Celebrate Father's Day with some new reads dads will love
In honour of dads, here are some new reads that will appeal to fathers and sons:
Just Let Me Look At You: On Fatherhood, Bill Gaston, Hamish Hamilton
Bill Gaston warns us going in that “when I lay out my father’s life the air will be thick with judgment.” Yes it is. Bob Gaston, lifetime Sears executive, was a drunk, a bigot, a liar, a blowhard. The one arena in which father and son could connect was in a boat, mooching for salmon. And so the son, at age 60, goes on a solo fishing trip to rediscover his dad, at Egmont, across the Salish Sea, where “I came of age, and he slid downhill, and it’s where we grew apart.” A tender, brutal memoir of a father by one of our finest writers.
The Home For Wayward Parrots, Darusha Wehm, NeWest Press
Gumbo Guillemot has wanted to find his birth parents since he was a kid in Saanich, B.C. Now in his 30s, he has connected with Kim, his biological mum, along with three half-siblings (all by different fathers) and their loved ones. But Kim is cagey about the identity of Gumbo’s birth father, possibly with good reason. A bittersweet tale of eccentricity, delayed development and getting on with the messy business of life. Plus parrots. Author Wehm is a Canadian based in New Zealand. She is the author of mainstream and science fiction books, stories and poetry.
Daditude: The Joys & Absurdities of Modern Fatherhood, Chris Erskine, Prospect Park
Chris Erskine is one of those professional dads, the guys newspapers assign to write amusingly about family life (in the Star, it was Linwood Barclay, before him Gary Lautens). Erskine is syndicated at a number of papers in the States from his home perch at the Los Angeles Times. This is a best-of collection of 50 columns, beginning in 2002 when his last child was born, ending poignantly last September when his wife, Posh, learns she has more chemotherapy ahead.
Devil’s Day, Andrew Michael Hurley, John Murray
The Endlands is a place out of time, steeped in folkways and superstition, where a long procession of fathers and sons work the land. It is here that John, an academic, takes his wife, Kat, summoned by his father to attend the funeral of the Gaffer, John’s grandfather. They arrive on the eve of Devil’s Day, a dark October festival commemorating a blizzard a century before when evil took hold and left 13 people dead. Now it is a day for children — until this year. This is Hurley’s second novel. His first, The Loney, was published in 2014 in a limited edition of 278 copies and went on to be republished in 20 languages. It won the Costa Best First Novel prize and the British Book Industry Award for Book of the Year.
One Day You’ll Thank Me: Lessons from an Unexpected Fatherhood, David McGlynn, Counterpoint
Here are 21 essays on fatherhood from a man who recalls his relationship with his father with deep fondness and always looked forward to being a dad himself. He has two sons, born within two years, each inconveniently, the first when he was a graduate student, the second when he was a young academic trying to establish himself. McGlynn is a fine writer who brings to life the small pleasures of family life — mediating warfare between his boys; teaching a son to ride a bike; buying his eldest a cellphone; and many more.