In theory, I love the idea of the newly debuted Man Cave. Hosted by Adams Media, it’s an online bookstore targeted directly at male readers and those who buy gifts for them, according to Publishers Weekly. How perfect! I’m always looking for great book ideas for my husband, who isn’t a big reader but can be drawn in by a combination of good writing and a nice manly topic like roughing it in the wild.
“Men tend to be the most challenging people to shop for,” says an Adams Media marketer. And the Man Cave site boasts of having the solution: “Yes, guys do read—they like it, in fact. It’s here that you’ll find the perfect gift for the man in your life.” But check out the selection of titles: How Do You Light a Fart?, 100 Sexiest Women in Comics, and Sweet ’Stache: 50 Badass Mustaches and the Faces Who Sport Them, to name just a few.
Ahh, so they didn’t mean literary novels and memoirs that might appeal to not-big-reader guys. They meant gifty books that nobody really wants but that are stamped “For Guys.” Books about farts and mustaches. You know, the book equivalent of a tie printed with golf tees.
I’d love to see a Man Cave bookstore that features post-apocalyptic tales like George Saunders’ CivilWarLand in Bad Decline and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. Or books that explore the physical and emotional terrain of the Western mountains, such as Pete Fromm’s Indian Creek Chronicles and James Galvin’s The Meadow. Perhaps some classics like Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon and Thor Heyerdahl’s Kon-Tiki. (See also All the President’s Books.)
Please add your title suggestions below. We can build our own literary Man Cave, Utne Reader style.