Okay look: Father's Day sneaks up on you. It's in the summer, when we're settled into our laziest routines and it's hot and we're tired and we're dreaming of the beach. If you forgot, or just "remembered late," these new books are perfect last-minute Father's Day gifts. Because you should definitely remind your dad how much he means to you. And a shiny new book is always a great present.
The first Father's Day was celebrated in 1910 in Spokane, Wash., after Sonora Smart Dodd heard a Mother's Day sermon in church and decided her single father, a Civil War veteran who raised six children, deserved some praise, too. Though it took a number of years to catch on, President Calvin Coolidge voices his support for the holiday in 1924, in hopes of fostering stronger bonds between father and their children, and impressing upon fathers the full extent of their duties (LOL).
Today, it's often associated with stereotypical "Dad" activities: baseball! Outdoor grilling! Fun conversations about military history and, like, boats or something! But this year, give Pops some credit: he was a person before you came along. His identity hasn't always been dictated by your existence, my dudes. He has a whole range of interests. Get to know one (or several), peruse this list of new literary releases, and give him the gift of knowledge. He'll be the coolest one at the block party, I promise.
1. 'Dark Matter' by Blake Crouch
Blake Crouch's sci-fi hit, Dark Matter, just came out last month in paperback, and lucky you: this mind-bending thriller follows a father as he wakes in an alternate reality where his wife is not his wife, his son was never born, and he's a renowned genius credited with an unbelievable feat. In order to get back to his family, he must confront the darkest parts of himself.
2. 'The Nix' by Nathan Hill
When college professor Samuel Andresen-Anderson hears of an absurd political crime sweeping across the news, he never imagined the perpetrator would be his mother, back after abandoning the family years earlier. Nathan Hill's debut novel, The Nix, another recent paperback release, explores the complexities of fame and family, forgiveness and love.
3. 'Astrophysics For People In A Hurry' by Neil DeGrasse Tyson
Warning: gift your dad Neil deGrasse Tyson's Astrophysics for People In A Hurry, and you'll be hearing fun facts about "the nature of space and time" for the foreseeable future.
4. 'You Don't Have to Say You Love Me' by Sherman Alexie
Sherman Alexie's new memoir, You Don't Have To Say You Love Me, chronicles his complicated, mercurial relationship with his mother in the wake of her death.
5. 'Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002)' by David Sedaris
The first of two volumes, Theft by Finding is an actual collection of David Sedaris' diary entries. Dive into the delightfully bizarre inner world of Sedaris, arguably the funniest contemporary essayist.
6. 'Priestdaddy' by Patricia Lockwood
Patricia Lockwood's memoir Priestdaddy chronicles her life growing up with a larger-than-life, gun-loving, electric-guitar-playing, part-time-nudist Catholic Priest father (yes, really). Lockwood's prose is divinely obscene and honestly I'm in love.
7. 'Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam' by Mark Bowden
With unprecedented access to interviews and documents from both sides of the Vietnam War, Mark Bowden re-creates the bloodiest battle of the entire war in Hue 1968, the moment the American army ceased talk of winning and turned their attention to simply ending the conflict.
8. 'Dragon Teeth' by Michael Crichton
Two pioneering paleontologists battle each other in the Wild West of the 1880s. Blood! Deceit! Crime! Vice! Based on the real life story of real-life warring paleontologists Othniel Charles Marsh and Edwin Drinker Cope! No, this is not a dream your dad had of the perfect book, it's an actual new novel, Dragon Teeth!
9. 'No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump's Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need' by Naomi Klein
If your sweet, liberal dad is feeling bummed at the state of the world, gift him Naomi Klein's No Is Not Enough, a meditation on the "brand bullies" that have risen through the ranks for the past half-century, and a road map for survival.
10. 'Bushcraft First Aid' by Dave Canterbury & Jason A. Hunt, PhD
Even if "outdoor time" means barbecuing, Papa will love knowing that if he ever did end up in the wilderness, Bushcraft First Aid, co-written by a wilderness survival expert and an outdoor survival instructor, will get him through.
11. 'Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom' by Thomas E. Ricks
Two of the most prominent British figures of the 20th century, George Orwell and Winston Churchill, fought totalitarianism from their respective positions on the left and the right. Their collective effort, a portrait of bipartisanship, is chronicled in Thomas E. Ricks' The Fight For Freedom.
12. 'The Ministry of Utmost Happiness' by Arundhati Roy
Arundhati Roy's first novel in 20 years, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness crosses the Indian subcontinent in a story of survival and love. Anchored by Anjum, a transgender woman who moves to a cemetery and reinvents herself, this scathing, devastating novel embodies the battling hatred and compassion so many of us have for our homelands.