8 Books to buy Dad this Father's Day

Don’t buy Dad another tie, a sock subscription, or more grilling supplies this year! Give him some food for thought instead with one of these great reads.


For the Dad who is good with his hands: 100 Deadly Skills: The SEAL Operatives Guide to Eluding Pursuers, Evading Capture, and Surviving Any Dangerous Situation by Clint Emerson

A fun resource for helpful hints like escaping zip tie cuffs, making a sterile wound dressing, and crafting a makeshift taser. Each "skill" is presented with ample illustrations and instructions for the common man. If 100 skills isn't enough there is another edition including 100 survival skills. 

For the Dad who needs grace (hint — that’s all of us!): Three Free Sins: God's Not Mad at You by Steve Brown

In this easy-to-read book, Steve Brown takes you by the hand and gently reminds you of God's precious grace. He shows readers how they can be free from the crippling guilt and shame we all feel at one time or another. Set your father free this Father's Day with Three Free Sins!

For the Dad who can’t get enough Bible stories: Not by Sight: A Fresh Look at Old Stories of Walking by Faith by Jon Bloom 

Reading this book reminded me of one of the last verses of the song "I Love to Tell the Story." Perhaps you remember the lyrics,
"I love to tell the story
For those who know it best
Seem hungering and thirsting
To hear it like the rest"
Just when you think you know the stories in the Bible, someone like Jon Bloom comes along and makes them come alive again. Refresh your Dad's spirit this June with this book, or really anything by Jon Bloom.

For the Dad who secretly imagines himself as a spy: Pacific Vortex by Clive Cussler

Pacific Vortex is the first book in the Dirk Pitt series by Clive Cussler. You could buy your dad any of the Dirk Pitt novels, but to be on the safe side you may want to start with the first one. Dirk Pitt is a man's man. He works for NUMA (the National Underwater and Marine Agency) when he is not off solving mysteries and capturing criminals. Each book is filled with adventure and intrigue, and usually jumpsuits. If your father likes cars, green-eyed heroes, and great fight scenes, he will love Dirk Pitt. *Cautions for mature content, though I love Dirk Pitt because the mature content is kept to a minimum and always serves the story.*

For the Dad who loves hanging out in the kitchen: Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer

This is my favorite cookbook, and though I'm not a dad, I really do think your dad will like it too. "Joy" strikes a great balance between simple explanations/easy recipes and sophisticated recipes with more complicated instructions. It's the first recipe book I turn to when looking up how to make practically anything. If your dad is a baker ask him to make the Milk Bread (in my edition it's on page 746) recipe and form hamburger buns instead of loaves. Best hamburger bun recipe I've ever tried. That way when he's using the grill utensils your lame brother bought he can serve his homemade burgers on his homemade buns. Score!

For the Dad who needs a little parenting grace (hint—also all of us parents!): Parenting is Your Highest Calling: And 8 Other Myths That Trap Us in Worry and Guilt by Leslie Leyland Field

One thing Dad does NOT need for Father's Day is more guilt about how he is raising his kids. Dad beats himself up enough. Buy him this book by Leslie Leyland Fields and remind him to give himself a little grace with the parenting thing. Fields also talks about myths such as "Children make you happy and bring fulfillment" and "I will always feel love for my child." With simple humor, loads of experience, and practical applications this could be the only parenting book a dad ever needs.

For the Dad who enjoys little known history: The Colony: The True Story of the Exiles of Molokai by John Tayman 

Did you know there used to be a leper colony in Hawaii? Neither did I. Chances are your dad doesn't know about the colony either (unless your dad is Ken Jennings, I think that guy knows everything...). Teach your history buff dad a thing or two by introducing him to the story of the lepers who lived at Molokai. Tayman presents a fascinating, and sometimes horrifying, look at the lives lepers in America were forced to live. 
*Cautions for language, adult situations, and a few graphic descriptions medical in nature.*

For the Dad who reads to his kids: The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones

This book could also be known as "The Book Andrea Christenson Recommends For Any Occasion." Seriously. I recommend this book for any occasion. If your dad does not have a copy of this book, heck if YOU don't own a copy of this book, go out and buy one. Scratch that, buy two or maybe three, because I'm telling you, it's a great gift for any occasion (I feel like I just said that...). The JSBB is beautifully written and gorgeously illustrated. Sally Lloyd-Jones brilliantly tells the story of the Bible while weaving an anticipation for the climax. What is the climax? Buy the book and find out!

Honorable Mentions

I asked my hubby what books he would add to the list and he recommended the following. I present them with no commentary as I have not personally read them.

That’s My Girl: How a Father's Love Protects and Empowers His Daughter by Rick Johnson

The Professor in the Cage by Jonathan Gottschall

Dangerous Calling by Paul David Tripp


P.S. I'm sorry for calling your brother lame. I've bought grill supplies for Father's Day too. There's no shame in that - sometimes Dad needs a new set of tongs.