Last week, I posted my favorite travel books, and I’ve gotten some feedback from my male readers, most notably my husband, that the list was far too girly. In my defense, I happen to be a woman. But, I can understand that a man might not want to take the Twilight series on his business trips. Edward and Bella’s forbidden love affair won’t capture his attention as well as other books. I get it.
So, I challenged my husband to make things right, to recommend a manly travel reading list, what he’d take with him on vacation. This was good timing because we went to the Oregon seashore this week, and he took along his own stack of books.
Here’s Dan’s recommended travel reading list:
1. A Sci-Fi Book. Example: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
Sci-Fi is great for vacation because he says it’s one of the fastest ways to separate from the stresses of normal life (going to another world has a way of doing that). Ender’s Game is one of his favorites in the genre. It’s a fast read, creative, and futuristic. Card has written several books in this series, as well as other series and offshoots of this same series. So, it’s good for several trips (Dan took a new Card one along for this vacation, as a matter of fact). Card is also known for his creation of unique and well rounded characters, something rare in popular fiction. Just be aware that Card is a devout Mormon, and some of his unorthodox theology/philosophy can creep into his books.
Lawhead does his homework about whatever historical period he’s writing about, so it feels a little educational but with a good story driving it. The Pendragon Cycle trilogy is a retelling of the Arthur legend. Lawhead is also a Christian author with very subtle Christian messages, not “the smack you over the head conversion tales” (we won’t name names).
3. Best-Selling Page-Turners. Example: Map of Bones by James Rollins
Dan never turns down the chance to read about “doctor spies.” Yes, you heard it right. They are a group of doctors (MDs and PhDs) running around, blowing things up, and saving the world. Think of James Bond with a graduate degree.
He also suggests Nelson DeMille books, in particular Plum Island, which introduces a wise cracking, sarcastic NYPD detective who fights terrorists. Charm School is another great choice, but it’s a stand alone book, not part of a series.
John Grisham, Michael Chrichton, and Clive Cussler best-sellers also fall into this category.
4. Christian Fiction. Example: The Last Jihand by Joel Rosenberg
The character’s aren’t as fully developed, nor are the books as well written as some of the other books I’ve suggested (sad but true), Rosenberg’s books in this series are a lot of fun. According to Dan, “They mention apocalyptic events but aren’t as pathetic as the Left Behind series.”
Dan and I both like the Bill Myers books, especially the Fire of Heaven trilogy, beginning with Blood of Heaven. We like reading those out loud to each other on car trips.
5. Political/Military Fiction. Example: Clear and Present Danger by Tom Clancy
These books reek of testosterone. And Dan says, “It’s a great way to learn military ranks and acronyms without serving in the military.” He also likes how Clancy gets multiple plot lines going at once that neatly intersect at the end. Dan again: “Be forewarned, your wife will hate these books. These are the anti-Austen. These have the benefit of having several movie adaptations, so read the book, then watch the movie. Just think twice before dragging your wife along, otherwise you’re going to owe her several chick flicks. ”
Dan would love any suggestions for manly vacation books. Put your suggestions in the comments section, and I’ll make sure he gets them.
I’ve got a long list of book reviews, including several that I’ve mentioned in this post. If you’d like to see all my reviews, visit this link. And if you like the book lists, you can see all of those here.
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