The Man’s Book by Thomas Fink

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Stars: ***1/2

Little, Brown [Division of Hachette Book Group] 2009
Adult Nonfiction
240 pages

Summary: The answers to every man’s burning questions are within these pages, from the morning wet shave to the whiskey night-cap, from hunting deer with a .30-06 to wooing women like 007. At a time when the sexes are muddled and masculinity is marginalized, THE MAN’S BOOK unabashedly celebrates maleness. Organized by subject in a man-logical way, it’s the go-to guide for anyone with a Y chromosome.

First let me say I decided I wanted to read this book even though I’m not a Man because I was curious. I tried to get my husband and his friends to read the book but they just barely flipped through it, it wasn’t for them. Now that I’ve read it, I can see they wouldn’t have enjoyed it. I guess they’re not “modern men” but that’s okay with me.

This book is not what I expected. I expected the drinking games and card games and talk about women and manly problems. There is a little bit of that, but not how I expected it and there is lots I wasn’t expecting. Not only that, I had problems with some of what was said. So I”m going to go over my problem areas and areas I really liked:

Public Bathrooms
I found this section to be the best and most interesting. Apparently there are rules for choosing a uriinal. When I go to a public bathroom, I always choose an end stall so I’m only next to one potential person. I thought that was only me. So I found it interesting to learn that one of the two basic rules for picking a urinal is to maximize the distance between you and other men. Also after learning the rules, you take a short urinal test to see if you learned. So I took the test and got 63/69! Not bad for a girl. (The first link in the links of interest section below has a video that explains the urinal rules.)

This section includes some interesting information but I had a problem with the When to Marry guidelines. The author suggests that it’s best for a man to marry someone 1/2 their age plus 7. This gets even crazier the older the man gets. So then a 24 y/o man should marry a 19 y/o and a 40 y/o man should marry  a 27 y/o women, and a 64 y/o man should marry a 39 y/o women. I don’t think so! You should marry based on love and respect, not a certain age.

How to Start Smoking + Smoking Etiquette
Yes you read that right. I don’t care if people have the right to smoke, I don’t think it’s okay to suggest that people start smoking or tell them how. Advantages of Smoking? Are you kidding me? NOTHING is worth dying of cancer. Also, later in the Smoking Etiquette section it says that when you are visiting someone else’s house, you shouldn’t have to leave to smoke. Perhaps avid smokers will disagree with me but if you choose to blacken your lungs, do it on your time. It’s not like it’s just the smell that’s bothering us, you’re actually getting smoke in our lungs.

“As host, if one guest shows annoyance at another’s smoking, the easiest solution is to isolate not the smoker, but the complaining guest.”

The cooking section was good. I learned how to make an omelette and a recipe for chile as well as back information on certain foods like bacon and chili peppers. Also what items a bachelor needs for his kitchen and cooking techniques.

There is a list of books that are good for men, films for men to watch, silly games to play and a 2 or 3 page section on Ernest Hemingway and James Bond.

Arts and Sciences
The arts and sciences section at the back is full of random facts, not necessarily man-specific like holiday dates and astronomical events.

The book has some winning points and good information but it also has some parts that I didn’t agree with or that were a bit bland and boring, like the full classification system of whiskey. But then I’m not a man. The 5 men I showed the book to were not interested in reading it but they weren’t big readers either. I think this book would be better for an over 30 business man type.

EDIT: Added March 13, 2010

I forgot to mention that because the author is a Mathematician, you will find lots of forumulas, charts and other mathematical items. If you aren’t a mathematician, you can just skip over those parts but I did find it a bit annoying sometimes. I love math but some of these were beyond me.

Ideal Proportions of a man measured in arm span, halves, widths, forearms, fingers etc…
a full mathematical formula for figuring out which urinal stall is best
optimal loading of plates on weight machine
average scores for darts
and that’s just in the first two chapters!

Links of Interest: 5 How-to Videos on Man’s Book subjects, The Man’s Book Website (sample pages, author interview and more) , Thomas Fink’s Website, The Man’s Book on Facebook,

Other Reviews: She is Too Fond of Books, Rhapsody in Books,

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* I received this book from the publisher for review. How I got the book does not affect my review.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.