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About Us

Tough Guy Book Club was founded in 2012, and is a network of men’s book clubs in local pubs.

We’re about reading books, hitting the pub with the goons, and rowdy conversations.
Our club is about putting real decent conversations back in the pub.

For too long the pokie machine, the cover band, and sports on the tv have left the men in our pubs a bunch of boring pricks with nothing to say.
It’s time to change that, let’s put heavy duty discussion back on the table at the pub.

“How the hell is reading, you know, picking up a book and learning new shit, become something that’s considered the opposite to toughness. I can assure you there is nothing tough about knowing less than the next guy. That’s why ignorance is considered a weakness.” – Shay Leighton

Here's a bunch of questions people ask a lot. (aka Frequently Asked Questions)

Some goons in a pub

The beer drenched streets of Collingwood, Melbourne, AUS

You just turn up. Read the book before hand or not, doesn’t really matter, we’re not your boss. You might want to check out Pool Hall too.

You look on the Find Us page of this site, or you head to our Facebook page and hit events:

All of our Chapters meet at 7pm on the first Wednesday of the month.

We start at 7 and finish by around 10.


Of course, we start new Chapters all the time. You have to be a good fit though, start the process here.

Hell yes you can, this club was built by guys who don’t read much.

Come anyway, everyone gets busy and no one gives a damn. We are not your boss. And anyway the beer is still cold and the conversation will still be rowdy, I reckon you’ll come up with something to say.

We read novels because we’re a club about characters and stories. We mostly read books about men because we’re a men’s book club and so we find that kind of thing more interesting to talk about. Guys read enough nonfiction, don’t get me wrong, nonfiction is great if you want to learn about the planes of WW2 but you can learn more about people from stories. You can find our past reading list on the Books page of this site.

Of course, be pretty stupid to cut out over half the books ever written. Saying that but, we do read a lot of old dead white guys because a lot of them are interesting to talk about for us.

All Chapters read the same book and you can find that on the Books page of this site.

Good, you shouldn’t like every book we read. That would be weird. You're going to hate some of them I guarantee it, because we don’t read books because they are good, or that they are well written, or they have a beautifully crafted yet understated metaphor told though the intentional use of Jungian archetypes which draws sharp focus to playful and lyrical prose, nah we read them because they are interesting to talk about over a beer.

Our book club doesn’t work like that.

You should probably find a different club. Tough Guy Book Club is not for everyone, and we're not changing.

It’s either; A. Because people find it weird that the words Tough and Book are together, B. It’s pretty funny name for a thing, C. If you ask ten guys what tough is they’ll give you ten different answers but they’ll all know they’re expected to be it, which seems strange. D. Because if we called it the Inner-city Nice Guys Book Society then none of us would want to go, sounds like a wanker fest.

Yes, we’re a men’s book club. But let’s be very clear about this, we’re not in any way anti-women, tough or otherwise. We just think that men having a chance to read more and talk more about stuff is a good idea and making a space designed for that is a good way to go about it which doesn’t take anything from anyone.

Yeah of course, we not the judges of who’s a man or not, there's enough of that shit in the world already. If you’re a man, then you can come to Tough Guy Book Club.

Sorry lad, we meet in pubs and in the eyes of liquor licencing in this country you are not a man until 18. We'll see you in 2 years.

You don't. Use Google to find a different book club and move on.

Yes, our club has allowed wine drinkers and the like for many years now.

Yeah we're not into force feeding people because that's fucking weird. Honestly don’t give a shit about what you drink, takes all sorts.

Nah, this is a chance for our guys to get away from their responsibilities for the night, let’s leave the kids at home.

Yeah, we have a lot of them which you’ll pick up when you start attending but there are two you should have a passing familiarity with before you come.

1. No Work talk. We don’t talk about work at our club because you are more than just your job, guys constantly ask each other “what do you do” as an introduction, and it’s a pretty shit introduction because it really it doesn’t tell us much about a person, it just limits the conversation to surface level shit. We want to do better than that. In every other boring conversation for the rest of your life you can talk about your day job but not at Tough Guy Book Club.

2. Our “100% Don’t be a fuckhead rule”. This one is hopefully pretty self-explanatory; it essentially means that if you are some kind of fuckhead then you are not welcome at our club.

You can follow us on Facebook or Insta or you can join out Mailing List . You can check out our online community at Pool Hall.

We’re run by volunteers in their spare time so things can move a little slow around here, someone will get to it. Also, you can probably find your answer on this page.

We’ve got a bunch of authors in our club already and they have a good time so I would suggest you do but if you are joining to promote your book or to try to have us read it as a club then I wouldn’t. We hate that. We know promoting your book is hard to do and we really do feel for you but we don’t do that. If you want someone at our club to read your book and get the word out then the best we can do is give it as a prize for the monthly TGBC Monthly Challenge, that way we’ll post about it.

The TGBC Monthly Challenge is a monthly task we dare our goons to do. Some of them are fun some of them are hard. If you do the months challenge, then your name goes in the hat to win some books and merch. If you do all of them in a year you get the year TGBC Challenge Coin.

We’re a Not-For-Profit Registered Charity run by volunteers that works to encouraging reading, building comradery, fighting isolation, improving mental health, and the increase of pub arguments about books.