06.18.09 6:23 AM ET
12 Hot Father's Day Books
Finding the perfect Father’s Day gift can be challenging: How many Brookstone gadgets can you buy before he starts to feel as if he’s living in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen? Luckily, somewhere in this list of a dozen hot reads, you’re bound to find something that Dad will genuinely appreciate. From baseball to Elvis, cars to science fiction, here are enough page-turners to cover every patriarch personality.
With the help of celebrity bio author David Ritz, this dual autobiography from Elvis’ favorite songwriters reads just like the lyrics that made them famous. Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller achieved songwriting superstardom while they were still teenagers with songs like “Yakety Yak,” “Jailhouse Rock” and—you guessed it—“Hound Dog.” Their book is written under alternating headings, “Leiber” and “Stoller,” and is as quippy and comical as their lyrics ever were.
Far North may be best described as a Siberian sci-fi western with a female protagonist, but don’t let that deter you. In a future where civilization has deteriorated and technology has gone kaput, Makepeace is one of the few surviving residents in the Arctic—and the end is near. It’s a novel of despair, futility, and unlikely optimism that’s so full of insights it may well give us something to look forward to when the apocalypse comes to town.
Driving Like Crazy
by P.J. O’Rourke
Car buff or not, all dads can enjoy satirist P.J. O’Rourke’s ode to the American automobile—and the metaphors it inspires. O’Rourke chronicles his 30-year career waxing poetic on cars, motorcycles, and life. The need for speed, it turns out, has stayed with the author throughout his career, both on the road and off.
A biography for the ages, Masters and Commanders is an epic retelling of World War II and its four most powerful Allies: Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, General Sir Alan Brooke and General George C. Marshall. Roberts dramatically sets the stage for these world leaders’ explosive arguments on how to destroy Nazism and uncovers the impact of personality on winning their own battles—and the war.
From the bestselling author of In Harm's Way comes the true story of a small group of Special Forces who traveled to Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks and battled the Taliban on horseback. Horse Soldiers’ warfare, heroes, and villains not only make it the perfect fast-paced and action-packed summer read, it’s also practically a modern-day version of The Iliad.
What better way to celebrate Father’s Day than with a book that airs the grievances of parenthood down to every last spit-up? In American Parent, Sam Apple combines journalism with his own trials and tribulations in what he calls “modern babyland” to address some of the biggest issues in child rearing, from Lamaze class conspiracy theories to the false advertising of “no more tears” baby shampoo.
In this funny and poignant memoir, former film critic and TV host David Gilmour strikes a deal with his 15-year-old son: Gilmour will allow him to drop out of high school—and not work, not pay rent—if he promises to watch three movies a week with him, every week, and discuss them intellectually. The book chronicles the Canadian father and son’s cinematic journey, one that ultimately teaches them both more enduring life lessons than, perhaps, can ever be learned in a classroom.
Bringing together 26 acclaimed male writers—from Dominick Dunne and David Sedaris to Phillip Lopate and Tobias Wolff—this intimate collection offers rare insight into brothers’ sometimes chummy, often complex relationships with one another. A compelling read for any dad who grew up with a brother, for better or worse, it sheds new light on a relationship that is as old as the Bible, yet often overlooked.
Lewis has left the sports and finance worlds behind in his most recent book, tackling an even higher-stakes game: parenthood. This quick read, adapted from a series of Slate essays, chronicles the bestselling authors’ triumphs and travails as a dad of three, pulling back the curtain on modern fatherhood. For sensitive dads who don’t want to lose their street cred, Lewis’ book may be a smart buy.
This compelling biography reveals the myth, mystery and boundary breaker who was Leroy “Satchel” Paige. Born in pre-civil rights Alabama, Paige earned a name as a superstar hurler in the Negro Leagues, before pitching his way into the Major Leagues, helping propel the Cleveland Indians to a World Series. Through hundreds of interviews and tireless detective work, Tye—a prize-winning journalist and avid baseball fan—reveals a fascinating life story, sure to be appreciated by sports fans of all ranks.
In this riveting adventure story, McDougall takes readers on a journey to find a tribe of the world’s greatest distance runners—the reclusive Tarahumara Indians of Mexico’s deadly Copper Canyons—and learn their secrets. Along the way, he reveals why most of what we believe about running is wrong. From high-tech science labs at Harvard to, eventually, an extreme road race in Tarahumara country, McDougall’s narrative may make Dad feel like a world traveler (and perhaps a world-class athlete) without leaving his easy chair.
No Father’s Day roundup would be complete without a golf book. Gummer’s narrative tells the tale of unlikely golf genius Homer Kelley and his 1969 classic, The Golfing Machine. After obsessively devoting himself to uncovering the physics of the sport, Kelley published his widely read manual, changing golfers’ views of the modern swing. Gummer’s book will not only inform and entertain golf lovers, but may also just help them to improve their game.