A word to the wise/Disclaimer about this post (no nothing is sponsored): I can only really base this off my own father and my fiancé (who is the father to our fur child) So, it might be that your father isn’t the kind of guy who disables the safety features via cinder block, on the riding lawnmower so you can mow the grass even when you are 7 and don’t weigh enough. Or maybe he isn’t a space/math nerd like Alex who likes cats and tries to be the best cat dad of all time. But, the men in my life fall into those categories, so if your dad likes business, does a lot of yard work, and looses machetes in the woods…then perhaps my list will be helpful. If not. I don’t know…buy some golf balls? That was my old go to gift!
Without further ado:
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig
Does your dad like motorcycles, psychological, and the philosophy of living a better life? Alex loved this book and gifted it to my father for Christmas one year, and then my dad immediately wanted me to read it. (spoiler alert: I already had) Alex has said time and time again that it’s on his top 5 list for books, and it’s one of those books that has a lot of depth to it and really gets you thinking. So if you’re dad loves to think and contemplate the heavier things in life, this is a perfect choice.
Pairs well with: A leather journal, tool kit, motorcycle gear (if he rides one), bonsai tree
Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell
My dad still quotes this book, and Malcolm’s other books, to this very day…and the book came out in 2007 mind you. Blink explores split second decisions and how some people are brilliant decision makers. It examines how our brains work in different settings and also, has one of the most interesting sections to me: A psychologist that can tell if a marriage will last after a few minutes with a couple. If your dad loves matters of the mind, and you don’t mind getting constant advice based on this books for years to come, I suggest giving it a read! (I actually think it’s a school reading book down here in Texas now? I swear kids were picking it up for class….)
Pairs well with: Subscription to a newspaper/magazine he might read online, but could get delivered, a fun tie (Another old go-to gift), engraved scotch glasses (sipping scotch and reading books about psychology is pretty legit), New York Times has customer birthday books (which is awesome!)
Gun Guys by Dan Baum
My dad isn’t a huge gun guy, he does go hunting, but these days it’s more like he just walks around in the woods for hours on end, enjoying the scenery…while holding a rifle. We went to shooting ranges for fun though, and I also did archery for a while, which isn’t really related at all…but anyways, back to the book! If your dad is a big gun guy, this book is about a Jewish Democrat that heads on a road trip to gun shows, shooting ranges, and interviews killers and people harmed by guns. It’s a humorous at times, real life look at American gun culture.
Pairs well with: Engraved wood bottle opener, a silly best dad shirt/hat, grilling supplies, framed maps of cities past traveled
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
I mentioned that my dad goes “hunting” aka walks for hours through the woods instead, he is also really into National Parks, and we’ve visited a whole lot of them through my life. I probably got my love of nature from him, and also my resistance to poison ivy, which is pretty awesome! He always encouraged me to climb trees and let me run wild in the woods, swinging on vines, scaling trees that I probably shouldn’t have, and catching all sorts of things in the creek water that was so full of bacteria that I wish I never had done that science project on it, oh god why did I do that? Bill Bryson’s book is a memoir of his hike through the Appalachian Trail and the people he meets on the trail, along with the beauty of the nature around him. Perfect for that outdoorsy dad!
Pairs well with: Hiker gear, a nice thermos for soup/coffee, geography-themed gifts like engraved coasters, etched glasses, etc., or one of those really cool wooden watches.
What I’m giving my dad:
Dead Run: The Murder of a Lawman and the Greatest Manhunt of the Modern American West by Dan Schultz
My dad likes true crime, westerns, and true stories. This is all of those things in one. The book is about a group of para-milita survivalists who hated, I mean really loathed, the government. The amassed a whole cache of weapons, bombs, and other supplies and stole a water tanker. Whatever they have planned didn’t pan out, as they ended up in a crazy guns blazing chase with local authorities, until escaping into the massive expanse of near inhabitable land near Four Corners, leading cops on a massive manhunt. The story is gripping and told in a way that doesn’t bore in the slightest. After reading it I knew that it’d be perfect for my dad!
What I’m pairing it with: A multi-tool called TPT (Titanium Pocket Tool) that I backed on kickstarter almost a year ago specifically for him, and K-cup, because what dad doesn’t love coffee, right?