Group dubs itself ‘Most Interesting Men’s Book Club’
By Jasmine Young For Sun-Times Media June 19, 2012 9:17AM
In late 2005, a group of Naperville residents created an exclusive men’s book club now named “The Most Interesting Men’s Book Club in the Worl.” The group has read more than 40 books together and held more than 40 meetings. | Submitted
Updated: July 21, 2012 6:06AM
In late 2005, a group of Naperville residents created an exclusive men’s book club to get together and discuss the latest reads. Now self-named “The Most Interesting Men’s Book Club in the World,” the group has eight members, has read more than 40 books together and held more than 40 meetings.
John Herbstritt, 47, founded the club along with John DiMonte, 48, after wanting to bring a group of friends together as their wives regularly did. Herbstritt now serves as the club’s president, and DiMonte is the secretary and organizer.
“We are all avid readers, and a number of our wives were already in book clubs,” Herbstritt said. “John (DiMonte) and I … thought that we should create a men’s book club where we can read diverse books, give suggestions to one another, and read books we wouldn’t normally read.”
The members are between the ages of 40 to late 50s, and the club’s name was recently inspired by the advertising campaign for Dos Equis beer.
“We didn’t have a name for the longest time,” DiMonte said. “We couldn’t agree on a name, and then we decided to key in on ‘The Most Interesting Man in the World’ commercials.”
Every six to eight weeks, one of the club members will choose a book to read and host a meeting at his home. In each meeting, the host guides the discussion, comments and even debate for the group.
The chosen books are diverse from history accounts, science fiction and mystery novels, to political and economic works. Among the books they’ve read are Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson, and Freakonomics, by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner.
The last meeting on June 7 was hosted by member Jeff Schneberg, 54, and featured Wolf Pack: The American Submarine Strategy That Helped Defeat Japan, by Steven Trent Smith. Schneberg, who has an interest in World War II history, wanted to share a unique book with the group.
The club also invited its first author, James V. O’Connor, who wrote Another Man’s Treasure, in April.
“It turned out to be a really fun meeting because we got insights from (O’Connor) about what it’s like to write a novel and hear about the process of publication. … It was very interesting for all of us,” Herbstritt said.
Next up on the reading list is Abundance, by Steven Kotler and Peter Diamandis, a book about how technology will soon better the lives of billions of people in the near-future.
“It’s basically about the convergence of all these great technologies,” DiMonte said. “How the pace of computer power is getting greater and is going to push us to another Golden Age that we have never seen before.”
According to Herbstritt, the only way to get into this book club is to be friends with some of the guys in the group. However, he offers advice to those who would like to start their own men’s book club.
“Talk to just two or three of your friends and set up something local,” Herbstritt said. “It’s a good reason to get together and learn along the way about things you never thought you’d learn.”