25 Father’s Day Books That Cover All of Dad’s Interests
From sports history to science projects, these books will entertain him for hours.
This article originally appeared on Real Simple.
What do you get for the father who has everything? He already has every power tool on the market, season tickets to see his favorite teams, and enough cool techy toys to last him a lifetime. Although he might not fancy himself a big reader, there’s nothing more thoughtful, or personal, than a book picked just for him.
The great thing about giving books as gifts is that even the father who thinks he’s learned it all can still explore a new world, learn more about his favorite hobby, or be entertained by a fun cast of characters.
If your dad loves to eat but can’t cook to save his life, gift him Dude Food, a men’s cookbook full of simple, yet delicious recipes with the extremely amateur chef in mind. If he’s mastered food and is ready to move on to more complex recipes, challenge him to brew his own beer with a step-by-step guide to home brewing.
If you’re looking to show your dad how much you love and appreciate him, how about a book of letter prompts, so you can write him letters about all the wonderful memories you’ve shared together? Any time he misses you, he can flip back and read your letters and feel closer to you, no matter how far you are.
For the dad who loves to watch sports, gift him a book about the lesser-known players in baseball. Although he might be able to rattle off every famous shortstop in history, he’ll be fascinated to learn about great supporting players and how they made it to the Major Leagues.
Flip through Real Simple’s list of the best books to give to your dad to find something special for him this Father’s Day. No matter his interest, from sports history to science projects, these picks will be sure to entertain him for hours.
1. 1,000 Record Covers, by Michael Ochs
For the dad who still has a collection of records somewhere in the house, this anthology of album art will capture his interest for hours. Famous music archivist and rock photographer Michael Ochs has selected the best covers from his extensive private collection, and his book takes readers through the evolution of rock music from the 60s to the 90s.
To buy: $18, amazon.com.
2. See America: A Celebration of Our National Parks & Treasured Sites, by the Creative Action Network
Given the National Park Service celebrated its 100th anniversary this year, this book is both thoughtful and timely. If Dad is an avid traveler or just has a serious case of wanderlust, he’ll love thumbing through the various graphic posters illustrating a beautiful park or national monument.
3. Letters to My Dad
A collection of envelopes, each with a different prompt for the letter inside. Prompts include: “the best adventure we’ve had together,” “my favorite memory,” and “one thing I love about our family.” What results is a time capsule of memories and letters that Dad can read and re-read for years to come.
4. The Smartest Book in the World, by Greg Proops
This combines two of Dad’s favorites—comedy and the quest to know it all. The culture compendium covers tons of historical and current references, meaning he’ll be equipped with plenty of trivia to share at future family gatherings.
To buy: $4, amazon.com.
5. The League of Outsider Baseball, by Gary Cieradkowski
This book of baseball history is perfect for the father who grew up playing (or just loving) the sport. It includes stories of baseball’s lesser-known players, as well as a look at great athletes before they hit the Major Leagues. Pages include portraits and vintage-style baseball cards, making this one book he’ll want to read and display on the shelf.
6. Miracle at Augusta, by James Patterson and Peter de Jonge
If he’s a Patterson fan, the author’s newest novel is a necessary addition to his bookshelf. It centers on Travis McKinley, an amateur golfer who unexpectedly wins the PGA Senior Open. He pairs up with a troubled teenager to conquer the world’s most respected golf course.
To buy: $14, amazon.com.
7. Mastering Homebrew, by Randy Mosher
If Dad loves beer, this handbook covers everything he needs to know about brewing his own—from buying the perfect equipment to crafting a flavor that’s all his own.
To buy: $19, amazon.com.
8. Dead Wake, by Erik Larson
This New York Times bestseller examines and retells the story of the Lusitania, a luxury ocean liner considered to be the fastest cruise ship in the world during WWI. The ship sank in May 1915, carrying with it a record number of infants and children. Larson’s carefully researched story attempts to answer many of the questions surrounding the disaster.
To buy: $17, amazon.com.
9. Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments, by Mike Adamick
This book has 30 interactive experiments for Dad to try in the house (or outside if they get too messy). It covers all of the sciences, from chemistry to human anatomy. You can even make “Marshmallow Pulse Keepers.” Curious yet?
10. The Ghost Army of World War II, by Rick Beyer and Elizabeth Sayles
This is the story of the Ghost Army—men of the 23rdHeadquarters Special Troops—whose top-secret mission in France was said to play a crucial role in defeating Germany during the war.
To buy: $20, amazon.com.
11. Dude Food: A Guy’s Guide to Cooking Kick-Ass Food, by Dan Churchill
For a Dad who can’t whip up much more than scrambled eggs, this cookbook includes 45 easy recipes for his favorite foods. It’s the perfect starter guide for his adventures in the kitchen.
