By Heidi Simmons

Dear old dad loves an interesting story.  It’s marvelous how fathers know things.  We count on them to give us good advice, share their wisdom and fix our problems.  They are mostly informed, probably opinionated, but always lovable. 

It’s often a challenge to find the perfect gift for dad.  So, I suggest an engaging book.  Make dad sit down and relax with captivating characters and a compelling narrative.  Here are some fascinating books that will engage a father’s curiosity, provoke his mind, and perhaps even enlighten his thinking.  

The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the America Ideal West by David McCullough


Reading Pulitzer Prize winning author McCullough is the best way to develop a lasting love and thirst for history!  In this exploration, unexpected characters become pioneers who not only discover new territory but define American values. 

Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis by Jared Diamond

“Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.”  Looking at six countries and how they survived major upheavals, author Diamond recounts historical turning points and the psychological impact in which nations and individuals cope and recover from grave crises.

Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? by Bill McKibben

Thirty years ago, author McKibben wrote about the threat of global warming.  Today, he shares the ramifications of climate change and how it threatens the human species.  He explores not only the hope he has that we can salvage our way of life, but life itself.  This is an urgent and supremely enlightening read.

Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan

If dad just can’t take too much historical reality, fictional escapism might be a welcome retreat.  Author McEwan does a wonderful job rebuilding the past while looking into the future.  What will life be like with the spread of AI, autonomous vehicles and robots?   In this compelling story, we get a glimpse of a truly modern life living with sentient but not “human” beings.

The Reckoning by John Grisham

The new novel from master storyteller Grisham comes out June 18, but you can order the book for dad in hardcover or Kindle.  The story takes place in the South where a native son and pillar in the community commits a shocking crime.  It is another promising thriller no doubt filled with his trademark suspenseful courtroom drama.  It’s always fun to be reading a bestseller poolside while the book is on the bestseller list. 

The Iliad by Homer adapted by Gareth Hinds

This version of Homer’s great work is made easy to understand and extremely engaging in the form of a graphic novel.  This is pretty macho stuff with gruesome battles over beautiful women. 

The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World by Melinda Gates

Without a doubt, daughters are influenced by their fathers.  Fathers who love and respect their female progeny will appreciate Gates’ passionate call for men to become leaders and major supporters of women and their innate right to equality.  If you are daddy’s little girl, your pop will hopefully appreciate this book and the major challenges women face every day of life.

Fathers are often the guys working hard in the background and taking little or no credit for their efforts to make life better, sweeter and funnier. 

Show dad some love with a good book.  Happy Father’s Day!