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Announcements > Looking for Strong, Honorable MALE characters

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message 1: by Amy (new)

Amy Nash (nbcmom) | 17 comments After six years and more than 70 books, our book club has noticed a dearth of honorable male characters. We've loved reading about great women characters who are strong, overcome great obstacles, do the right thing. Once we started really noticing, the men in many books seem to have some pretty bad flaws. Some were rotten to the core; others weren't evil but they sure looked out for themselves. Do you have any book suggestions where you loved the fictional main male character? Our club reads a lot of literary fiction, some classics, soon-to-be-classics, and just-released-to-paperback. Generally books are 400 pages or less so we have time for all our personal reading in the month, too. Thanks!


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce and Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson are two books that come to mind. I loved them both, and they would be great for discussion (my book club discussed Major Pettigrew last year)


message 3: by Amy (new)

Amy Nash (nbcmom) | 17 comments Thanks Suzanne! Harold Fry is on our list as soon as it hits paperback. We read Major Pettigrew this year and loved it. These are right up our alley. If you can think of more, we'd love any further suggestions.


message 4: by Jen (new)

Jen (jenlb) | 51 comments Maybe a A Prayer for Owen Meany? Owen Meany and John Wheelwright are two of my favourite male characters- they're not perfect, but they certainly overcome obstacles, and come out stronger in the end.


message 5: by Amy (new)

Amy Nash (nbcmom) | 17 comments Ooh, good thought. Haven't read Owen Meany in 20+ years. I'll add it to our suggestions list. THANKS!


message 6: by Tonya (last edited Sep 11, 2012 06:41PM) (new)

Tonya | 51 comments I really like the Odd Thomas character in Dean Koontz's books. He has many reasons to be a very bad person, but he always seams to do the right thing.I also like the main character in The Hangmans Daughter and the Dark Monk, which may seam like a wierd choice given his proffesion is the town hangman. He does his best to show compassion and sense given this is the only proffesion he is allowed to perform.


message 7: by Sydney (new)

Sydney Young (sydyoung) | 38 comments Jamie Frazier in Outlander. You'll fall in love with him, and it's a timely read because the series is optioned for TV. It is longer than 400 pages, though. A new book called the Scottish Prisoner was released this year that is a stand alone and is shorter. The group might enjoy that one if shorter is a must.


message 8: by Amy (new)

Amy Nash (nbcmom) | 17 comments Thanks Tonya and Sydney! I truly appreciate your thoughtful responses. Will add to our list for Consideration.


message 9: by Linda (new)

Linda | 2753 comments Mod
Sydney wrote: "Jamie Frazier in Outlander. You'll fall in love with him, and it's a timely read because the series is optioned for TV. It is longer than 400 pages, though. A new book called the Scottish Prison..."

Jamie Frazier is not in
Lord John and the Scottish Prisoner (Lord John Grey, #3) by Diana Gabaldon . That is a different series that hinges on Clair and Jamie Frazier. Lord John is not admirable.

Would you consider The Mitford series by Jan Karon?
An obvious one is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee .
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen


message 10: by Sydney (new)

Sydney Young (sydyoung) | 38 comments Actually, Frazier is the prisoner in The Scottish Prisoner. The book is not about his relationship with his wife, for various reasons, including the fact that he is a prisoner. The book is about a mystery that he helps solve with the man that is technically in charge of Frazier, which is Lord John, who is in fact a very honorable gay man. The book explains how Frazier (who is very in love with his wife) begins to become friends with Lord John, an unlikely but pure friendship that lasts a lifetime. But it is just a fun filler for the real story told in the Outlander series.


message 11: by Amy (new)

Amy Nash (nbcmom) | 17 comments Thanks Linda and Marie. Outlander books are pretty lengthy, but I know one of our members loves that series. I enjoyed all the Mitford books, but we're looking for something with a little more "meat" for our discussions. We really enjoyed Water for Elephants a few years ago; will add your other suggestions to our list.


message 12: by Russell (last edited Sep 12, 2012 10:39AM) (new)

Russell | 37 comments Hi Amy -

Have you all thought of reading The Song of Achilles. I know that Ann and Michael from BOTNS really loved it, as well as Gavin and Simon from the Readers. It has two male leads, and is a great book.

