Father’s Day gift ideas to get you started
Well, if you can believe it, it’s getting to be that time of year again – Father’s Day is just a few short weeks away (Sunday 1 September for all of us now frantically checking our diaries). But never fear – we’ve got you covered if you’re stuck for gift ideas.
To make sure your gift gets to your dad or loved one in time, place your order by Thursday 22 August to make sure your dad has something to open on the day.
For dads who love Aussie thrillers, try…
Snake Island by Ben Hobson
If your dad loves Westerns, but prefers his genre-reading to have an Australian flavour, look no further than Ben Hobson’s Snake Island. Vernon never wants to see his son Caleb, jailed for bashing his wife, again. But then he hears that Caleb is being regularly beaten in prison – and with the police doing nothing, Vernon knows he must act. He makes a plan to approach the abuser’s father – the local drug lord. A civilised conversation, father to father. That’ll work. Right?
For dads who love edge-of-your-seat historical fiction, try…
Shepherd by Catherine Jinks
Tom Clay, fourteen years old, once a poacher and now a convict, lives in a shepherd’s hut in the bush, protecting his master’s sheep from wild dogs and using his wits to survive. Then, Tom’s existence is threatened by the return of a violent and terrifying former shepherd, who will do anything to cover his tracks. Soon, Tom finds himself on the run, fighting for his life. This novel covers only a few short days and hurtles along at breakneck speed – a thrilling, edge-of-your-seat addition to Australian outback colonial fiction. Read our full review here.
For dads who like a witty prize-winner exploring grief and community, try…
Taking Tom Murray Home by Tom Slee
After her husband Tom’s untimely death in a house fire, Dawn decides to take his body on a horse and cart in a funeral procession 350 kilometres to Melbourne, where he was born. It’s slow – real slow. The night before they leave, the local bank bursts into flame. Dawn has five days to get to Melbourne, and as she goes, there are more mysterious arson attacks. Five days, five towns, and a state ready to burst into flame…Tom Slee’s Taking Tom Murray Home won the inaugural Banjo Prize and is definitely one to watch.
For dads who love politics, try…
Plots and Prayers by Niki Savva
It’s hard to believe that it’s almost a year since the leadership spill that ousted Malcolm Turnbull and, three days later, popped Scott Morrison in the top spot. The sheer brutality of this moment shocked everyone – even Liberals. Plots and Prayers is the inside story. You might remember Niki Savva’s name from her previous book, The Road to Ruin, which was an inside look at Tony Abbott’s leadership and filled with devastating insider accounts and unprecedented insights. Safe to say that Savva really knows her stuff when it comes to Aussie politics. For anyone desperate to make heads or tails of the state of the government right now, Plots and Prayers is a go-to.
For dads with an interest in philanthropy or memoir, try…
A Lot with a Little by Tim Costello
Haven’t you ever wondered how the people you admire and look up to came to be the way that they are? A Lot with a Little is the evocative new memoir from Australian Baptist minister and Chief Advocate of World Vision Australia Tim Costello. Within, Costello explores the people and experiences that have played a key role in shaping him into a socially active fighter for the world’s most challenging issues. Challenging and thought provoking no matter what your beliefs, this is a book to savour and re-read.
For dads with an interest in world history and intelligence, try…
Chinese Spies: From Chairman Mao to Xi Jinping by Roger Faligot
Roger Faligot’s astonishing account reveals nothing less than a century of world events shaped by Chinese spies. Working as scientists, journalists, diplomats, foreign students, and businessmen, they’ve been everywhere – from Stalin’s purges to 9/11. The history-loving dad will appreciate this one; it’s famous world events revisited in a way you’ve never experienced before. Chinese Spies: From Chairman Mao to Xi Jinping is a fascinating narrative exposing the sprawling tentacles of the world’s largest intelligence service, from the very birth of communist China to Xi Jinping’s absolute rule today.
For dads who love cooking, try…
Veg: Easy & Delicious Meals for Everyone by Jamie Oliver (Available 22 August)
It’s not out yet, but never fear, Jamie Oliver’s new cookbook will be here in time for Father’s Day. This time around, the Naked Chef turns his attention to easy, delicious and accessible vegetarian recipes that are both packed with flavour and easily affordable. Whether you’re just wanting to incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet, are going vego for health reasons or sustainability reasons, ‘It’s all about celebrating really good, tasty food that just happens to be meat-free’ – Jamie Oliver.
For dads who enjoy remarkable facts, try…
James Hardy Vaux’s 1819 Dictionary of Criminal Slang by Simon Barnard (Available 20 August)
This is Australian convict history with a lively, tongue-in-cheek flavour that’ll be sure to have father figures everywhere whipping out the odd ‘did you know’ at the dinner table for weeks to come. In the early 19th century, convict James Hardy Vaux, inspired by Australian magistrates' frustation at language used by reoffending convicts to disguise their activity, devised a slang dictionary. In fact, this came to be Australia’s first published dictionary. Accompanied by illustrations and anecdotes, this is a fascinating account of convict language.
For dads who love comedy, try…
Mad As Hell and Back by Shaun Micallef and Gary McCaffrie
Shaun Micallef is a mainstay of Australian political comedy – and he’s been on the scene for 21 years as of 2019. In honour, Mad As Hell and Back is a comprehensive collection of the funniest scripts and scenes from Micallef’s long TV career. If your dad is a comedy fan, a filmmaking fan or a screenwriter himself, he’ll appreciate this behind-the-scenes look at the process, complete with hilarious footnotes to the most-loved sketches from Micallef and his co-writer Gary McCaffrie.