7 books about fatherhood, just in time for Father's Day
Dads often get the short shrift. There's a big focus on Mother's Day and a much smaller focus on Father's Day.
When it comes to books on parenting, the same is true.
RELATED: Are we shirking Dad on Father's Day?
For Father's Day, we offer seven new books that are about fatherhood written by a dad, for a dad or in honor of a dad.
"The Dad Lab: 50 Awesome Science Projects for Parents and Kids" by Sergei Urban ($18, TarcherPerigree)
Create great memories with the kids, have some fun and maybe learn something with these science experiments from Sergei Urban, who created the Dad Lab. Most of the things you'll need for these projects are things you already have at home or can get very quickly with a trip to a grocery store.
Some of the projects feel more science-y, like Exploring Density in a Glass, which uses honey, oil and water and common objects to see how things float. Some feel more creative, like Painting With Bubbles, which uses dish soap, food coloring and straws to create colorful bubbles.
"This Is the Book You Give Your Dad: Everything An Awesome Father Wants to Know" by Matt Goulet and Andrew Janik ($20, Simon & Schuster)
"This Is the Book You Give Your Dad" would actually be great for anyone. It offers an illustrated guide to many things such as tools and how to use them; the steps of building a fire and, more importantly, putting out a fire; making cocktails; the actors who played James Bond; how to play Texas Hold 'Em and bar games; and some easy recipes to feed the kids.
It's all things that you might know some of but not everything on the page. Who knew there were so many different patterns you could make while mowing the lawn, or that there's an official way to carve a turkey?
Wisdom from Dad
"Stark Raving Dad: Poems for the Frazzled Parent in All of Us" by Sanderson Dean ($14, Running Press)
Ready to laugh? Parenting does have its unbelievably funny moments, and Sanderson Dean captures those in funny ways in poetry. His poems are inspired by his two sons, Jordan and Kylan.
Some favorites: "King for A Minute," a three-verse poem about a moment of peace and quiet while sitting on the toilet, which, of course, gets interrupted by kids knocking on the door; "All the Riches in the World," which puts to pen the common sentiment that you would give anything for more sleep; and "Clean Up Your Room," which asks the immortal question: How many times does a parent have to tell you to clean up your room before you will do it?
"The Life of Dad: Reflections on Fatherhood From Today's Leaders, Icons, and Legendary Dads, by Jon Finkel and Art Eddy ($16.99, Adams Media)
The creators of "The Life of Dad" podcast put their work into book form with this collection of famous dads talking about fatherhood and offering their advice. The book is filled with messages from sports heroes, actors and comedians, musical stars and well-known entrepreneurs. Actor/rapper Ice Cube tells us, "Don't leave it up to the mother to raise your kids. You need to be just as involved."
Actor Henry Winkler shows his humanity and failings when he talks about the importance of chores: "Our children were great negotiators — I did their chores."
Author Brad Meltzer offers this advice: "There is only one rule when it comes to being a parent as far as I am concerned. It is love your kids. You can screw up everything else."
Finkel and Eddy weave this advice into their own learnings.
"My First Rodeo: How Three Daughters, One Wife, And a Herd of Others Are Making Me a Better Dad" by Stoney Stamper ($17.99, Waterbrook)
Stoney Stamper created the Daddy Diaries blog based on his experience raising one biological daughter and two stepdaughters.
He talks about his uneasiness settling into fatherhood. With one of his stepdaughters they created their own word to say "I love you" without using those words. He talks about the first time his wife leaves for a half-day spa day and the disaster that feels like it is — just 30 minutes into the adventure. In fact, the book is a collection of sweet remembrances of when things didn't always go that smoothly.
"All That You Leave Behind" by Erin Lee Carr ($26, Ballantine Books)
Documentary filmmaker Erin Lee Carr, whose most recent work includes "A Heart of Gold" about the U.S. gymnastics scandal, takes a look at the relationship she had with her own father, David Carr, who was an author and columnist for The New York Times.
After her father collapsed in the newsroom in 2015 and died, Erin Lee Carr tries to make sense of her father's legacy and the things she inherited from him. Sure, there's the love of telling people's stories, but there's also something darker in their genes: addiction.
She uses her father's emails and messages to try to make understand the things she learned from him. It's part love letter to her father and therapy session expressing the frustration and disappointment at both her father's failings and her own.
"Folded Wisdom: Notes From Dad on Life, Love and Growing Up" by Joanna Guest ($20, Celadon Books)
Joanna Guest's father, Robert, left her and her brother Theo an incredible legacy. Each day, beginning in 1995, when Joanna Guest was 7 and Theo Guest was 4, Robert Guest sat down to write a note to each of them with advice or thoughts for the occasion of that day. He then folded them up into triangles (like the kind you use for making a football to hike between finger goalposts).
The book is part reprinting of her father's messages and part how-to for writing your own kids messages and what to say. The book offers a real-world example of the impact writing daily notes can have on a child.