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Celebrating Our Fathers: Reads for Father’s Day

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Celebrating Our Fathers: Reads for Father’s Day

Father’s Day, observed on the third Sunday in June, is a celebration of fathers, fatherhood, paternal bonds and the critical role fathers play in society.

As we look forward to celebrating the father figures in our lives, here are some nonfiction reads that highlight experiences of fatherhood, reveal stories of bonds between fathers and children, or contain advice for first time dads.

critics daughter

The Critic’s Daughter : A Memoir by Priscilla Gilman

An exquisitely rendered portrait of a unique father-daughter relationship and a moving memoir of family and identity. Growing up on the Upper West Side of New York City in the 1970s, in an apartment filled with dazzling literary and artistic characters, Priscilla Gilman worshiped her brilliant, adoring, and mercurial father, the writer, theater critic, and Yale School of Drama professor Richard Gilman. But when Priscilla was ten years old, her mother, renowned literary agent Lynn Nesbit, abruptly announced that she was ending the marriage. The resulting cascade of disturbing revelations—about her parents’ hollow marriage, her father’s double life and tortured sexual identity—fundamentally changed Priscilla’s perception of her father, as she attempted to protect him from the depression that had long shadowed him.

Father Figure : How To Be A Feminist Dad by Jordan Shapiro

Presents an exploration of the psychology of fatherhood from an archetypal perspective as well as a cultural history that challenges familiar assumptions about the origins of so-called traditional parenting roles.

Fatherhood By Papa B : A Game-Changing Guide For Parents, Father Figures, And Fathers-To-Be by Bode Aboderin

Father-of-three, motivational speaker and influencer Aboderin (AKA Papa B) is on a mission to show the world that Black fatherhood is not only compatible with ambition, but can inspire, nourish and amplify it too. In this passionate parenting book for dads, Bodé reflects on how his own upbringing, alongside stigmas about fatherhood, race, and masculinity, have impacted his experiences of being a father, whilst talking candidly about how to overcome the challenges commonly experienced by parents – from breaking generational cycles and adapting to modern-day family dynamics to communicating with your child and achieving a healthy work-life balance.

How To Dad : An Illustrated Manual For First Time Fathers by T M Detwiler

This book helps new and soon-to-be fathers discover hundreds of tips, tricks and advice for mastering everything they need to know from conception through the end of the child’s first year. The book details every major event or new challenge during this time in chronological order and provides dads with fast, easy-to-understand answers the moment they’re needed.

Look For Me There : Grieving My Father, Finding Myself by Luke Russert

“Look for me there,” news legend Tim Russert would tell his son, Luke, when confirming a pickup spot at an airport, sporting event, or rock concert. After Tim died unexpectedly, Luke kept looking for his father, following in Tim’s footsteps and carving out a highly successful career at NBC News. After eight years covering politics on television, Luke realized he had no good answer as to why he was chasing his father’s legacy. As the son of two accomplished parents–his mother is journalist Maureen Orth of Vanity Fair–Luke felt the pressure of high expectations but suddenly decided to leave the familiar path behind. Instead, Luke set out on his own to find answers. What began as several open-ended months of travel to decompress and reassess morphed into a three-plus-year odyssey across six continents to discover the world and, ultimately, to find himself.

new one

The New One: Painfully True Stories From A Reluctant Dad by Mike Birbiglia

With laugh-out-loud observations on the rollercoaster ride that is being a new parent, the bestselling author and award-winning comedian delivers a book that is perfect for anyone who has ever raised a child, been a child, or refuses to stop acting like a child.

#1 Dad Jokes : 1,000 Hilarious Bathroom Jokes Only A Father Could Love by Jerry Carlin

Get ready to watch for the eye roll! There’s nothing dads and corny joke-tellers love more than a good, clean, marginally funny joke. Add in some classic bathroom humor, and you have a winner! This collection of groan-worthy jokes gives cringe-loving comedians enough material to embarrass—well, everyone—for years to come (while maybe getting a chuckle or two).

Raising Raffi : The First Five Years by Keith Gessen

The early years of fatherhood recounted with humility.  Driven by a desire to understand fatherhood, parenting styles, and his own relationship to his son, Gessen felt a lack in the available “dad literature,” so he wrote his own. Undertaking his project with curiosity and humor (“To write about parenting when you are a father is like writing about literature when you can hardly read.”), Gessen writes about choosing a school amidst rampant gentrification in his Brooklyn neighborhood, attempting to raise toddler Raffi to be bilingual in English and Russian (Gessen’s native language), and discovering the lives of the writers behind his favorite children’s books. Then the pandemic arrives, and makes parenting new all over again. Gessen dissects these subjects and more without moralizing. Fellow parents will find his bracing look at modern fatherhood a sight for sore, sleep-deprived eyes.

Sons Of Baseball : Growing Up With a Major League Dad by Mark Braff

Sons of Baseball is full of personal stories from sons of major league baseball players who talk about what it was like growing up with a famous father. Along the way, we get a rare glimpse of the ballplayers themselves, not as pitchers, hitters, managers, and coaches, but as dads and granddads.

ultimate stay at home dad

The Ultimate Stay-At-Home Dad : Your Essential Manual For Being An Awesome Full-Time Father by Shannon Carpenter

A practical guide for modern-day parenting geared towards stay-at-home dads, offering advice on everything from learning to cook and clean with children, to dealing with mental health and relationships, with the easygoing perspective that dads can use their natural talents to parent any way that they choose to.  Characterized by actionable and direct advice to fathers, the book takes on parenting from a father’s point of view and encourages dads to use their natural talents to become a better parent.

Walking With Sam : A Father, A Son, And Five Hundred Miles Across Spain by Andrew McCarthy

When Andrew McCarthy’s eldest son began to take his first steps into adulthood, McCarthy found himself wishing time would slow down. Looking to create a more meaningful connection with Sam before he fled the nest, as well as recreate his own life-altering journey decades before, McCarthy decided the two of them should set out on a trek like few others: 500 miles across Spain’s Camino de Santiago. Over the course of the journey, the pair traversed an unforgiving landscape, having more honest conversations in five weeks than they’d had in the preceding two decades. Discussions of divorce, the trauma of school, McCarthy’s difficult relationship with his own father, fame, and Flaming Hot Cheetos threatened to either derail their relationship or cement it.

Washed Ashore : Family, Fatherhood, And Finding Home On Martha’s Vineyard by Bill Eville

Since he was a boy, Eville knew he wanted two things in life: to be a writer and a father. Being a minister’s husband had not been on this list, having left the church as a teenager as soon as his parents stopped making him go each Sunday. In Washed Ashore, Eville’s life changes when his wife Cathlin takes a job as the first female pastor of a 350-year-old church on Martha’s Vineyard, the island that was once home to generations of his ancestors. With their two small children in tow, the couple begins a new life eight miles out at sea. We follow Eville’s journey from stay-at-home-dad to newspaper editor as he discovers what it means to be a writer, a father, and–after his wife’s devastating breast cancer diagnosis–what it truly means to be a minister’s husband”

Why Fathers Cry At Night : A Memoir In Love Poems, Letters, Recipes, And Remembrances by Kwame Alexander

Alexander shares snapshots of a man learning how to love. He takes us through stories of his parents: from being awkward newlyweds in the sticky Chicago summer of 1967, to the sometimes-confusing ways they showed their love to each other, and for him. Alexander attempts to deal with the unraveling of his marriage and the grief of his mother’s recent passing while sharing the solace he found in learning how to perfect her famous fried chicken dish. With an open heart, Alexander weaves together memories to understand his greatest love for his daughters.

Archana Chiplunkar, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian

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