I didn’t intend to write a post about books for dads … but then I stumbled upon a title that would be perfect for my own father, and then another one. I started talking with book-loving friends about what books they might give their own fathers, and what those fathers’ reading habits were like.
And well, here we are, carried on by (another) tide of bookish enthusiasm.
Your dad probably has too many books already. But then again, you probably do, too—and isn’t it a wonderful problem to have?
Only you can know what your father or father-figure will love. Maybe he’s hooked on Jane Austen, or Outlander. These titles are geared towards readers who often read business nonfiction, appreciate sports and adventure, and always love an interesting read—whether it’s about finance, football, or murder.
When Chile's San Jose mine collapsed in August 2010, thirty-three miners were trapped beneath thousands of feet of rock for 69 days—longer than anyone thought they could survive. While they were still trapped in the mine, the men agreed that if they told their story, they would only do it together. On their release, they entrusted Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tobar with its telling. More info →
I'm intrigued by this father-daughter story because the ratings are about as good as they get. From the publisher: "As a journalist whose career spans three decades, CNN correspondent Tom Foreman has reported from the heart of war zones, riots, and natural disasters. He has interviewed serial killers and been in the line of fire. But the most terrifying moment of his life didn't occur on the job - it occurred at home, when his 18-year-old daughter asked, "How would you feel about running a marathon with me?" I keep hearing the audiobook is fantastic. More info →
For your hard-to-shop-for Dad or father-in-law who only wants to read about history and football: a nonfiction book about a largely forgotten slice of football—and American—history. Serious football fans know the 1942 Rose Bowl was played in North Carolina, out of fear for a reprise of Japanese attacks on the West Coast following Pearl Harbor. In this nonfiction account, Curtis digs into the lives of the boys who played in the game, and then went on to fight in WWII. In the vein of Unbroken. More info →
"You lied. Luke lied. Be at the funeral." Federal Agent Aaron Falk is summoned home with these words after his best friend Luke dies in a heartbreaking murder-suicide, turning the gun on himself after killing his wife and 6-year-old son. Falk obeys—but he can't believe his best friend could have done such a thing, and so he starts digging, dragging long-buried secrets back to the surface. The setting is the drought-ravaged Australian Outback, and the brittleness and heat are almost palpable. More info →
This is one of the 7 books I wish I could download into my brain. The author, a former hostage negotiator for the FBI, recounts fascinating workplace tales, of course: he specialized in negotiating international kidnappings, and those did NOT play out like I expected. But I was also impressed at how he took those principles and applied them to everyday life—like negotiating a salary, or buying a house, or having normal, everyday conversations with your kids. (You may be glad your dad didn't have the inside scoop on how to negotiate with a teenager back when YOU were a kid.) More info →
This book has my dad written all over it. Fiscal Times columnist Dayen's meticulous reporting follows three Florida citizens who faced foreclosure actions on their homes, brought by banks who didn't own the underlying loans. If you loved The Big Short, this well-told, accessible work about the home mortgage scandal is a must-read. More info →
This is the third novel from Brunt; reviews have politely declined to mention he's married to Megyn Kelly, but the marketers have no such reservations. Imagine Andre Agassi's Open meets Lauren Weisberger's The Singles Game. Anton Stratis isn't good at anything but tennis; his parents, both Olympic athletes, are just fine with that. This coming-of-age story tracks his life on the court from his youth, and his rise to the top, all while under his father's oppressive thumb. More info →
Years before Trump was a presidential candidate, Berkley sociologist Arlie Hochschild decided she wanted to better understand the political divide in this country. So she left her liberal California home and traveled into the heart of Tea Party territory. This wouldn't be a book if she wasn't surprised by what she found. This isn't a perfect book (as in, the author occasionally lapses into stereotypes about some political viewpoints and the people who hold them), but it's a good one, and extremely timely. More info →
Krakauer climbed Mt. Everest while on assignment for Outside Magazine in 1996, which would become the deadliest year in the history of the mountain. 8 people died on the mountain the day Krakauer himself summited; 15 died that season. Krakauer made it back down to tell the tale of what it was like on the mountain that May. Of note: known for his journalistic integrity, Krakauer has revised his story over the years as new information has come to light about the disaster. A first-class adventure story. More info →