Tuesday, June 9, 2009

5 "Girl" Books that Guys might actually Love

Good luck getting your guy friends (or more likely your boyfriend) to read Gossip Girl or Twilight. You might have a little more luck, though, with these books.

What gives these books such a universal draw? For one thing, they actually have, you know, depth. The writers are gifted. The meanings are complex and profound. I love Edward Cullen as much as the next girl, but these books are on a whole different level from that kind of glorified romance novel.

Girl or guy, these are books you won’t regret reading.

1. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Its greatest strength is its vibrant characters. I won’t give anything away, but I promise you will never forget Aunt Sissy. Entertaining and profound, this book makes you look at your world differently, again and again.

2. The Princess Bride by William Goldman

It's everything you could ask for in an adventure, from flashing sword fights to madcap escapes. It's written in the most clever and unique style. You simply have to love it.

3. Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell

The ultimate work of romantic literature? Maybe. But it’s no cheesy romance novel. It has enough action to satisfy most guys. It also packs in some powerful history lessons and makes them memorable -  I credit this book entirely for my 5 on the US History AP exam (and also with my classmates wanting to murder me when I referenced it in class every. single. day).

4. The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Part of the Little House on the Prairie series, this is a seriously good book in its own right. If you want to know what courage is, if you want to see persistence, determination, and hope made real - and if you want to feel justly proud of our American ancestors - read this classic.

5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

In the words of my friend Jack, “Pride and Prejudice was so good that I’ll never turn down a book just because it’s supposedly 'for girls' again.”

Of course it's not for every guy. Still, I’ve met enough guys who really enjoyed this book to recommend it strongly.  I even knew a professor in college who reread these books annually as examples of brilliant writing and human psychology - and he was a guy.

If worst comes to worst and you can't find yourself interested in this book, you might enjoy Pride and Prejudice and Zombies instead.

That’s only four of probably hundreds of books. Guys, what other so-called “girl” books have you enjoyed? Girls, what “girl” books do your guy friends secretly love? Are there any guys who will admit to secretly loving Twilight?

1 comment:

  1. Princess Bride is a very good book, but I wouldn't necessarily classify it as a girl's book. Like the movie, I think it would appeal to readers of both genders. And it was written by William Goldman (a man).
    I have only read 3.1 of the books on this particular list (I read the first two chapters of Gone With the Wind and then got distracted) but, as a guy, I would say these are books most men would like if they give them a chance.