It’s Friday and time to get ready for the weekend. It’s Father’s Day on Sunday so we hope you can take time to call, maybe visit, or even just remember the father figures in your life.
Hold onto your hats, can you believe it is now September? That means it’s Father’s Day on Sunday which makes it that time of year when we all celebrate the father figures in our lives and take time to see, chat, or simply remember them. It’s also traditionally the highest selling month for socks (no idea if that’s actually true but based on my Dad’s sock drawer when we were growing up, it’s probably about 90% true).
If you’re looking to give Dad something a little different this year, we have some great suggestions for you. If you are worried about a gift arriving in time, you could always buy an ebook version for his e-reader, an audio book, send a voucher or simply make sure you’re shopping locally (here’s a reminder of how to shop for books locally here).
Finally, if your family is based in Melbourne, which is currently under Stage 4 restrictions, do take a look at Click for Vic where there are a ton of great local stores that can deliver a gift, food hamper or tasty beverage straight to Dad’s front door.
Here are our picks for the Top Reads for Dad this Father’s Day:
The Happiest Man on Earth by Eddie Jaku
Life can be beautiful if you make it beautiful. It is up to you. Eddie Jaku always considered himself a German first, a Jew second. He was proud of his country. But all of that changed on 9 November 1938, when he was beaten, arrested and taken to a concentration camp. Over the next seven years, Eddie faced unimaginable horrors every day, first in Buchenwald, then in Auschwitz, then on the Nazi death march. He lost family, friends, his country. Because he survived, Eddie made the vow to smile every day. He pays tribute to those who were lost by telling his story, sharing his wisdom and living his best possible life. He now believes he is the ‘happiest man on earth’. Published as Eddie turns 100, this is a powerful, heartbreaking and ultimately hopeful memoir of how happiness can be found even in the darkest of times.
The Mamba Mentality by Kobe Bryant
Basketball superstar Kobe Bryant gives us a lavish, deep dive inside the mind of one of the most revered athletes of all time. In the wake of his retirement from professional basketball, Kobe “The Black Mamba” Bryant shared his vast knowledge and understanding of the game and took readers on an unprecedented journey to the core of the legendary “Mamba mentality.” Citing an obligation and an opportunity to teach young players, hardcore fans, and devoted students of the game how to play it “the right way,” The Mamba Mentality takes us inside the mind of one of the most intelligent, analytical, and creative basketball players ever.
Bryant reveals his famously detailed approach and the steps he took to prepare mentally and physically to not just succeed at the game, but to excel. Readers will learn how Bryant studied an opponent, how he channeled his passion for the game, how he played through injuries. They’ll also get fascinating granular detail as he breaks down specific plays and match-ups from throughout his career.
Bryant’s detailed accounts are paired with stunning photographs by the Hall of Fame photographer Andrew D. Bernstein. The combination of Bryant’s narrative and Bernstein’s photos make The Mamba Mentality an unprecedented look behind the curtain at the career of one of the world’s most celebrated and fascinating athletes.
Pops by Michael Chabon
For the September 2016 issue of GQ, Michael Chabon wrote a piece about accompanying his son Abraham Chabon, then thirteen, to Paris Men’s Fashion Week. Possessed with a precocious sense of style, Abe was in his element chatting with designers he idolised and turning a critical eye to the freshest runway looks of the season; Chabon Sr., whose interest in clothing stops at “thrift-shopping for vintage western shirts or Hermès neckties,” sat idly by, staving off yawns and fighting the impulse that the whole thing was a massive waste of time. Despite his own indifference, however, what gradually emerged as Chabon ferried his son to and from fashion shows was a deep respect for his son’s passion. The piece quickly became a viral sensation. With the GQ story as its centerpiece, and featuring six additional essays plus an introduction, Pops illuminates the meaning, magic, and mysteries of fatherhood as only Michael Chabon can.
Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell
Utopia Avenue might be the most improbable British band you’ve never heard of. Emerging from London’s psychedelic scene in 1967, folksinger Elf Holloway, blues bassist Dean Moss, guitar virtuoso Jasper de Zoet and jazz drummer Griff Griffin together created a unique sound, with lyrics that captured their turbulent times. The band produced only two albums in two years, yet their legacy lives on. This is the story of Utopia Avenue’s brief, blazing journey from Soho clubs and draughty ballrooms to the promised land of America, just when the Summer of Love was receding into something much darker – a kaleidoscopic tale of dreams, drugs, love, madness and grief; of stardom’s wobbly ladder and fame’s Faustian pact; and of the collision between idealism and reality as the Sixties drew to a close. Above all, this captivating novel celebrates the power of music to connect across divides, define an era and thrill the soul.
