Top Ten Tuesday – ‘Lad Lit’ for readers who love Nick Hornby

lad-lit dick-lit

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.

2. Man and Boy by Tony Parsons Parsons could equally be crowned the godfather of ‘lad lit’. This book is heartbreaking, beautiful and funny. If you want more Parsons, check out One for my Baby.

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.

7. The Privileges by Jonathan Dee The Privileges is the most ‘lad-lit’ of Dee’s books however also well-worth a read is the bizarre and completely different Palladio.

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.”

lad-lit dick-lit

22 responses

  1. I haven’t read Hornby but I adored the movie… hmmm a whole genre I haven’t really even touched on sounds like fun I’ll have to add it to my list

    here’s my TTT

  2. I don’t think I’ve ever read “lad lit”, unless reading “Fudge” eons ago counts. So I’ll give Nick Hornby a try and then some of the others too! Thanks, I have a feeling I’ll find it refreshing.

  3. Unfortunately, I’ve only read A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius buy it really stuck with me too. I saw The Art of Fielding the other day at the library and debated about picking it up but didn’t. Now I will!

  4. Interesting! I haven’t delved mcuh into “ad lit” but I did read One Day and I loooved it! I’ll definitely have to check some of these out! Sounds like it could be a great crossover from chick lit because sometimes chick lit just wears me out! lol

  5. I love Hornby! I’ve read Staggering Genius and enjoyed it, I think I’ll check out The Art of Fielding, since I haven’t been reading much contemporary these days. If you were to recommend just one book from this list, which would it be? Thanks for the great list, and thank you for stopping by my blog, I appreciate the comment!

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  8. Great post! It’s nice to see some positive blog posts about lad lit, which is a genre very close to my heart as an author! I’ve long been campaigning on my blog for people to take a closer look a lad lit. I’d throw in Mike Gayle, Danny Wallace, and Nick Spalding into this list (and I’ll throw my name in as well as a cheeky plug especially as my first novel has just been shortlisted for the Shirley You Jest book awards!). If you like this sort of stuff check out Charlotte Street by Danny Wallace which I read a couple of months ago and really enjoyed. Keep up the good work with your blog!

  9. I reallly like Nick Hornby’s novels, High Fidelity, I think is his best. His characters are flawed and struggling to figure things out, but they are extremely likable. I read Tony Parson’s Man and Boy, and I had to gruel through it, his main character is extremely flawed by his own fault and even after 2/3 of the book, he is still very unappealling. Currently reading The Ex-boyfriend’s handboook by Matt Dunn, so far I have to say it is awesome, I’ve laughed out loud three times in the first 17 pages.

    • Will have to look up that one by Matt Dunn.

      I have just finished another Nick Hornby (thought I’d read all of his stuff – turns out I hadn’t) – alas, I didn’t like it at all. My favourites of his are High Fidelity, About a Boy and 35 Songs.

  10. What a great list. I have read half the books and will work through the other half. My personal favourite is Jonathan Tropper. A book i highly recommend is My Little Soldiers by Glenn Barden – it takes a man’s high view of infertility and as well as being very funny throws up some interesting thoughts about what it really is to be a man in the modern world.

  11. There’s a new Lad Lit novel that takes the genre to another level — Russell Paul La Valle’s UNDERGROUND DREAMS. Wild and brilliant — quite a ride!

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