What Father really needs: A good read

With just a few days to go till Father's Day, if you don't have any good gift ideas, books are a good fallback. Here are a few you can find in any bookstore:

Everyday Drinking: The Distilled Kingsley Amis: I laughed out loud when I read the New York Times review of this compilation of three out of print works by deceased British author Kinglsey Amis, an authority on booze. I love his comment about dieting: "The first, indeed the only, requirement of a diet is that it should lose you weight without reducing your alcoholic intake by the smallest degree."

Bobby Flay's Grill It: If your dad is more into cooking than drinking, famed chef and TV food host Bobby Flay has just published his fourth grilling cookbook. Although he could never top the first title, Boy Meets Grill, his recipes are winners.

When You Are Engulfed in Flames: David Sedaris's sixth essay collection, like the others, will have dad laughing out loud although the omnipresent topic -- death -- make this book a bit darker than some of his previous ones.

Everything They Had: Sportswriting from David Halberstam: The late David Halberstam first made his mark as a cub reporter in Vietnam, and he later became one of the country's most respected historians, but he also penned three sports books. This collection, edited by Glenn Stout, is a compilation of Halberstam's sports writing spanning five decades. I haven't read the book, nor do I plan to, but I think it would appeal to sport-loving dads who appreciate good writing and a dose of nostalgia.

The Last Campaign: Robert F. Kennedy and 82 Days That Inspired America by Thurston Clarke: Forty years after his death in 1968 comes a book about Bobby Kennedy's short-lived yet pioneering campaign for the presidency. I haven't read a book about Kennedy since I was in high school (Jack Newfield's RFK: A Memoir), but this is on my own summer reading list.

Father Knows Less: One Dad's Quest to Answer His Son's Most Baffling Questions: Wendell Jamieson, a New York Times editor, decided to compile a list of questions posed by his seven year old son (and other kids), then asked experts in various fields for answers. Example: What would hurt more: getting run over by a car or stung by a jellyfish? Ingenious!

Michele Turk is a journalist and author whose book, Blood, Sweat and Tears: An Oral History of the American Red Cross, was published in 2006. She recently founded e street press, a self-publishing company.

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