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Father’s Day: Grilling, Sports, History and Adventure Books for Dads

All the fathers I know are utterly unique, but most of them enjoy the pastimes of the classic American Dad. (And I include myself in this blanketing assessment.) Us dads, we like to grill meat, we like to watch the NFL with a cold drink in hand, we like to lay down on the couch and read things that elevate our testosterone-levels, such as thriller novels and true stories of adventurers who pushed the limits. We also tend to have various fascinations that compel us to fact-fill our brains with nonfiction. For dads the nation over, here are some Father’s Day reading recommendations:


What I Grill and Why Bittman's Kitchen: What I Grill and Why by Mark Bittman

Food writer Mark Bittman reveals his favorite grilling recipes—the ones he makes time and again. In this $0.99 Kindle Single, he includes roughly 15 recipes on grilling meat, chicken, fish, vegetables, and bread. His discussions on how to master doneness, when to flip, and what to grill are priceless. Dads rejoice--this is your handbook on how to get better at playing with fire.


Smoke and Spice Smoke & Spice: Cooking with Smoke, the Real Way to Barbecue by Bill Jamison and Cheryl Alters Jamison

Barbecue is not about searing food over high heat. That's grilling. Barbecue is about low heat and smoke that produces succulent meat that falls off the bone and melts in your mouth. But how do you make such delicious fare? Smoke & Spice spells out the steps to authentic barbecue and offers side dish recipes such as scalloped green chili potatoes, buttermilk onion rings, and bourbon peaches.


Into Thin Air Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

On the deadliest day of the deadliest season in the history of Everest, Jon Krakauer summited the 29,028 foot peak and returned to base camp a broken man. Eight others climbing the mountain that day died. This profoundly well written account of an ill-fated day on Mt. Everest will make your adrenaline surge, and have you repeating “What were they thinking?”


Endurance Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing

The story of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s failed attempt to reach Antarctica in 1914 and cross it with dog teams is simply riveting. In fact, it’s possibly the greatest epic adventure story ever written. The account of Shackleton and his men stranded on floating ice sheets, and making every ingenious attempt at survival will stick with me for life. The original photos from the expedition, published in another book, The Endurance, bring it all the more to life.


Carte Blanche Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver

Could this James Bond thriller be better than any of Ian Fleming’s originals? The Telegraph calls author Jeffery Deaver, “one of the world’s smoothest, most devious, thriller writers – a far better craftsman than Fleming, in fact.” The storyline is timeless and traditional, the plot surprises are riveting, and Bond has a slight twist. Are you ready for the new 007?


The Jefferson Key The Jefferson Key: A Novel by Steve Berry

Four United States presidents have been assassinated—in 1865, 1881, 1901, and 1963—each murder was seemingly unrelated. But what if these presidents were all killed for the same reason, by a little known shadow group formed by President Washington and clandestinely backed by our constitution? That’s the premise of The Jefferson Key, in which fascinating historical facts, a band of 18th century pirates, and modern security agencies are tightly woven together with great intrigue.


Play Like You Mean It Play Like You Mean It by Rex Ryan

The most recent season of HBO's “Hard Knocks,” which featured the New York Jets, proved beyond any doubt that Rex Ryan is the NFL's most entertaining coach. Now Rex takes readers on a guided tour through the NFL as he shares stories from his experiences with the Jets and the Ravens as well as his years recruiting players, and growing up as a child of legendary NFL coach Buddy Ryan.


The Big Fight The Big Fight: My Life In and Out of the Ring by Sugar Ray Leonard and Michael Arkush

In Sugar Ray Leonard's revealing memoir, he shares the intimate details of his personal battle with depression, rage, drug addiction, and greed. Boxing fans will appreciate the window he provides into the notoriously corrupt sport as well as his take on his biggest fights. He writes as he fought--no punches pulled.



The Greater Journey The Greater Journey by David McCullough

Between 1830 and 1900, hundreds of Americans--many of them future household names like Oliver Wendell Holmes, Mark Twain, Samuel Morse, and Harriet Beecher Stowe--migrated to Paris. The City of Light imparted something on each of them before they journeyed back to shape art, medicine, writing, science, and politics in the United States. The Greater Journey, like all of McCullough's histories, is fascinating and compelling.


Lost in Shangri-La Lost in Shangri-La  by Mitchell Zuckoff

Near the end of World War II, a plane carrying 24 members of the United States military, including nine Women’s Army Corps (WAC) members, crashed into the New Guinea jungle during a sightseeing trip of the jungle covered mountains. For the three wounded survivors, their life-changing journey through an inhospitable jungle was just beginning.

For more great reads and gift ideas, see our summer reading selection for dads, Editors' Picks, or visit our gifting page.

--Paul Diamond


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Another hot Kindle book (#5 in Mountaineering) is
"Two Shadows - the inspirational story of one man's triumph over adversity"

Remarkable story of a young man headed in a path to his own destruction. He ends up in prison at age 18, but beats the odds and becomes a success in business and a prolific mountaineer. Funny and poignant.

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