Tea and Scotch with Bradman by Roland Perry
In 1995, journalist and author Roland Perry wrote to Sir Donald Bradman requesting an interview for a biography he was planning of the great cricketer. Surprisingly, the Don agreed. It was the start of a conversation that continued for years, during which the real Bradman shone, not only as a great sportsman but musician, brilliant thinker and humourist with a fondness for tea and a Scotch or two. In Tea and Scotch with Bradman, Perry paints an intimate and revealing portrait of the man many regard as the greatest Australian cricketer of all time.
Catapults and Key Hooks by Geoffrey Fisher
Whether building a bee hotel or an insect house to help your garden’s ecosystem thrive, crafting a catapult, whistle, skipping rope or cup and ball game to give away, or making a key hook or table brush to organise your home, the result of each will be entirely unique while also effortlessly stylish. All basic woodworking techniques are covered, plus Geoffrey Fisher also shows how best to prepare materials, including checking for disease, drying and stripping bark, and gives a detailed guide on your essential tool kit – what to have, how to handle your tools safely and how to maintain everything to the highest standard meaning anyone can pick up Catapults & Key Hooks and dive straight into the world of Geoffrey’s designs.
If your Dad had a super power what would it be? Tough one, but I think it may be the ability to whip out a joke at any moment, or have go go gadget arms…but I think he’d really like to have the ability to teleport. What about your Dad?
It’s Father’s Day on Sunday and while we are staying safe at home we may not be able to visit him, we can remember him. Jerry Seinfeld gave us a giggle with this quote of the day.
That’s a wrap! It’s the end of the week and time to pop the laptop away and get some rest. Look after yourself and take a walk, chat to family and friends and spend an hour or two with a great book.
Gosh, can you believe it is going to be September next week? The year has just whizzed by. Our favourite part of September is celebrating Father’s Day and this week we are taking a closer look at a few books that would make a great gift for any Dad, whether he is a brand new Dad, a Dad who needs more jokes in his repertoire or a wise Dad who likes to be armed with all of the answers.
A Little Something For the New Dads…
Bluey: My Dad is Awesome by Bingo and Bluey
Everyone loves Bandit, especially Bluey and Bingo! Find out what makes this true blue dad so special in this hilarious and heartwarming book. Bluey has been a phenomenal success since airing on ABC KIDS in October 2018, amassing legions of dedicated fans and taking the coveted position of being the most watched program ever on ABC iView, with over 200 million plays. It has also topped the Australian iTunes Kids Chart with the series peaking at #1 and consistently remaining in the Top 5.
How (Not) to Annoy Dad by Dave Hughes and Holly Ife
From one of Australia’s funniest dads on television, Dave Hughes brings us a delightful book that will no doubt be a favourite on the bookshelf for new dads all over the country. Look, Dad! I made you porridge and coffee… together! Follow this Koala Dad as he spends the day with his kids. Laugh along with all the hilarious things they say and do! (*Definitely, maybe, not entirely based on real life!)
150 Dad Jokes by Hayden Fox
Discover the ultimate collection of dad jokes for dads who think they are funny! This book is for those dads who are running out of silly dad jokes. Be warned, gifting this book to Dad will enable him to start embarrassing you with a fresh batch of hilarious dad jokes that will make you groan and roll your eyes. Hayden Fox, the author of this dad joke book, is a school teacher and veteran parent with an endless supply of ridiculous dad jokes ranging from mildly funny to sizzling red-hot-sauce-grade hilarious.
