Having seemingly missed the memo that starring in a New York Times trend piece is the fastest way to look like a fool short of declaring your support for the candidacy of Donald Trump, a group of Marin-based men spoke recently with The Gray Lady about their guys-only book club. For men, by men, about men — it seems the Man Book Club, as it is called, was founded nine years ago by 53-year-old Andrew McCullough partially in response to the jealousy he experienced at seeing his wife's book club. If they wouldn't let him in, he'd form his own book club! One that didn't let women in! Also, for good measure, one that didn't read books written by women or books with women as main characters!
That's right, the dudes-only ethos goes all the way down to the gender of the characters on the page. You see, books are chosen by members based on three criteria, the first of which being "No books by women about women (our cardinal rule)."
"We do not read so-called chick lit,” McCullough told the times. “The main character cannot be a woman,” he continued, answering our question if they would ever consider reading Anna Karenina, that classic representative of the chick lit genre.
Some books the men have read? According to the group's website, In Cold Blood and The Heart Of Darkness were two of the group's favorites.
If the no-chicks-allowed-even-on-the-page posturing wasn't enough, the men even eat manly foods at their monthly meetings. The latest example? Tacos made with bull testicles — clearly the manliest of meats. “Some guys had real difficulty swallowing," McCullough observed. "I kept eating. I have standards I need to adhere to, as secretary and founder.” Indeed.
Anyway, you can now safely add "manly book clubs" to the list of annoying Marin County trends.