Books for Dad: A Father’s Day Gift Guide

By Alison Bunis

When I was little, one of my favorite times was when my dad would read me stories before bed. Picture books, chapter books, poems, fairy tales, anything―I just loved sharing a story with my dad. Even after I learned to read, I kept getting my dad to read with me at bedtime, because I treasured the moments and books that we shared. Now, I like to remind us both of the times we spent reading together by giving him books whenever the occasion for a present arises. And there’s certainly a present-worthy occasion coming up: Father’s Day! So if you’ve also got a bookish dad and you need a little help figuring out exactly what to get him…don’t worry. From one book-loving child to another, I’ve got your back.

If Your Dad Loves Historical Fiction:

Nottingham by Nathan Makaryk: This retelling of the Robin Hood legend is brutally realistic, with a little Game of Thrones feel to it. If your dad is into epic historical fiction that challenges every preconceived idea you’ve got of who’s really a hero and a villain, this is definitely the book for him.


Blame the Dead by Ed Ruggero: Here’s a murder mystery set on the front lines of World War II. Author Ed Ruggero is a former Army officer, and both his meticulous research and military experience are evident in the detailed care taken to recreate the soldiers’ experiences in 1943.


If Your Dad Loves Mysteries:

The Murder List by Hank Phillippi Ryan: Award-winning author and journalist Hank Phillippi Ryan always delivers, and The Murder List is another satisfyingly thrilling novel. In this one, a law student whose life seems perfect is about to learn that everything she knows to be true is a lie.


They All Fall Down by Rachel Howzell Hall: A modern, completely original twist on Agatha Christie’s classic And Then There Were None, this book sees seven sinners trapped on a private island for a reckoning that will leave any reader breathless.



If Your Dad Loves Nonfiction:

Father of Lions by Louise Callaghan: Set in Mosul during the ISIS occupation, Father of Lions tells the true story of the evacuation of the Mosul Zoo, faithfully depicted by acclaimed journalist Louise Callaghan. It’s a narrative of humanity in the wake of war, and it will make even the toughest dad cry.


 Nobody Does It Better by Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman: If your dad is a major James Bond fan, look no further. This book is the ultimate oral history of 007, telling the incredible, uncensored true stories of the birth of James Bond through the latest remarkable Bond adventures.


If Your Dad Wants A Little Magic:

Remembrance by Rita Woods: This is a breathtaking novel that sweeps across time from the slave revolts on Haiti in 1791, to New Orleans in 1857, to a stop on the Underground Railroad, to the present day. And through it all, there’s a strange thread of power that connects the women in each time.


If Your Dad Loves Dogs:

Heart of Barkness by Spencer Quinn: It was the Boston Globe who called Chet “the most loveable narrator in all of crime fiction.” I just don’t disagree. In this one, Chet the dog and his human P.I. partner Bernie stumble into trouble when they get mixed up in the world of country music. It’s crime with a canine twist.


 A Dog’s Promise by W. Bruce Cameron: Every dog lover should have at least one Bruce Cameron book. This is the story of a family’s struggle to unite, told through the eyes of a devoted dog. The love and loyalty of this dog shows the incredible power of hope, truth, and unending devotion. Prepare to cry.


If Your Dad Loves Thrillers:

First Kill by David Hagberg: This may be the latest in David Hagberg’s bestselling Kirk McGarvey series, but it’s also the ideal place for any thriller-loving dad to start. First Kill jumps back in time to tell the story of McGarvey’s first assignment as a black-ops officer fresh out of training. Make no mistake: there’s a reason this young assassin will go on to become a legend.


Empire of Lies by Raymond Khoury: What if the Ottoman Empire never fell? What if it was the dominant power in the world? That’s what Empire of Lies asks. Add an officer in the secret police who’s questioning his orders, a fierce human rights lawyer, and a little time travel, and you’ve got an incredible thriller that will keep anyone hooked to the last page.