Book Recommendations


Okay, okay this may not be the most helpful list for Father’s Day, but you know you’re just going to get him a tie anyway (#classicdadgift). From The Vegetarian to The Shining, this list features books we love, but they probably aren't the best gifts for your pop.

 


 

The People in the Trees

by Hanya Yanagihara

 

Yanagihara’s career took off with 2015’s A Little Life, but her first novel The People in the Trees is also a mesmerizing read. Unreliable narrator and scientist Norton Perina recalls his travels to a remote island on the hunt for a biological Fountain of Youth. There his slippery morals come up against the natives of the island. This novel is a fascinating look at anthropology, ethics, and the clashing of cultures. We don’t want to spoil the book by saying why it’s bad for dear old dad, but the relationship between Perina and the son he adopted from the island made us squirm with discomfort. 

 


 

Winter's Bone

by Daniel Woodrell

 

Sixteen-year-old Ree Dolly is an admirable heroine in master writer Daniel Woodrell’s Winter’s Bone. Ree has become the de facto head of her household with a mentally ill mother, a meth-addicted father who has disappeared, and young siblings to take care of in an impoverished community in the Ozarks. It’s that father of Ree’s that causes the real trouble—Jessup has put up the Dolly’s house as collateral against his bail and if he doesn’t show up for court the family will be destitute. Woodrell’s exquisite writing plunges you into Ree’s dire situation as she’s drawn more and more into the dangerous backwoods in search of her father. Winter's Bone is a perfectly-pitched novel about a little-explored area of the country. (The movie adaptation starring a young Jennifer Lawrence is quite good, but nothing tops the book.)

 


 

The Changeling

by Victor LaValle

 

Victor LaValle has made a career writing the eerie, macabre, and downright frightening. His new novel The Changeling preys on the fears of fathers. Apollo Kagwa is a new dad, but his wife Emma begins acting strangely toward their infant. When Emma commits an unthinkable act, Apollo is forced to go on a strange quest to find his wife and child. Part fairytale, part horror novel, LaValle’s The Changeling is un-put-downable.   

 


 

The Vegetarian

by Han Kang

translated by Deborah Smith 

 

Winner of the 2016 Man Booker International Prize, The Vegetarian by Han Kang is an immersive look into the troubled psyche of Yeong-hye, an ordinary-seeming woman in South Korea. When Yeong-hye has a disturbing dream, her whole world-view shifts and she begins acting more and more radically—behaviour that’s especially troubling to her family. Originally published as three novellas in South Korea, it’s the second section of the story with its frank exploration of sexuality that may not make this the best gift for dad.  

 


 

The Shining by Stephen King

 

We couldn’t help ourselves and decided to put on this classic of... errrrr... bad dad behavior onto our list. Sure, what writer wouldn’t kill for a cushy job taking care of a remote hotel during the offseason, with plenty of time to peck away at the typewriter? But it’s Jack Torannce’s son Danny who senses the evil at the Overlook Hotel. And if you can't get enough of The Shinging, then we suggest King's sequel Doctor Sleep

 


 


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The People in the Trees

 

 

Winter's Bone

 

 

The Changeling

 

 

The Vegetarian

 

 

The Shining