January 27, 2014

"Girly" Books for Manly Guys

Last Friday, a guy who I'd consider my mortal enemy sort of a friend (who I'll leave unnamed) said that most of the books I read are "girly" after he checked out my blog for the first time (the same guy also seemed to think classics are better than newer YA stuff and he "rips" the dust jackets off of hardbacks - two more reasons why he is my mortal enemy, but they're both topics for another time).  Also last Friday, I said a guy friend might like a book I was reading, but then another guy said his man card would have to be revoked if he read it.

Hermione disapproves.

Lady Mary is having none of that.

Why in the world is it acceptable and encouraged for girls to read books geared towards guys (something I'm totally okay with, mind you), but guys are teased if they read books geared towards girls?

So this post is for all the guys I know and any others that stumble upon this post. I'm including books I think you should read (and links to their Goodreads pages, so you can read the synopses) and I'm telling you that it's okay to read "girly" books.  Your man card won't be revoked.  And I, for one, appreciate guys that read "girly" books.  I'm sure there are other bookworms that feel the same way.

Top 5 Books and Series

Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas
The main character, Celaena, is an awesome assassin who still appreciates the feminine things in life.


Heist Society series by Ally Carter

The title pretty much sums up this series, but one of the best parts is that it's light on romance.

The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Serial killers, the FBI, and awesome abilities.

Books of Bayern by Shannon Hale
Okay, hear me out.  The first book is a fairytale retelling, yes, but what I love about these books is that the female protagonists are feminine and strong (emotionally and sometimes physically).

The Comeback Season by Jennifer E. Smith
Okay, yes, this one is kind of a romance, but it also heavily features baseball - and the Chicago Cubs. (There's one guy in particular I have in mind here.)

And now the rest of the books.  These are definitely all worth checking out.  Some come recommended from friends, so I can't vouch for them, but I'm sure they're awesome.  Also, I own several of these books, so if they sound interesting to you (and you know me in person), feel free to ask if you can borrow them.

Pivot Point by Kasie West (awesome powers)
Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter (spy school!)
Fire and Thorns trilogy by Rae Carson (fantasy set in a South American-type world)
His Fair Assassin trilogy by Robin LaFevers (female assassins)
The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer (futuristic fairytale retellings with lots of sci-fi)
Uninvited by Sophie Jordan (an interesting look at mass shootings)
Golden by Jessi Kirby (It has a bit of a mystery!)
Just One Day duology by Gayle Forman (The second book is narrated by the guy lead.)
Princess Academy series by Shannon Hale (Not nearly as girly as it sounds.)
Relic by Heather Terrell (It's an interesting spin on dystopian, and there's pretty much zero romance.)
Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen (Retelling of Robin Hood with a female Will Scarlet.)
This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales (DJing and lots of music from the '80s)
The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski (fantasy revolving around a rebellion)
All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill (intense time traveling)
The Testing trilogy by Joelle Charbonneau (awesome dystopian)
Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein (female pilot during World War II; I've also heard that Elizabeth's other WWII book, Code Name Verity, is just as good and it's technically the first book in this "series.")
The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White (Egyptian mythology mixed with contemporary)
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (title is pretty self-explanatory, but it's one of the better New Adult titles out there)
Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge (Beauty and the Beast mixed with Greek mythology)
Graceling Realm series by Kristin Cashore (Don't know much about this one, but it came highly recommended, and the protagonist is an expert at killing.)
The Lynburn Legacy trilogy by Sarah Rees Brennan (Once again, I haven't read this, but I've heard good things!)
Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Torn Away by Jennifer Brown
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern
Death Sworn by Leah Cypress
Shadow & Bone trilogy by Leigh Bardugo
Searching for Sky by Jillian Cantor
Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman
Dangerous by Shannon Hale
Prep School Confidential by Kara Taylor

So that's 25 books/series. (There are also a lot of 2014 releases that I didn't include.  Just saying.) And I can't say much else than read them.


  1. I definitely agree about Heist Society. I'm reading Perfect Scoundrels right now and the tone is very gender neutral even though the books are from Kat's point-of-view. I think guys would like this series!

    1. I love to hear when others share my opinion on the books for this topic; it reassures me that I made the right choices. Thanks for commenting!

  2. You watch Downton Abbey too?? We have similar taste in TV, haha.

    I understand why guys think certain books are girly, but honestly they just need to give them a chance. Although I am being a bit hypocritical by saying that because I detest the thought of reading "guy books" consisting of jocks playing sports. *shudders*
    Maybe I'll just have to give one of those a read in the near future. We'll see.

    Whist reading through your list, the book Cruel Beauty caught my eye and I'll definitely be picking that one up! It sounds like something I would be interested in. Have you read it?

    1. My mom watches it, and I've been watching series 4 with her.

      I haven't read Cruel Beauty yet (it comes out tomorrow), but a lot of friends have. They've either liked it or loved it.

  3. My brother read Cinder and he liked a lot. I think he might also want to read the Heist Society books. He also really likes Maggie Stiefvater

    1. Thanks for commenting! No one suggest Maggie Stiefvater's books, and I haven't read them, so they didn't make the list. But it's good to know my guy friends might like her stuff, too.

  4. This bookworm agrees. :) I am trying constantly for my brother to read books I think he would've liked!

  5. Oooo I just got my brother hooked on The Lunar Chronicles and he waa actually the one who introduced me to The Naturals and The Testing. I hate when guys shoot down my book suggestions, I'm not too big on romances but they all assume I love a book or series for the romance.

  6. Rachel's dad and my father in law are awesome about reading books we suggest. Her dad loved GG, my FIL is having trouble getting past the first two (I told them they get more hard core as they go on) but LOVED HS.

    Have you heard of Coverflip? It started when Maureen Johnson mentioned that guys don't want to read her books because of the "girly" covers, so she set forth a challenge for people to recreate her books with a more guy-friendly cover and using a male name. Perhaps this is partly why guys don't read these "girly" books--they aren't marketed to guys!

    You can read more about Coverflip here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/07/coverflip-maureen-johnson_n_3231935.html



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