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August 16, 2012



Oh my lord, these are fantastic. They remind me of when I was the office assistant at my school's film dept. One professor, who was into hockey and outdoors stuff and all sorts of "manly" things, saw me reading Pride and Prejudice at the front desk. He stopped and said "That is an excellent book." I heartily agreed!


Heehee, this is going to be so much fun! =D How long do we have to enter?

Enna Isilee

Ah! If only I had taken a picture of that guy who I saw reading ENNA BURNING as he walked down the street! And then he could have married me. I totally would buy a calendar of guys reading. So hot!

Paige MacPherson

Um, excuse me. Where can I buy that calendar?


Currently counting how many guys I can manipulate to do this for me...


At first, when I read the title, I was like, "Oh, no! Please don't rail (and rightfully so) against gender norms and then fulfill them." But of course, you didn't. Silly me!

Those are great pictures! I started reading Princess Academy to my mom's daycare kids yesterday and my brother just rolled his eyes when I said the title. But two paragraphs in, I didn't hear a peep out of him, not until the book had closed. :)


I think you could make a lot of money with that calendar idea. And I wonder if my little brother would let me take a picture of him? Maybe if I bribed him with more books? Haha!


When do we need our pictures up by, Shannon?

Emily G

I am laughing because I also think you should really go ahead with the calender idea and was going to say as much and I realize I am not alone. Shannon, you have the contacts the rest of us don't. Really, don't you want to be swimming in money?


I LOVE these!


Shannon, these are wonderful! Of course, it did make me think about my guilty pleasure: The tumblr Hot Guys Reading Books: http://hotguysreadingbooks.tumblr.com/ But having them all reading Princess Academy (on a construction site!) is even better! Love it!


My 11year old son has been anti-anything "girly" since he was 5. His reading tastes are more realistic, non-fiction, space and science. He's all about facts that can be measured. So when I asked him to read Princess Academy, and read it with an open mind and no pre-conceived notions of what it might be, I was thrilled that he said yes. So far, he says it's good. Which means that he recognizes its value even if it's not his style of reading. It'll be interesting to see what he has to say about it once he's finished.

And, sorry, I won't get a picture of him reading. I don't think he'd appreciate it, and I'll honor that.

Angelica Hagman

Too funny!!

Here is my contribution to the contest:



My sister heard me laughing about this post (the pictures of men doing manly things while reading 'girl books'), and so I was telling her about your blog posts on boys not reading 'girl books' like Princess Academy.

Then my 8th-grade brother (who listened to our dad read that book aloud and then voluntarily read it again at school in 3rd grade) said, "Princess Academy's not a girl book."

I'm so proud of him! (He has the same birthday as you, by the way!)


I read this post, signed off to make dinner, and looked into the living room. There was my 12 year-old nephew slouched on the couch reading "The Best-Loved Doll".


Hello, I want to contribute to the contest but I don't have a place online to post the pic, can I just email it to you? :) These pictures made my day, THANK YOU!

Faith Hough

Hehe, I knew I'd found my soul mate when my boyfriend told me I reminded him of one of his favorite characters: Anne of Green Gables. :) 10 years later, we're married, have three daughters, and share our love for all sorts of literature. I think he might let me snap a photo...

Faith Hough

P.S. I forgot to mention, he read and loved Princess Academy. :)


Haha, I love it! Here is my contribution to the contest.


Louisiana kid

oooh! what a wonderful contest! may we submit more than one?

Gordon Mann

Even old librarian's enjoy YA books. Taking time out from unloading hay to read Beautiful Chaos.


Love this!


I agree!!! We need a calendar! =D I would buy it in a heartbeat!


MAKE THE CALENDER! Not only would you be a millionere but be even more famous and beloved than you are now. I would buy like 30! If only my brothers read more. *note to self: take camera everywhere you go (especially to Barnes and Noble when you pick up Palace of Stone) and take a picture of a guy reading, what most people would say, a "girl" book*.

Rin Isilee

Please please PLEASE make that calendar!


Yes, I do want his number! :) We can gush about your books together.


I agree with Kate. I would not mind having his number!


Ha, ha! I love the pictures. My dad, who is a professional, no-nonsense business man in his mid-60s, recently started reading more fiction to de-stress in the evenings. My sisters and I have been giving him book recommendations, and among his favorites have been Goose Girl and Book of a Thousand Days. He LOVED them. (He's also read Matched by Ally Condie and several other "girl" books, and he's liked them all.) It's awesome. Maybe I can sneak a picture of him reading one the next time I visit. I don't think he'd submit willingly to a photo shoot:).

Ashley R.

Do they have to be on the spot? Or can I take a picture of a boy who has already read a girl book?


Unfortunately, my husband's squeamish about being associated with (or having his little sons associated with) anything "too girly." But two of my brothers are wonderful about appreciating all books and films. They've even read/watched the Twilight books/films. My husband won't go anywhere near them. Very much appreciated your post. And I enjoy your books (can't wait for the movie!)



This is my husband reading Catherynne Valente's Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her Own Making. Which I think as far as the writing and themes is not a "girl" book but the fact that it has the world "girl" in the title will discourage a lot of boys from reading it.

