Father’s Day Gift Guide June 20, 2021

Happy Father's Day! (1)

Celebrate Father’s Day on June 20th by giving your dad the best gift, a good book! The Piscataway Public Library has hundreds of books that fathers will love, including memoirs about fatherhood, historical fiction and nonfiction books, and stories that take on what it means to be a dad. Bookshelves bursting at the seams? Make sure your dad knows how to borrow ebooks and downloadable audiobooks through the Libby and Hoopla app. Create your free accounts using your library card to access a full library of available e-content!


Here are some of the top reads for fathers this month!


Pops: Fatherhood in Pieces by Michael Chabon 

In 2016, Michael Chabon wrote a piece for GQ magazine about his son attending Paris Men’s Fashion Week. Chabon thought his son’s work was a “waste of time,” despite seeing him talking to famous designers and critiquing the latest runway fashions. However, after taking his son to and from fashion shows over the years, he began to “gain a deep respect for his son’s passion.” The GQ article quickly went viral, resulting in Chabon writing Pops: Fatherhood in Pieces with six additional essays included.


Tinkers by Paul Harding

Paul Harding’s Pulitzer Prize–winning debut novel is a modern piece of literature about the beauty of nature, life, and the relationship between a father and a son. Days before his death, George Crosby goes deep into his memories to relive the past he left behind. Living in New England in his youth, George reminisces about the pain and beauty he felt growing up with his father, a home goods salesman, who struggled with epilepsy. This title is available as a downloadable ebook.


The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson

Eric Larson, author of The Devil in the White City and Dead Wake, chronicles Winston Churchill’s first day as prime minister when Adolf Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium. After Hilter waged a relentless bombing campaign that killed 45,000 Britons, Churchill felt an obligation to hold the county together by recruiting Britain as an ally against Hilter. Larson depicts the events in cinematic detail and writes a “story of political brinkmanship, but it’s also an intimate domestic drama, set against the backdrop of Churchill’s prime-ministerial country home.” This title is available as a downloadable ebook and audiobook.


Things My Son Needs To Know About The World by Fredrick Backman

Fredrick Backman delivers a brand new work of essays about the joy and struggles of fatherhood. Backman details all the “firsts” he experienced as a father as well as the things that left him unprepared as a father. Not only does Backman discuss the wonders of being a father but he is not afraid to write about his flaws and mishaps as he raises his son. From midlife crises to masculinity, Things My Son Needs to Know About the World is a touching portrayal of fatherhood that is both irresistible and insightful. This title is available as a downloadable ebook.


The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Set in a post apocalyptic world, a father and son must take a journey to the coast, in hopes of finding a better life. They have nothing but the clothes on their backs and the supplies they can gather from abandoned stores and homes. In a world where there seems to be no hope, The Road is about the bond between father and son who find the world within one another when the one around them is disintegrating. This title is available as a downloadable ebook.


Bear Necessity by James Gould-Bourn

In the last year, Danny’s life had been anything but easy. His wife died in a car accident and his son has not spoken since the incident. He loses his job and decides his only option is to put on an old panda bear costume and become a street performer to support his family. Sitting on a bench one afternoon Danny’s son sits next to him and begins to open up, not knowing the man under the panda costume is his father. Bear Necessity is a heartwarming and hilarious novel about loss and connection between a father and son.


The Tender Bar by J. R. Moehringer

Author J.R. Moehringer’s memoir details his life growing up without his biological father by his side. At a young age, Moehringer finds sanctuary at his town’s local bar, where he befriends a collection of older gentlemen. Without a father, Moehringer looks up to these men as male figures, regardless of their flaws. It is characterized as “a classic American story of self-invention and escape, of the fierce love between a single mother and an only son, it’s also a moving portrait of one boy’s struggle to become a man, and an unforgettable depiction of how men remain, at heart, lost boys.”


One Last Thing Before I Go by Jonathan Tropper

Drew Silver, a drummer in his past life for a one-hit wonder rock band, gets a wake up call when he discovers that he needs immediate heart surgery, or else he will die. Meanwhile, his wife has found a great new guy and his daughter has just found out she is pregnant, and as a result confides in him because letting him down is the least of her worries. Wanting to be a better man and reconnect with his daughter, Drew debates whether to accept the surgery or spend his remaining time repairing his relationships and growing as a man. 


Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

In February 1862 Abraham Lincoln’s son Willie died after he fell gravely ill, despite predictions of a recovery. Abraham Lincoln said, “My poor boy, he was too good for this earth, […] God has called him home.” George Saunders takes this small piece of history and weaves it into an imaginative story of love and loss. By including supernatural elements, Saunders writes a story that is “a testament to fiction’s ability to speak honestly and powerfully to the things that really matter to us.” This title is available as a downloadable ebook and audiobook.


Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

In a mix of lyrical personal narrative, reimagined history and essayistic argument, Ta-Nehisi Coates examines our nation’s history and current crisis of race. Coates writes about “moments when he discovered some new truth about our long, tangled history of race, whether through his myth-busting professors at Howard University, a trip to a Civil War battlefield with a rogue historian, a journey to Chicago’s South Side to visit aging survivors of 20th century America’s ‘long war on black people,’ or a visit with the mother of a beloved friend who was shot down by the police.” Coates creatively emphasizes his narrative by writing his story through a series of letters to his teenage son in hopes that the next generation will rise above the mistakes we have made. Between the World and Me examines not only our history but what we can do moving forward. This title is available as a downloadable ebook and audiobook.

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