Best books for Father's Day
Father's Day is looming (Sunday 15 June) and what better way to treat your dear ol' pops - or DH - than with the inspiration of a great book.
We asked for your suggestions, and quizzed our publisher friends about what's new, to come up with a diverse list of great books whether they're a fan of great fiction, history or rock n roll.
My Dad - Anthony Browne
Cited frequently by Mumsnetters as a great gift for Father's Day: "This book celebrates dads in such a lovely way". It's "beautifully illustrated" and each page highlights one of dad's best qualities, from being able to walk on a tightrope to being as happy as a hippopotamus. "I bought it as a Christmas gift for my husband just before our first child was born and they now love reading it together".
Does the man in your life have a den full of old CDs and magazines? Has he ever read NME, Smash Hits, Q, Select, Mojo and the Word? Then music journo Mark Ellen’s hilarious new book is the perfect Father's Day gift for him. From playing in a band with Tony Blair to joining a press trip on Rhianna's plane, Mark has seen it all. This is a fabulous collection of well crafted, beautifully burnished, insightful tales of a life in pop, that are laugh out loud.
And Sons - David Gilbert
Three brothers are reunited with their father, a famously reclusive author, at a moneyed Manhattan funeral in this excellent social comedy. A sparkling, intelligent American novel perfect for fans of Jonathan Franzen, John Updike or Michael Chabon.
Give your DH the gift of culinary prowess with Mumsnet's first cookbook, Top Bananas! - packed with gorgeous recipes for all the family. Want to see a dad putting the book through its paces? Watch StuartMumsnet whipping up a hands-off roasted tomato sauce.
You'll be hard pushed to find any thread on the Mumsnet talk boards about funny books that doesn't feature Danny Wallace. His latest is described by author John Niven as "DW at his very best: funny, assured and relentlessly clever." We join the action just as our 'hero' Tom, finds out that his girlfriend has gone but has NOT left him. Who is Tom Ditto? follows Tom as he tries to piece together the reason behind his girlfriend's disappearance.
A Curious Career - Lynn Barber
The 'Demon Barber', as this extremely candid celebrity interviewer is nicknamed, kickstarted her career with a stint at Penthouse, where she was dispatched to Paris to interview Salvador Dali. She has built a stellar career in journalism, interrogating everyone from footballers to fetishists, politicians to writers and rockstars. This memoir is crammed with outrageous anecdotes and insider information on all her scoops, particularly the eye-openingly rude ones.
A gripping, inventive new novel about the internet from this American cult writer. "Best book I've read in a long time...very addictive. It's a bit 1984, about a girl who starts work at a place called The Circle which is an all-powerful technology company, kind of like Google/Facebook/Twitter/Amazon all rolled into one. It's scarily realistic and very well done".
When we asked for your thoughts on great books for Father's Day, history books and war themed books were frequently suggested and so it seemed fitting to include this book about WW1. Written with Jeremy Paxman's trademark flair for story-telling and pithy observation, here is a penetrating, thought-provoking and truly gripping look at the day-to-day experience of the British over the entire course of the First World War.
Believed by many to be one of the world's greatest writers, Garcia Marquez died in April this year, aged 87. Chronicle of a Death Foretold is a masterpiece: a powerful, punchy and relatively short novel about injustice that begins with a brutal murder, and pieces back the events that led to the killing. Atmospheric, astonishingly beautiful and absolutely one of the all-time must-read favourites.
Muscular, memorable poetry from Alice Oswald, who shares a similiar earthiness and elemental style with Ted Hughes. Memorial is based on the Iliad, stripping back the epic heroism and turning it, as Andrew Motion put it, into a "poignant new lament for the war dead". A thoughtful and different way to approach the rememberance of war.
Perfect reading ahead of the World Cup to impress fellow footy fans with knowledge about the host country beyond Pelé and Caipirinhas. This is a fascinating look at the country and the people that Michael encounters on his travels throughtout Brazil, from the forests of the Lost World, to the favelas of Rio.
Sathnam Sanghera is the writer to watch for funny, perfectly-detailed family saga with bite. This novel centres on growing up in Wolverhampton when Enoch Powell is MP, and contains "countless little exquisite observations from the mother's alopecia to the skunk smoking Ranjit ... SO many bits that will make you guffaw in public and so many bits that make you wince with familiarity".
How to Be A Husband is a very funny - and genuinely touching - anatomy of Tim's 20 year relationship with his wife. Tim Dowling visited Mumsnet Towers recently to answer questions about his latest book. When asked: "how differently do you reckon your life would have turned out if you hadn't met your wife?" He responded: "That's easy - I'd be a tramp. I still hanker for that life, sometimes". Watch the video of him reading an extract here.
A boy from this extraordinary background - slums, poverty, premature death of parents, married with young children at an early age - would not normally be destined to become Home Secretary. Alan Johnston's brilliantly told bestseller is not only fascinating in its portrayal of the changes in Britain over the last 50 years, but also a deeply moving testimony to the two women who brought him up: the mother who battled formidable odds to give him his chances and the sister who fought to hold the family together. Eloquent, self-deprecating and totally lacking in self-pity - if only all politicians wrote like this.
A black comedy for those of a Charlie Brooker/Jack Dee personality type. Harry Christmas is a man with not a lot of prospects or hope, who flies to Venezuela to escape The Rot (i.e everything he hates about modern life, including the internet, sport and scatter cushions). His cheating and fraudster behaviour eventually catches up with him in this excellently observed debut.
Neil Gaiman has been described as "the nearest thing children's books have to a Rock Star" and 2 million Twitter followers are proof of his cult status. In Fortunately, The Milk a dad who nips out to buy a pint of milk is delayed by, among other things, dinosaurs, time travel and 'green globby things'. With superbly anarchic illustrations from Chris Riddell, this is perfect bedtime reading for children aged 8 + as well as Gaiman-fan parents. As one MNer said it's "a perfect 'dad hero' book."
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