Omni Personal Shopper: Dear ol' Dad

Today's request in our Omni Personal Shopper series (feel free to add your own in the comments) is to find the perfect gift for a book-loving Dad:
I inherited my love of reading from my parents. My father in particular never missed an opportunity to find that perfect book for Christmas that would always be reserved for opening after "Santa's" presents. As I've grown, I've inverted the tradition of book giving with my father and am interested in books with themes about life lessons that a son learns from his father. Past years have included Big Russ & Me and The Five People You Meet in Heaven. Specifically, I'd like to find that great 2009 "father-son" book that can be shared with Dad this holiday season.
As the father of a two year old (and one on the way), this really hit home. (And for the record, I'm not's just...really dusty in here.)  With help from Tom and Anne, here's what we came up with:

Crazy for the Storm by Norman Ollestad
What looks at first to be solely a disaster survival story (and a riveting one, to be sure), gains its real power as a story of a father and a son. Crazy for the Storm is a moving tribute to a larger-than-life dad, who lived a counterculture life while working for Hoover's FBI and as a US prosecutor and pushed his son relentlessly toward experiences that it seems he could only understand 30 years later, once he had become a father of a son himself.

Home Game by Michael Lewis
The bestselling author of Moneyball puts the complexities of fatherhood into words, as he chronicles the joy, pain, and yes – exhaustion -  shared by all new dads.

Losing Mum and Pup by Christopher Buckley
A loving but clear-eyed tribute to both of his one-of-a-kind parents by the novelist Buckley, which gives a sense of what it was like to have a father who was also the father of an entire political movement.

That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo
Russo's latest novel is a wryly comic novel of a flawed son and father coming to uneasy terms with the legacy of his parents, and the one he is passing along, like it or not, to his children. 

Manhood for Amateurs by Michael Chabon
Although a bit more ironic than Big Russ and Albom, this collection of essays provides a humorous portrayal of Chabon's model Dad.

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I'm used to getting movies for my girlfriend, but this year she's suggested books. She's an art history major but she's obsessed with films, particularly quirky documentaries like Grey Gardens, American Movie, and Anvil: the Story of Anvil. One of her favorite programs is This American Life, and her favorite magazine is Cabinet. In general, she's fascinated by the secret histories of everyday objects and people. I was wondering what books would appeal to her in the same way that those offbeat doc films do?

Posted by: Conor | Wednesday December 9, 2009 at 3:02 PM

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