It’s Father’s Day this weekend, and an opportunity for publishers to sell more books to that particular segment of the marketplace. It’s obvious from the annual Father’s Day offerings that Sport is one of dad’s favourite reads – especially if there’s a major international tournament occurring. Other pressies that will bless you with paternal approbation are books on War, Mass or Serial Killings, and Music (especially rock, blues and jazz; anything with a whiff of authenticity). Tie-ins to comedy TV panel shows are good. So, too, are novelty books about hobbies: World’s Greatest DIY Disasters, Cricket’s Top 100 Nightwatchmen, and extreme sports: Parkour in Powys, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. Men read less fiction than women, so if you buy a novel, play safe and get one set in a war zone. Written by a man.
But how much do you love your dad? On Father’s Day, does he get what he wants, or something that’s good for him? Come to that, good for everyone. It’s a complex and nuanced world. Shouldn’t dad’s horizons be broadened? Maybe they aren’t as limited as reductive marketing categories would have us believe. Isn’t it time to throw tradition out of the window, and this year, get dad a book written (whisper it softly) by a woman?
Books from the Seren list, written by women, that dads would like:
Losing Israel Shortlisted for Wales Book of the Year, Jasmine Donahaye’s moving and honest account of the collusion of her kibbutznik family in the displacement of Palestinians in 1948 spans travel writing, nature writing and memoir.
The Man at the Corner Table Rosie Shepperd’s debut collection features fabulous, sophisticated poetry about food and its central place in cultures around the world.
Star-Shot Mary-Ann Constantine’s stylish novel, set in and around Cardiff’s National Museum, is a subtle urban novel with a supernatural twist.
What book would you choose to give to your dad?