Announcing the AoM Book Club!

by Jeremy Anderberg on June 25, 2013 · 22 comments

in Blog, Book Club, Travel & Leisure

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It is clear that multitudes of great men throughout history have been readers. It was Harry Truman who said that “all leaders are readers,” and the saying couldn’t be more true. Some of our most popular (and most interactive) posts have been about books. Whether it’s the man’s essential library, or adventure book lists, or books about being men, it’s clear that the folks who read the articles on our site love to read. They also love to grow and become better men.

It’s with those two thoughts in mind that we are launching the Art of Manliness book club. Every month, we’ll tackle a different book. It’s one thing to read a great book by yourself, but it’s another to read it in a group of people who you can discuss it with. If you’re anything like me, you’ll always get more out of a book if you talk about it and hear other people’s ideas versus just ruminating on it by yourself.

How the Book Club Will Work

We’ll be making announcements about the book club here on the main site, while housing the book’s discussion over on the AoM Community in a private group called “The Official Art of Manliness Book Club.” In addition to online discussion in the group forums, we have some great ideas in mind including doing video chats and Q&As with some literary experts on the subjects of our discussions.

We’re going to be charging a one-time $1 membership fee to take part in this book club. Just pay $1 once, and you’ll have access to all our discussions, notes, video chats, and expert Q&As. That’s a pretty good deal if you ask me.

Why are we charging you ask? Great question. Our goal with charging this nominal fee isn’t too make bags of money, but rather to encourage you to follow through with your commitment to the club. We know how it goes — you sign up for something and promptly forget about it or lose interest. This very small investment hopefully puts enough psychological skin in the game that you’ll keep this book club top-of-mind. Also, we hope by putting up a paywall, we can weed out folks who aren’t even reading the book and just want to troll. Basically, the fee is to ensure you have the best book club experience possible.

Kickoff Book: The Great Gatsby

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We’ll be generally going through a book per month, and we’re going to start out with F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. There isn’t a “best books of all time” list out there that doesn’t have this one on it. The classic from 1925 has enough lessons in manliness to fill an entire volume of its own. It also has the layers of an onion; every time you read it, you peel back more and more layers and get more and more out of it. You also likely know that the movie just came out to much hype. It didn’t get great reviews, but I personally enjoyed it and thought it stayed quite true to the tenor of the book.

Be sure to check out last week’s article on how to read a book to truly get the most out of your reading experience!

To become a member of the AoM book club, just join the “The Official Art of Manliness Book Club.” There you’ll find details about when the first discussion will kick off.

We’re looking forward to having you in the club and fostering a manly literary community!

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Joe F June 25, 2013 at 8:48 pm

I’m extremely excited for this …
Just gotta find a dollar.

2 Zachary June 25, 2013 at 9:04 pm

What a coincidence! After reading the recent article, “How to Read a Book”, I finally decided that tomorrow I will be heading to my local library to get a library card and start knocking off books from the “100 Must Read Books” list.

The first book is “The Great Gatsby” and then the announcement of the book club came. Time to stop lurking this site and join up!

3 Dan June 25, 2013 at 10:25 pm

I’m well up for this! Need to get hold of a copy of the book first though, and since I live in China that may take a couple of days (English bookstores hard to find, so I’ll likely buy it online). When are you planning on starting?

4 Joshua L June 25, 2013 at 11:04 pm

This sounds fantastic! I’ve got my dollar ready and waiting.

5 James June 26, 2013 at 1:03 am

I’m so excited!

6 Toirdhealbheach Beucail June 26, 2013 at 6:40 am

What a great idea! I’m in. Where do I send my dollar?

I assuming this would be the book for July, correct?

7 Jeremy Anderberg June 26, 2013 at 9:06 am

@Zachary – great to hear! I’m doing those 100 books in 100 months. I’m about 6 months in now, and love it.

@Dan – Join the community and group page (link is in the post) to get all the details. You have a week or so before you need the book.

@Toirdhealbheach – Head to the community and sign up, then join the Book Club group. The link to do so is in the post. And yes, this book is for July.

8 Aaron Schnabel June 26, 2013 at 10:49 am

For those who are outside the US (with its stupid copyright lengths) you can get a copy of The Great Gatsby from Project Gutenberg Australia at http://gutenberg.net.au/plusfifty-a-m.html#fitzgerald

You can use Calibre or another program to format it for your e-device (Nook, Kindle, iPad, etc)

9 Robert June 26, 2013 at 1:26 pm

This is a great idea. I have taking notes from plenty of articles throughout the website. I have read this book three times or so but I would not mind reading it one more time.

10 Francisco June 26, 2013 at 2:37 pm

This is awesome! Could you post the next book with some extra notice? I’m living overseas and it’s hard to get a paper copy around here so I’ll have to order one online. Thanks!

11 Yaron June 26, 2013 at 6:56 pm

Awesome! Don’t wan’t to sound like a stalker but will Brett be joining in?

12 Grady June 27, 2013 at 10:14 am

Just a heads up. A lot of the books on the AoM 100 list are old enough to be in the public domain. Meaning if you have a e-reader you can download them for free legally. Try gutenberg.org before running out and buying a copy. Bonus: many of the books offered for free at that website are also available in pdf format. So if you can stand sitting at your computer screen and reading (or you don’t mind printing off an entire novel) you can read them free of charge without an e-reader.

13 Brandon June 27, 2013 at 10:40 am

This is a fantastic idea! Might I humbly suggest the Stephen Hunter series on Bobby Lee Swagger (Dirty White Boys, Point of Impact, and Black Light). Swagger is a definite salt of the earth man’s man type who has built his life around an honor code he will not betray. Great books.

14 Tarun June 29, 2013 at 2:40 pm

My sister just bought me The Great Gatsby. What a coincidence. While the first 2 chapters so far isn’t my cup of tea (probably too used to reading D&D Forgotten Realms books), this book club will really push to me finish it and I will be sure to like it by the last page.

I will definitely be part of this book club.

15 Carl June 29, 2013 at 8:04 pm

Okay. Just finished my “superficial reading”. Let’s go.

16 Logan June 29, 2013 at 9:14 pm

Well shoot, I leave for basic training in 20 days…. I’m still joining though. I’ll just have to speed read to catch up!!! Fantastic idea!

17 Bradley July 1, 2013 at 9:23 am

Any chance we can get some text format copies of these books and paste them into Speeder? ;P

If we can all get our reading speed up to 1000 wpm we can breeze through 100 books in no time.

18 Mike R July 3, 2013 at 7:12 pm

I just signed up–I can’t wait to read this book again with a group. Thanks to AoM for putting this together.

19 Christopher Jameson July 8, 2013 at 12:08 pm

Is it too late to start reading The Great Gatsby for the July discussion? Or better off waiting until the August book announcement to get in that book club discussion?

20 Latham July 11, 2013 at 6:40 pm

I started on the 100 in January. I’ve got 22 in so far. I’ve got maybe 5 more ready and on the book shelf. But school will start back up pretty soon so progress is bound to slow. I really like that you guys are doing a book club and totally agree with the dollar,

21 David L. August 6, 2013 at 11:09 pm

I think people should start meet-up.com groups to have in-person discussion about the books here. Anyone interested?

22 Clint H. December 4, 2013 at 10:28 pm

I’ve been trying to read a book a month, usually classics. I just saw this and Im incredibly excited.

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