Text on the Beach: Top 10 Summer Reads for Dudes
I find it difficult to read when watching movies or TV are also options, and anymore that's pretty much always the case. Still, the urge to look at words rather than look at people speaking them overtakes me every now and then. Especially on planes or at the pool after my tablet's battery goes all dead. So I've compiled this list for you dudes who also appreciate a good story, good advice, and good looks at photos of voluptuous ladies' boobs from time to time too. Here's my list of the Top 10 Summer Reads for Dudes. (Note: All items' prices are listed as they were at printing. Prices are subject to change.)
I Am Pilgrim: A Thriller by Terry Hayes. $11. Admittedly, I haven't read this book yet. However, I Am Pilgrim has gotten quite a bit of critical and popular acclaim, with 3,000+ Amazon reviews awarding it 4.5 stars. Pilgrim is a retired CIA operative who unwittingly gets drawn into the biggest case of his life. A murder in New York. A beheading in Saudi Arabia. A biotech expert found with his eyes gouged out in Damascus. Human remains smoldering in Afghanistan. All are connected and part of a "flawless plot to commit an appalling crime against humanity."
The Average American Male by Chad Kultgen. $13. 50 Shades for dudes. Except most of the explicit stuff happens in the narrator's mind or in the Internet porn he's watching. Funny, obnoxious, and dirty. Very, very dirty.
The Kingkiller Chronicles: The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. $8. A 3-part series (still waiting for book #3) about a kid who grows up to be the most notorious magician in the world. Fantasy in the vein of LoTR and Game of Thrones, but with the epic tale told through the protagonist's own eyes.
American MaleWhore in Tokyo: The Great White Host by Rowen Boozewell. $16. A 33-year-old dude who still lives at home [and what the hell is wrong with that?!] finds the title to his mama's car, sells its behind her back, and heads East to conquer Japan's male host system. Which basically entails getting paid to get drunk and hit on chicks. A light, fictional take on a real and bizarre industry thriving in the Land of the Rising Sun. For mature audiences only.
Ugly Americans: The True Story of the Ivy League Cowboys Who Raided the Asian Markets for Millions by Ben Mezrich. $11. And speaking of Japan, here's a bit of nonfiction (that reads a lot like a novel) about a group of dudes who also ventured to Asia, but to conquer the nation's Nikkei index rather than its vaginas. Spoiler: They conquer a lot of vaginas too. Author Mezrich also wrote Bringing Down the House, the book/movie about a club of MIT students who made millions counting cards in Vegas.
The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene. $12. A guide to modern manipulation. It's not nice, and it's not fair, but if you don't mind being conniving, underhanded, and back stabbing to get ahead in the world, Greene's advice pretty much works without fail. Laws of Power is for "anyone who wants power, watches power, or wants to arm themselves against power."
Codex Seriphinianus by Luigi Serafini. $80. First published in 1981, the radically strange and unparalleled Codex took Italian architect, illustrator, and industrial designer Serafini 2-1/2 years to complete. What is it? Aside from floating in the general sphere of "art" no one really knows. The nearly 400-page book's illustrations are as inexplicable as the unknown language that accompanies them. Though trying to decipher the Codex Seraphinianus has long been an exercise in futility, you'll probably still find browsing its pages oddly captivating.
The Big Book of Breasts 3D by Dian Hanson. $33. Maybe more of a bedroom read than a beach read. Hanson's photographic journey through the magical world of giant jugs inspires even more awe when viewed through the book's included anaglyph glasses.
The Star Wars Vaults by Daniel Wallace. $60 to $125. Mechanical vaults open to reveal the histories and secrets of the galaxy's best and worst. Go to the Light with The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force, veer to the Dark Side with Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side, or learn the solitary and thankless ways of a bounty hunter with The Bounty Hunter Code: From the Files of Boba Fett.
East of Eden by John Steinbeck. $8. Of all the books deemed "classics" and therefore forced upon me in high school English class, East of Eden is by far my favorite. It might even be the only one I ever finished. East of Eden's pages are plentiful (600+) and Steinbeck keeps them thick with family bonds, poisonous relationships, and vicious betrayals as generations of the Trasks and the Hamiltons repeatedly live out the curse of Adam and Eve, and the damning rivalry of Cain and Abel.