The shot is a little bit posed, I have to admit. :) He's currently reading Deborah Harkness's A Discovery of Witches, which I'm afraid will also be lumped in with girl books just because it's written by a woman, and it's a wonderful read with great male and female characters. It's interesting that you're writing about this now, Shannon, because we've been thinking a lot about girl books and what men in our society seem to feel like they "should" and "can" read. And I've consciously made an effort to recommend books to my husband that are written by women -- when I noticed, about a year and a half ago, that almost every book I had recommended to him was written by a man! I was surprised to realize that I was going along with such gender notions, and I still have to think about why I usually feel more inclined to recommend books written by men to my husband.

But the reason we picked this book for the picture is because he pulled it off the shelf on his own and read through it in a few days, and found it quite enjoyable. :)



Hooot! My photo is: My very Un-readerly brother reading Endlessly....the third in Kiersten White's paranormal-romance trio full of pink, sparkles, and tasers. What is this change of heart?

I LOVE those photos! Haha that is sreiously great! Made my day! thanks for the fun!


Here is my photo! This is my son, who is almost 8. I am currently reading "Go Girls: Back to School" to my daughter but he swiped it and read this book last week! I did have to stage the picture but only because he had finished reading the book before the contest came about!



Happy new book day! I woke up at four am and downloaded "Palace of Stone" on my Kindle. I read the first three chapters and went back to bed. I woke up at eight and read more! Its so good and definately worth the wait!


I agree that book shouldn't be so segregated, but I think a small part of the problem in schools that you've been talking about, is that girls do usually mature faster. When kids are little, both sides think the other have "cooties," girls smell, boys drool. Girls get over this sooner, and content themselves with just rolling there eyes and saying how immature a boy is (amusing side note, my mom was so pleased when she got to high school and found out there were smart boys, thought it was a marvelous idea, and wondered why no one had thought of it sooner). While boys have to transition over a period of time. As you say though, there is to much emphasis on "girl things" and "boy things" and I think this effects and even corrupts the transition. A good place to start in changing this would be to change marketing, make books that would be considered feminine, and make them seem less so from the exterior, sneak up on them, and get them hooked. I wonder if there were more books that were written in equal part from a boys perspective and a girls, if that would help. I know there are such books, but they seem to mostly be kinda soppy romances, I think this method could be put to better uses. By the way, I thought of a book with a female protagonist that, to the best of my knowledge, was not so shunned by male readers, Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. It's popularity has died down considerably, but when it was first published in the U.S. so many people were absolutely wild about it, girls and boys.


My boys are already talking about the picture they would like me to take of them reading. ;)

Emily Rachelle

http://s1187.photobucket.com/albums/z399/blogmaniac15/?action=view&current=IMG_1023.jpg These are my brothers, reading the "girliest books from my bookshelf that you'd actually read." (They got to pick, but I defined "girly" as any book written by a female, with a female main character, and a female on the cover.)

Okay, so we staged it at the bus stop. But still.

Emily Rachelle

I just realized the link was set as private so only I could view it. That's fixed now! :P Sorry.


I just got Palace of Stone today (I had already pre-ordered it)
So excited!!! Thank you Mrs. Hale for your captivating books, please keep writing!

Zena Parks

Oh Shannon, I love what you're saying about boys reading girl books--because it's so true! I tried to get my baby brother to read Princess Academy and he had a fit because "Princess" was in the title. However, in the spirit of men posing while doing manly things and reading girlie books, I took some *cough* NOT posed pictures of my guys rappelling while reading PA. Hope you like them :)


In case you don't want to read my whole blogpost, I also posted them here:



Bella and Grace

we love The Princess Academy and can't wait for Palace of Stone!


LOVE this post! So many guys in my life love to read, including "girl" books. Here's my post with three pictures to enter. ^_^



I think it is necessary that real men read girl books too. I have learned in my parenting class that there are fathers who really take the time to read what their daughters are reading and even my officemate from work does that too. He has three girls and he really examines whatever his children are going to read.

There are books these days that are a bit trashy. Parents reading children's and young adult books will help their child read something worthwhile. It will also train them to become leaders of their own households instead of just reading it from essays on leadership http://www.essayscapital.com/blog/essays-on-leadership/ I hope more and more dads do this for their kids, because you never know what's out there that can ruin your daughter's way of thinking.

Robin Weeks (@Robin_Weeks)

I'm the mother of 3 sons, so I blogged about the whole issue and included a picture of my boys reading "girl" books they like.



Shannon i love this! For those wondering, the 14yr old in the tree IS NOT OLD ENOUGH TO DATE!!!!!

Joy McCullough

Love this! Here's my little guy. Of course, he's not actually reading, but it's not staged - he picked the book off the shelf himself and sat there poring over it for the longest time! https://twitter.com/JMCwrites/status/243057296446476289/photo/1

Nica Wolf

Last year, at my behest, my husband read GOOSE GIRL and loved it. But he read it on Kindle. I'll have to show him these pics! Love them!

Vanessa Culpepper

Hey Shannon! We were at your Changing Hands Bookstore visit in Tempe, and you asked us to send this photo of Tristan reading one of your books :) ... Tattooed man w/ wine, dog, and "Princess Academy" LOL


Leilani Jones

Here is what I found today around my home. weird how many boys read girl books.http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151016241962027&set=a.10150689983432027.383288.712067026&type=1&relevant_count=1
And another.


I am sure the contest is over...but sending a link anyway:-)


Chickadee Jubilee

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