Don’t judge a book by its cover: A men’s book club in Merri-bek

Tough Guy Book Club is a network of men’s book clubs in local Merri-bek watering holes.

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

The Tough Guy Book Club is a modern meeting place for guys of all walks of life to get together and discuss not just the work of literary greats, but any and all of the issues that men tackle on a daily basis. It’s where guys can engage in bare knuckled conversation about the manly classics of contemporary literature.

Once a month we get together to sink a couple of brews and discuss the themes and topics that arise from the previous month’s reading. A great chance to share your thoughts, meet some excellent lads and foster a community of reading and good old-fashioned chat.

The camaraderie from monthly club meetups helps foster an environment where a wide range of topics can be discussed. Including the examination and appreciation of some of the best examples of the printed word. This is the pool hall at the end of the alley but with Hemingway.

The Club was started by a couple of guys who wanted to read more and connect a bit more with their community. Guys with something to say and not always the place to say it. There are chapters all over Australia, but are spreading to the USA, the UK, and NZ.

Tough Guy Book Club is a chance to talk about anything but your work. It’s a chance to be yourself instead of your job. To read choice books by great authors on a wide range of subjects. To read books you wouldn’t otherwise. To talk with your peers and participate in lively discourse. To meet cool people, to get out of your comfort zone.

And it’s a chance to read more.

There are four chapters across Merri-bek who meet on the first Monday of the month (except January) at 7pm and the below locations:

Brunswick Chapter meets at The Railway Hotel – 291 Albert Street, Brunswick

Brunswick East Chapter meets at The Lomond Hotel – 225 Nicholson Street, Brunswick East

Coburg Chapter meets at the Coburg RSL – 232 Sydney Road, Coburg

Pascoe Vale Chapter meets at the Pascoe Vale RSL – 40 Cumberland Road, Pascoe Vale


The Club is a registered charity, and more information can be found here – or email