May 27, 2018
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Between the lines: Best books for dads

By Allen Pierleoni,  McClatchy Newspapers

A reminder that Father’s Day is June 19 and we’re here to help. Instead of waiting till the last minute to buy another tie, try a title instead.


“Stuff Every Husband Should Know” by Eric San Juan (Quirk, $9.95, 144 pages). Handy, concise advice in three arenas: marriage, home and family. Under “Stuff You Should Learn To Say to Your Wife: ‘You’re right.’”

“Better Off Dad” by Will Culp (Mayhaven, $17.95, 187 pages). After moving to his wife’s hometown of Mahomet, Ill., the former advertising executive decided to stay at home and raise their two young daughters. This is a compilation of his humorous parenting columns from the local weekly newspaper.

“Fire Season” by Philip Connors (Ecco, $24.99, 256 pages). Each year for a decade, the former Wall Street Journal reporter lived in a lookout tower in a national forest. The fire-watcher reflects on life, nature and the history of the job.

“Breaking the Slump” by Jimmy Roberts (Harper, $24.99, 256 pages). Has your golf game ever gone south? You’re in good company, with Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Greg Norman, Johnny Miller, Tom Watson, David Duval and Steve Stricker.

“Let There Be Pebble” by Zachary Michael Jack (University of Nebraska Press, $24.95, 352 pages). The failed Division I college golf walk-on spent a year at and around Pebble Beach Golf Links. During his “meditation” on the game and its unique culture, he conducted more than 100 revealing interviews.

“Another Lousy Day in Paradise” and “Dances With Trout” by John Gierach (Simon & Schuster, $19.99, 432 pages). Fishing is the subject in this combined volume of two Gierach collections of first-person essays and sketches.

“No Shortage of Good Days” by John Gierach (Simon & Schuster, $24, 224 pages). The master of fly-fishing strikes again with his latest adventures in waders. Consider: “Any fish becomes worth catching to the extent that you can’t catch it.”

“River Monsters: True Stories of the Ones That Didn’t Get Away” by Jeremy Wade (Da Capo, $26, 304 pages). One of Wade’s fish could eat 100 of Gierach’s trout for breakfast. Wade is the host of “River Monsters” on Animal Planet. Don’t go in the water.

“The Council of Dads” by Bruce Feiler (Harper, $13.99, 246 pages). Facing a life-threatening disease, the father of two “reached out to six men from all passages of life” and asked them to guide his daughters’ lives if he became no longer able.

“The Boy in the Moon” by Ian Brown (St. Martin’s, $24.99, 304 pages). The author’s son was struck with “an extremely rare genetic mutation” that rendered him mentally and physically disabled. The father’s journey for a cure and understanding is inspirational.

“Reading My Father” by Alexandra Styron (Scribner, $25, 304 pages). The youngest daughter of the disturbed Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist recalls growing up in a troubled household.


The following trilogy of excellent thrillers is by Norwegian crime writer Jo Nesbo, who is hugely popular in Europe. The English translations (by Don Bartlett) are available. In the United States, Nesbo and his Oslo police detective protagonist, Harry Hole, are being compared to Michael Connelly and his creation, Harry Bosch. The writing is intelligent, the plots flawless, the danger nonstop. From Harper Paperbacks, $14.99 each.

“The Devil’s Star” finds Harry tracking a serial killer while on the verge of being fired from his job.

In “Nemesis,” Harry is framed for murder as he investigates a string of violent bank robberies.

In “The Redbreast,” Harry’s punishment for an error in the line of duty lands him on routine surveillance — which leads to the discovery of an international conspiracy.

“Rogue Island” by Bruce DeSilva (Forge, $14.99, 304 pages). After 40 years as a reporter for the Providence Journal, the author knows Rhode Island. In this take, a street-wise journalist heads for big trouble when he investigates a string of arsons. In May, the Mystery Writers of America voted it “best first novel by an American author.”

“The Rich and the Dead,” edited by Nelson DeMille (Grand Central, $24.99, 384 pages). Mystery Writers of America chose veteran novelist DeMille (14 titles) to choose 20 stories by top authors. The theme: the very wealthy, whose crimes bring them down, one way or another.

“The Fallen Angel” by David Hewson (Delacorte, $25, 368 pages). Nic Costa, a detective with Rome’s Questura (special police force), is on “staycation” when a murder and a former flame both show up suddenly. Ninth in the series.


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