Since I posted recommendations for the literary Mormon mommy, I thought I’d put up a few books that I think will appeal to the men in our lives. Of course, most of the contributors and many of the commenters here are male so I assume most of you will have stuff to add to the list.
1. The Conversion of Jeff Williams by Doug Thayer. I loved this book so much that I *almost* wish I were a man so that I could get it for Father’s Day. I haven’t always been Thayer’s biggest fan and the narrator, Jeff Williams, a laid-back California surfer teen who tends to be self-involved and see everyone else at a distance, was hard for me to read at first. But as his return to Provo and his relationship with his sickly, pre-mission cousin changed his worldview Thayer wielded that point of view like a scalpel. Slowly, bit by bit, Jeff’s voice fumbles and falters and changes until, by the end of the book, he is new. He is still himself (short, choppy sentences; monosyllabic dialogue interspersed between Hamelt-esque inner monologues) but he is changed. Stronger. Wiser. Much more of man than a boy. This bildungsroman is probably the best homage to the young LDS male experience to date.
2. Angel of the Danube by Alan Rex Mitchell. If Jeff Williams is the best homage to young LDS males, then Angel of the Danube is the ultimate in missionary novels. With a distinct narrative voice, Angel presents the missionary experience with humor, gratitude, frustration, and depth. Because the characters in the book want to be faithful and are unable to take themselves too seriously it ends up being a little more light-hearted than Fires of the Mind but no less thought-provoking. This book represents some of the best of Mormon fiction.
3. Benediction by Neal Chandler is another humorous title. I’ve mentioned it before as a good example of humor in Mormon Fiction and I think it’s worth mentioning again. If your dad is the kind of guy who could never bring himself to sell Amway or try to use the commitment pattern on business associates then this is the book for him. (Warning: This book also contains some sex-type material-mostly the funny kind and never raunchy or dirty, but it might make conservative readers blush. I’ll admit that I did!)
Also, don’t forget our AMV t-shirts. They are always a classy option. The people around him might not get the joke but you’re dad will know he’s part of an elite group of bookworms!
You might end up paying a little extra for the shipping but any of these books (or shirts!) is waaaay better than the usual. (Photo credit)
14 thoughts on “For the Literary Mormon Daddy”
I’m shocked, wink wink, that you didn’t mention The Fob Bible.
Other good books I would add are On the Road to Heaven (Coke Newell) and Long After Dark (Todd Robert Petersen).
And in terms of comics, Brad Teare’s Cypher for weird dads and Mike Allred’s Madman for traditional superhero lovers.
Solid picks, Laura. I esp. like the t-shirt one. 😉
I almost always get cooking stuff for Father’s Day, but I may ask for an AMV t-shirt next year (whichever one I don’t have).
(retraction: madman is NOT a traditional superhero)
Th– I would have mentioned the Fob Bible except I haven’t read it yet! I was going to link to Tyler’s review but then I got lazy and figured you’d mention it so my bases were covered 🙂
Wm–Cooking stuff? If I got my husband cooking stuff he’d take it as a passive-aggressive hint.
Oh, and I have a copy of Long After Dark (finally!) but it reeks of cigarette smoke and I can’t bring myself to read it. . . 😦
Laura, have you tried reading the abridged version online or downloaded one of the available files?
That’s the saddest thing I’ve ever heard, Laura. I would lend you my copy, but I already promised it to a guy in my ward.
I requested a copy of the Joy of Cooking (an older, non-softened-for-suburban-sensibilities one with recipes for game, including possum) for Father’s Day. A Mormon male who does not cook is not fulfilling his priesthood responsibilities to bring the Spirit and joy into his home and to provide a refuge from the evils of the world.
I’d love to know the story behind the smoky Long After Dark.
Mojo–Are you talking about the Fob Bible? Or is Long After Dark available online somewhere?
Th–the shipping might be prohibitive for you 🙂
William–Since I live in Colorado I had to interlibrary loan the book, like I do most LDS/Mormon titles. Many books come to me from exciting locales (Massachusetts and Hawaii are the two furthest)and sometimes are marked up or underlined which always makes reading more fun. It’s like my own private book club 🙂 Anyway, Long After Dark came from *drum roll* Uinta County Library in Evanston, Wyoming. The only thing I know about Evanston is that there’s a big mental hospital there so maybe one of the patients there decided to read the book and was so engrossed by it that he/she took up chain smoking.
My husband sprayed a liberal amount of Lysol into the air and I flipped the pages back and forth in the cloud so I’m hoping that took care of the smell.
I had a similar problem with OSC’s Saints. Sure makes me wonder about the readers and the conclusions they’re drawing. . .nothing’s scarier than a non-Mormon reading Mormon books! *wink*
Interesting, Laura. I need to ILL more Mormon titles. I’ve stopped reading as many as I do because I no longer have easy access to a library system that carries many of them.
One thing I miss about the new bar code scanning for libraries is the date due stamp. I use to enjoy looking at books and seeing how often and when they had been checked out. I remember checking out _Tending the Garden: Essays on Mormon Literature_ from the UC Berkeley library and finding the due date stamp for the last time it had been checked out was when I had checked it out 2 years before.
A Mormon male who does not cook is not fulfilling his priesthood responsibilities to bring the Spirit and joy into his home and to provide a refuge from the evils of the world.
Phew. I guess I’m safe. I cook way more than my wife does (could have something to do with the fact that the gender roles are reversed in the Chadwick household).
Great list. But, as my wife well knows, I don’t wait for holidays to acquire books!
It’s funny: I’m getting cooking stuff too. A sweet barbecue thermometer. Because one must smoke meats in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should cook faster than baby back ribs can bear while remaining tender and juicy.
Laura, I meant The Fob Bible, the “Plain and Precious Parts” (abridged) version you can download from Peculiar Pages and/or read it online and/or get it at Amazon on the Kindle for 99c.
Here’s the link (scroll down a bit; it’s in the sidebar):
Long After Dark update: the Lysol smell was almost as bad as the cigarette smell. So I ran around the front yard in circles waving the book above my head(my kids were riding bikes in the driveway so I had to be out front to supervise). The neighbors already think I’m weird since I’m one of two Mormon families on the block . . . the book waving just adds to my mystique.
Anyway, now that the book alternates between vaguely smelly and a little bit stinky, I’ve been devouring/savoring it.
Whoa. I hope this guy is writing more stuff.
Novel. Rift. Coming out later this year. (Same characters as the opening story.)