In case you haven’t noticed it is Father’s Day on Sunday, and if your old man likes reading here are a few recent books we think/hope he might enjoy.
Even better though would be to give him a subscription to Strong Words – and you can do that by going here.
For the dad who will be glued to the TV for the next month – World In Motion by Simon Hart
There has already been one legendary book about the World Cup in Italy in 1990 – Pete Davies’ masterpiece All Played Out. Somehow though Simon Hart manages to find even more to say about what, from an England perspective at least was probably the second greatest World Cup ever. Hart’s book catalogues the tournament’s many highlights – Gazza’s tears, Cameroon beating Argentina and more. But he has updated the story by securing illuminating interviews with some of the main protagonists such as Italian striker Toto Schillaci. Buy it here.
For the dad who loves a thriller – The Good Son by You-Jeong Jeong
Quite possibly the coolest thriller of the summer, The Good Son has already amassed sales of millions in South Korea and a TV adaptation surely isn’t too far away. It features the story of Yu-Jin, a man who is woken in the night by the smell of blood who then discovers his mother murdered on the living room floor. Trouble is he is off his medication and he can’t remember anything of the night before. Read it before everyone else does. Buy it here.
For the dad who still rocks his skinny jeans – Rock And Roll Is Life by DJ Taylor
A kind of literary Spinal Tap, the book chronicles the hilarious, and often outrageous story of the Helium Kids, a fictional rock band who might just be a little based on The Yardbirds, or maybe The Stones. It is a hoot from start to finish with the story told ostensibly by the band’s manager abetted by fake interviews and reviews in the style of some of the big names of rock and roll journalism. It’s a fantastic read. Check out our interview with the author here. Buy it here.
For the dad who dreams of writing a novel – Self & I by Matthew De Abaitua
Sticking rigidly to our books as cult movies theme this tome could just about be a literary Withnail and I. The ‘I’ in question is Matthew De Abaitua, who at the start of this memoir in the early 90s is a green, yet ambitious graduate, who knows his literary masterpiece is just a few months graft away. Trouble is Matthew is holed up in a cottage in a remote part of Suffolk with Withnail, aka the bad boy of 90s British literature, Will Self. And in his role as Self’s amanuensis (basically runaround) he finds himself in all manner of scrapes from swimming in the sea by nuclear power stations to embarrassing himself at swish literary gatherings. But the book is as much about De Abaitua pondering his own failings as a would be writer, as it is about Self. It is introspective and critical without being schmaltzy and as for De Abaitua’s writing career, well as this book attests he got there in the end. Buy it here.
For the dad who loves cult cinema – The Continuity Girl by Patrick Kincaid
This is a fun, recent novel teeming with references to classic vintage British films of the Talking Pictures variety. It is beautifully written, jogs along at a cracking pace and boasts an intriguing Loch Ness related plot. The sort of book you devour in one sitting. Buy it here.
For the dad who loves stories with, coughs, a bit of an edge – No Good Deed by John Niven
John Niven is best known for Kill Your Friends, which I unknowingly assumed was a sweet little tale about an A&R man’s life in the middle of the Britpop era. Well, it is that and a whole lot more. No Good Deed is just as twisted and recounts the role of restaurant owner/tosser who realises that the tramp he has been chucking money at, is in fact an old schoolmate. For once in his life he does a lovely thing and invites the down and out to share his palatial home. Needless to say, as this is John Niven, it is not going to end well. Buy it here.