The best books that instill a fear of men

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been obsessed with psychological thrillers ever since I was young. The messed-up characters, the unreliability of narrators, and the plot twists gripped me as a young reader. As I’ve grown older, my passions have stayed in this general field, but now with more of an emphasis on the effects of masculinity, power, and relationships (both platonically and romantically). There is something so fascinating to me about the complexity of men: their emotions, their motivations, their violence, etc. I have compiled a list of my favorite novels that delve deep into these interests and, truthfully, fears.


I wrote...

Book cover of Men

What is my book about?

A Collection of Stories About the Greatest Fear of All... Men.

Detailing the lives of 8 men as they explore the tribulations of relationships, sex, power, and masculinity.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The People in the Trees

Ricardo Sosa-Melo Why did I love this book?

I was left disturbed and disoriented once finishing Hanya Yanagihara’s spectacular debut novel.

Stylized as a memoir written by Norton Perina, a disgraced Nobel prize-winning scientist convicted of child molestation, the book does not hold back on its bleakness and case of moral relativism.

The novel leaves you wondering what truly goes on in the mind of people we look up to in our fields.

It’s a masterclass in prose. The contents of the book are extremely dark and will stay in your mind for days after finishing it. 

By Hanya Yanagihara,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The People in the Trees as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A thrilling anthropological adventure story with a profound and tragic vision of what happens when cultures collide—from the bestselling author of National Book Award–nominated modern classic, A Little Life

“Provokes discussions about science, morality and our obsession with youth.” —Chicago Tribune

It is 1950 when Norton Perina, a young doctor, embarks on an expedition to a remote Micronesian island in search of a rumored lost tribe. There he encounters a strange group of forest dwellers who appear to have attained a form of immortality that preserves the body but not the mind. Perina uncovers their secret and returns with it…


Book cover of Summer House with Swimming Pool

Ricardo Sosa-Melo Why did I love this book?

A lot of books by Herman Koch deal with the failures of adulthood and the inexplainable violence of men (i.e., The Dinner).

However, Summer House with Swimming Pool is littered with masculine rage and revenge as the story takes you through a doctor’s recount of the summer that changes his life – and how that affects his future procedures.

The complexity of emotion written into Dr. Marc Schlosser’s character is quite a feat, as well as the sharp dry humor throughout the book that deals with serious dark topics. 

By Herman Koch,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Summer House with Swimming Pool as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Marc Schlosser is a doctor to the rich and famous.
When his most famous patient, the actor Ralph Meier, invites him and his family on holiday, Marc finds that he can't refuse. But by the time the suntans fade, Ralph Meier is dead.
The medical board accuses Marc of negligence.
Ralph's wife, however, accuses him of murder...


Book cover of The Husband's Secret

Ricardo Sosa-Melo Why did I love this book?

When a wife finds a letter addressed to her from her husband stating that it can only be opened once he is dead because it contains his darkest secret, she decides to open it while he is alive.

What ensues is a journey through deception, shocking truths, and the fallout of the secret being exposed.

With the secret revealed, finishing the novel leaves you wondering if you can truly trust anyone, even the ones closest to you. 

By Liane Moriarty,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Husband's Secret as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE—THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER FROM THE AUTHOR OF BIG LITTLE LIES AND APPLES NEVER FALL

One of the Best Books of the Year—Entertainment Weekly
One of the Top Ten Books of the Year—People

At the heart of The Husband’s Secret is a letter that’s not meant to be read…

My darling Cecilia,
If you’re reading this, then I’ve died…
 
Imagine your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not only the life you…


Book cover of Luster

Ricardo Sosa-Melo Why did I love this book?

Luster, a spectacular debut from a brilliant new voice in literature, hit every emotion in me.

Incredibly grounded, timely, and unique, the story follows a young Black woman, Edie, as she finds her way in an ever-evolving city and in the stagnancy of romance.

She starts to fall in love with an older, white married man with an adopted daughter. Soon enough, she becomes tangled in his life… including his family.

This novel will keep you on the edge of your seat finding out how the events unfold as she moves further into his inner circle. 

By Raven Leilani,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Luster as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year

WINNER of the NBCC John Leonard Prize, the Kirkus Prize, the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, the Dylan Thomas Prize, and the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award

One of Barack Obama's Favorite Books of 2020
A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: NPR, The New York Times Book Review, O Magazine, Vanity Fair, Los Angeles Times, Glamour, Shondaland, Boston Globe, and many more!

"So delicious that it feels illicit . . . Raven Leilani’s first novel reads like summer: sentences like ice that crackle or…


Book cover of Bath Haus: A Thriller

Ricardo Sosa-Melo Why did I love this book?

If any book instills the most fear of men on this list, it’s P.J. Vernon’s novel Bath Haus.

This novel is drenched in the sweaty twists and turns Oliver Park, a recovering addict, goes through after having a traumatic experience inside a gay bathhouse.

Every man becomes suspicious, every secret becomes a weapon, and all events threaten to break the delicate relationship he has built with his wealthy partner Nathan.

What happened at the bathhouse? How will Oliver continue to lie to keep this experience a secret? How long will that last?

An important and gripping novel about trauma, the dangers of power dynamics, and secrets. 

By P. J. Vernon,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Bath Haus as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Nominated for a 34th annual Lambda Literary Award • A scintillating thriller with an emotional punch: “The tension builds to unbearably claustrophobic levels. To say more would rob readers of the 'no, he didn’t' suspense that makes Bath Haus an unexpectedly twisted, heart-pounding cat-versus-mouse thriller" (Los Angeles Times).

Oliver Park, a recovering addict from Indiana, finally has everything he ever wanted: sobriety and a loving, wealthy partner in Nathan, a prominent DC trauma surgeon. Despite their difference in age and disparate backgrounds, they've made a perfect life together. With everything to lose, Oliver shouldn't be visiting Haus, a gay bathhouse.…


You might also like...

The Cowboy's Lost Family

By Roxanne Snopek,

Book cover of The Cowboy's Lost Family

Roxanne Snopek

New book alert!

What is my book about?

He’s looking for the one thing she’s done with: family.

Brade Oliver arrives in Grand, Montana, looking for blood—and answers. Genetic tests reveal that his biological family may reside in the small, western town, and he’s on a mission to finally discover the one thing his adoptive family couldn’t give him: the truth.

Kendall McKinley craves a normal life, free of the demands, drama, and constraints of her dysfunctional family. Despite being focused on building her career and working on a restoration project, Kendall can’t help herself from noticing a handsome stranger the first night he arrives. But when Brade…

The Cowboy's Lost Family

By Roxanne Snopek,

What is this book about?

He’s looking for the one thing she’s done with: family.

Brade Oliver arrives in Grand, Montana, looking for blood—and answers. Genetic tests reveal that his biological family may reside in the small, western town, and he’s on a mission to finally discover the one thing his adoptive family couldn’t give him: the truth.

Kendall McKinley craves a normal life, free of the demands, drama, and constraints of her dysfunctional family. Despite being focused on building her career and working on a restoration project, Kendall can’t help herself from noticing a handsome stranger the first night he arrives. But when Brade…


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