Dads can be difficult to shop for, but not to worry. We’ve put together a list of fascinating and thrilling reads that would make the perfect Father’s Day gift for every kind of dad.
For the Political Junkie Dad:
The World as It Is by Ben Rhodes
From one of Barack Obama’s closest aides comes a revelatory behind-the-scenes account of his presidency—and how idealism can confront harsh reality and still survive—in the tradition of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.’s A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House.
For nearly ten years, Ben Rhodes saw almost everything that happened at the center of the Obama administration—first as a speechwriter, then as deputy national security advisor, and finally as a multipurpose aide and close collaborator. He started every morning in the Oval Office with the President’s Daily Briefing, traveled the world with Obama, and was at the center of some of the most consequential and controversial moments of the presidency. Now he tells the full story of his partnership—and, ultimately, friendship—with a man who also happened to be a historic president of the United States.
Sea Power by Admiral James Stavridis, USN (Ret.)
From one of the most admired admirals of his generation—and the only admiral to serve as Supreme Allied Commander at NATO—comes a remarkable voyage through all of the world’s most important bodies of water, providing the story of naval power as a driver of human history and a crucial element in our current geopolitical path.
Sea Power is marvelous naval history, giving us fresh insight into great naval engagements from the battles of Salamis and Lepanto through to Trafalgar, the Battle of the Atlantic, and submarine conflicts of the Cold War. It is also a keen-eyed reckoning with the likely sites of our next major naval conflicts, particularly the Arctic Ocean, Eastern Mediterranean, and the South China Sea. Finally, Sea Power steps back to take a holistic view of the plagues to our oceans that are best seen that way, from piracy to pollution.
For the “Soccer Dad”:
Masters of Modern Soccer by Grant Wahl
An in-depth analysis of the craft of soccer for any fan, player, coach, or sideline enthusiast that will change the way they watch the game.
In Masters of Modern Soccer, Sports Illustrated writer Grant Wahl asks: How do some of the game’s smartest figures master the craft of soccer? By profiling players in every key position (American phenomenon Christian Pulisic, Mexican superstar Javier “Chicharito” Hernández, Belgium’s Vincent Kompany, Spain’s Xabi Alonso, Germany’s Manuel Neuer) and management (Belgium coach Roberto Martínez and Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc), Wahl reveals how elite players and coaches strategize on and off the field and execute in high pressure game situations.
Masters of Modern Soccer is the definitive thinking fan’s guide to modern soccer that reveals what players and managers are thinking before, during, and after games and delivers a true behind-the-scenes perspective on the inner workings of the sport’s brightest minds.
Men in Blazers Present Encyclopedia Blazertannica by Roger Bennett and Michael Davies
Soccer has been America’s Sport of the Future since 1972. Propelled by the rise of the World Cup, Premier League, the glory of the United States Women’s National Team, Lionel Messi’s DemiGod-esque talent and repeat exposure to Cristiano Ronaldo’s preening abs, that Future has finally arrived.
The Men in Blazers are two English-born, soccer-obsessed broadcasters who have savored the dizzying growth of the game along with millions of Americans, as if it was a rollicking, sporting telenovela playing out in real life. Written in such a way that fully immerses Americans in the history and culture of the world’s game, their Encyclopedia Blazertannica relives the careers of such greats such as George Best, Maradona, Beckham, and Alexi Lalas. It examines fan culture, from the tactical variations of scarf tying, to the pathos of England’s classic, yet doomed, World Cup theme songs, and explores the complex physics and ethics of both celebratory knee slides and fights between players, along with such burning questions as how professional footballers deal with hair loss.
For the “Extreme” Dad:
Rocket Men by Robert Kurson
The riveting inside story of three heroic astronauts who took on the challenge of mankind’s historic first mission to the Moon, from the bestselling author of Shadow Divers.
By August 1968, the American space program was in danger of failing in its two most important objectives: to land a man on the Moon by President Kennedy’s end-of-decade deadline, and to triumph over the Soviets in space. With its back against the wall, NASA made an almost unimaginable leap: It would scrap its usual methodical approach and risk everything on a sudden launch, sending the first men in history to the Moon—in just four months.
