The 10 lad lit Books every chick lit fan should read
From the moment I published my debut novel, The Drought, five years ago I have been on a mission to fly the flag for lit. For me, in terms of contemporary fiction, lad lit is up there with the very best, yet it doesn’t necessarily get the recognition it deserves.
Lad lit is best known as the male equivalent of chick-lit, primarily written by men exploring relationships, emotions and day-to-day life experiences from the perspective of a male protagonist. Often told with humour, charm and wit, lad lit leaves many readers laughing out loud at the scenarios men get into.
Since 2011, I have spoken to and engaged with a number of people – authors, bloggers and readers – who were already fans of lad lit or were new to the genre but fell in love instantly, and a lot of them were both women and chick lit fans.
This list is created from those numerous conversations, ratings on sites such as Amazon and Goodreads, and reviews on book blogger sites. I hope you enjoy and maybe discover a new love for lad lit…
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
In boxing terms, there are two major heavyweights in this genre. One is Nick Hornby and the other is Tony Parsons, and for me Hornby just edges it by split decision. High Fidelity is probably his most well-known work. It explores the world of break-ups, make-ups and what it is to be in love.
Man and Boy by Tony Parsons
It is rumoured Parsons wrote this tale of a man who has the perfect life and throws it all away, based on his own personal experience. The British author pens a wonderfully crafted story about how one bad choice can flip your whole life upside down.
My Legendary Girlfriend by Mike Gayle
Mike Gayle’s books are the perfect example why lad lit is often referred to as ‘chick lit for men’. Over the past two decades, arguably no other author in the genre has been as consistent as Gayle at producing hit after hit. My Legendary Girlfriend was his debut novel and still stands the test of time.
The Ex-Boyfriend’s Handbook by Matt Dunn
The Ed and Dan trilogy (The Ex-Boyfriends Handbook/Ex-Girlfriends United/Accidental Proposal) is to lad lit what Back to the Future is to movies – a bloody good threesome! Dunn admits that Dan is probably his most popular character, and it’s easy to see why as he attempts to help his friend Ed get back on track after being unceremoniously dumped by his girlfriend for letting himself go a little bit!
Love… From Both Sides by Nick Spalding
Anything Matt Dunn can do, Nick Spalding can do one more! His Love… series has now spanned four novels. Love… From Both Sides used the clever concept of switching between the male and female lead characters every other chapter so the reader go both sides of the story (hence the name).
Charlotte Street by Danny Wallace
‘Danny Wallace is a man, but he is still learning some of life’s hardest lessons.’ That’s how Danny is described in his award-winning Shortlist magazine column, and that same wit and humour comes through in his first foray into fiction with this brilliantly clever story about a man trying to track down a woman by using the pictures he has developed from the disposable camera she left behind.
This Thirtysomething Life by Jon Rance
Similar to Nick Spalding, Jon Rance is another lad lit author who made the successful transition from self-published author to the big time following the huge success of the Amazon best-seller This Thirtysomething Life. This book beautifully captures the insecurities of men who are afraid to grow up.
This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
Another lad lit success that was transformed to the big screen (High Fidelity being the other), This is Where I Leave You is the hilarious and heartbreaking story of Judd Foxman who is facing divorce and unemployment while coming to terms with the death of his father. Written by diversely talented Jonathan Tropper, the man behind HBO crime thriller, Banshee.
Starter for Ten by David Nicholls
Most chick lit fans will probably know David Nicholls for One Day, but it is his debut novel Starter for Ten is probably more popular in lad lit circles. The story of Brain Jackson trying to win the affections of his university quiz teammate is nostalgic, funny and heart-warming.
The Drought by Steven Scaffardi
I know what you’re thinking – I’ve written this list and added my own book! But don’t take my word for it – here is what Chick Lit Plus had to say about The Drought: “Being a female, I sometimes have difficulty relating to the main characters, but not with this one. Steven Scaffardi’s first novel is absolutely hilarious and will leave every reader, male or female, laughing out loud.”
His Newest Books:
(click the covers to go to Amazon)
One bet, four girls, eight weeks, multiple dates. What could possibly go wrong?
Following his traumatic eight month dry spell, Dan Hilles is back in the driving seat and ready to put his dating disasters behind him.
But if only it were that simple.
After a drunken afternoon in the pub, fuelled by the confidence of alcohol, Dan makes a bet with his three best pals that will complicate his love-life more than ever when he brazenly declares that he could juggle multiple women all at the same time.
With just eight weeks to prove his point, Dan is about to find out how hard it is to date a flood of women without them all finding out about each other, especially when they come in the shape of an ex-girlfriend, a stalker, the office ice queen and the one that got away.
The Flood is the hilarious follow-up to The Drought by lad lit author Steven Scaffardi, chronicling the adventures of unlucky-in-love Dan Hilles. Available at Amazon and all good book retailers from January 2016.
Buy the Book:
Dan Hilles is a pretty regular kind of guy – regular job, regular bunch of mates, regular male aversion to shopping. But following his break-up with long-term girlfriend, Stacey, he finds himself single again. He’s been out of the game for a while and is a little out of practice. Soon, the very irregular and increasingly worrying issue in Dan’s life is the extended drought he finds himself suffering. And we’re not talking the climate change, scorched earth, God I’m parched variety.
You’ve got to hand it to Dan though – it certainly isn’t from a lack of trying. With stalwart mates Ollie, Jack and Rob on hand to lend their collective pearls of male wisdom and arrange the odd road trip, you’d think Dan’s days of languishing in a sexual wilderness would be numbered. You’d think…
Even best friends can’t help prevent the kind of surreal holes Dan just can’t seem to help digging himself into. And with each failed attempt, his self-esteem plummets to the point where he wonders if ‘little Dan’ will ever work again.
Good job he has Kelly, his reliable and sympathetic colleague, to confide in. As a woman, she can perhaps shed some female light on why he’s failing so miserably with the opposite sex, balancing out the testosterone-fuelled ‘advice’ from the lads. Surely Dan can’t go wrong with Kelly teaching him the various intricacies of a woman’s mind. You’d think…
Steven Scaffardi’s first novel will have every guy laughing out loud in recognition and every girl secretly worrying – is this how men really think? A new talent to watch out for on the ‘lad-lit‘ scene.
Buy the Book:
About the Author:
Steven Scaffardi is the author of the Sex, Love and Dating Disaster series. His first novel, The Drought, is the laugh-out-loud tale of one man’s quest to overcome the throes of a sexual drought. After the stormy break-up with his girlfriend of three years, Dan Hilles is faced with the daunting task of throwing himself back into the life of a single man. With the help of his three best pals, Dan is desperate and determined to get his leg-over with hilarious consequences!
His second novel, The Flood, is out now and takes a look at the lengths men will go to prove their sexual prowess. After making a drunken bet with his mates, Dan now has eight weeks to date four women at the same time. What could possibly go wrong?
Find him here: