Welcome to the first installment of BOLT’s new spotlight series! In this series we will be highlighting people doing good things in our community to help bring some positivity to your newsfeed.
Our first story for this series is on an Instagram page committed to promoting reading for enjoyment among men. @books4bros, B4B for short, is hosted by Mathieu Sanders who was born and raised in Sonoma. On the page, the “Modest Reader, Real Bro” posts short book reviews and encourages other bros to read along with him and share their thoughts.
So far, this modest reader has read, reviewed and rated 11 books including classics like The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Fahrenheit 451, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and The Old Man and the Sea. In addition to giving each book an insightful review, Mathieu also awards the books a rating using the tier system that ranges from S tier (the highest) to F tier (the lowest), although all of the books reviewed so far have scored C tier or above.
Mathieu grew up in Sonoma and now attends West Point, the United States Military Academy. He started the Instagram page on a whim and expected to get teased for it, but the response has been overwhelmingly positive. His review of Fahrenheit 451, which was the first video to feature a guest reviewer, has been viewed over 1000 times in 2 months. This was Mathieu’s favorite book review that he’s done, saying “it was a lot of fun to do a partner review with one of my bros. Our energy in that review was off the charts”. In just under 6 minutes, the pair summarizes the book and draw parallels to the present day. The energy was indeed electric.
While the page currently has less than 200 followers, Mathieu is already seeing an impact of his page. He has had peers approach him asking to borrow books and hears from friends that they have gotten into a new book after watching a review he did. West Point has noticed too, and Mathieu has been invited to become a member of their Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) chapter. Going forward Mathieu hopes to be able to devote more time to reading and reviewing books, when he is not so busy with school, sports and military duties. This is just the beginning Mathieu says, “Maybe when B4B does take off, I will make some shirts or open a library or something. Sky is the limit”