12 Unusual Books That You Can Buy For Father's Day

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Books make the perfect last minute gift. They’re more personal than a tie, and far easier to order in the middle of the night.

From “The New Way Things Work” to “Style and The Man,” we’ve gathered some titles off the beaten path that are sure to please.


First published in the mid-1980s, this new edition improves what is already an extraordinary paean to the inner workings of our world. The colourful illustrations highlight the things we rely on every day, which make our lives better and easier.

Originally published as a children's book, the voice is accessible but sophisticated. It is a book for the ages.

  • Sections include:
  • The Mechanics of Movement (Levers, Wheels, Screws)
  • Harnessing the Elements (Floating, Flying, Nuclear Power)
  • Working with Waves (Photography, Sound & Music, Telecommunications)
  • Electricity & Automation (Electricity, Magnetism, Sensors & Detectors)
  • The Digital Domain (Making, Storing, Processing, Sending, and Using Bits)

Click here to buy

  • For those who want to fix, but have a tendency to put themselves in dangerous situations
  • Easy-to-follow instructions for the problems that arise in homes every day
  • Plumbing, electrical, appliance repair, and pest infestations are just a few of the dilemmas faced and solved
  • Solutions are simple and the skill level demands just as basic

Click here to buy

What father would go forth without Fido by his side?

  • World renown anthrozoologist Bradshaw is the spokesperson for man's best friend
  • This is the first and last word on communicating with and having a better command of Fido
  • He tells us how dogs think
  • And about the powerful world of smells that occupy, control, and lead canines through the day
  • Finally, can dogs reciprocate our love?

Click here to buy

  • Every basic recipe you could imagine by long-time New York Times food writer
  • Beloved by professional chefs and hobby cooks alike for his gentle and thorough form
  • Introductions, charts and lists about cooking techniques and ingredients
  • Ideas for taking simple recipes to the next level
  • Illustrated to make dishes and techniques clear and replicable
  • More than 1,000 new recipes added to the first edition
  • Bittman's own favourites kick off each chapter, for cooks in need of inspiration

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The cook may also want to be able to whip up cocktails:

  • This elegant, trim hardcover contains over 1,000 drinks
  • From standards to obscure and vexing variations
  • Includes lists of ingredients and substitutions
  • Commentary on when and how to use variations on a particular alcohol
  • Garnishes, rims, infusions, and syrups
  • Hot drinks and non-alcoholic drinks

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As Flusser says on the cover, 'I hope to take another step toward helping the style-conscious man to help himself.'

  • Flusser is the voice of traditional sartorial wisdom
  • A safe source for both the man who needs to get started and the man who wants to take it to the next level
  • How to buy and wear suits and dress shirts
  • How to accessorize: the belts, the braces, the jewelry, the handkerchiefs
  • Formal wear unravelled and made clear
  • How to approach the custom-made clothing world
  • The best way to travel with your wardrobe
  • The man who wants to know that what he has is as timeless (and who's not going to go to Esquire for style tips)

Click here to buy

This is a book wives may want to buy for their husbands:

  • Even the most cautious will feel comfortable flipping through this guide
  • The psychology and physiology of sex is thoughtfully described and discussed
  • Illustrations, additional resources, tips, and positions are all (relatively) discretely packaged

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Chester Brown has written a remarkable story about his time as a john and the women he met along the way. All told in the simple, line-drawing style of a typical graphic novel.

  • Introduced (and anointed) by Robert Crumb, legendary graphic novelist and memoirist
  • This is joe-average and the normal prostitute, the story of a life of sex and entanglements with the law, with no high-priced call girls or celebrity
  • Brown makes energetic and compelling arguments for the decriminalization of prostitution
  • He tells his story with no small amount of wit, self-awareness, and, most of all, in a style that makes clear the everyday, human quality of a story that could have been utterly foreign
  • Each chapter discusses a specific prostitute (Carla, Ann, Angelina, Edith, back to Ann, Larissa, Arlene et al)
  • The reader gets to know each woman before moving on, with Brown, to the next woman

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This is a compelling history of comics, told in comic form.

  • McCloud is revered in the graphic world, and a storyteller who draws in the person with zero interest in the topic
  • Who knew the history of a story told in panel-by-panel form could be so fascinating?
  • The vocabulary, how time is shown to pass, and colour are all treated in chapters
  • As Simpson's creator Matt Groenig says, 'If you've ever felt bad about wasting your life reading comics, then check out Scott McCloud's classic book immediately. You still might feel you've wasted your life, but you'll know why, and you'll be proud.'

Click here to buy

  • Written by the founder of the National Grammar Day and the SPOGG (Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar)
  • For the one who experiences heartbreak and cringes with every misused 'I' or 'me', subject-verb disagreement, or any other stumble of speech
  • Commiserates and instructs

As Tom Robbins wrote, 'Grammar' and 'glamour' have the same derivation: an old Scottish word meaning 'sorcery.' So, good grammar is not merely a glamorous antidote to creeping meatballism; it has the power of the black arts behind it.

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And for those who want to double-check their own accuracy, a smart and pointed illustrated edition of Strunk & White's Elements of Style by the inimitable Maira Kalman.

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Spiegelman's Maus is haunting, artful, irreverent, and bold. It's the graphic memoir that created the genre and tells the extraordinary story of WWII, the Holocaust, and delves into the challenging relationship between father and son -- all in voice of cartoon animals.

  • The New Yorker cover artist is a Pulitzer Prize winner, Guggenheim fellowship recipient, and National Book Critics Circle Award nominee.
  • Epic in scope and intimate in scale, Spiegelman crafted a story about man, unspeakable horrors, the legacy of guilt and surviving, and the more universal father-and-son dynamic.

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Without Maus, Persepolis could never have existed. Satrapi's two-volume story of the (first) Iranian Revolution should be required reading for anyone watching history unfold in the Middle East today.

  • Told from the perspective of a young girl who grows into adolescence in the throws of revolution, interior and exterior
  • Her eye is clear, the drawings spare, and no one emerges as anything other than human
  • This is the story of the Iran that threw off the shackles of the Shah, with the support of intellectual progressives as well as religious zealots
  • Things turned dark and repressive almost immediately and readers experience the shock and horror felt by a family that thought they were working for expanded freedoms for all
  • A young girl learns about rebellion personal and political
  • She sees firsthand the effects of well-intended passions of beloved adults who scramble to protect her from the results of a revolution gone very much awry in a country that embraced religious repression with violence

Click here to buy

Now for your own summer reading list ...

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