Books for women–or men–or both.

This is starting to bug me.  I like a lot of different types of books.  But lately it seems that some of my favorite books are deemed to be books for women.  In fact, I am almost reluctant to reveal the truth but here goes: I like Jane Austen.  Her books are written from the persepective of her leading ladies.  The plots are fairly slow moving and don’t involve a lot of explosions or murders.  But at the same time her books are witty and great commentary on social interaction, even if the rules of society have radically changed from Austen’s day.    I can’t see why these books should only appeal to women.  I thoroughly enjoy reading and rereading them. It got me thinking though.  Are there books we won’t pick up because we assume that they will only appeal to members of the opposite sex?  Do we miss out on literature that might really be fun for us to read? 

I have not yet picked up Twilight.  I am not sure I can.  I have somehow got it in my mind that I won’t possibly like it because I am a man.  My wife loves the Mitford series by Jan Karon.  I really don’t have a great desire to pick these books up.  I have never even considered giving them a try.  Why?  Because I have it in my mind that I am the wrong gender.  So what about books that women won’t read?  Is Isaac Asimov a writer for men?  Jules Verne? Tom Clancy?  If I love Jane Austen, then why wouldn’t my wife love a good Dirk Pitt adventure, or some other book by Cussler?  I am beginning to think that I am missing out on a lot of great books that I have dismissed without knowing the slightest thing about them, other than some general feeling that it is a “chick book.”

I would love to hear from you as to any books that men traditionally don’t read but that we would probably love if we gave them a chance.  And Vice Versa.  It would also be interesting to hear from you about books that really are only going to appeal to one of the sexes or the other but not both.   Perhaps you can identify what makes a book gender specific where I have failed.  I look forward to your list of books for women that men will also love.

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