12. Tom Brokaw: A Lucky Life Interrupted, by Tom Brokaw
Brokaw’s memoir is based on a journal he kept during the scary, emotional year that he was diagnosed with cancer. In addition to remembering his career highlights, he treats his illness like a reported story—and aims to help people understand his illness and handle similar battles in their own lives.
To buy: $9, amazon.com.
13. Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future,by Ashlee Vance
For a technology junkie dad, give him the authorized biography of one of Silicon Valley’s most exciting entrepreneurs—the brain behind Tesla, PayPal, and SpaceX, among others.
To buy: $14, amazon.com.
14. Who Built That, by Michelle Malkin
If Dad loves to know where things came from, or how they were built, he’ll appreciate this history of the American pioneers and inventors who created some of the most essential items we take for granted—like railroad signs, plastics, and even bottle caps.
To buy: $11, amazon.com.
15. Menswear Dog Presents the New Classics: Fresh Looks for the Modern Man, by David Fung and Yena Kim
Fashion-forward dogs model the classic menswear items and must-haves for every man’s closet, mixing essential style advice with seriously cute photos that will make any Dad smile.
To buy: $8, amazon.com.
16. Oldman’s Guide to Outsmarting Wine, by Mark Oldman
The complete guide for the guy who likes his white as much as his red. In 108 short chapters, author Mark Oldman wittily explains the basics of wine. The book also features a pronunciation table, wine picks by price range, and suggestions for food pairings.
To buy: $14.50, amazon.com.
17. The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, by Stephen J. Sansweet, Pablo Hidalgo, Bob Vitas, and Daniel Wallace
The three-volume Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia has everything heâ€™s ever wanted to know about Jedi Knights and Sith Lords, including a timeline of major events and insidersâ€™ skinny on the film franchise. May the Force be with him.
To buy: $82, amazon.com.
18. The Complete Cartoons of The New Yorker by Robert Mankoff, Adam Gopnik, and David Remnick
Keep him laughing with this collection of more than 2,000 sophisticated funnies. Bonus: The book comes with two easily searchable CDs loaded with every cartoonâ€•more than 68,000!â€•featured in the magazine since it began publishing in 1925.
To buy: $24, amazon.com.
19. Being a Dad Is Weird: Lessons in Fatherhood From My Family to Yours, by Ben Falcone
Your dad may know Ben Falcone for his appearances in the movies Enough Said and Bridesmaids, or his work as the director of The Boss and Tammy, but his most challenging role to date has been the one of a father. Your dad will relate to his struggles as he tells of the hilarious adventures he and his wife, Melissa McCarthy, have had raising their two young daughters.
20. Notes on a Banana: A Memoir of Food, Love, and Manic Depression, by David Leite
Foodie fathers will love this memoir from the James Beard Award-winning creator of the website Leiteâ€™s Culinaria. In his youth, Leite struggled with manic depression, which went undiagnosed until his mid-thirties. Until then, he found relief through food, watching Julia Child, and cooking for others. Tender and honest, this reflection on what it means to grow up and find yourself will make dad both laugh and cry.
21. The Rise of David Bowie, 1972-1973, by Mick Rock
In the year that followed the release of Bowieâ€™s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, Bowie worked tirelessly with his official photographer Mick Rock. In this book of Rockâ€™s photos, your dad will find a collection of electrifying images, about half of them previously unpublished, that highlight the incredible year of fame and experimentation that the late rock legend had.
To buy: $18, amazon.com.
22. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz
This Pulitzer-prize winning novel will resonate with the hopelessly romantic dad. It tells the story of Oscar Wao, a nerdy boy from New Jersey who loves to read J.R.R. Tolkien, learn Dominican history, and yearns for love. This heartwarming story is a perfect read for anyone who has searched for love and held onto hope throughout the way.
23. Dad Is Fat, by Jim Gaffigan
For the funny man in your life, gift him this hilarious book of stories from stand-up comedian and father of five, Jim Gaffigan. Yes—Kim and Jeannie Gaffigan have five kids. Jim’s comments on fatherhood and the behaviors of young children—from their outrageous eating habits to their confusing communication skills—will have your dad laughing out loud.
24. The Greatest Stories Never Told: 100 Tales From History to Astonish, Bewilder, and Stupefy, by Rick Beyer
If your dad is a fan of all things trivia, he’ll surely love this collection of lesser-known stories from thousands of years of rich world history. The included stories will challenge what he thinks he knows about the world, from the Scottish kilt being invented by an Englishman to the Pilgrims landing on Plymouth Rock because they ran out of beer.
To buy: $9, amazon.com.
25. The Dude Diet: Clean(ish) Food for People Who Like to Eat Dirty, by Serena Wolf
For dads who make recurrent promises to eat healthier, but can’t give up their staple diet of meat, potatoes, and beer, a cookbook to make the change easier. Instead of throwing a bunch of “clean” recipes at him, this approachable cookbook gives him the things he craves—grilled options, healthier versions of takeout favorites, and even a game-day foods section—with a fresh twist.
To buy: $14, amazon.com