Father's Day Reading List Toolkit

Last Updated by PBS Books Editor on

This Father’s Day, PBS Books has chosen some terrific books for you to give to the special men in your life- for the historian, the seeker, the storyteller, the thinker, or the poet.


Download the toolkit here:


Gregory-Pardlo.jpgAirTraffic: A Memoir of Ambition & Manhood in America, by Pulitzer Prize winning author, Gregory Pardlo, pens an extraordinary memoir about fatherhood, class, education, race, addiction, and ambition. In telling a deeply personal story about himself and his family, he tells a truly American story that is relatable and extraordinary. Watch Gregory Pardlo's interview at AWP 2018. 


grann-david-killers-of-the-flower-moon.jpgKillers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the birth of the FBI is a magnificently researched and thoroughly horrifying account of a sinister time in our nation’s history from the #1 New York Times best selling author, David Grann. Watch David Grann's interview at the Miami Book Fair 2017.


Winslow_The Force.jpgThe Force: A Novel by Don Winslow is a haunting novel of violence, corruption, inequality, crime, race, and the deep tension between the police and the diverse citizens they serve. Stephen King said it’s “Mesmerizing, a triumph. Think The Godfather, only with cops. It’s that good.” We agree. Watch Don Winslow's interview at the National Book Festival 2017.


Dyson_Tears We Cannot Stop.jpgTears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America. For anyone who cares about race in America, Michael Eric Dyson delivers a serious and urgent message in this book. As a professor at Georgetown University and an ordained minister, Dyson writes with elegance, truth and righteousness. Watch Michael Eric Dyson's interview at the National Book Festival 2017.


Philip-Roth.jpgPatrimony by Philip Roth. Some herald this 1991 book by Roth as his finest. Roth writes about his father, at the end of his father’s life, with searing honesty, yet with enormous love and understanding, too.



Dennis-Lehane.jpgWorld Gone By by Dennis Lehane. In typical fashion, Lehane is a master at writing novels that deliver morally questionable scenarios involving crime, passion and vengeance. He certainly delivers in this book, set at the end of WWII in Cuba and Florida. Watch Dennis Lehane's interview at the 2015 L.A. Times Festival of Books.


issacson_walter_leonardo-da-vinci.pngLeonardo da Vinci is another #1 New York Times bestselling book by Walter Isaacson. Based on thousands of pages from da Vinci’s notebooks. A fascinating chronicle of one of the most extraordinarily creative human beings of all time. Watch Walter Isaacson's interview at the Miami Book Fair 2017.


Nguyen-The-Displaced.pngThe Displaced is a collection of essays by refugee writers from around the globe, curated by Viet Thanh Nguyen. Powerful and deeply moving personal stories about the physical and emotional toll one endures when forced out of one’s homeland. Watch Viet Thanh Nguyen's interview at the 2018 L.A. Times Festival of Books.


Michael-Chabon.jpgPops: Fatherhood in Pieces, by Michael Chabon. Chabon’s collection of essays captures the essence of what it is to be a dad, as only Chabon can, with beautiful prose, humor and a deep, abiding love and respect for his children.



ramos-stranger.pngStranger: The Challenge of a Latino Immigrant in the Trump Era is written by the Emmy award winning journalist and longtime anchorman of Univision, Jorge Ramos. Ramos writes about his personal experience in America and explains why so many Latinos who emigrated here still feel like strangers. Watch Jorge Ramos's interview at the 2018 L.A. Times Festival of Books.


Jess-Olio.pngOlio by Tyehimba Jess. Part fact, part fiction, Jess weaves sonnet, song, and narrative to examine the lives of mostly unrecorded African American performers directly before and after the Civil War up to World War I. Olio is an effort to understand how they met, resisted, complicated, co-opted, and sometimes defeated attempts to minstrelize them. Awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 2017. Watch Tyehimba Jess's interview at AWP 2018.


Urrea-HouseBrokenAngels.pngThe House of Broken Angels is an epic Mexican-American immigrant story by masterful storyteller, Luis Alberto Urrea.  Watch Luis Alberto Urrea's interview at 2018 L.A. Times Festival of Books.



Englander-DinnerAtTheCenter.pngDinner at the Center of the Earth: A Novel is a political thriller of the highest order from Nathan Englander that interrogates the anguished, violent division between Israelis and Palestinians, and dramatizes the immense moral ambiguities haunting both sides. Watch Nathan Englander's interview at AWP 2018.


james-briefhistory7killings.jpgA Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James. James’s novel exhilaratingly explores the attempted assassination of Bob Marley in the late 1970s, and the unstable time in Jamaica’s history and beyond. Winner of the 2015 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. Watch Marlon James's interview at the Miami Book Fair 2015.

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