Gift Guide: A Book for Every Kind of Dad on Father’s Day
June 17th, 2022
Father’s Day is June 19th, and the team at Friends & Fiction has thoughts about your gift-giving this year. Bookish thoughts. After all, neckties are sooo pre-pandemic for the millions of men who now work at home in sweatpants and t-shirts, and really, have you ever actually seen a man use one of those cheesy little plastic putting greens? Neither have we.
Instead, why not give the father figure in your life some mind-candy? A book that will amuse, amaze, entertain and otherwise remind him of why you think he’s so special. Use this guide to pick out a book for one of the great guy types in your life.
Patti Callahan, New York Times bestselling author of 16 books, including Surviving Savannah, recently released in trade paperback Patti Callahan Henry —∞—
Travels with George: In Search of Washington and His Legacy by Nathaniel Philbrick (Viking)
A travelogue, an exploration and a historical legacy seen through the author’s eyes and experiences, this book is the perfect gift for the father who loves adventure. Both my son and my husband have loved this book and still talk about it to each other all the time. Maybe it will one day inspire their own journey! I hope it inspires yours.
Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author of 15 books, including The Forest of Vanishing Stars, recently released in trade paperback
Kristin Harmel —∞—
Pappyland: A Story of Family, Fine Bourbon, and the Things That Last by Wright Thompson (Penguin Press)
For the dad who appreciates a good story with a good sip. It’s not just a tale of America’s most sought-after bourbon, but also a moving story about honoring where we came from, the complicated ways we try to live up to our family name, and the ways we pass our family legacy on to the next generation. As a bonus, it pairs perfectly with a nice bottle of bourbon.
Kristy Woodson Harvey, New York Times bestselling author of 9 books, including her latest, The Wedding Veil
Kristy Woodson Harvey
How to Build a Boat: A Father, His Daughter, and the Unsailed Sea by Jonathan Gornall (Simon & Schuster UK)
For the seafaring dad. Gornall, in his words, “a thoroughly unskilled modern man,” sets out to build a clinker boat for his newborn baby daughter with his own two hands in hopes that, one day, they will sail on it together and have a grand adventure. A true testament to the sense of achievement that comes from creating something from scratch, this book is also a touching love letter from a father to his daughter — and an unearthing of what it means to be a child oneself. The boat becomes a metaphor for fatherhood and the timeless desire to leave behind a legacy for those we love. As the wife and mother of a truly sea-obsessed father and son who are beginning their own boatbuilding project, I’m hoping these two will read this book together.
Mary Kay Andrews, New York Times bestselling author of one cookbook and 30 novels, including her latest, The Homewreckers
Mary Kay Andrews
True: The Four Seasons of Jackie Robinson by Kostya Kennedy (St. Martin’s Press)
For the sporty dad. A richly detailed biography of the baseball player credited with breaking the major league’s color barrier. The book focuses on four transformative years in Robinson’s athletic and public life; years that offer insight into Jackie Robinson’s life as a player, a father and husband, and a civil rights hero. The book marks 50 years since Robinson’s untimely passing and the 75th anniversary of his professional baseball debut. My husband, son and now ten-year-old grandson are all ardent baseball fans, and I think Mr. MKA will enjoy this thoughtful biography. Maybe I’ll even score some minor league baseball game tix to go with the book.
Ron Block, librarian with the Cuyahoga County Public Library system in Cleveland, OH, and the host of the Friends & Fiction Writers’ Block podcast
The Guncle by Steven Rowley (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
For the non-traditional dad. It won’t get more fun and heartfelt than this story of how GUP (Gay Uncle Patrick), through tragedy, becomes caretaker for Maisie and Grant, his niece and nephew. Seemingly the least suitable person for the role, Patrick digs deep to care for these two, and himself, by incorporating the “Guncle Rules” and steering this quirky family toward healing from grief and finding great joy in unconventional and hilarious ways. A great laugh-out-loud read to explore the importance of families we get to create. WARNING: Readers may be inspired to shop for caftans and to indulge in a Guncle Cocktail Favorite:
Aperol Spritz Recipe 3 ounces prosecco 2 ounces Aperol 1 ounce club soda Orange slice, for garnish
Add the prosecco, Aperol and club soda to a wine glass filled with ice and stir. Garnish with an orange slice.
Meg Walker, longtime publishing professional, partner in the publicity and marketing firm Tandem Literary, and Managing Director for Friends & Fiction
The Storyteller by Dave Grohl (Dey Street Books)
The perfect gift for the rocker dad in your life. The Foo Fighters front man and former drummer for Nirvana opens up about his life, his musical influences, his meteoric rise to stardom, the death of Kurt Cobain, and the amazing opportunities his life in rock-n-roll has made available to him. Dave’s trademark humor and deep intelligence shine through on every page, making it clear he embodies the gift inferred by the book’s title. The audiobook is read by the man himself and is a real treat for the diehard fan. Dave’s stories have even more urgency and relevancy these days with the recent tragic passing of Foos drummer Taylor Hawkins. Pair this book with tickets to a summer concert or festival and you’ll have one happy daddy-o on your hands. Rock on!
The best part about a list like this? You can find all these gift book recommendations in our specially curated Father’s Day Gift Guide list on our Friends & Fiction Bookshop.org page, and do your online shopping at home. Just pick … and click. Doing so helps support independent bookstores nationwide, something that’s central to the Friends & Fiction mission.
About the Authors: Friends & Fiction
Mary Kay Andrews, Kristin Harmel, Kristy Woodson Harvey and Patti Callahan are the four New York Times bestselling authors behind Friends & Fiction — a wildly popular weekly live web show and podcast with an online community of more than 80,000 members across Facebook and Instagram.