Dad Books: Bookshop Staff Picks

By Bookshop

By Bookshop

The Bookshop staff have put together this list of recommended Dad Books, perfect gift ideas for all kinds of dads—and non-dads!

October 1964

David Halberstam

$18.00 $16.56

As a native New Yorker, I'm of the opinion that every book about the Yankees is required reading, but this one hits it out of the park. A riveting sports history and an incisive socio-political history, October 1964 recounts an exciting season of baseball made all the more exciting by increasing pressure to reckon with baseball's place in our tumultuous society. –Cosme Del Rosario-Bell, Operations Manager

The Louvre: The Many Lives of the World's Most Famous Museum

James Gardner

$30.00 $27.00

Art history nerds and Francophiles rejoice: here is the first full-length history (in English) of the most famous art museum in the world. Tracing from the area's first settlements in 5000 BCE, through its use as a fortress, then a royal residence, and finally as a museum in the aftermath of the French Revolution, James Gardner elegantly and insightfully tells us the story of French art, history, and politics as witnessed by the walls of a legendary institution. –Sarah High, Partnerships Manager

The Sympathizer: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)

Viet Thanh Nguyen

$16.00 $14.72

This novel is one of the few things that my dad and I both love. Like many other dads, mine doesn't read a lot of fiction, but this particular work of fiction hit all the right notes for him, and no doubt plenty of other dads: it's got espionage, it's got war, it's got communism (dads seem to love to talk about communism, whether pro- or anti-, and this novel has both). And it hit all the right notes for me, and plenty of other young bookish types: gorgeous prose, nuanced examinations of love and war, drama, and communism. –Kevin Chau, Editor

How to Build a Shed

Sally Coulthard and Lee John Phillips

$19.98 $18.38

How to Build a Shed hits two of my dad's major interests: sheds and line drawings. It’s written and illustrated with the same combination of simplicity and elegance that make a spectacular shed. If I had enough yard space, I’d build a shed right now. –Paige O'Malley, Customer Support Representative

The Secrets of Master Brewers: Techniques, Traditions, and Homebrew Recipes for 26 of the World's Classic Beer Styles, from Czech Pilsner to English

Jeff Alworth

$24.95

Among the top of my dad's list of interests is books about brewing. In this volume, Jeff Alworth explores 26 unique beer recipes and the secrets of the breweries that created them. As much a cultural history as a book of recipes, each section artfully describes the recipes, offers technical tips for carrying them out, and takes us on a deep dive into the historical traditions they come from. –Cosme Del Rosario-Bell, Operations Manager

The New Basics: A-To-Z Baby & Child Care for the Modern Parent

Michel Cohen

$16.99 $15.63

The New Basics helped me a lot in my days as a new parent. A straightforward but warm encyclopedia of parenting written by a hip pediatrician, this book was an invaluable source of comfort and guidance in a high-stakes, confusing time. –Andy Hunter, Founder and CEO

An African American and Latinx History of the United States

Paul Ortiz

$16.00 $14.72

For dads and non-dads who love "alternative" histories, this book is part of a series of "bottom-up histories" of the United States, both piecing together often-ignored events and complicating the broad mainstream narratives of the country from the vantage point of frequently silenced communities. In this volume, Paul Ortiz draws on the stories told by Black and Latinx workers, scholars, and activists over 200 years to depict a narrative of working class and immigrant solidarity against relentless imperialism. Deeply researched and compellingly narrated, this book is essential reading for history buffs and activist types alike. –Kevin Chau, Editor

Hopscotch

Julio Cortazar

$18.00 $16.56

My dad spent about 20 years trying to convince me to read this novel, and I'm glad he stuck with it. Hopscotch is a choose-your-own-adventure anti-novel, complete with bonus footage, about an Argentinian writer living in Paris who returns to Buenos Aires and works a series of odd jobs in the aftermath of tragedy. The book can be read in at least two different ways: straight through, or by "hopscotching" through the 155 short snapshot chapters according to the included instructions. It's a strange, twisted romp through captivating characters, linguistic and structural experiments, and theories of human consciousness. –Cosme Del Rosario-Bell, Operations Manager

The Path to Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson I

Robert A Caro

$22.00 $19.80

Essential reading for dads who love biographies is all four volumes of The Years of Lyndon Johnson. Robert Caro's meticulous research, masterful storytelling, and deep, original understanding of power create an enormous and extraordinarily readable American epic. This series is, in my opinion, one of the greatest biographies of all time. –Ellen Carpenter, Customer Support Representative

Wilmington's Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy

David Zucchino

$28.00 $25.20

David Zucchino's latest tells the story of 1890s North Carolina and the rise of modern white supremacy in Wilmington, its largest city and the site of a flourishing multiracial community.  A riveting and disturbing chronicle of a rare violent overthrow of an elected U.S. government, this book offers a dramatic account of a largely forgotten piece of history and a timely, insightful glimpse into how things became the way they are. –Kevin Chau, Editor

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Eckhart Tolle

$16.00 $14.72

My dad, like Oprah, counts The Power of Now among his favorite things. The book’s premise is simple: that the greatest obstacle to discovering one’s truest self is the mind, and by stepping away from it and being fully in the present, one can begin to achieve enlightenment. A classic self-help and spirituality text, for good reason, every step in this journey resonates even for the casual observer. –Sarah High, Partnerships Manager

A is for Activist

Innosanto Nagara

$11.95 $10.99

For dads seeking to teach their young kids both the alphabet and a sense of justice and equality, I can’t recommend A is for Activist enough. Full of vibrant colors and fun rhymes, Innosanto Nagara’s book will delight and engage two-year-olds everywhere. –Andy Hunter, Founder and CEO

White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America

Nancy Isenberg

$18.00 $16.56

Many white people across the country are having difficult and necessary conversations with their parents and this title is an excellent resource for contextualizing racism alongside class disparity. –Nathan Stormer, Customer Support Representative

The Cynic: The Political Education of Mitch McConnell

Alec Macgillis

$16.00

This year I want a better understanding of the societal mess we're in. A nuanced reference point is The Cynic, by Alex MacGillis, which I first learned about in Jane Mayer's superb New Yorker piece back in April. Nobody illustrates the cravenness, hypocrisy, and ideological ossification of our current political discourse more than Mitch McConnell, and MacGillis is a deft annotator of this dark force corrupting the heart of American democracy. Read it, Kentuckians, and cast the scales from your eyes. –David Rose, CMO