Something For the Wise Dads…
Lifespan: Revolutionary Science of Why We Age – and why we don’t have to by David Sinclair
Dr. David Sinclair reveals that everything we think we know about ageing is wrong, and shares the surprising, scientifically-proven methods that can help readers live younger, longer. For decades, the medical community has looked to a variety of reasons for why we age, and the consensus is that no one dies of old age; they die of age-related diseases. That’s because ageing is not a disease – it is inevitable. But what if everything you think you know about ageing is wrong? What if ageing is a disease? And that disease is curable. Dr. David Sinclair has dedicated his life’s work to chasing more than a longer lifespan – he wants to enable people to live longer, healthier, and disease-free well into our hundreds. In this book, he reveals a bold new theory of ageing, one that pinpoints a root cause of ageing that lies in an ancient genetic survival circuit. This genetic trick, a circuit designed to halt reproduction in order to repair damage to the genome, has enabled earth’s early microcosms to survive and evolve into more advanced organisms. But this same survival circuit is the reason we age: as genetic damage accumulates over our lifespans from UV rays, environmental toxins, and unhealthy diets, our genome is overwhelmed, causing gray hair, wrinkles, achy joints, heart issues, dementia, and, ultimately, death. But genes aren’t our destiny; we have more control over them than we’ve been taught to believe. We can’t change our DNA, but we can harness the power of the epigenome to realise the true potential of our genes. Drawing on his cutting-edge findings at the forefront of medical research, Dr. Sinclair will provide a scientifically-proven roadmap to reverse the genetic clock by activating our vitality genes, so we can live younger longer. Readers will discover how a few simple lifestyle changes, like intermittent fasting, avoiding too much animal protein, limiting sugar, avoiding x-rays, exercising with the right intensity, and even trying cold therapy, can activate our vitality genes.
Brief Answers to the Big Questions by Stephen Hawking
The world-famous cosmologist and #1 bestselling author of A Brief History of Time leaves us with his final thoughts on the universe’s biggest questions in this brilliant posthumous work. Is there a God? How did it all begin? Can we predict the future? What is inside a black hole? Is there other intelligent life in the universe? Will artificial intelligence outsmart us? How do we shape the future? Will we survive on Earth? Should we colonise space? Is time travel possible? Throughout his extraordinary career, Stephen Hawking expanded our understanding of the universe and unravelled some of its greatest mysteries. But even as his theoretical work on black holes, imaginary time and multiple histories took his mind to the furthest reaches of space, Hawking always believed that science could also be used to fix the problems on our planet. And now, as we face potentially catastrophic changes here on Earth – from climate change to dwindling natural resources to the threat of artificial super-intelligence – Stephen Hawking turns his attention to the most urgent issues for humankind. Wide-ranging, intellectually stimulating, passionately argued, and infused with his characteristic humour, it is the final book from one of the greatest minds in history and a personal view on the challenges we face as a human race, and where we, as a planet, are heading next.
How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-Life Problems by Randall Munroe
For any task you might want to do, there’s a right way, a wrong way, and a way so monumentally bad that no one would ever try it. How To is a guide to the third kind of approach. It’s full of highly impractical advice for everything from landing a plane to digging a hole. Bestselling author and cartoonist Randall Munroe explains how to predict the weather by analyzing the pixels of your Facebook photos. He teaches you how to tell if you’re a baby boomer or a millennial by measuring the radioactivity of your teeth. He offers tips for taking a selfie with a telescope, crossing a river by boiling it, and getting to your appointments on time by destroying the moon. And if you want to get rid of this book once you’re done with it, he walks you through your options for proper disposal, including dissolving it in the ocean, converting it to a vapour, using tectonic plates to subduct it into the Earth’s mantle, or launching it into the sun. By exploring the most complicated ways to do simple tasks, Munroe doesn’t just make things difficult for himself and his readers. Full of clever infographics and amusing illustrations, How To is a delightfully mind-bending way to better understand the science and technology underlying the things we do every day.
Father’s Day is just around the corner and on the blog this week we will be sharing some of the best books to gift Dad. Speaking of books, if your Dad was a character in a book, who would he be?
Father’s Day in Australia – which, unlike in many other countries, is celebrated in September – is made for book-loving fathers. It comes at the start of an annual publishing peak, when a slew of enticing titles are released in the lead-up to the holiday season. Try gifting some of these goodies to make Father’s Day extra happy for the father or grandfather in your life:
Mary Trump’s book about her uncle Donald is THE highest profile new book at the moment. It is so damning that President Trump has tried – and failed – to block publication of the book in a lawsuit. Too Much and Never Enough is full of gasp-worthy stories that reveal the meanness, greed, and emotional dysfunction displayed by the entire Trump Clan. Ever the clinical psychologist, Mary Trump also turns her professional eye on her uncle, identifying signs of sociopathy and narcissistic personality disorder. Too Much and Never Enough is deeply cringeworthy, yet strangely compelling – fathers who like to be on top of the latest happenings will find it hard to resist its sensationalist delights.
