- The snobbery right off of the bat that a club whose purpose is to "drink beer and read Charles Bukowski" is not a real book club. A real book club contains two things: Tea sandwiches and ladies.
- The discovery that it is someone's job to write a column entitled "Books for Dudes." Dude, how do you get that job? If enlisted I would quickly abuse this privilege by using the word "dude" all the time, but it looks like author Douglas Lord (o lucky man) does the same thing: I spotted 19 in this column alone.
- The Page 69 rule, according to book club member and man Ned Pride:
"There has to be something pretty sick going on on page 69 for us to read the book. Either a sexual encounter or some crazy situation. You can count on it with [John] Updike or [Tom] Wolfe, guys like that."
- I went ahead and tested this rule with a book I had in reach, Cormac McCarthy's BLOOD MERIDIAN, and it failed! Therefore, Cormac McCarthy: not for men. (On page 69 the boy is being pulled through a market and "traveling medicine show" by soldiers -- not crazy enough.)
- The ham-fisted attempt to tie book-club participation to the recession ("At a time when men account for nearly 80 percent of the 5.7 million Americans who have lost their jobs") by suggesting that the groups provide both support and networking. Because in a boom economy, no one needs to read.