August usually brings new releases in thrillers, sports biographies and political/military history – typical “Father’s Day Gift” books. But what if your dad is not a typical Dad? This year, Team Booko has looked further, to see what other interesting titles we can find. So here’s our pick of quirky, challenging and absorbing reads for the thoughtful, intellectual and playful Not-Average-Dads out there.
Dads are the Original Hipsters by Brad Getty
Help your dad relive his youth with this collection of photos from the 60s, 70s and 80s, which comprehensively show that dads are the original hipsters. See these vintage dads grow big beards, ride fixies, listen to vinyl, wear tight jeans, thick-rimmed glasses, and drink home brew (craft beer!). The snarky captions lovingly make fun of modern hipsters (and dads). Dads are the Original Hipsters started life as a blog (a modern badge of quality – only the most successful blogs get book deals) and it screams “Father’s Day novelty gift” – in an ironic way, of course. Lots of fun for dads and kids of a certain age, and for new hipster dads too!
Reservoir Dad by Clint Greagan
Reservoir Dad is another successful blog-turned-book. Clint Greagan is a stay-at-home dad who has spent the last ten years tending to four young sons and a prize-winning blog. Reservoir Dad is a record of those ten years – the funny bits, the sentimental bits, the gross bits and the frustrating bits. Clint Greagan is funny, bawdy and candid as he writes about juggling parenting and relationship maintenance (with the lovely Reservoir Mum). He is insightful about his non-traditional role, and his masculine perspective on parenting is refreshing. Reservoir Dad won’t just resonate with stay-at-home-dads, but with anyone who has ever wrangled young kids; it offers comfort and solidarity to shell-shocked young parents too.
Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear 1715 – 2015 by Sharon Sadako Takeda, Kaye Durland Spilker and M. Esguerra Clarissa
Blame Queen Victoria for making men’s fashion so bleak and boring – prior to her era, elegance in menswear often meant vibrant colours and intricate decorations. Luckily for men who love to express themselves through clothes, history is coming full circle, with colour and flair returning to men’s fashion. Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear is the stunning coffee-table book accompanying its namesake exhibition at LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art). Tracing 300 years of history, it celebrates works by iconic designers including Yves Saint Laurent, Calvin Klein, Vivienne Westwood and Saville Row tailors. Designs are analysed to show how historic dress continues to influence current fashions, and how menswear, like womenswear also use padding and shaping to express body ideals. Reigning Men offers fascinating history, splendid imagery as well as design inspiration.
Who Stole My Spear by Tim Samuels
What does being a man mean, in the age of man-buns and paleo diets? Societal expectations about “good masculinity” is changing rapidly, with efforts to destroy long-standing blokey attitudes that favour sexism and violence. Men as a gender is still advantaged, but on an individual level, many are struggling against expectations to be everything to everyone: career high-achiever, committed spouse, hands-on parent. Who Stole My Spear is Tim Samuels’ survey of what men and masculinity is all about in modern society, with discussions on corporate culture, monogamy, relationships and parenthood, religion, pornography and mental health. Its lightheartedness makes for easy reading yet does not detract from the confronting questions it poses.
Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Cooks, and Good Food by Jeff Potter
Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Cooks, and Good Food is not the usual grilling/barbecuing-themed cookbooks normally pitched at men; instead it aims to explain the science behind cooking and tasting. Understanding why particular techniques are used will turn cooking from black art to logical process – which helps beginner cooks achieve better and more consistent results. It also helps more experienced cooks learn how to cook beyond following recipes. And not only the explanations are good, the recipes sound delicious too – from simple dishes like pancakes to fancy ones such as duck confit. Written by a software engineer and published by O’Reilly Media (better known for computer-related texts), its geek pedigree is never in doubt, but Cooking for Geeks will also appeal to anyone who loves to understand the “why” of everything.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Recently I saw Outlander referred to as “a good starting point for men to get into romance novels” and can’t resist sharing this suggestion.
It works because Outlander is not just a love story; as we follow the adventures of Claire Randall, a 20th-century nurse who unintentionally time-travels to 18th-century Scotland, her story encompasses fantasy, history, action (and war), political intrigue, and sex as well as burgeoning romance. Fans love it for its clever mix of genres, historical detail, excellent character development as well as Diana Gabaldon’s emotionally-affective writing. An acclaimed TV adaptation offers another way to engage with this beloved book series.
For more Father’s Day ideas (even the more traditional kind), check out our Pinterest board.