I also recommend The Brief and Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao. Oscar is not a strong male in the normal sense - but his story will leave you heart broken.

Finally, try out The Absolutist. It also has a male main character - and is amazing (if not very sad). Ann from BOTNS really loved this book as well.


message 13: by Amy (new)

Amy Nash (nbcmom) | 17 comments Hi Russell! Song of Achilles and The Absolutist are on our suggestion list for 2013. Thanks for confirming that these are worthwhile reads.


message 14: by JoLene (new)

JoLene (trvl2mtns) I'm not sure if you would be interested in historical fantasy, but there are honorable men in The Lions of al-Rassan and A Song for Arbonne which are based on a fantasy world much like medieval Europe (They have very light fantasy elements). Another one is His Majesty's Dragon which is set during the Napoleonic wars. This does have dragons, but I promise it is great.

In looking through my bookclub list, here are a couple that might qualify (hopefully I'm remembering correctly as our list goes back 20 years): The Known World, Peace Like a River, The Shadow of the Wind, and Captain Corelli's Mandolin


message 15: by Amy (new)

Amy Nash (nbcmom) | 17 comments Hi JoLene! Our group does not do fantasy books--I don't think anyone reads them outside of bookclub either--however, The Known World and Captain Corelli's Mandolin are great additions to our list. (we loved Peace Like a River & Shadow of the Wind).Thanks!


message 16: by JoLene (last edited Sep 13, 2012 08:39AM) (new)

JoLene (trvl2mtns) No problem --- just thought I would throw out some non-typical bookclub books. In our bookclub, who ever hosts gets to pick the book with the only caveat that it has be fiction and available in paperback. I didn't read fantasy either until I was exposed when someone picked it. I really only like "light" fantasy, along the veins of King Arthur books, etc

You may also want to check out something by Lawhead -- he is often shelved in the fantasy section because some of his books are fantasy. However, he has a trilogy about the crusades starting with the book: The Iron Lance and a stand-alone book called Byzantium. He also has a series about Robin Hood which has a more historical context -- he was a very honorable guy :-D None of these books are really fantasy.


message 17: by Kathy (last edited Sep 13, 2012 11:42AM) (new)

Kathy Lots of examples come to mind from older books: Joe Gargery in Dickens' Great Expectations, Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility, Holgrave in Hawthorne's House of the Seven Gables, Gabriel Oak in Thomas Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd. Both Thornton Wilder's Theophilus North (1973) and Jack Finney's Time and Again (1970) have fantastical elements--mystical healing in the first, time travel in the second--but their main characters are exactly the sorts of men you are looking for, and the novels are terrific.


message 18: by Tonya (new)

Tonya | 51 comments My husband suggests Peeta from the Hunger Games trilogy. I have to agree. I loved them so much after getting them from the library, I bought the collectors edition.


message 19: by Amy (new)

Amy Nash (nbcmom) | 17 comments Thanks Kathy and Tonya for more great suggestions. My book club will be thrilled. The down side: so many books, so little time!


message 20: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulas-c) by Denise Giardina:

King Henry V in
Good King Harry by Denise Giardina

William Weightman in
Emily's Ghost A Novel of the Bronte Sisters by Denise Giardina


message 21: by Denise (last edited Oct 02, 2012 07:24AM) (new)


message 22: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulas-c) yes, classics with typical hero journeys are great for that! perhaps a little long, but the title character in 'Nicholas Nickelby,' oh, and of course there's Darcy in Pride & Prejudice.... several honourable men, almost vying to be the most honourable in 'Dracula,' and Atticus in To Kill a Mockingbird... and in a new classic, Hans Huberman in 'The Book Thief.'


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