The Books That Make Guys Swoon

A couple weeks ago we posted about the books that might make you undateable — at least in the eyes of those who might, perhaps, yes, judge your romantic appeal based on the book you’re reading. (Sorry, but this is a thing that happens.) We were inspired by a Paris Review blog post about the books guys should read to attract girls. But what about the inverse? What kind of books might make a girl appealing to guys? Culled from a number of anecdotal conversations with young men that read, collated by us, here’s a sampling of books the ladies might consider sticking their noses into if they’re hoping to catch that special literary fly guy’s eye on the subway, at the bus station, in the library or around the copier room.

Portnoy’s Complaint

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.