Monday, April 16, 2012

Reading A to Z: G is for Gayle

Mike Gayle is a British author upon whom I happened by chance. It was just before my 30th birthday. I was wandering the used section at my local Barnes and Noble and saw a book called Turning Thirty. Considering the timing, I thought it was appropriate. I picked it up and was able to read through most of it in one setting.

Matt Beckford is about to turn 30 and feels like his life is in order. He has a great job, a stellar music collection, and a great girlfriend. His life was in order. But now Elaine has left him. And he has to move back in with his parents. They are on his butt about all kinds of things, though they mean well.

He decides to get back in touch with his old crew to see how they are doing. A lot has changed, but he and Ginny seem to still be attracted to each other. They had a lot of off and on when they were younger. Is it really wise to start that up again at this age?

After reading this book I kept joking that I was obviously really a black British man. Though my situation was obviously different than his, I still found myself relating to a lot of the issues in this book. So, I decided to check out some of other books.

I haven't yet read all of Mike Gayle's books, but I have not been disappointed with those I have read. 

In My Legendary Girlfriend, Will is unable to let go of Aggi, The One That Got Away. Even though it has been three years, he can't stop thinking about her. He still dreams of having a reunion with her and often compares his new girl to her. Martina just can't measure up to Aggi. How much longer will he prolong his relationship with her?

This was Mike Gayle's first novel. While it isn't his best, many people can relate to the heartache of losing the one you think is perfect for you. You pine away, even when you think you have moved on. And you have to learn how to appreciate what you have right in front of you.

One of my favorites was The To-Do List. Written more like a memoir than a fictional novel, Mike Gayle takes us deep into his own life. Approaching his mid-30s, Gayle feels like he is still nowhere near being a grown-up. On the eve of his birthday, he pens a To-Do list of everything he has always wanted to do. And he vows that this time he will get it finished. With over 1000 items, it seems an insurmountable task. But he is able to achieve the real goal, which is happiness with his life as is.

I remember sitting outside reading this book while relaxing on my lawn chair. Again, it was around one of my birthdays. I am just a few years younger than Mike Gayle, so I wasn't quite at that mid-30s point that he was when I first read the book. But I could relate to the need to feel like there was so much to be done to truly embrace adulthood. Again, I was able to relate to this male "character" quite well.

Mike Gayle's books are like chick lit with a male protagonist. Men can also relate to his humorous stories. I sometimes have a hard time finding his books, because he is a British author. On occasion I can find one used, or get a good deal through Amazon or Barnes & Noble.


  1. I'm not sure these books are for me, but your review is excellent. A good review is valuable! I'm trying to visit all the A-Z Challenge Blogs this month. My alphabet is at

  2. sounds like an interesting author. will check out his books.

    Happy A-Zing!

  3. I haven't heard of him, but I like that he writes chick lit with a male protag. I may have to cyber stalk him for a bit. :)

  4. Interesting. I haven't read anything by him.

    New follower here. I’m enjoying reading my fellow “A to Z”ers. I look forward to visiting again.



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