Under the Cover: Sons and Fathers and Men, Read More

January 12, 2015

Several scientific and some not-so-scientific studies have concluded that women read more fiction than men. When they read, men usually choose non-fiction. If pressed to explain their preference, men come up with a variety of reasons. But most commonly, men believe that non-fiction is more useful and a better use of their time because they can learn something from it. (Whereas, as we all know, fiction is just made up.)

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Several scientific and some not-so-scientific studies have concluded that women read more fiction than men. When they do read, most men usually choose non-fiction. If pressed to explain their preference, men come up with a variety of reasons. But most commonly, men believe that non-fiction is more useful and a better use of their time because they can learn something from it. (Whereas, as we all know, fiction is just made up.) 

Novelist Daniel Goodwin would disagree: offering a sample of the sometimes painful but always manly and useful things men can learn from fiction, all courtesy of his upcoming novel Sons and Fathers. These important lessons include how to apologize (even publicly when necessary), how to be a hero in the delivery room, and how to win a gunfight when you’re grossly outnumbered. To entice the non-fiction reader in your life to crack open a novel and prove they can actually learn many essential things from reading made-up stories, see Daniel's list below. 

The top 25 things men can learn from reading fiction (okay, from reading Sons and Fathers):

  1. How to woo your future partner
  2. How to start your career and land your dream job
  3. How to be a best friend
  4. How to support your wife while she gives birth
  5. How to give a speech
  6. How to cope with getting a vasectomy
  7. How to swear
  8. How to be a good son
  9. How to win a gunfight when you’re grossly outnumbered
  10. How to manage your time most effectively
  11. How to look your best on TV
  12. How to stave off aging and stay in shape
  13. How to cope with working in an open office environment
  14. How to deal with rejection
  15. How to make stuff up
  16. How to win (an election, a chess game, at life, whatever)
  17. How to master social media
  18. How to be a great leader/and hire the best people
  19. How to conduct yourself if you ever find yourself in a book club
  20. Where to urinate publicly in Rome
  21. How to manage a crisis
  22. How to deal with the death of your father
  23. How to apologize (publicly if you have to)
  24. How to make, and keep, a vow
  25. How to write a book

*****

Thanks so much to Daniel for writing this great list (what can't you learn from reading fiction?) and to Linda at Linda Leith Publishing for helping us with this post.


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