Saturday, June 20, 2015

Great Books About Fathers

(This article is reprinted from my monthly book column in Vital! magazine)

Father’s Day is on June 21. Give your favorite Dad one of these great books or celebrate the day by reading about fathers:

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon – There are several father-child relationships at the heart of this suspenseful, clever book set in Barcelona.

12,000 Miles in the Nick of Time: A Semi-Dysfunctional Family Circumnavigates the Globe by Mark Jacobson – One of my favorite memoirs, by a father who plans a trip around the world with his wife and three kids/teens – thoughtful and funny.

Defending Jacob by William Landay – A novel depicting a father’s ultimate challenge: to defend his son who is accused of a heinous crime.

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel – A graphic novel memoir that explores the very unusual relationship the author had with her gay father and how it affected her.

Us by David Nicholls – A warm and funny novel narrated by Douglas, a Brit who is struggling to be a good husband and father as his marriage falls apart on a European vacation.

She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders by Jennifer Finney Boylan – A memoir by a transgendered father with two children who undergoes the transformation from man to woman.

American Pastoral by Philip Roth – This American classic about the life of a typical American man includes the main character’s relationship with his own father, as well as his difficult relationship with his daughter.

I Sleep At Red Lights by Bruce Stockler – A heart-warming and hilarious memoir of a father’s first years with a preschooler plus baby triplets.
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini – A novel that explores the fragile relationship between fathers & sons, set in Afghanistan.

The Ride of Our Lives by Mike Leonard – a memoir by the Today show correspondent about taking his parents on a cross-country trip that will make you want to go right out and rent an RV for your family.

Suzan Jackson is a freelance writer who lives in Delaware with her husband and two sons. She writes a blog about books, featuring reviews, book news, and more at You can find reviews of all of the books listed here on the blog.

(This article is reprinted from my monthly book column in Vital!, The magazine for Active Older Adults, available free in public places like libraries and drugstores in Delaware and North Carolina)
What are your favorite books about fathers?


  1. Great picks here. I have to agree with The Kite Runner and The Shadow of the Wind!

  2. These all sound like wonderful books! Thank you for sharing this at the #SmallVictoriesSundayLinkup!

  3. This is an awesome list. I have never found a list of books about great fathers before so thank you for putting this together! The Kite Runner is such an amazing book! The others I haven't heard of but I will have to check them out! Thanks for joining the Link-It To Me Link Party this week, I hope you will party with us again next week!