Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new ‘top ten’ challenge is posted – anyone can join in. This week’s topic is a ‘read alike’ – in other words, pick a book and then suggest ten similar books that readers might also enjoy.
The book I have selected is Nick Hornby’s About a Boy. Hornby is perhaps the godfather of ‘lad lit’ (also known as ‘dick-lit’) – whilst I don’t ever imagine my husband would be tempted by my bookshelf full of Candace Bushnell, Sophie Kinsella and Jennifer Weiner, I often stray into ‘lad lit’ – basically they’re still stories about relationships (from a male perspective) and they’re usually very funny. So the same as chick-lit, without the hot pink cover!
If you haven’t read any Nick Hornby, start with that (and no, seeing the movie of About a Boy starring Hugh Grant doesn’t count). Here are ten more lad-lit titles to check out:
1. This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper You will laugh out loud and you may even have a little cry. It’s about the best and worst of families.
3. The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach Okay, this is probably more modern literature than strictly lad-lit but I had to include it because it is simply brilliant and easily one of the best books I have read this year. Harbach is being hailed as ‘the new Franzen’ but I’ll go out on a limb and say he’s better. He has a lighter touch that is more appealing, more accessible. He also has a wonderful sense of humour.
4. A Heart Breaking Work of Staggering Genius by David Eggers I read this many years ago and still think about it – sign of a good book! In fact, I think it’s time I re-read it.
5. One Day by David Nicholls If you haven’t read it, just do. Nothing prepares you for how this love story unfolds.
6. Perfect Skin by Nick Earls – Earls is Australia’s answer to Nick Hornby. Very funny and lots of nice retro references for Gen Xers.
And lastly, three that I haven’t read yet but are on my list:
8. Disco Boy by Dominic Knight – “No DJ can mix ‘Celebration’ into ‘Come On Eileen’ quite like Paul Johnson, the king of rancid retro. But while he has the musical jumper leads to get even the most dismal party started, he can’t get his own life moving. Trapped in a job he despises, a perpetual failure with the ladies and living at home with his distinctly unhelpful parents, Paul’s stuck in limbo while everyone around him is limbo-dancing. A romantic comedy that’s equal parts bitingly cynical and naively idealistic, DISCO BOY is a story for anyone who’s ever hit the Pause button on their life, and found it hard to press Play again.”
9. Domestic Violets by Matthew Norman– “Tom Violet always thought that by the time he turned thirty-five, he’d have everything going for him. Fame. Fortune. A beautiful wife. A satisfying career as a successful novelist. A happy dog to greet him at the end of the day. The reality, though, is far different. Tom’s life is crushing his soul, but he’s decided to do something about it. (Really.) Domestic Violets is the brilliant and beguiling story of a man finally taking control of his own happiness—even if it means making a complete idiot of himself along the way.”
10. The Object of my Affection by Stephen McCauley – “George and Nina seem like the perfect couple. They share a cozy, cluttered Brooklyn apartment, a taste for impromptu tuna casserole dinners, and a devotion to ballroom dancing lessons at Arthur Murray. They love each other. There’s only one hitch: George is gay. And when Nina announces she’s pregnant, things get especially complicated. A touching and hilarious novel about love, friendship, and the many ways of making a family.”