Dad Reads: 2012 Books to Give on Father's Day

Posted by Jessica on June 4, 2012

Has your history-buff father already read his way through the works of Erik Larson, David McCullough, and Laura Hillenbrand? Or maybe he's knee-deep in George R.R. Martin's A Game of Thrones? Whether your dad is a big reader or not, you might be stumped on what to get him for Father's Day. Luckily, Goodreads is here to help with our newly minted 2012 list of recommended reads for dads. By mining the reading habits and tastes of our 9 million members, we sought out 2012 books that are especially popular among men. And to give you something new to work with, we skipped most best-sellers and found books with smaller, growing reader bases and rave reviews.

Or, try this trick to find a gift tailored to your dad's unique reading preferences: Start a custom shelf, and add the books you know your dad loves. View your recommendations, and look in the right column for "Recommendations by Shelf." The Goodreads Recommendation Engine will suggest more books based on those picks!

Here are 10 books that are currently resonating with the male contingent of Goodreads:

Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think
by Peter H. Diamandis & Steven Kotler

The joint project of a science writer and a philanthropist, this optimistic nonfiction work argues that contrary to typical reports of scarcity and overpopulation, we'll soon be able to meet the needs of every human on the planet thanks to recent innovations in technology. Kojo says, "This book has fundamentally changed my perspective on the potential future of the world...there is hope for our species."

The Gods of Gotham
by Lyndsay Faye (Goodreads Author)

In this ripping historical mystery, a rookie cop investigates a series of murders in 1840s New York City as the crowded metropolis chafes at the newly formed police force and starving Irish immigrants arrive in droves. John calls it "a stunning, balls-to-the-wall portrayal of vintage New York City with its fledgling copper stars, tossed into a seething mass of abject poverty, bare-knuckled cronyism, debauchery, racial and religious bigotry, rampant immigration, all wrapped in bene flash palaver."

The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation
by Jon Gertner

Lasers, cell phones, satellites and much more, Bell Labs churned out cutting-edge inventions for over 50 years and influenced the course of 20th-century tech. Gertner profiles the extraordinary group of geniuses who kept the lab humming. Ian says, "It tied so many things together for me—the rise of the computer, information's a must read for anybody interested in the infrastructure of science."

by Nick Harkaway (Goodreads Author)

When mobster scion-turned-antique clock repairman Joe Spork unwittingly triggers a 1950s doomsday machine, he and his new client, a geriatric secret agent named Edie, are launched into London's underworld—with super-villains, sinister monks, and a blind, glass-eyed pug in this screwball work of noir. Mark calls it "a sprawling, unputdownable adventure riddled with both Bond-like intrigue and wry humor."

Enemies: A History of the FBI
by Tim Weiner (Goodreads Author)

Pulitzer Prize-winner journalist Weiner, who has covered both the Pentagon and the CIA, now cracks the FBI's impregnable world of secret intelligence, taking the reader from the days of J. Edgar Hoover's iron-fist rule to modern-day terrorism. Logman says, "This in-depth history provides the best insight into one of the most mysterious organizations ever created by the government."

A Walk Across the Sun
by Corban Addison (Goodreads Author)

A high-powered Washington, D.C. lawyer must descend into Mumbai's criminal underworld when he makes it his mission to save two teen sisters who have been sold into sex slavery. This fictional page-turner offers an eye-opening look at human trafficking. Nate says, "It's the sign of an incredible book that when it finishes, you have that butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling of closure, redemption, and beauty."

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
by Jonathan Haidt

Different morals, genetic predisposition—what truly separates conservatives from liberals? Or the faithful from non-believers? Social psychologist Haidt synthesizes scientific findings and political philosophy in this examination of human conflict. Dan says, "No matter the reader's persuasion...Haidt will challenge your view and, if he is read carefully and with an open mind, will enable readers of all persuasions to understand that those at the opposite extreme are people of good will."

Running the Rift
by Naomi Benaron (Goodreads Author)

A gifted Tutsi athlete dreams of running track in the Olympics in this riveting novel set during the years leading up to the 1994 genocide of an estimated 800,000 Rwandans. Chris calls it "a spectacular novel," adding, "more than anything else, Benaron's novel is about character. It asks tough questions about morality, courage, honesty, and integrity."

Emperor Mollusk versus the Sinister Brain
by A. Lee Martinez

For some pulpy science fiction action, meet Emperor Mollusk, the retired ex-warlord of Earth who just wants to be left alone. But soon he's dodging assassins and locked in a death match with the Sinister Brain, a supervillain hellbent on conquering the universe. Jason says, "Filled with things going boom (a lot) and sword play (lots of stuff gets stabbed), plots with in plots, aliens, wonky time-bending shenanigans and other science fiction goodies. There are talking brains in jars for the love of science!"

Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You about Being Creative
by Austin Kleon (Goodreads Author)

For dads looking for inspiration, artist and poet Kleon shares 10 straightforward principles he wishes he'd heard in his younger years. Not just for artists, this manifesto proclaims that creativity is for everyone. Robert says, "Absolutely insightful and revealing and clarifying. Why hasn't someone said this this clearly before?"

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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message 1: by Marina (new)

Marina Sofia Can also recommend Free Will. It's a very short book with a fascinating premise and it has got our tongues wagging and debating.

message 2: by Gordon (new)

Gordon Wilson I'd add Inverting the Pyramid: The History of Football Tactics for any thinking football fans.

message 3: by Flossie (new)

Flossie Wood Or how about a lovely song dedicated to your dad like this one!

message 4: by Carlos (new)

Carlos About Flossie's message, let me recommend to you a page called (the site it's in english too) where you can entrust a personalized song and dedicate it to that special person you love.

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