About john

After an unfortunate run in with a narwhal forced early retirement from his life as a pirate on the Seven Seas, John turned his attention to his second love, Mountain Watching. He is currently fighting to prove that Mount Huascaran has moved 3 feet to the left in the past year, and that one night he saw it crying. When he is not watching mountains, John can be found practicing for the National Caber Toss competition, having staring contests with jaguars, or helping little old ladies cross busy streets.

Currently Reading:
"River of Doubt" by Candace Miller
"The Buried Giant" by Kazuo Ishiguro
"Station Eleven" by Emily St. John Mandel
"S." by Doug Dorst and J.J. Abrams
"Hamilton" by Ron Chernow
"Storm Front" by Jim Butcher
"Lisrael" by Garth Nix

April Book Club Review: Rabbit, Run

Rabbit, Run John Updike [xrrgroup][xrr rating=1.45/5] [xrr rating=1.1/5 imageset=grenade label=Manliness:][/xrrgroup]     The literary tastes of the men in iUMBC range from dudes who will only read a book all the way through if there is a steady barrage of explosions, shootings, and space aliens to dudes who were English majors and read books seeking […]

Reservation Blues PREview

    Sherman Alexie is a renowned author, who has won multiple awards for his writing. His book The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian won the 2007 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. He is also a filmmaker, and won Audience Award and Filmmaker’s Trophy at the Sundance Film Festival for his […]

Manly Story Formula: Your Guaranteed Guide to Writing a Best Selling Book

Luke posed some interesting questions yesterday. It got me to thinking about what makes a story interesting and engaging? Without any writing style at all, can you create a story base that would make people excited for the tale about to be told. And with that, I present you with the quick and easy Manly […]

Christmas Movies for Men

Guys, we know how it is. The weather is cold, snow’s coming, and at night, you either want to curl up with Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, or you are ready to watch a great Christmas movie. The lady in your life gets excited, because you two can watch it together! She quickly grabs her favorites: […]

Happy (Belated) Birthday, Mark Twain!

“Why is it that we rejoice at a birth and grieve at a funeral? It is because we are not the person involved.” – Pudd’nhead Wilson Happy Birthday, Mr. Twain! We here at iUMBC do not celebrate every manly author’s birthday, though we are waiting for an invite to Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s (C’mon Carlos, we […]

A Child of the Books

Every Friday afternoon, for an entire year, Mrs. Schmidt would sit us down and read a book to us. Some kids hated it. Some kids went to sleep. Some…especially my cousin, stared out the window waiting for the moment sweet freedom would be announced. I myself was enthralled. She read from many different genres. I […]

Some Manly Halloween Thoughts and Books

Ultra Manly Rules for Trick or Treaters: Give away a manly treats…like motor oil. No candy for anyone dressed like any character form Twilight. Remember that scaring kids is an okay exchange for candy….making them wet their costumes is a bonus. No candy for anyone dressed like Justin Beiber. Demanding single moms’ phone numbers in […]

Review: Round Ireland With a Fridge

Round Ireland with a Fridge Tony Hawks [xrrgroup][xrr rating=3.5/5] [xrr rating=3/5 imageset=grenade label=Manliness:][/xrrgroup]     Some books seem to be written purely for the enjoyment of the author. There is of course no problem with that, provided that the reader and the author have a similar sense of humor, and view life through similar lenses. […]

A Book in the Hand is Worth 3,500 in the Kindle

Why Printed Books Will Never Die- A Rebuttal to The Death of the Book Some things are immortal. The Highlander, HeLa cells, Beethoven, my love for Jessica Biel. And Books. There are some who will say that the good old fashioned paper and ink book is a dinosaur, doomed to be cast away into our […]

Review: Shadow of the Wind

The Shadow of the Wind Carlos Ruiz Zafón [xrrgroup][xrr rating=5/5] [xrr rating=3.5/5 imageset=grenade label=Manliness:][/xrrgroup]     Fire. Murder. Spies. And Love. When Daniel Sempere is taken into the hallowed crypts of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, he has no idea that he is about to become involved in a mystery whose tapestry is woven with […]