One of the perks of owning a bookstore and being a dad is that you have to work on Father's Day.
For some reason, most folks are clueless when it come to picking books for dad. Even worse, they think that I, being some sort of old dad, will know just the thing for their dear old dad. Well, I'm afraid it doesn't work like that. Believe it or not, dads are under the impression that they are each unique. They have put great effort into amassing a treasury of knowledge and talents that are one of a kind. It's the all-men-love-ties-and-barbeque equation that we bristle at. Most spouses and offspring don't fully appreciate our "special" interest, whatever it might be. That's the key. The doorway into our hearts.
Like five-year-old boys with lists of dinosaurs or pockets of rocks, mature menfolk are always collecting some sort of nuggets. Facts about motorcycles, wines, WW2 bombers, bread baking, particle physics, poetry, house wiring, and villages in France. A million different subjects, some sensible, some weird, but all held close to the heart as a special gift to the world. So my advice to you shoppers is to stop for a moment and consider what is "his interest"--his special hoard, the well he draws on to recharge. If you can name it, we can find you a terrific book. The publishers have provided a full array this season; here is a sampling that satisfies my personal obsessions.
Good Mexican food: The new James Beard Award-winning cookbook Yucatan by David Sterling
Why can't we live in something smaller and simpler?: Sustainable: Houses with Small Footprints from Rizzoli
Wander the West dream: All the Wild that Remains: Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner and the American West by David Gessner
See how ingenious I am: But I don't hold a candle to the The Wright Brothers, as David McCullough proves
Take the road not taken: Oliver Sacks' amazing, unbelievable, and slightly sad life story On the Move
Sometimes when no one is looking I am actually a spy: Palace of Treason, an excellent espionage thriller by ex-CIA agent Jason Matthews
Epic survival against all odds: In the Kingdom of Ice, last year's bestseller now in paper, or 81 Days Below Zero, which I bought for myself last weekend
See how it works? See how much fun it is?
Bring us your pa's list and we will play the matching game. Come by, make someone happy. We will put a bow on it.
Owner and Bookseller