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Best Books for Dad 2018

Father's Day

Best Books for Dad 2018

Father’s Day is a time to celebrate the men in our lives who have raised and loved us. Why not show him your appreciation by inspiring him with a great book? We have 9 titles that are perfect gift-giving suggestions for Dad, keeping him busy through the rest of the year.

Congratulations to the five winners of our 13th Annual Father’s Day Contest! Each winner received a prize package that includes all of the titles in this year’s feature.

This year's featured titles are:

  • BORN TO FISH: How an Obsessed Angler Became the World’s Greatest Striped Bass Fisherman, by Tim Gallagher and Greg Myerson
  • CADDYSHACK: The Making of a Hollywood Cinderella Story, by Chris Nashawaty
  • DAMNATION ISLAND: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York, by Stacy Horn
  • FATEFUL MORNINGS: A Henry Farrell Novel, by Tom Bouman
  • HUE 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam, by Mark Bowden
  • THE LAST COWBOYS: A Pioneer Family in the New West, by John Branch
  • STAR OF THE NORTH by D. B. John
  • THE UNKNOWNS: The Untold Story of America’s Unknown Soldier and WWI’s Most Decorated Heroes Who Brought Him Home, by Patrick K. O'Donnell
  • WHAT UNITES US: Reflections on Patriotism, by Dan Rather and Elliot Kirschner


Eugene from Monroe, NY
Jim from Fort Smith, AR
Kenneth from Independence, MO
Kevin from Milwaukee, WI
Tom from Durant, IA
Born to Fish: How an Obsessed Angler Became the World’s Greatest Striped Bass Fisherman by Tim Gallagher and Greg Myerson - Biography

Overcoming learning disabilities, substance abuse, and the violence associated with a father in the mob, Greg Myerson, a lifelong sport-fisherman, caught an 82-pound striped bass in 2011, shattering a world record that had stood for 29 years. Without any training in biological research, he began studying the striped bass like a scientist, which led to the creation of the RattleSinker, the lure that helped him catch the record-setting bass. During an appearance on the TV show "Shark Tank," Mark Cuban bought a 33 percent share of Greg's company, World Record Striper Company. Yet at the very instant he achieved his crowning glory as a striped bass fisherman, he had a staggering epiphany and instantly regretted killing the fish.

Caddyshack: The Making of a Hollywood Cinderella Story by Chris Nashawaty - Entertainment/History

Caddyshack is one of the most beloved comedies of all time, a classic snobs vs. slobs story of working class kids and the white collar buffoons who make them haul their golf bags in the hot summer sun. It has sex, drugs and one very memorable candy bar, but the movie we all know and love didn’t start out that way. In CADDYSHACK: The Making of a Hollywood Cinderella Story, Chris Nashawaty goes behind the scenes of the iconic film, chronicling the rise of comedy’s greatest deranged minds as they form The National Lampoon, turn the entertainment industry on its head, and ultimately blow up both a golf course and popular culture as we know it.

Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York by Stacy Horn - History

Today we call it Roosevelt Island. In 1828, it was Blackwell’s, site of a lunatic asylum, two prisons, an almshouse and a number of hospitals. Conceived as the most modern, humane incarceration facility the world ever saw, Blackwell’s Island quickly became, in the words of a visiting Charles Dickens, “a lounging, listless madhouse.” In the first contemporary investigative account of Blackwell’s, Stacy Horn tells this chilling narrative through the gripping voices of the island’s inhabitants, as well as the period’s officials, reformers and journalists, including the celebrated Nellie Bly. Digging through city records, newspaper articles and archival reports, Horn brings this forgotten history alive.

Fateful Mornings: A Henry Farrell Novel by Tom Bouman - Mystery

In Wild Thyme, Pennsylvania, summer has brought Officer Henry Farrell nothing but trouble. Heroin has arrived with a surge in burglaries and other crime. When local carpenter Kevin O’Keeffe admits that he shot a man and that his girlfriend, Penny, is missing, the search leads the small-town cop to an industrial vice district across state lines that has already ensnared more than one of his neighbors. With the patience of a hunter, Farrell ventures into a world of shadow beyond the fields and forests of home.

Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam by Mark Bowden - History

In the early hours of January 31, 1968, the North Vietnamese launched over a hundred attacks across South Vietnam in what would become known as the Tet Offensive. The lynchpin of Tet was the capture of Hue, Vietnam’s intellectual and cultural capital, by 10,000 National Liberation Front troops who descended from hidden camps and surged across the city of 140,000. Within hours, the entire city was in their hands save for two small military outposts. After several futile and deadly days, Lieutenant Colonel Ernie Cheatham would finally come up with a strategy to retake the city. With unprecedented access to war archives in the U.S. and Vietnam and interviews with participants from both sides, Mark Bowden narrates each stage of this crucial battle through multiple viewpoints.

The Last Cowboys: A Pioneer Family in the New West by John Branch - Biography

For generations, the Wrights of southern Utah have raised cattle and world-champion saddle-bronc riders --- some call them the most successful rodeo family in history. Now Bill and Evelyn Wright, parents to 13 children and grandparents to many more, find themselves struggling to hang on to the majestic landscape where they’ve been running cattle for 150 years as the West is transformed by urbanization, battered by drought and rearranged by public-land disputes. Could rodeo, of all things, be the answer? In this follow-up to his prize-winning first book, New York Times reporter John Branch delivers an epic and intimate family story deep in the American grain.

Star of the North by D. B. John - Thriller

STAR OF THE NORTH opens in 1988, when a Korean American teenager is kidnapped from a South Korean beach by North Korean operatives. Twenty-two years later, her brilliant twin sister, Jenna, is still searching for her and ends up on the radar of the CIA. When evidence that her sister may still be alive in North Korea comes to light, Jenna will do anything possible to rescue her. Her story is braided together with two other narrative threads. In one, a North Korean peasant woman finds a forbidden international aid balloon and uses the valuables inside to launch a dangerously lucrative black-market business. In the other, a high-ranking North Korean official discovers that he may be descended from a traitor, a fact that could mean his death if it is revealed.

The Unknowns: The Untold Story of America’s Unknown Soldier and WWI’s Most Decorated Heroes Who Brought Him Home by Patrick K. O'Donnell - History

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is sacred ground at Arlington National Cemetery. Originally constructed in 1921 to hold one of the thousands of unidentified American soldiers lost in World War I, it now also contains unknowns from World War II and the Korean and Vietnam Wars, and receives millions of visitors each year who pay silent tribute. When the first Unknown Soldier was laid to rest in Arlington, General John Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Force in WWI, selected eight of America’s most decorated, battle-hardened veterans to serve as Body Bearers. For the first time, Patrick K. O’Donnell portrays their heroics on the battlefield 100 years ago, thereby animating the Tomb by giving voice to all who have served.

What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism by Dan Rather and Elliot Kirschner - Nonfiction/Political Science

With this collection of original essays, venerated journalist Dan Rather reminds us of the principles upon which the United States was founded. Looking at the freedoms that define us --- from the vote to the press; the values that have transformed us, from empathy to inclusion to service; the institutions that sustain us, such as public education; and the traits that helped form our young country, such as the audacity to take on daunting challenges in science and medicine --- Rather brings to bear his decades of experience on the frontlines of the world’s biggest stories. As a living witness to historical change, he offers up an intimate view of history, tracing where we have been in order to help us chart a way forward and heal our bitter divisions.