The New York Times, the trolling-trend-piece factory of record, took a deep look into the wild world of book clubs for men. Men, you see, belong to book clubs too — book clubs with extremely masculine names like the “Man Book Club” and the “International Ultra Manly Book Club.” (Spoiler: Men can read.)
Like any Times trend piece, it’s not the topic that incites reactions quite as much as the regrettable quotes interview subjects offer up freely to the reporter. And in this one they’re, for lack of a better word (or truly any words), a doozy. Presenting, the five worst quotes from “Men Have Book Clubs Too”:
1. “We do not read so-called chick lit. The main character cannot be a woman.” — Man Book Club Founder Andrew McCollough
New rule: Every time someone derides chick lit, they have to eat a Tom Clancy book.
2. “Manly — like, spicy.” — International Ultra Manly Book Club member John Creager, on the food that people bring to meetings
None of that saw-veen-non blank bullshit in MY book club.
3. “I was always a little jealous of my wife’s book clubs. Now our wives are jealous of us. We’ve created something that is more durable. The book club my wife belongs to — there’s a lot of changeover.” — Andrew McCollough
Believe us when we say that your wives are not jealous of you.
4. “We are not allowed to suggest books that our mothers have suggested.” — John Creager
Such a sweet and thoughtful way to respectfully honor the women who have raised you.
5. “The club rates the books it reads on … a five-hand-grenade system for ‘manliness.’” — Jennifer Miller, describing the International Ultra Manly Book Club’s rating system
Okay, that one’s not a direct quote from an interview subject, but please rush-deliver a cool beverage, a handheld fan, and as much Joan Didion as you have lying around.