The JobsForHer Guide to the 8 Best Books to Gift Dads this Father's Day
- Schonali Rebello
- Working Women, Weekend Reads
- 14 Jun 2019
The men who fill daddy roles today have evolved so vastly from the men who filled them just a few generations ago.
On Father’s Day 2019, we see men stepping up to their fatherly duties and responsibilities in far more equal ways than they had (probably) experienced growing up.
At JobsForHer, we count this as one of the most crucial reasons why more and more women are able to start, restart, and rise in their careers.
It could be your dad who stood up for you to shine at school, in college and in your career after it…
Or your husband who shoulders his share of the load at home, so that you can pursue your career just as much as he pursues his…
Or your grandfather who made you believe in yourself, all the time…
All these men, we applaud. And we say thank you. For being you so that we can be us, stress-free.
And to help women in their efforts to appreciate the fathers in their lives, we’ve put together a guide of 8 books to gift these men, which will show them how much they are loved and thought of, every day.
Here is the JobsForHer guide to the 8 best books to gift dads on Father’s Day 2019:
1. A Man Called Ove - Frederik Backman
This is a rousing (not very long) book about ageing, loneliness and depression in men of a certain generation. Throughout the book, a recently widowed and retired man is trying to commit suicide every day but keeps getting interrupted by his pesky neighbours, especially one pregnant Persian woman who refuses to give up on him.
With every page, the reader swings wildly between deep sadness and hysterical laughter - a testament to the writer’s magnificent skill.
This is a must-read book for every man who will either recognise himself in the wonderful characters or knows men like them.
2. Educated - Tara Westover
This book was written by a young woman who grew up in one of the most isolated parts of America - a mountain called Buck’s Peak, in Idaho.
She was one of seven children born at home to Mormon parents, and a survivalist dad who was constantly stockpiling supplies for the “End of Days”. She and her siblings were never allowed to see a doctor or a nurse or visit a hospital. Their family was so isolated that none of them could even understand how wrong it was when one of her older brothers became increasingly, frighteningly violent.
The author didn’t have a birth certificate until she was nine years old and first stepped into a classroom at 17 years old.
That classroom and education led her to Harvard and Cambridge. Only then does she begin to wonder if she’s travelled too far from home.
This is a book that will open a man’s mind to the endless possibilities of the human spirit, in the face of constant resistance. It will also expand his view of love, and what lines we should not cross between love and trying to control the person we love.
3. A Place For Us - Fatima Farheen Mirza
All the joy, angst, anger, sorrow, faith, and trust that we place in family, religion, tradition, and honour are put to the test in this powerful novel that focuses on the lives of an Indian-Muslim family of immigrant and first-generation Americans, in suburban California.
The best part in this book is when you finally hear about their ordinary, turbulent family life from the experience of the father, after going through each child’s and their mother’s, back and forth through time.
This book is an incredible journey of revelation and soul-searching for every man who has ever grown up in a family, or is building and weaving the fabric of their own family.
4. Natural Born Heroes - Christopher McDougall
A book for every man who has ever questioned his physical ability in a world bent on keeping us immobile and hunched over gadgets. A glorious mash of history, literature, physiology, biology, the world of medicine, and our own innate ability to survive, if ever we are stranded in a forest, or on a desert island.
Starting from the unlikely band of professors, poets and theatre actors who were recruited by Winston Churchill to win WWII for England, the book takes you on a dazzling ride further back in time to the ancient Greeks, their pantheon of gods, and how humans achieved divinity through physically challenging and bettering themselves.
It then races ahead to today and how we, too, can change the way we age, grow stronger, enjoy the outdoors, and find joy and satisfaction in living a long and healthy life.
Dads are going to read this book and change their parenting styles in hours!
5. Man Up: Surviving Modern Masculinity - Jack Urwin
I haven’t read this book, but it is definitely on my list as a feminist mum to an almost-six-year-old boy in an all-boys’ school!
Here’s what Goodreads has to say about it:
“He traces crises of masculinity from our grandfathers’ inability to deal with the horrors of war, to the mob mentality of football terraces or Fight Club, and the disturbing rise of mental health problems among men today.
Smart, funny and friendly, but with a wisdom that belies the author’s age, Man Up is the start of an essential conversation for men, exploring why we have perpetuated the myth of masculinity —– and how we can challenge it, and change it.”1
Now, does that sound like something all dads should be reading this Father’s Day?
We think, yes.
6. Ghachar Ghochar - Vivek Shanbhag
If ever there were an award for the shortest, most perfect novel ever written it would go to Ghachar Ghochar.
Penned in a heady brew of nostalgia and locaaaaal Bangalore feeling, it follows the story of that semi-joint family you knew next door who came from hard times, had a couple of uncles who worked hard to bring home the bacon for the rest, family members who sacrificed something personally to support the education of the children who came after...
...and the children who grew up oblivious to all of this blood, sweat, and toil done in their name.
Children who now exist in bleak contrast to what their parents achieved (in hard work and personal commitment more than anything else) before them.
And then there’s the ever-present problem of the ants…
“Things become “ghachar ghochar”—a nonsense phrase uttered by one meaning something tangled beyond repair, a knot that can't be untied.”2
Short & powerful, this is a great read for the busy dad who will enjoy a reminder of why his children should value his hard work for the family, just as they do their mum’s!
7. Incarnations: India in 50 Lives - Sunil Khilnani
A book to read on the go (just 8-9 page short stories inside!), Incarnations chronicles the lives of 50 of India’s most colourful, impactful, and debonair characters, through history. Beginning with Buddha and working its way down the centuries to Dhirubhai Ambani, it weaves a rich tapestry of the interconnected traditions and lives that India has always had.
Throw in a Mughal emperor who took India’s economy to over $90 billion during his reign (surpassing China and Western Europe entirely), and a Sufi poet hailed as the “father of qawwali”, and you’ve got quite the monsoon read.
After this book, the dads in your life will be all brushed up on Indian history in stories-to-tell-at-networking-events - the best way!
Happy Father’s Day, smarty-pants!
8. Less - Andrew Sean Greer
If the fathers in your life relish that laugh-out-loud, pee-your-pants, tears streaming down your face kinda reading, then Less is for them.
“In the opening pages of ‘Less,’ a 49-year-old writer learns that his former boyfriend is about to get married. To avoid attending the wedding as a heartbroken guest, he embarks on a humiliating trip around the world, teaching classes and delivering readings at any place that will have him.
As a novel, it’s delightful. As a Pulitzer winner, it’s a unicorn.”3
Every single page is a delightful disaster of this sweet and bumbling man’s globe-trot. The situations in which he finds himself, his awkward attempts at saving grace, the people he meets, the friends he makes, the experiences he has - all come together in an impeccable work of skill and precision that will make dads laugh like boys again.
And therein ends today’s guide on gifting dads books for Father’s Day 2019!
This Father’s Day, if you love him, gift him a book.