Welcome to seedickread.com,
the online headquarters of our Toronto-based men’s book club (yes, you read right) dedicated to reading books by men, for men, about men.
We meet on a regular basis at various Toronto pubs we find conducive to talking books, and drinking beer, gimlets, grog, red wine – or what ever other refreshment best represents the book currently in discussion. Not to mention eating chicken wings, playing pool, comparing imagined sexual conquests and watching sports on a giant screen (though not necessarily in that order). But not just any books! We read novels by men, about men and, judgmentally, for men. It is our belief that a focus on books for guys is the perfect antidote to a real world that has succumbed to an onslaught of Women’s Literature, Chick Lit, Ladies Book Clubs, Feminist Reading Circles and the irritating trend of book publishers and retailers catering almost exclusively to women.
Just in time for Father’s Day:
Books for Real Men
The Wheatsheaf Literary Society has long been recognized as a ‘fine old Toronto institution’ by its seven or so members. Our mandate, as set down in the ‘Guy-laws’, is to read and discuss, over a beverage or two, books of fiction ‘by guys, for guys, about guys’.
So, with Father’s Day almost here, the men of the WLS have a few suggestions as to the novels real men, like your dad, like to read.
But before you get the idea that our list is all:
- hard-boiled detectives who solve their cases over a tumbler or two of fine single malt whisky,
- dust-blown desperados who’d shoot any man who tried to steal their whisky, and
- former/wannabe/sons of/famous writers/sports stars/war heroes/ entertainers/explorers whose wasted lives are measured out in extra innings/second acts /third reels, easy/crazy/beautiful/ desperate women and broken brandy snifters/overflowing pitchers /empty whisky glasses …
…let me reassure you there are one or two that don’t include whisky. And as dust-blown desperados like to say, we’ve got them covered, too.
In fact, with a number of exceptions, when it comes to ‘dick lit’, the key ingredients can also include not just booze and broads, but: action, angst, adverbs (used only when absolutely necessary) and, if it’s really good, a twist you didn’t see coming.
To help you in your quest, what follows is a meticulous, exhaustive list of every single book we’ve ever discussed, give or take one or two we may have forgotten. Feel free to choose at random, or check out some of our reviews here. Yes, we’re a little behind. No, we’re not going to apologize; we’re men! (Okay, sorry.)
The bottom line: despite what some say, real men read fiction. And more than half of us are dads. So, if we liked these, maybe your old man will, too. Happy father’s day!
A Fan’s Notes - Frederick Exley
A Fraction of the Whole - Steve Toltz
A Man in Full - Tom Wolfe
Barney’s Version - Mordecai Richler
Beside Still Waters - Barry Callaghan
Billy Bathgate - E.L. Doctorow
Black Bird - Michel Basilères
Blood Meridian - Cormack McCarthy
Chump Change - David Eddie
Dirty Sweet - John McFetridge
Disgrace - J.M. Coetzee
East of Eden - John Steinbeck
Faceless Killers - Henning Menkell
Factotum - Charles Bukowski
Fight Club - Chuck Palahniuk
Flaubert’s Parrot - Julian Barnes
For Whom The Bell Tolls - Ernest Hemingway
Getting Away With Murder - Howard Engel
Gould’s Book of Fish - Richard Flanagan
High Fidelity - Nicolas Hornby
Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain
I Know This Much is True - Wally Lamb
LAMB. The Gospel According to Biff - Christopher Moore
Legends of the Fall - Jim Harrison
Master and Commander - Patrick O’Brian
Maus - Art Spiegelman
Ninety-two in the Shade - Thomas McGuane
Shalimar the Clown - Salman Rushdie
Skinny Dip - Carl Hiaasen
The Bishop’s Man - Linden MacIntyre
The Englishman’s Boy - Guy Vanderhaeghe
The Great Santini - Patrick Conroy
The Long Goodbye - Raymond Chandler
The Mambo Kings Sings Songs of Love - Oscar Hijuelos
The Man Who Was Late - Louis Begley
The Night Manager - John le Carré
The Road - Cormack McCarthy
The Rotters Club - Jonathan Coe
The Sirens of Baghdad - Yasmina Khadra
The Sportswriter - Richard Ford
The Stowaway - Robert Hough
The Things They Carried - Tim O'Brien
The Van - Roddy Doyle
The White Tiger - Aravind Adiga
Tropic of Cancer - Henry Miller
Three Day Road – Joseph Boyden
Trout Fishing in America - Richard Brautigan
Ninety-two in the Shade
by Thomas McGuane
The Society read 'Ninety-two in the Shade' by Thomas McGuane, a contemporary of Jimmy Buffett and the late, great Richard Brautigan. Much like Cormac McCarthy and Tom Wolfe, McGuane creates a tremendous sense of space and place within the confines of tightly knit, uncomplicated plots. In this case, a young drifter returns to his home in Key West, Florida and attempts to open a fishing charter business, provoking a dangerous feud with a rival fishing sea captain.
Maybe it's the beat in me but I find comfort in his work. You can learn more about McQuane on his site or just start somewhere and get to know the guy. 'Ninety-two in the Shade' is a good start, as is 'Panama' or 'Nobody's Angel'.
Film buffs may remember the Hollywood adaptation starring Peter Fonda.