Are you looking for a more meaningful gift for your dad or the man in your life? Maybe for Father’s Day? Christmas? His Birthday? Why not present the man in your life with a book? Below, check out the best books to give your dad on Father’s Day or for any time of the year. Of course, guys, girls, and non-binary readers can appreciate these titles, too.
Why Give A Book As A Present?
I look at gifts a lot like how I view giving baby gifts and cards. I would rather sign my name and send along a book than spend $5.00-$10.00 on a card that will ultimately land in the trash.
The same goes for gifts, especially for babies. There are only so many pacifiers and newborn clothes that a child needs—and these offerings do not last a lifetime, unlike a book.
Books hold meaning, are passed down for generations, and can be timelessly shared with others. Books rarely have a shelf life. No pun intended. Of course, devils’ advocates will note the clutter of books, and I also agree. Librarian blasphemy: I only keep a few shelves of my favorite books and donate/pass along the others.
With this more thoughtful and helpful gift-giving mentality, my baby gift attitude translates to adult presents. We all know that I love books, and now I have another excuse to dole out some of my favorites.
Why not give your pops, grandfather, the favorite man in your life, the best person you know, adopted family members, and anyone you can think of a book?
Best Books For Dad
Let’s Start With Classics and Eternally Loved Titles:
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
Science fiction meets military video gaming (well, you’ll see) in this 1980’s adult and young adult classic.
Set in the future, young children like Ender learn both virtual and physical war tactics. Fear of an alien attack from the Buggers motivates the educational compound. Ender comes face to face with his own morality versus innate leadership.
Suspenseful, thrilling, and still relevant, Ender’s Game is a fast-paced read that does not have to end with the book, as it is part of a quintet. Plus, there are runoff series, which makes this the perfect read for those looking to have plenty of material after emotionally attaching yourself to Ender Wiggins.
Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer
Even on a sunny day, I needed blankets to read this title.
A hard to swallow classic, you cannot help but to breathe, feel, and live Krakauer’s raw emotions. A #1 National Bookseller, Into Thin Air transcends typical memoirs as expedition climber and journalist, Jon Krakauer, fights to stay alive on Everest.
In May of 1996, an unseen storm cascaded over the already life-threatening and dangerous mountain. Five climbers died and others remained injured both mentally and physically for years to come. This memoir is an account of those events and will leave a heart-wrenching impression.
Books For Dad: Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer
Not to overemphasize one author, but Into The Wild is another timeless and inspirational tale by Krakauer.
With a slightly different tone and story to share about the meaning of life, Krakauer focuses on Chris McCandless, a famous young hitchhiker. McCandless had come from a well-off family. He decides to give up his possessions and money.
Heading to Mount McKinley in Alaska, McCandless dumps his car. We meet a new community along his route. A wandering and eclectic soul, four months after starting his journey, McCandless is found dead.
Although a somewhat controversial story of what few call ignorance or naivety versus truth and living the best possible life, Into The Wild introduces readers to a young man that you can’t help but to relate to and appreciate. Many revere McCandless and the attempt he made to live a free lifestyle.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Young adult literature is one of my favorites.
It is OK if you give this cliché suggestion an eye roll or ten. Are you sick of hearing about The Hunger Games? Well, you should and shouldn’t be. The overuse of this series is because it is indeed a great YA dystopian read. I love getting adults hooked on YA and this series does just that. YA is well written, relevant, and sometimes more emotional and packed with stronger ideas than adult fiction.
As a repeatedly suggested Banned Books Week title, don’t you want to know what the fuss is about? Do I need to even give a summary here?
We have children killing children, a world that is segmented and highly regulated, socioeconomics, and of course, teen romance. Katniss, Rue, the bread baker’s son, arrows, violence, The Capital, Snow, a fashion show of wealth….need I say more?
Best Books For Dad: The Martian by Andy Weir
I do not read that much science fiction, even though this post seemingly begs to differ. Nor am I suggesting that only guys would appreciate the genre.
When The Martian first published back in 2014, everyone talked about Mark Watney and his ability to stay alive on Mars. During a dust storm, Mark is thought dead and his crew accidentally leaves him behind on Mars. Even if Mark gets the word out that he is alive, it’s not just like a bus can come to pick him up later that week.
A sci-fi thriller with a slower pace, The Martian focuses on the technical aspects of living in space. A well-written and researched book, this fictional novel is just as intense as the memoirs and nonfiction listed above. Will Mark beat the odds and make it out alive?
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Popular Newer Adult Books For Dad:
Robin by David Itzkoff
Full disclosure here: this books for dad in on my to-read list.
Robin published spring 2018, and I cannot wait to read this biography of Robin Williams. Williams had me hooked with the Dead Poets Society, first shown to me by my freshman year high school English teacher.
From Mrs. Doubtfire to Goodwill Hunting, Williams has always struck a chord in my heart. He is a fantastic comedian and improviser. I want to learn more about his internal suffering from mental illness. Who would not want to read more about the man who won over the world?
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of Family Culture and Crisis by J.D. Vance
Another title on my to-read list after all of the buzz, two years later. Many have said that this is a must-read book.
Hillbilly Elegy also made the #1 New York Times Bestselling List. About to be turned into a major motion picture, this is a story about the working class and upward mobility. If you are looking for a political and social science book this year, I couldn’t think of a more popular and thought-provoking title.
Discussing the heart and problems with working and middle-class America, Vance tackles and brings to light issues with the current plight of the American Dream. The movie is set to be one of the most anticipated of 2019.
Bobby Flay Fit: 200 Recipes for a Healthy Lifestyle by
To lighten the mood of this book list, let’s move on to a favorite: food.
I have a like/dislike relationship for Bobby Flay but a greater appreciation for health and wellness. In a time of over processed food and Paula Dean cookbooks, Flay offers 200 modern day recipes. Fitting with current health food trends, find smoothies, breakfast bowls, soups, salads, desserts, and dinner.
Margaritaville: The Cookbook: Relaxed Recipes For a Taste of Paradise by Carlo Sernaglia and Julia Turshen with a foreword by Jimmy Buffett
Recently released in May 2018, I could not resist including this cookbook for dads.
When I first met my husband, a reader and Buffett fan, I realized that I needed to be more eclectic in my recommendations. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Margaritaville food chain but when I think of Buffett, I don’t think the author or related cookbooks.
What I do love is the ‘people’ food found in this title: nachos, sliders, ya know, nothing like the Bobby Flay healthy cookbook rec above this one. Family-friendly but also true to the song, find cocktail recipes. I know my cooking always tastes better and goes more smoothly with a drink in hand.
My Year of Running Dangerously: A Dad, A Daughter, and a Ridiculous Plan by Tom Foreman
CNN correspondent Tom Foreman is a lot like me: a happy couch potato. I work out a lot, don’t get me wrong.
Foreman ultimately becomes a marathoner—and this is where our differences die. Although Foreman has a pretty wild and dangerous job, when his 18-year-old daughter asks him to run a marathon after years of, well not running, he has to reignite his passion for running at a new age.
Read about and find inspiration in his struggles and triumphs. This title is perfect for Father’s Day.
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