Best Books for Dads
As men's departments in stores are expanding, Dads are now beginning to get more attention in gift giving. Ideas are varied but personally, books are simply the best.
What Gifts to Give Dad?
Have a thought on what to give Dad this Father's Day? The third week of June will be here soon and the old guy deserves something better than a tie or a silly magnet for the tool chest. And remember, there are other special days we need to give gifts to Dad, not just Father's Day.
Compared to our mothers, we often take fathers for granted and do not really put much thought into gifts. Maybe, this year we will make up for this. So, now you're sitting, get a pencil and paper and do some planning for Dad or grandpa or any old guy that's important to you.
For me and most of my generation it's too late as our dads have passed on and are just great memories but we can switch to the subjunctive mood for a moment and think of what we would have given him if we'd known of Father's Day back then.
For you, who still have their dads, believe me, NOW is the time and it doesn't have to break the Bank. Just a token of affection. Save the mega gifts for Birthdays. If the purse is empty, a massive hug will do.
Books in your Dad's Area of Interest
Your Dad may have many interests but there is one he is passionate about more than the others. This is your clue. If your Dad is interested in the seas and navigation, here's a novel just for him. In fact, this is a series so you can start him on this and if he enjoyed it, this solves the gift problem each time a special event comes.
Fiction Books Dad Would Enjoy
Now this might be boring and unimaginative for you, but for me, thinking of the Dads I know, the best gifts I can recommend are books. Not just the doofus joke book or the latest "How to Make a Million", but books which I know the men in our family will really enjoy reading.
These are also among my own favourite fiction and I've read each one and swashbuckled till dawn!
1. Patrick O'Brian's Books
If you have watched the movie Master and Commander with Russel Crowe, then that is Patrick O'Brian. For many, he is the greatest historical fiction writer of the 20th century and the great joy is that after Dad has read the first book, there will be a total flush of joy realizing there are 18 more to go.
Jack Aubrey, the naval Captain and Commander and his spy Irish-Basque (Who do I hate more the Poms or the Frogs?) physician friend, Maturin, will engage your Dad in an adventure crammed with solid history. The series is a very credible history of the naval side of the Napoleonic wars and the British Navy with all the maritime detail of the 18th and 19th century.
O'Brian's ear for accent and dialogue is absolutely superb and Dad will have you "toeing the line" and "swinging the lead" and run you "up the yard-arm" or "singing to the cat" in no time at all.
So, before Hollywood gets his other books in the series in the screen, get your Dad to have a peek at this famous Aubrey-Maturin series. The Aubrey-Maturin Series would be the top recommendation for this writer. Here's a great article to read on this:
Is your Dad interested in history?
Many Dads love reading fiction novels on history especially on wars, military strategy and military heroes.
My recent find is Conn Iggulden who authored the historical fiction series, The Conqueror, detailing the exploits of Genghis Khan and his fabled Mongols and The Emperor, a collection of first class history/fiction filling in the blanks in the life of Julius Caesar. It's all here, the swash, the buckle, the truth and the fiction and Iggulden has the gift, wow, can he tell a story.
2. The Conqueror Series - Conn Iggulden
With the passing of Patrick O'Brian, Iggulden is in my estimation the best writer (in English) of historical reality with fill in fiction when there is no record, alive today.
He has also co-authored with his brother, Hal, the 2006 British Book of the Year, "The Dangerous Book for Boys" and "Quantum of Tweed", a solid humorous spy effort to keep in practice (I hope) til the next massive history.
On Genghis Khan
This Conn Iggulden's Conqueror series fills a huge hole in our understanding of history. The Khan family especially Genghis, were incredible.
They conquered most of the known world and were infinitely less savage than the Europeans and Arab nations that they took to pieces. Iggulden digs into new sources and tells a rip snorter of a history that will have Dad hanging by his teeth as he also becomes the neighborhood expert on the history of Asia and Europe in the 11th century.
3. The Emperor Series - Conn Iggulden
If Genghis Khan is not an interest for your Dad, maybe Roman history might spur on his imagination. Conn Iggulden's The Emperor Series tell of how Julius Caesar rose into power in Rome. It tells of how he and Brutus grew up together just like brothers, learning warrior skills together and at some point, took the paths that would make Roman history more intriguing.
4. The Sharpe Series of Bernard Cornwell
My other recommendation in this area is Bernard Cornwell, a British war baby born of a Canadian airman Dad and a British War Women's Auxiliary Mom. He later worked for the BBC and it was during his assignment in Belfast that he met his American wife and thus, moved to the U.S. where he started writing.
My top recommendation from this author is the Sharpe Series which again is totally cut and thrust with dashes of lunge and parry. It follows Arthur Wellesley (later Duke of Wellington) at the great battles in India to form the "Jewel in the Crown", through the Peninsular Wars (Spain, Portugal) and on to the utter destruction of Napoleon at Waterloo.
The Sharpe series is supported by a magical BBC/PBS TV production of multiple episodes starring Sean Bean and a fantastic cast of British character actors. Makes the Game of Thrones look a bit tacky, actually! The Sharpe Series (21 books).
All of the Sharpe Series told through the adventures of Richard Sharpe, the sweepings of a London gutter who fights in every battle of the era, skewers frogs at random, gives great lessons in leadership and tactics, and will have Dad racing through the hose, sword in hand howling "death to Napoleon" as he impales the curtains. This is the first one to get for your Dad.
Other Bernard Cornwell's Books Your Dad Will Enjoy - Bests Gifts for Father's Day
Bernard Cornwell is a compulsive writer, so there's more books of his for your Dad. But get the old man reading Sharpe first and he'll never look back. The other series include: The Saxon series (6 books), The Warlord Chronicles (3 books), The Grail Quest (3 books), The Starbuck Chronicles (4 books), and Crowning Mercy (3 books).
Fiction Books in a Series
Fiction books in a series written by great writers are indeed the best choices. Your Dad can start digging in and once he gets into it, he can't wait for the next one. That will solve your problem as to what to give him for your next visit.
What other books would you recommend for Dads?