9 Books To Give Your Father This Holiday Season

As December approaches, it's nearly time for the biggest challenge of the year: figuring out what to buy your dad for Christmas. You might have a jolly old dad who's "just happy to see your face" this Christmas. You might have a shopaholic father who's already bought himself anything you could think of. You might have a more closed-off father whose emotions are difficult to read — but whatever kind of father you have, chances are: you don't know what to get him for Christmas.

I'm of the firm belief that when it comes to Christmas presents, you can't go wrong with a good book. If your dad is a book-lover himself, then you already know I'm right. But even if your father's never been particularly fond of fiction, hear me out. Firstly, there are books on every subject under the sky; there is bound to be one book that's absolutely perfect for your pop. And secondly, books are amazing, and if your gift can finally convince your dad to develop a passion for reading — well, that's a better gift than any money can buy.

Here are nine of the best books you might want to buy your old man this holiday season.

1. The Sellout by Paul Beatty

This Man Booker-winning satire will give you and your dad a lot to chat about over the holidays — and it will give him a lot of intelligent commentary to slip into dinner party conversations as well. Other options from the 2016 Man Booker Prize shortlist that fathers might love: All That Man Is by David Szalay, which is an exploration of what it means to be a man, or Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien, in which two young women piece together clues about their fathers' lives.

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2. Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders by Joshua Foer

This gorgeous book celebrates more than 600 of the world's most weird and wonderful locations, inventions, and other hidden treasures. It's so packed with photographs and jaw-dropping descriptions that your dad may not be able to tear himself away in time for the turkey.

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3. Sad Animal Facts by Brooke Barker

It's pretty much a universal rule that all fathers love animal trivia, but these sad animal facts — from a miserable looking bird pointing out that he'll never have a birthday, to a fed-up bee pointing out how much more expensive your honey should be if only the bees were paid minimum wage — will make your dad's boring tidbits much more entertaining.

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4. Moonglow by Michael Chabon

This heartwrenching novel is made up of a grandfather's deathbed confession to his grandson. It is the half-tragic, half-hilarious story of a life filled with love and adventures too exaggerated to be true — but at the same time, excruciatingly real.

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5. MR ROBOT: Red Wheelbarrow by Sam Esmail and Courtney Looney

If your dad, like everyone else on Earth, has been hooked on the brilliant TV show MR ROBOT, he's bound to love this tie-in book. It tells a whole new story, but it's also going to reveal secrets from the show's second season. Eek! You may have to ask to borrow it when he's done.

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6. Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen

Over the past seven years, this rock legend has been quietly writing his memoir — and this fall, it was finally released to the world. Even if your dad has never ventured into a bookstore in his life, surely this has got to be the one to change his mind.

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7. A Burglar's Guide to the City by Geoff Manaugh

After reading this wonderfully imaginative book on architecture, you'll never see your city the same way. Instead of seeing buildings, fences, and doors, you'll see locks waiting to be picked, walls waiting to be climbed, and rooftops pointing to the perfect escape. Here's hoping your dad doesn't actually go and rob a bank.

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8. The Girls by Emma Cline

The Girls was one of the most talked-about books of this summer, so if your dad hasn't got around to it yet, this might be the perfect book to slip into his stocking. This creepy novel is pretty heavily based on the Manson family murders — so your dad may even have his own memories from the real event.

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9. Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

Hidden Figures is the fascinating and true story of the Black women working at NASA in the 1960s, whose contributions have, until now, been largely ignored. This book actually won't be released until December 29th — but as the movie comes out on Christmas Day, I'm sure your dad won't mind his gift being a little delayed if you take him to the theater first. (Too bad if he's a strictly book-first kinda guy.)

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Images: Universal Pictures