Think about it: a month ago, when Mother's Day was imminent, you figured a card and flowers would make Mom smile and you were right.
A nice pen set, a new gadget... heck, if you're young enough, you can give her a plaster cast of your handprint and get away with it.
But Dad? He's a toughie.
So why not make it easy? How about giving Dad a book for Father's Day? There are lots of books he'd love, and here are a few suggestions:
If Dad or Grandpa is a WWII veteran, he's going to love reading "Tales from a Tin Can: The USS Dale" by Michael Keith Olson (Zenith Press). It's a book filled with oral histories of a World War II destroyer. If Dad was aboard a Tin Can, he'll want to open this book right away. Zenith Press also has the story of a hero, "Omaha Beach and Beyond: The Long March of Sergeant Bob Slaughter" by John Robert Slaughter available. Dad-the-Vet will want that book, too.
Does your paternal unit have wanderlust in his heart? He might like "Dateline Mongolia" by Michael Kohn (RDR Books), then. This book is filled with adventure and tales of a place that few have traveled, and it's perfect for Dad-the-Armchair-Traveler.
For Dads who don't like sports, a book about his favorite pastime will make him happy. If he loves buckets, be sure to look for "Man in the Middle" by John Amaechi (ESPN Books), a biography with a touch of controversy and timeliness. For the father who likes to drown worms, give him "Beneath the Surface: A Natural History of a Fisherman's Lake" by Bruce M. Carlson (Minnesota Historical Society Press).
For the dad with ideas of grandeur, he'll fight to read "The Gladiators" by Fik Meijer (Thomas Dunne Books). Filled with history, archaeology, and sport, it's also easy on the wallet, at just under fifteen bucks. If Dad is counting the days til football season, you can get him through this very trying time by giving him "The Best Show in Football: the 1946-1955 Cleveland Browns" by Andy Piascik (Taylor Trade). That's a book about a history-making team that Dad-the-Football-Fan will want to read more about.
If Dad is the cook in your house, then look for "The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink," edited by Andrew F. Smith (Oxford University Press). There aren't any recipes in this huge, heavy book but if Father is a foodie, it's going to give him hours and hours and hours of good reading. If recipes are more Dad's thing, give him "Panna Cotta: Italy's Elegant Custard Made Easy" by Camilla V. Saulsbury (Cumberland House). Either of these are great gifts for Dad-the-Cook. Just be sure to finagle an invitation to dinner and ask for seconds.
So you say Pops isn't much of a reader but that he's good with his hands? Then there are lots of books for him!
Try "Hot Rod Kings" by David Perry and Kevin Thomson (Motorbooks, International). Or maybe "The John Deere Two-Cylinder Tractor Encyclopedia" by Don MacMillan (Voyageur Press). Give him "Regional Railroads of the Midwest" by Steve Glischinski or "Long Island Rail Road" by Stan Fischler (both from Voyageur Press). Any of those books will drive Dad-the-Gearhead over the moon.
Ah, but you say, your Papa is more the quiet type. He's more of a novel lover. Then the good news is, there's an even bigger selection for him! Look for the mystery/adventure novel "The Blue Cheer" by Ed Lynskey (Point Blank Press).
Author David Morrell just wrote "Scavenger" (Vanguard Press), and a gift certificate might just be the thing if Dad wants to read "Stalin's Ghost" by Martin Cruz Smith (Simon & Schuster, due out 6/12). There are lots of great fiction books available, and your local bookseller can help you decide on the best one for your Dad-the-Storyteller.