Roughy by Jarryd Roughead
This one is for all of the Dads who are sports fans…and those who enjoy a great autobiography. Cancer doesn’t discriminate. When things were at their worst for Jarryd Roughead, his four premierships, two All-Australian gongs and a Coleman Medal counted for nothing. Being that rare footballer who was as loved by opposition fans as his own was no help either. As he spent his days vomiting or curled up with the cat, and his nights in a pool of sweat, fully clothed yet freezing, rolling out of bed every couple of hours to dunk his feet in cold water to douse the feeling that they were on fire, all that mattered was that he didn’t stop believing. Belief is one of those intangibles that puts great athletes above the pack. But this was no game. Roughy is the story of a footballer who lived the dream, the country boy who not only became an AFL star, but was a key player in a Hawthorn team that will be remembered as one of the greats of any era. When in 2015 a spot on his bottom lip was diagnosed as melanoma, we could relate to him all the more. When it returned as spots on his lungs the next year, the gravity we routinely attach to football’s wins and losses seemed ridiculous. In Roughy, you’ll discover the resilience that got him through horrendous immunotherapy and helped him to not only play AFL again, but as Hawthorn captain.
The World’s Worst Parents by David Walliams
A gift of David Walliams’ latest book is an invitation to share it with your favourite young people. After exposing the naughty and terrible deeds of children and then teachers, now misbehaving parents are coming under David Walliams’ microscope. The World’s Worst Parents are ten tales that tell of the world’s most spectacularly silly mums and deliriously daft dads. Fizzing with fun, with all the hallmarks of David’s flamboyant imagination and surreal humour combined with his genius for character, these hilarious stories are guaranteed to bring on the giggles. Another superb partnership between David Walliams and illustrator Tony Ross, whose art complements the stories perfectly.
The Order by Daniel Silva
Under Daniel Silva’s masterly plotting, Israeli operative and art restorer Gabriel Allon has been through a lot. In The Order, the 20th book about Gabriel, he is tasked with the secret investigation of the death of his old friend, Pope Paul VII. To unravel this mystery, Gabriel must find the link between the Pope’s death, a missing letter written by the Pope to Gabriel, right-wing extremism, and a rumoured lost Gospel. With its mix of art, religion, current affairs and exotic locations, The Order might just be the new Da Vinci Code. Perfect for Fathers who love suspenseful thrillers.
White Fragility: Why it’s so Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin Di Angelo
For fathers who like to understand the big issues – White Fragility is one of the most in-demand books during the current debate on institutional racism. Robin DiAngelo is a sociologist who works in diversity training; here, she initiates uncomfortable discussions about how white people are complicit in society’s institutional racism – intentionally or otherwise. She coined the term “white fragility” to describe the disbelieving defensiveness that white people exhibit when they are challenged about race, and particularly when they feel implicated in white supremacy – with profound implications particularly for people who consider themselves liberal or progressive. Provocative and challenging, White Fragility is a must-read for anyone trying to understand racism and race relations.
How to be an Anti Racist by Ibram X Kendi
Like White Fragility, How to be an Anti-Racist is an unsettling, but important, read that helps us navigate the complex debates around racism. This memoir by Ibram X. Kendi charts his own journey from internalised anti-black racism, to anti-white racism, and finally, antiracism. He proposes a provocatively simple binary – an idea, action or policy is either racist – that is, contributing to a history that regards and treats different races as inherently unequal – or it is antiracist, because it is trying to dismantle that history. There is nothing in-between – especially not the popular self-declaration of “not racist”. Kendi methodically examines racism through numerous lenses, such as power, biology, ethnicity, body, culture and gender, as well as offer guidance on how to dismantle racism. How to be an Anti-racist is an honest and compelling memoir as well as a powerful textbook for change.
Hands up if your Dad has a favourite author that he is always reading? Ian Rankin, Bill Bryson, Nick Hornby, Le Carré and Raymond E. Feist are regular names in Dad’s bookshelf. Who is your Dad’s favourite?
How on earth is it mid August? This year is whizzing by and Father’s Day is just around the corner. Later this week on the blog Karen is sharing the top selling books around the world that will make great gift ideas for Dad.