I don't remember how I heard about this book, but it was hilarious. Joel Stein, a writer for Time Magazine, wrote a book called Man Made, chronicling his quest to find masculinity when his son was born. The self-effacing, brutally honest stories in the book made laugh as much as they made me think.
It's been interesting to compare and contrast some of the books I've read recently on the topic, like Iron John. In Joel's book, I found myself finding many parallels and similarities between my own life and his, so a lot of what he described resonated with me. There were many times though where I was shocked at just how scared and dainty Joel seemed; in that sense, just reading the book makes you feel manly (compared to Joel). But in other senses, you definitely feel respect for him (like fighting for 5 minutes with a UFC champ).
I've made some of my own steps towards doing "manly" things, and I've done them in my own way, which I'm proud of -- like scuba diving, learning to fly, and martial arts. His take-home message -- that you learn by doing and push your comfort zone -- made a lot of sense to me.
I'm curious if others out there have gone on similar quests and what they experienced.
Below are my notes and takeaways from the book (sorry for any name misspellings).
Ch 1: surviving outdoors
Boy scout weekend
Ch 2: helping the helpless
Ch 3: engaging in competition
Goes to friends to watch football
Ch 4: bonding with men
Ch 5: making money
Ch 6: using machines
Ch 7: taming animals
Ch 8: building shelter
Ch 9: providing food
Ch 10: defending my country
Ch 11: protecting my family