Drawn from hundreds of hours of one-on-one interviews with the astronauts, their loved ones, NASA personnel, and myriad experts, and filled with vivid and unforgettable detail, Rocket Men is the definitive account of one of America’s finest hours. In this real-life thriller, Kurson reveals the epic dangers involved, and the singular bravery it took, for mankind to leave Earth for the first time—and arrive at a new world.
Survive Like a Spy by Jason Hanson
Bestselling author and former CIA officer Jason Hanson takes the reader deep inside the world of espionage, revealing true stories and expert tactics from real agents engaged in life-threatening missions around the world.
Everyone loves a good spy story, but most of the ones we hear are fictional. That’s because the most dangerous and important spycraft is done in secret, often hidden in plain sight.
With breathtaking accounts of spy missions in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and elsewhere, Survive Like a Spy reveals how to: escape if taken hostage, set up a perfect safe site, assume a fake identity, and more.
With real-life spy drama that reads like a novel paired with expert practical techniques, Survive Like a Spy will keep you on the edge of your seat—and help you stay safe when you need it most.
Into the Storm by Tristram Korten
The true story of two doomed ships and a daring search-and-rescue operation that shines a light on the elite Coast Guard swimmers trained for the most dangerous ocean missions.
In late September 2015, Hurricane Joaquin swept past the Bahamas and swallowed a pair of cargo vessels in its destructive path: El Faro, a 790-foot American behemoth with a crew of thirty-three, and the Minouche, a 230-foot freighter with a dozen sailors aboard. From the parallel stories of these ships and their final journeys, Tristram Korten weaves a remarkable tale of two veteran sea captains from very different worlds, the harrowing ordeals of their desperate crews, and the Coast Guard’s extraordinary battle against a storm that defied prediction.
For the Dad Who Loves Action Movies:
Warning Light by David Ricciardi
A 300 page chase scene.
When a commercial flight violates restricted airspace to make an emergency landing at a closed airport in Iran, the passengers are just happy to be alive and ready to transfer to a functional plane. All of them except one . . .
The American technology consultant in business class is not who he says he is. Zac Miller is a CIA analyst. And after an agent’s cover gets blown, Zac—though never trained to be a field operative—volunteers to take his place, to keep a surveillance mission from being scrubbed.
Zac thinks it will be easy to photograph the earthquake-ravaged airport that is located near a hidden top secret nuclear facility. But when everything that can go wrong does, he finds himself on the run from the Islamic Revolutionary Guards and abandoned by his own teammates, who think he has gone rogue.
Star of the North by D. B. John
A propulsive and ambitious thriller about a woman trying to rescue her twin sister from captivity in North Korea, and the North Korean citizens with whom she forms an unlikely alliance.
Star of the North opens in 1998, when a Korean American teenager is kidnapped from a South Korean beach by North Korean operatives. Twelve years later, her brilliant twin sister, Jenna, is still searching for her, and ends up on the radar of the CIA. When evidence that her sister may still be alive in North Korea comes to light, Jenna will do anything possible to rescue her—including undertaking a daring mission into the heart of the regime.
For the Philosophical Dad:
12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson
What does everyone in the modern world need to know? Renowned psychologist Jordan B. Peterson’s answer to this most difficult of questions uniquely combines the hard-won truths of ancient tradition with the stunning revelations of cutting-edge scientific research.
Humorous, surprising and informative, Dr. Peterson tells us why skateboarding boys and girls must be left alone, what terrible fate awaits those who criticize too easily, and why you should always pet a cat when you meet one on the street.
What does the nervous system of the lowly lobster have to tell us about standing up straight (with our shoulders back) and about success in life? Why did ancient Egyptians worship the capacity to pay careful attention as the highest of gods? What dreadful paths do people tread when they become resentful, arrogant and vengeful? Dr. Peterson journeys broadly, discussing discipline, freedom, adventure and responsibility, distilling the world’s wisdom into 12 practical and profound rules for life.