Do the dads in your life like to read? I really, really hope so. (Even if they don’t, I am totally advocating the gift of books for Father’s Day, heh.)
In an effort to keep my mind busy and distracted*, I have been compiling a list of excellent books that would make wonderful gifts for Father’s Day. I think there is something on this big list for every reading father or father-figure in your life. (If you are stuck on what to get someone who says they are not a reader, you could always try and show them the bookish light! I have had success giving nonfiction books to people who claim to not be readers and met with great success! Maybe this would work for you too?)
Anyway, here…the giant list:
- My Antonía, by Willa Cather
- East of Eden, by John Steinbeck
- Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes – this Edith Grossman translation, as linked, is excellent!
- Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley – this Penguin edition I have linked is awesome.
- The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas (pére)
- Moby Dick, by Herman Melville – Yes, seriously! And, again, advocating for this particular edition to which I have linked you.
- Out Stealing Horses, by Per Petterson
- Homer & Langley, by E.L. Doctorow
- The Sea, by John Banville
- High Fidelity, by Nick Hornsby
- Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, by Robin Sloan
- The Submission, by Amy Waldman
- Breath, by Tim Winton
- March, by Geraldine Brooks
- The Wasp Factory, by Iain Banks
- The Shipping News, by Annie Proulx
- The Ha-Ha, by Dave King
- A Case of Exploding Mangoes, by Mohammed Hanif
- Embassytown, by China Miéville
- Straight Man, by Richard Russo
- Wolf Hall & Bring Up the Bodies, by Hilary Mantel
- In the Orchards, the Swallows, by Peter Hobbs
- Telegraph Avenue, by Michael Chabon
- The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach (This book would actually be well-paired with Moby Dick. And, as people say Rocky isn’t a boxing movie, The Art of Fielding isn’t really a baseball novel.)
Word of Iain Banks’ death is in the news today and I am sad. Banks let the world know he was terminally ill, just this past April. He hoped for at least a year’s worth of time and I did too. By all accounts he was a lovely man and he will be deeply missed. Because my friend Andrew loves Banks’ writing, and The Wasp Factory in particular, I have added the novel to this list. Neil Gaiman agrees: you should all read Banks’ books. All of them.
- Galore, by Michael Crummey
- Indian Horse, by Richard Wagamese
- Joyner’s Dream, by Sylvia Tyson
- Three Day Road, by Joseph Boyden
- The Lions of al-Rassan, by Guy Gavriel Kay
- The Sisters Brothers, by Patrick deWitt
- Blankets, by Craig Thompson
- Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth, by Chris Ware
- Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel
- Pyongyang, by Guy Delisle
- Habibi, by Craig Thompson
- Hark! A Vagrant, by Kate Beaton (Canadian)
- Essex County, by Jeff Lemire (Canadian)
- Gold Diggers: Striking it Rich in the Klondike, by Charlotte Gray (Canadian)
- The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary, by Andrew Westoll (Canadian)
- Into the Silence, by Wade Davis (Canadian)
- Quiet: The Power of Introverts In a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain
- Life, by Keith Richards
- The Emperor of All Maladies, by Siddhartha Mukherjee – yes, it’s a book about the history of cancer and cancer treatment – but it is so fascinating, amazingly researched and just a fantastic book that I feel is almost required reading.
- Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand
- Moneyball, by Michael Lewis (The movie started life as a book.)
- Eating Animals, by Jonathon Safran Foer
- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot
- Every Love Story is a Ghost Story, by D.T. Max – this would be awesome paired with: This is Water by David Foster Wallace
- Packing for Mars, by Mary Roach
So – as you can see, it’s a huge list. I do hope you find something of interest here and would love to know about the books you plan to give as gifts.
If you would like a personal recommendation, I would be happy to make one for you. Just give me three books you (or your dad) love(s) and I will offer an excellent suggestion. Or two. Or three. You can post your request in the comments below.
I have linked all the above books to Goodreads. It is a great place to read book descriptions and see what others think too. When it comes time to buy, I would love to encourage you all to visit an independent bookseller to do all your book shopping. These stores are vital parts of our community and it would be wonderful for you to support a local business. (If you need a recommendation here, I would be pleased to help.)
Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there and Happy Reading!
* = (I am still working on getting better after some major surgery, so will not quite be back into regular posting just yet, but this idea has been percolating so I have worked on it slowly over the past week.)