ShortBookandScribes #BookReview – Men Talk by Sam Bunch

Men Talk is available now in hardback via Sam Bunch’s website. My thanks to the author for the review copy of the book.

A definitive guide for men to realise it’s ok to be vulnerable, and for women, it may hold the key to who men really are.

Men Talk – and they really do! this book is a deep dive into the inner workings of how men think and feel about everyday life. 100 men were asked 18 thought-provoking questions, revealing humour, vulnerability and honesty. From the critical issue about the state of their mental health – ‘There’s an app I have that can help you express your emotions’ to sad reflections, ‘My dad loves me and is proud of me but has no idea who I am’.

These men offer insights into marriage, work, stresses and pleasures. They’re expressive, romantic and poetic, yet carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. Men are sensitive and proud but the pressure is rising and it’s killing them!

Around four years ago I read Sam Bunch’s first book, Collecting Conversations. In that book she spoke to over 100 women about all manner of things and I really enjoyed it so I was pleased when I learned that she was planning a similar book but this time she would focus on men.

Men Talk is that book and this time she has asked 100 men questions such as ‘How are you?’, ‘How do you see yourself?’, ‘How do you think other people see you?, ‘What are your dreams?’ and ‘What would you like to leave for the next generation?’. The answers are varied and interesting and offer many insights into what men think . Within each question, the responses are categorised into age but the men are not identified, enabling a freedom of speech that might not have been there otherwise. However, 17 of the men have the spotlight on them, one after each question, and we hear from them in greater depth.

I think this must have been an epic and fulfilling project for Sam Bunch as custodian of the innermost thoughts of these men. It seems most of them enjoyed it and many saw it as a form of therapy. This is a book that you can easily dip in and out of, reading one or more snippets at a time, and it really does offer an understanding of the way men think. A fascinating collection of thoughts and feelings!

I grew up in the Ribble Valley, North West of England – under the watchful eye of Pendle Hill, infamous for the Pendle Witches. After epically failing my A’levels I went to Zurich to become an au pair. A year later I arrived back in the UK after hitching a ride with a lorry driver who kindly dropped me off in London. Forward 35 years and I’m still here, living with my family in South London.

In my 20’s I trained as a Naturopath and Reflexologist. I ran a busy practice for 15 years but when my third child came along the work/life balanced tipped in favour of domesticity. Unsurprisingly I became a little restless so I started ‘collecting conversations’.

I published Collecting Conversations in 2018. I’ve journaled My self-publishing journey for anyone else who struggles with the idea of starting something and wondering where it might end up.

As if chatting to 100 women wasn’t enough, I decided to chat with 100 men too! Mid flow I got distracted by my menopause and retaliated by purging Menopause – A Hot Topic The need to share was intense!

2020 Covid in, menopause out! I spent the next two years interviewing men from all over the world, albeit from my garden shed via Zoom. Men Talk is out NOW!

When not listening to peoples life stories I like to paint, garden and practise meditation and yoga.

My work has been featured in GoodHousekeeping, WILife, and various newspapers. I’ve been interviewed on BBC Radio London. And, if you want to see me right out of my comfort zone, here is my TedX talk.

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