There are no boring bits in this surprisingly thorough guide to the modern man, aptly subtitled A guide to being the ultimate gentleman – without the boring bits.
Jake Millar dares to tread quite openly on subjects as practical as style and as taboo as sexting. He can be riotously funny talking about dancing on a date, then suddenly turn serious, talking about men’s health issues. Everything in between is a must read for any man who wants to get ahead in life or shape up later in life – he doesn’t discriminate by age.
Most books of this ilk seem to come in heavy tomes that are thick with words and tedious to read. Not so with this coffee table book that’s nicely designed, easy to read, and laid out with images, highlight boxes and easy to find headings. The 185x160mm hardcover format also means it’s easy to carry with you for a quick refresher on the way to work or while you’re waiting for that blind date to arrive.
Millar’s opening disclaimer is that The Modern Man Guide is not a self-help book, yet he packs in an extraordinary amount of usefulness in less than 130 pages. Best of all, he explains the why as well as the how, so the reader always understands where he’s coming from.
On style, he gives us the essentials that all wardrobes should have, before getting into the practical details of storing and washing clothes, how to polish shoes, dress codes and finding the perfect fit.
On grooming, a list of bathroom essentials leads into facial hair, hair products, tattoos, cologne, and even whether or not to shave…down there.
The food and drink chapter provides useful tips on kitchen utensils and cooking, understanding and pairing your drinks with food, and dealing with hangovers, right after he shares several cocktail recipes to help you earn that “morning after” feeling!
On dating, Millar discusses first dates, online profiles, popping the question and even breaking up. His pages on work range from job applications and interviews to office politics and calling it quits.
Outside of the office, Millar provides another chapter of leisure then winds up with the secrets of “Man Skills” – those things every many is expected (or should) know, whether it’s chopping wood and starting a fire or sewing a button and parallel parking.
The Modern Man Guide is thorough in the topics it tackles and it does so with ample humour that doesn’t detract from the useful information it imparts. This is one of the better books, by far, to tackle the day to day issues of being a man in the modern world. A male’s place in society has changed quite considerably over recent decades and, while there is plenty of support and guidance for women, there’s still quite a gap in information for men.
For men seeking to better themselves, and for women looking for an ideal gift, The Modern Man Guide is an indispensable choice.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Rating out of 10: 9
Released by: Simon & Schuster Australia
Release Date: October 2016
RRP: $24.99 Hardcover