Why I Read: Books for dad… Father’s Day Book Recommendation

With Father’s Day coming up on June 17th, I thought that I would offer some suggestions for dads as far as books.

They are listed here in no particular order but are ones that I think that dads would be interested.

I have been able to read at least one biography or autobiography of every American President. ( It was a very good experience and I suggest that if you do it, read them in their order of office.) And it is one of the those biographies, published in 1991, that is my first recommendation.

It is Doris Kearns Goodwin Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream It is a fine one volume work written by someone who worked for Johnson for several years.

Cars and guys go together and a very serendipitous surprise that I have read this year is about a car that is legendary, still produced, and became the symbol of a free-wheeling and free-spirited generation (yes the boomer generation). The car is the Volkswagen Beetle or Bug.

The book is Andrea Hiott’s Thinking Small : The Long, Strange Trip of the Volkswagen Beetle

Baseball is another subject that has caused the writing and printing of many books. There are three baseball that I have read this spring that I recommend. All three are recently published books. Two are about two New York Yankees of two different generations (one could have been the grandfather of the other), and two different styles of pitching but both were left-handers! The third is about a unique, progressive, and controversial owner whose innovations helped to transform the game in the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s in ways large and small… mainly large in my opinion.

The first two books are Vernona Gomez and Lawrence Goldstone’s Lefty: An American Odyssey and Jim Abbott and Tim Brown’s Imperfect: An Improbable Life 

The first book is a wonderfully fair and personal look at a Yankee pitcher, Lefty Gomez, whose unique personality and style of pitching were a part of the great Yankee teams of the 1930’s. The second is an autobiography of a pitcher (Abbott) whose disability (no right hand at birth) transformed him into a passionate competitor and role model for those who had similar disabilities. Very introspective (in a good way)   tome but also inspirational.

The owner was the incomparable Bill Veeck (as in ‘wreck’) and the book is Paul Dickson’s Bill Veeck: Baseball’s Greatest Maverick. This is a wonderful walk down the golden age of baseball in the mid-20th century and it is also a portrait of a changing America as well as a changing game, often led by Veeck through his marketing gimmicks and exploits.

Now for some good fiction.

The first is a piece by an established author and critic and takes for its story line one of the most tense and serious moments in American History – Watergate.

It is Thomas Mallon’s  Watergate: A Novel 

Mallon’s work took me back to that period 40 years ago when I was a teenager watching the drama unfold on the TV and radio and in the paper. He brings back to life Richard Nixon and his staff, gives dimension to Pat Nixon, and uses the truly interesting character of Alice Roosevelt Longworth, whose father had occupied the White House seven decades earlier, to provide color to an extraordinary and troubled time in history.

The second novel is a financial thriller written by someone who knows the financial markets.

It is HT Narea’s The Fund

The book is set in the current historical period and features government operative Kate Morales who begins to unravel a trail of financial dealings, that if allow to take place, will break the back of the American economy. Fast paced with twists and turns, The Fund is a great read!

Finally two faith based books for the dad who is a person of faith.

The first is an award winning bio of a German Pastor who stood against the Nazi regime and paid with his life for such as stance. His name was Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

The award winning book is Eric Metaxas’ Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy

Get it for dad and then when he is done, read it.

The second is one about following and not leading. And while it has a faith based context it has some important things to say about following and the importance of following.

It is Leonard Sweet’s I am A Follower: The Way, The Truth, and Life of Following Jesus

Sweet offers us a very needed perspective on followership that I think is needed today. This will be a re-read for me.

Early Happy Father’s Day!

see you behind the page!


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