Dads. From the puns and the barbecuing, to the goofy grins and the socks with sandals, they are quite a special breed. You’ve got to love them, no matter how dysfunctional they may be, because they really do care about you more than anything in this world, and only want the best for you.
Father’s Day is right around the corner, which means it’s time to show your old man some gratitude for all that he does. Instead of scrambling for a last minute gift like you usually do, you should take a look at this list of books we’ve compiled – perfect for fathers of all kinds. Every book listed here will certainly look wonderful on your Dad’s shelf … and in his hands, when he can’t bear to put it down.
What better way to show your Dad some love than with a good book? Here are twenty books that’ll make great gifts for any father who loves to read (or wants to start).
A Life in Faithful Service to the Community That Made Me
David O. Brown with Michelle Burford
Rare is the glimpse we get into the lives and minds of our law enforcement professionals. Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown parts that curtain and shares with us his own rise through the ranks of the police force, culminating on the infamous day in July 2016 when five cops were killed by a sniper during the protest of the killing of an unarmed black man. The storytelling and takeaways in this memoir are stunning.
Searching for Wild Salmon, from River to Table
Is Dad a passionate fisherman? Consider, then, Outside Magazine writer Langdon Cook’s exploration of the world of salmon, from what their part in human survival has been to the movement to ensure the survival of this family of fish.
Clive Cussler and Graham Brown
In this latest thriller from Clive Cussler, readers are transported to the South Pacific and beyond, where in invaluable – and potentially very dangerous – aircraft has gone missing. NUMA (National Underwater and Marine Agency) head Kurt Austin works against the clock as numerous world powers race to find the fallen X-37. Dad won’t be able to stop reading until he turns the last page.
John Dillinger and Baby Face Nelson are among the gangsters who make an appearance in this crime thriller for Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Stephen Hunter. G-Man spans decades as it plunges us into the crime-laden 1930s and forward to 2014, where the discovery of a relic from the past threatens to unearth a long-buried secret.
The War in Ben Franklin's House
Daniel Mark Epstein
Dads who like diving into history will love award-winning writer Daniel Epstein’s telling of the tangled story of Ben Franklin and his illegitimate son, William. The little-discussed influence of William on American history as well as his tumultuous relationship with his father are brought back to life in this impressive work of narrative nonfiction.
John Grisham has remained strongly at the head of the pack of legal thriller writers, and his thirtieth novel for adults, Camino Island, further secures his place here. His latest takes us from Princeton University to Camino Island in Florida, as the loot from a breathtaking heist becomes the centerpiece in the lives of a bookstore owner with a dark secret and a young novelist.
My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating
Alan Alda is one of a kind, and has been entertaining us endlessly for decades. As Hawkeye Pierce for five years in the 1970s and early ‘80s on M*A*S*H (still running in syndication in full force) to, most recently, the Steven Spielberg-directed adaptation “Bridge of Spies,” Alda has true staying power. And he’s learned a few things about communication along the way. Through what he’s learned via his own miscommunications, give Dad a lesson in getting his point across courtesy of an American icon.
Men and solitude: a subject long explored by writers, filmmakers, poets, and philosophers. It’s this topic that Haruki Murakami turns his pen to in this collection of short fiction that is all at once provocative, thoughtful, and funny. Give Dad the gift of inspiration to, well, spend some time alone with a fantastic book.
The Fight for Freedom
Thomas E. Ricks
Winston Churchill and George Orwell both contributed to the making of the United States in ways oft underappreciated but nonetheless essential. In this joint biography of these two men, foreign policy and national security expert and former Wall Street Journal writer Thomas E. Ricks takes us through their remarkable, parallel lives.
The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill
In the late 1890s, Winston Churchill set out for South Africa to jumpstart his political career. His story took a turn for the treacherous, though, when he was taken prisoner by Boer rebels. In her latest history tome, bestselling author Candice Millard brings us back to this moment in time, spinning this story into an epic adventure in her own style. Dad won’t be able to put it down.
