Books for Dad on Father’s Day

Father’s Day, to me, is yet another opportunity to remind children that dads are difficult to find gifts for. Once you move beyond the hand-print art, or yet another tie from a teenager, it’s time to find something… well, if not better, than at least different. This is not to say that all dads are impossible to buy for. Sometimes, another BBQ brush or kitchen tool or garden hose is just what he needed mid-June. Sometimes there is a newly released CD that he would like, or a tie that seriously would look good (for real!). My go-to though is a book. A book from an independent bookstore to support local, a book to teach someone something or promote a novel thought, a book to look pretty on the coffee table instead of flowers that always die. There’s nothing bad about a book, even if the book is bad.

Here are just a few of my book choices for dads I know. Links are to Goodreads, please buy at your local bookstore!

Classic: One or all of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien cannot go amiss. Dads can read alone, read aloud to young ones, or be read to by children who are no longer so little. And if you get bored, calling dad “Gandalf the Grey” is guaranteed to get a reaction.

Travel: The New York Times 36 Hours: 150 Weekends in the USA & Canada will make any family want to hit the road. And what dad doesn’t want to have the best road trip ideas in the house?


Backwoods Photography: For the dad who dreams of living in the woods, or dreams of never living in the woods and just looking at pictures of other people living in the woods, we bring you Cabin Porn: Inspiration for Your Quiet Place Somewhere by Zach Klein.

Fiction: For a good example of fatherly traits and a story easy enough to read at the beach, try anything by John Irving. The Cider House Rules or The Hotel New Hampshire are both excellent choices.

For the dad with daughters, or just dads in general: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, award-winning author brings her TEDx talk about feminism in the 21st century to households everywhere. We Should All Be Feminists is what it says it is, and it’s short enough to make even the most reluctant feminist learn just a little more.


Humour Meets Science: What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe is as straightforward as the title implies. A NASA scientist offers serious answers backed by science to seemingly ridiculous hypothetical questions. For the dad who has everything, and still wants to know more.

Escapism meets Humour: Fellow Canadian Will Ferguson made the ill-fated decision to hike the Ulster Way, a meandering path through Northern Ireland. Beyond Belfast: A 560 Mile Journey Across Northern Ireland on Sore Feet is his travel journal,  including tales from the trail of bed bugs, loneliness, wet boots, and more rain than he’d bargained for. These humorous stories from the Emerald Isle will make Dad want to travel, so long as it’s not a voyage by foot!

Any dads out there get a really good book in past years? Any other favourite picks for Father’s Day? Share your favourite book gift in the comments, on Facebook, or tweet us @OneRedPhoneBox!



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