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Father’s Day Inspiration – “The Great American Read”

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As gifts, books do a little bit more. There’s truly a book for everyone, no accessories are ever required, and books last forever. There’s nothing more thoughtful, or personal, than the perfect, hand-chosen gift book. This Father’s Day, PBS Books has narrowed down the search for you and chose some terrific books for you to give to the special men in your life – for the historian, the seeker, the storyteller, the thinker or the poet.

“AirTraffic: A Memoir of Ambition & Manhood in America”

Pulitzer Prize winning author, Gregory Pardlo pens an extraordinary memoir about fatherhood, class, education, race, addiction, and ambition. In telling a deeply personal story about himself and his family, he tells a truly American story that is relatable and extraordinary.

“Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI”

A magnificently researched and thoroughly horrifying account of a sinister time in our nation’s history from the #1 New York Times best selling author, David Grann.

“The Force: A Novel” by Don Winslow

A haunting novel of violence, corruption, inequality, crime, race, and the deep tension between the police and the diverse citizens they serve. Stephen King said it’s “Mesmerizing, a triumph. Think The Godfather, only with cops. It’s that good.” We agree.

“Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America”

For anyone who cares about race in America, Michael Eric Dyson, delivers a serious and urgent message in this book. As a professor at Georgetown University and an ordained minister, Dyson writes with elegance, truth and righteousness.

Phillip Roth - Patrimony

“Patrimony” by Philip Roth.

Some herald this 1991 book by Roth as his finest. Roth writes about his father, at the end of his father’s life, with searing honesty, yet with enormous love and understanding, too.

“World Gone By”

In typical fashion, Dennis Lehane is a master at writing novels that deliver morally questionable scenarios involving crime, passion and vengeance. He certainly delivers in this book, set at the end of WWII in Cuba and Florida.

“Leonardo da Vinci”

Another No. 1 New York Times bestselling book by Walter Isaacson, the work is based on thousands of pages from da Vinci’s notebooks. A fascinating chronicle of one of the most extraordinarily creative human beings of all time.

“The Displaced,” Viet Thanh Nguyen

A collection of essays by refugee writers from around the globe, curated by Viet Thanh Nguyen. Powerful and deeply moving personal stories about the physical and emotional toll one endures when forced out of one’s homeland.

Michael Chabon Pops: Fatherhood in Pieces

“Pops: Fatherhood in Pieces,” by Michael Chabon

Chabon’s collection of essays captures the essence of what it is to be a dad, as only Chabon can, with beautiful prose, humor and a deep, abiding love and respect for his children.

“Stranger: The Challenge of a Latino Immigrant in the Trump Era”

Written by the Emmy award winning journalist and longtime anchorman of Univision, Jorge Ramos, the work shares his personal experience in America and explains why so many Latinos who emigrated here still feel like strangers.

“Olio” by Tyehimba Jess

Part fact, part fiction, Jess weaves sonnet, song, and narrative to examine the lives of mostly unrecorded African American performers directly before and after the Civil War up to World War I. Olio is an effort to understand how they met, resisted, complicated, co-opted, and sometimes defeated attempts to minstrelize them. Awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 2017.

“The House of Broken Angels”

An epic Mexican-American immigrant story by masterful storyteller, Luis Alberto Urrea.

“Dinner at the Center of the Earth: A Novel”

A political thriller of the highest order from Nathan Englander, this piece interrogates the anguished, violent division between Israelis and Palestinians, and dramatizes the immense moral ambiguities haunting both sides.

“A Brief History of Seven Killings” by Marlon James

James’s novel exhilaratingly explores the attempted assassination of Bob Marley in the late 1970s, and the unstable time in Jamaica’s history and beyond. Winner of the 2015 Man Booker Prize for Fiction.


"The Great American Read"

PBS Books