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Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father, and Son by Michael Chabon
Manhood for Amateurs is a compilation of essays by novelist Michael Chabon. He muses about what it means to be a man in today's world, and how that has changed since his father's and grandfather's generations. He explores the role culture played in his life and how it stoked his imagination, and how his children are bombarded by pre-packaged bite-sized chunks of culture from corporate behemoths. He recalls his own arrogance as a graduate student until he was put in his place by a group of older women. He also discusses the dilemma about how to tell his own children about his extensive use of pot in his younger days. Manhood for Amateurs has received positive reviews with the New York Times saying, "Ultimately, what makes this collection so melancholically pleasurable is not the modern-dad stuff but Chabon's ready and vivid access to his own childhood. A chance radio encounter with the opening riff of Toto's 1978 hit Hold the Line, he tells us, instantly summons 'the radiant shins of a girl named Jennifer Dagenais.' He's in lament mode again - will today's kids, cocooned in the virtual listening booths of their iPods, be able to make such song-scene associations? - but his analysis is wondrous, wise and beautiful."