Thursday, June 13, 2013

13 Books to Consider Getting Dad for Father's Day

So...I haven't read all of the books on this list, but I wanted to put together a suggestion list anyway. My inbox has been slammed with recs for all sorts of things for Father's Day. Why not books? (yes it has been slammed with book recs, too)

Of course not all fathers are readers and that's fine, but audio books are always an option as are coffee table books etc. Anyway, I present to you a few ideas in case you are running low on them. Oh also, feel free to add you own suggestions!

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Ha ha you knew this was going to be on here right? Okay but hear me out. First of all, when I told my dad I was going to read this book this year, he decided to read it, too. (on audio) And he beat me! He's already finished! Also, this is a classic the word war is in the title, and it's huge. So lotsss of reading material. Excellent pick, imo. This is a pick for any father, except maybe the kind that is very vocal about not liking to read!

The Absent One by Jussi-Adler Olsen

This can be filed under books I haven't read, but is a pick for fathers who love mystery. Also, it's set in Denmark and that should be enough. Seriously, though, Nordic Noir is all the rage and there's no reason not to get your father into another Scandinavian mystery series, particularly if he enjoyed The Millenium Trilogy.

Life After Death by Damien Echols.

This is for the memoir loving father. Here's the synopsis: In this New York Times bestselling memoir, Damien Echols details the two decades he spent on death row for a crime he was falsely convicted for. In 1993, Damien and two friends, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr.—who have come to be known as the West Memphis Three—were arrested for the murders of three eight-year-old boys in Arkansas. The trial, marked by false testimony and tampered evidence, found the teenager guilty. Baldwin and Misskelley were sentenced to life, while Damien, the perceived “ringleader” was sentenced to death. Over the years, the WM3 gained national recognition as a symbol of wrongful conviction and imprisonment through documentaries, countless supporters and notable celebrities. In August 2011, the three men were released. Life After Death is Damien’s full story—describing, in full detail, the horrors of prison and the patience, spirituality and perseverance that kept him alive.

So some men really like reading about prison life, etc. Plus there's justice! And just a really intriguing story there.

1984 by George Orwell.

Hahaha, you knew this was coming right? I mean in light of recent national events it seems like the perfect time for such a book. I actually still haven't read this, but I really need to! Hopefully this year. I read something on Tumblr about how sales for this book are up. Seriously, though, it might give your father a chuckle if nothing else. Synopsis: Written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell's chilling prophecy about the future. And while the year 1984 has come and gone, Orwell's narrative is timelier than ever. 1984 presents a startling and haunting vision of the world, so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the power of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of multiple generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions. A legacy that seems only to grow with the passage of time. hahaha, sorry.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

If 1984 isn't to your dad's liking, or he's already read it, there's always our contemporary dystopian hit, The Hunger Games. With the Catching Fire movie coming out in the fall, why not get your dad started on the superior books?

And don't even try to tell me these are books for me because that's hogwash.

A Chance to Win: Boyhood, Baseball, and the Struggle for Redemption in the Inner City by Jonathan Schuppe

I haven't read this, but it's definitely on my "hope to read soon" pile. Maybe your father loves baseball? (my father hates it as it turns out, but my grandfather loved it!) Baseball fans will likely enjoy this kind of story...I don't know I feel like we are different from other kinds of sports fans and that's evidenced by the sheer amount of baseball literature in existence. Plus there's a lot of mythology and history around the sport, etc. Synopsis: A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist follows an embattled Little League team in inner-city Newark, revealing the complex realities of life in one of America’s most dangerous cities

When Rodney Mason, an ex-con drug dealer from Newark’s rough South Ward, was shot and paralyzed, he vowed to turn his life around. A former high-school pitching ace with a 93 mph fastball, Mason decided to form a Little League team to help boys avoid the street life that had claimed his youth and mobility. Predictably, the players struggle—they endure poverty, unstable family lives with few positive male role models, failing schools, and dangerous neighborhoods—but through the fists and tears, lopsided losses and rare victories, this bunch of misfits becomes a team, and in doing so gives the community something to root for. With in-depth reporting, fascinating characters, and vivid prose, Jonathan Schuppe’s book is both a penetrating, true-to-life portrait of what’s at stake for kids growing up poor in America’s inner cities and a portrait of Newark itself, a struggling city that has recently known great hope as well as failure.

John Adams by David McCullough

Ha, just imagine this as any history book ever. I've never read it (apparently I don't read books I think of as being for dads, hmmm) but my dad did! And I watched the mini-series which I really liked. American history is fun, right? Plus everyone can use a refresher now and then.

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller

I loooove this book. Also, this is for the spiritual/Christian father. This is one of the most inspirational books I have ever read. It's about writing a better story with your life. It's easy to read and engaging and is the kind of book that just really makes you think it's possible to live a better life. Also, it is not an ad for the movie Blue Like Jazz! (when I talked to my sister about this book she said someone described it like that) though it IS probably part of the reason the Kickstarter project was successful.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Why not give your father this page turner about a messed up married couple? This page turner is sure to please, plus there's a bit of a Father's Day surprise in it. I mean maybe one of the characters would be a really bad dad, but who cares? Dads come in all kinds. Anyway if your dad missed this one, maybe now is the time to read it!

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

Sure people were pretty split on this book, but there's a chance you dad might find it interesting. If for no other reason than to be part of the culture conversation! While also not a feel good book, it does have something interesting to say/explore!

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

Or maybe your dad likes Sci-Fi? In which case I recommend my own personal favorite The Sparrow. Also not a happy book, but a VERY GOOD BOOK. Jesuits in space, etc. It's also a very gripping book when I read it, I remember how much I didn't want to be torn away from it!

Strong Poison by Dorothy Sayers

But...maybe your dad would like a little less heavy and prefer a nice light mystery instead? In that case Strong Poison is perfect! It's a fun mystery with a surprise ending and doesn't include the world's darkest twistiest people.

Lord Peter Wimsey is a fun detective and the humor is so enjoyable.

Epic Fail: Bad Art, Viral Fame, and the History of the Worst Thing Ever by Mark O'Connell

Or you could get your dad this fun, short e-book, about the appeal of the epic fail that explores what in the world is so wrong with us that we enjoy these things. I really enjoyed this one, but have yet to review it!

So...those are my suggestions! I feel like they might be not the typical list, but I know it doesn't matter you all stopped after suggestion number 1 and will be getting War and Peace for your father this year.

For anyone spending Father's Day fatherless or in a bad relationship with their father--all my love.

Leave me your suggestions in comments!


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