always a matter of taste, of course, but I don’t know that today’s gentlemen are actually all that well-served by things like William Alcott’s The Young Man’s Guide or Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. The fiction is a little more even-handed, balancing testosterone-pumped classics like H. Rider Haggard and John Steinbeck with Jack Kerouac and Mikhail Bulgakov, but don’t look for female authors here — there’s four of them, out of the hundred books. My whimsy-loving mind recoils from the absence of Peter and Wendy (the original novelized form of Peter Pan) or any fairy collections like Grimm’s or the various-colored Fairy Books, but for good or ill, here’s the list:
What do you think? Glaring omissions? Wonderful curriculum for America’s youth? Either way, if you’re planning on writing something that you want men to buy, you might do well to at least read through a few of these and keep their strong points in mind…