The passions, perils, and pleasures of paternity.

The Bookmaker’s Daughter

By Shirley Abbott

A roguish, charming bookie, Shirley Abbott’s father was also “the man of intellect, the reader among illiterates.” Through a shared love of books he forged an alliance with his daughter, showing her that there was more to the world than the provincial concerns of Hot Springs, Arkansas in the 1940s. A lovely memoir.

Home Game

By Michael Lewis

Lewis mastered the complex worlds of high finance (Liar’s Poker) and professional sports (Moneyball, The Blind Side) with deceptive yet delightful ease. Fatherhood took him a little longer, yet, as this engaging narrative reveals, he eventually rose to the task with his usual blend of keen insight and irreverent wit.

Peace Like a River

By Leif Enger

Enger’s magical debut novel is about a man in 1960s Minnesota who leads his family across the Dakota Badlands in pursuit of a fugitive son. Narrated by eleven-year-old Reuben, the story is a gripping, dramatic, and ultimately inspiriting vision of family, faith, and fatherhood.


By William Wharton

In Wharton’s unforgettable novel, John Tremont is called back into the daily orbit of his parents’ lives as mortality looms over them. As his father slips into the past, and his nineteen-year-old son rushes into the freedom of an independent future, Tremont must negotiate his own middle-aged present through the love he feels for both.

The Prince of Frogtown 

By Rick Bragg

In this poignant, heartfelt memoir by the Pulitzer Prize-winner, the author shares his education in fatherhood, taught by the ten-year-old stepson who not only inspired Bragg’s love but illuminated his distant, awkward relationship with his own troubled father, a larger-than-life figure he never really knew.