If you need some gift ideas for yer pops, you can’t do better than a great book. You can click through and read my 2013, 2014, and 2015 reading lists for some ideas, but below I’ve listed five books I’ve not mentioned previously elsewhere, plus a bonus suggestion if you really like the father in your life.
Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War, Karl Marlantes
The title says it all. Karl Marlantes, a Rhodes Scholar who volunteered to serve in Vietnam, saw action there as a green Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Marines. Those experiences obviously lie behind the terror, bravery, and misery he describes here.
Once an Eagle, by Anton Myrer
Another war novel. I was browsing the end notes of Tim Ferriss’s Tools of Titans and saw that Stanley McCrystal referenced it. (It’s my understanding that it’s required reading for all the cadets at West Point.) It’s the story of an American soldier who serves in the First World War and through the Second. The combat descriptions in the First World War scenes are among the most brutal I’ve read anywhere. I think every American man should read this book. (Be warned–it is long: 1300 pages!)
Angels Flight (A Harry Bosch Novel), by Michael Connelly
I discovered the Harry Bosch series by Michael Connelly last year, and at this point I’ve read 14 of the 21 Bosch novels. Harry Bosch is a homicide detective in the L.A.P.D., and Connelly has a gift for bringing the Los Angeles underworld to life in vivid detail. Angels Flight takes place right after the Rodney King incident, and I think it’s one of Connelly’s best novels (though I’d recommend all of them).
Little Britches: Father and I Were Ranchers, by Ralph Moody
As I mentioned in a previous post, we read through this memoir as a family earlier this year. For dads who need a great book to read with their kids, I can’t recommend Little Britches highly enough. Ralph Moody lived on the Colorado prairie as a boy in the early 1900s, and this memoir tells about the hard but rewarding life he experienced there. Great for dads and kids alike.
The Rage Against God: How Atheism Led Me to Faith, by Peter Hitchens
Peter Hitchens has become one of my favorite journalists, and I read his columns and blog at “The Mail on Sunday” regularly. Mr. Hitchens is the brother of the late Christopher Hitchens, a man well-known for his strident atheism. Peter Hitchens, in contrast, had an adult conversion to conservative Anglicanism, and this book is partly a memoir of that journey.
*Bonus* Suggestion, If You REALLY Like Your Dad: a Fancy Bible
As I mentioned in my post about my 2018 Bible reading plan, I bought myself a fancy Bible to read through in 2018: a Cambridge Clarion Reference ESV in Black Goatskin. I’m telling you: this Bible is just so beautiful you can’t NOT pick it up and read it. Buy your dad a Bible, and encourage him to read through the New Testament with me, starting August 24.