What makes a book a ‘GUYS’ book?

Mr_hutchinson My teaching friend, Bam Bam Bigelow calls himself an expert in what makes a good guys book, well I never got grounded for eight weeks when I was a kid, but I sure remember reading every chance I got.

My teachers and parents always put books in my hands, and for the most part I read them.  I remember liking books like Blubber, Runaway Ralph and Tales of the Fourth Grade Nothing at first.  Then I found Summer of the Monkeys and Where the Red Fern Grows.  All great books that kept me going in elementary school, but being a huge Star Wars fan I was more interested in Science Fiction and Fantasy.  I started reading lots of Star Trek books, and every Xanth, and Dragonlance book I could find.

I didn’t spend weeks locked in my bedroom waiting out a punishment, but I did grow up with books and and so I feel like I have a good idea what makes a good ‘guys’ book.

My first ‘guys’ book criteria is very important.  The book cannot in any way be focused on feelings and horses.  Think about all those sappy horse books out there.  Unless the horse is carrying a cowboy during a blistering shootout or being killed off  after  breaking a leg while winning a massive race, horse books are not for guys.

What else does a guys book need, well action of course.  Things need to happen and keep that plot moving.  We don’t need pages of details about a spring day, but real bike race to the death, crawling through plasma tubes is stolen elven technology, or fighting stone faced gorgons kind of action.

For me, the last thing a great guys book has is humor.  The action moves the story along and keeps me interested, but I need a good chuckle while I read.  Having a criminal kill an advisory by ‘paying’ him one million dollars in nickels, poured over his head, or a dwarf that tunnels by eating dirt and expelling it the same way a worm does are two examples of the cool humor that all guys books need.

So, if the book is chalk full of action, witty humor and a severe lack of horses then it can truly be called a ‘GUYS’ book.

Rowdy Keep Reading,

Rowdy Roddy



                                                                 My Guys Read Book List

                                                (not a horse on the list, centaurs don’t count!)

  • Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
  • The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
  • Maximum Ride by James Patterson
  • The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
  • Alex Rider by Anthony Horowitz
  • Guys Write for Guys Read edited by Jon Scziesca
  • The Xanth Series by Piers Anthony
  • More to come…

2 thoughts on “What makes a book a ‘GUYS’ book?

  1. Hi guys – got your comment over at Guys Lit Wire and would certainly like to exchange some emails on our common interests (namely getting books reviews/recommendations out to help get more boys reading).
    I can’t find an email address on your blog – coud one of you email me please?

  2. What about realistic fiction? I think some books by Jerry Spinelli, like Maniac McGee, Fourth Grade Rats, and Wringer are great guy books–and they’re about issues and feelings. They’re about issues and feelings that guys deal with, like peer pressure and doing the right thing. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that they have plots that really move.

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