Books for the Cool Dad in Your Life

Tomorrow marks my second official Father’s Day, but I’m counting it as the first, since all I can remember about last year’s was that it involved a colicky two-month-old screaming, screaming, and screaming some more. I’ve learned a lot in the past year (for example, how to sleep through some mild screaming), but if my now-toddler has taught me anything, it’s that I still have a long way to go. Lately, I’ve been turning to memoirs written by very funny dads, who defy the stereotype of the clueless idiot who can’t figure out how to change a diaper. These are dads who still kind of want to be cool, but accept the fact that there are more important things in life (like where you left the diaper cream). These books are perfect Father’s Day picks for the “cool” dad in your life:

Dad is Fat, by Jim Gaffigan. Gaffigan has way more experience than I do with the ways children make your life insane. Sample pearl of wisdom: There is no difference between a four-year-old eating a taco and throwing a taco on the floor.” This fact explains why I leave much bigger tips now that I’m a father.

Alternadad, by Neal Pollack. When my wife and I got married, we moved away from our trendy Chicago neighborhood. Unlike me, Pollack stayed put, trying to balance his desire to remain cool with the reality that there’s nothing hip about changing diapers (though you can make a case that spit-up is ironic).

Dad or Alive: Confessions of an Unexpected Stay-at-Home Dad, by Adrian Kulp. Like a lot of guys, Adrian Kulp was still a big kid at 30, a fan of video games and overpriced action figures. Becoming a stay-at-home dad forced him to grow up. I know how he feels—all I use my video game system for these days is streaming episodes of Baby Einstein.

Dan Gets a Minivan: Life at the Intersection of Dude and Dad, by Dan Zevin. A very funny collection of essays by a Brooklyn writer who explores the sacrifices you make as a parent, and how they stop seeming like sacrifices. Because after you’ve stuffed a car seat into the cramped backseat of a Prius a few hundred times, a minivan suddenly doesn’t sound too bad.

What book will you be giving the dad in your life this Father’s Day?

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