A number one New York Times bestseller, this moving father-son story is loosely based on the lives of Abraham Lincoln and his eleven-year-old son, Willie, who becomes very ill and dies. The novel takes a turn into the supernatural when Willie Lincoln finds himself in purgatory, where ghosts gather to perform acts of penance. Within this transitional state, the “bardo,” Willie becomes overwhelmed with struggle. This book is sure to evoke all kinds of feelings from every dad with a son.
An Unfinished Life
Jonathan Gould’s biography maps out Otis Redding’s life and explores his unparalleled musicianship through groundbreaking research, never seen before. The portrait of the singer’s background, his upbringing, and his professional career are outlined in this beautiful book with the help of the Redding family. Otis Redding continues to have a strong influence on music today, despite his life being tragically cut short. This book is great for all music-loving Dads out there who want to understand what The King of Soul was really like.
Baseball, Pitching, and the Art of Deception
Dads that are diehard baseball fans need to get their hands on this book. When Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners pitched a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays in August 2012, McDermott, a devoted fan, was inspired to understand the power of a perfect pitch and how to achieve it. Off Speed provides an in-depth look at the art and evolution of pitching, and will appeal to anyone with a passion for the great American pastime.
Great Writers on Great Beatles Songs
The Beatles’ influence on the music industry is never fading. Even today, we all have a favorite song of theirs that we’ve listened to at least a hundred times. These essays highlight both the Beatles’ evolution as well as the span of generations their music affected, especially our fathers’ – a generation that grew up listening to the Beatles on vinyl records.
Reflections on Fatherhood
This captivating memoir, a number one Italian bestseller, follows the everyday life of Matteo Bussola, a designer and cartoonist who lives in Verona, Italy, with his wife, Paola, and their three young daughters, Virginia, Ginevra, and Melania. Readers will venture through the seasons of parenthood and life as they read about Matteo’s experiences as a father. This book will remind any father to appreciate the present, and never take the simple things in life for granted.
Tales of a 6' 4", African American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning, Asthmatic, Black and Proud Blerd, Mama's Boy, Dad, and Stand-Up Comedian
W. Kamau Bell
If Dad never wants to miss an opportunity for a good, smart laugh, then this book is the perfect gift for him. In it, W. Kamau Bell tackles complex issues in society today, such as race relations, fatherhood, law enforcement, politics, religion, etc., all with a witty sense of humor that is sure to bring a smile to every Dad’s face.
A Climber's Journey of Endurance, Risk, and Going Beyond Limits
Does your dad love adventure and the outdoors? If so, this book is the perfect gift for him. A New York Times bestseller, this inspiring memoir traces the journey of Tommy Caldwell’s life through his free-climbing career, and highlights his climb up Yosemite’s nearly vertical 3,000-foot Dawn Wall – the hardest climb in history. This book is for any climbing dad or father who has a fear to overcome and wants to connect with the world on a deeper level.
The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life
Sally Bedell Smith
No one is perfect. Not even Prince Charles. This New York Times bestselling biography looks at the life of the Prince of Wales, the oldest heir to the throne in more than three hundred years. Sally Bedell Smith conducted four years of research and hundreds of interviews to discover the ins and outs of this Royal’s compelling and complicated life. It is the first authoritative account of Charles’s life that sheds light on the death of Diana, his marriage to Camilla, and his preparations to take the throne one day.
Stories from Nature's Great Connectors
David George Haskell
Any nature-loving dad interested in transcending the magic of our ecosystem needs a copy of this book. In it, Haskell visits trees around the world observing, with all his senses, each tree’s vital connections with other living organisms around it. He demonstrates how the lives of trees and people are deeply interwoven, and helps readers to understand the vast complexity, and necessity, of trees.
This illustrated collection of quotes and advice – equal parts self-help and grooming guide – by quintessential American poet and writer Walt Whitman is the ideal gift for any father who wants to live a healthy lifestyle, physically and emotionally, and wants to do so as a well-groomed individual. This short collection presents more than seventy-five of Whitman’s best tips for healthy living, all in his signature lyrical prose style.