Yes, it may make us look douchey to you if we read it, but that’s the point: he’s a male writer, inserting his male gaze, blah blah blah. To see a smart, strong woman enjoying Roth, well, there’s a reversal. Bonus points for something not as obvious, like: Letting Go, The Great American Novel (baseball); Indignation (college and blowjobs); or The Plot Against America (alternate history). And for Roth’s Kafkaesque attempt at a female perspective, try The Breast. We’d be impressed with The Breast. Warning: these guidelines don’t apply to Updike. Not as cool.
Look, we’re guys, we like sports. Yes, everyone agrees that a person reading the Robert Caro LBJ volumes is attractive to all sexes, all races, all beings, and all forms of life on any planet anywhere. But what really makes you look like a catch is to see you’re enjoying, say, Open by Andre Agassi. Or go old school: Bad As I Wanna Be by Dennis Rodman. (Yes, almost all of these kinds of books have ghostwriters who deserve the real credit.) Maybe you like basketball? Try West by West, from Lakers legend Jerry West. Rooting for hapless baseball teams your thing? Mets ace R.A. Dickey’s new book Wherever I Wind Up is great. And, no, this isn’t just about men liking women who read about athletic men. There are great sports bios on women, too. Swinging From My Heels, by female golfer Christina Kim with SI golf scribe Alan Shipnuck, is hilarious. Or read Wonder Girl, Don Van Natta Jr.’s awesome new book about Babe Didrikson, who played basketball, track, and golf, and excelled at all of them. You’ll excel in our hearts if you’re reading a cool sports bio.
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