With Father's Day approaching next Sunday June 19th, you may still be searching for the perfect gift for Dad. Inspired by a tribute penned by Houston bookseller Keaton Patterson to his father, who introduced him to the mind-altering works of Alejandro Jodorowsky, we decided to ask others at some of our favorite independent bookstores which book they would get for their dads. The responses are wide-ranging, hilarious, and moving—and they just might inspire your own Father's Day picks.
We've also got a special offer: If you buy one of these books directly from Restless, you can get 25% off at checkout when you enter the discount code "DADBOOK." Order by the evening of Wednesday the 15th for guaranteed delivery.
"If I were to pick a book from Restless Books' catalogue to give my dad for Father's Day, I would definitely give him Captivity, by György Spiró, because it basically contains everything he likes to read. As a retired historian, he appreciates well-researched historical fiction, especially those works that ground the reader in a historical worldview, rather than attempting to impose a modern viewpoint on the past. Our whole family reads lots of historical fiction with Jewish themes, and I think my dad would relate to the nearsighted nebbish narrator of Captivity, who just wants to spend his life doing research in the Library of Alexandria."
—Molly Odintz, BookPeople (Austin, TX)
"I was really lucky and grew up in a house filled with books. My dad would pull books off the shelves introducing me to Joseph Heller's Catch 22, Al Capp's comic The Shmoo and many others. This is why I would recommend Oleg Kashin's absurd, science fiction infused look at life in Putin's Russia, Fardwor, Russia!, translated by the magnificent Will Evans. (Here's a picture of my cat Sonic.)"
—Caitlin Luce Baker, University Book Store (Seattle, WA)
"You don't need to be a sports fan to appreciate the wonderful insight, humor and philosophy of Juan Villoro's writing. Along with Eduardo Galeano's Soccer in Sun & Shadow, God is Round is essential reading for anyone looking to better understand the world's most popular sport."
—Shawn Donley, Powell's Books (Portland, OR)
"I think when I give this to my Dad I'm just going to say, 'So Pops, when was the last time you read a really great Cuban Sci-Fi novel about a space traveling veterinarian who explores the digestive tracts of mountain-sized alien creatures? One other thing I should tell you: laxatives are involved.'"
—Emily Ballaine, Green Apple Books on the Park (San Francisco, CA)
"If it’s good enough to earn the author a beating from some of Putin’s thugs, it’s good enough for Dad. Zany political satire with a touch of absurdist science fiction, Fardwor, Russia! is the perfect book if Dad gave you Asimov or Vonnegut when you were a teenager."
—Josh Cook, Porter Square Books (Cambridge, MA)
"My dad and I have always shared the language of sports and have traded books our whole lives, so I would love to introduce him to the football-mad sensibility of Juan Villoro. Or maybe I'll give it to my sons before we go see Messi and Di Maria play in Seattle next Tuesday!"
—Tom Nissley, Phinney Books (Seattle, WA)
"This Father’s Day, show your appreciation for all those dad jokes with Super Extra Grande by Yoss. This is Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy taken to a whole new level: raunchy, funny, and full of language play. It might also make him realize that being a veterinarian to enormously large alien creatures has got nothing on changing diapers."
—Anton Bogomazov, Politics & Prose (Washington, DC)
"Replete with amazingly detailed illustrations, Albina and the Dog-Men by Alejandro Jodorowsky is by turns obscene, profane, hilarious, incredibly violent, reverent, and profound. It’s a timeless myth engaged in the power of sexuality and what lurks in the darkest recesses of the mind. But most of all, it’s a tremendous amount of fun."