Best books for dads: 2014 Father’s Day Gift Guide

Best books for dads: Father's Day Gift Guide 2014

We are always fans of giving books as gifts, so we put together some of the best books for dads of all kinds as part of our 2014 Father’s Day Gift Guide. Whether the dad of the house is a book junkie like mine is, or would simply appreciate some funny bathroom reading (you know what I mean), we’ve got plenty of ideas for you.

Plus, because we all adore the dads, granddads and stepdads in our lives so much, be sure to check out our massive Father’s Day giveaway below, valued at over $900, that we’ve put together from some of our very favorite Father’s Day gifts. Including a great book. Of course.

All our picks are determined solely by the editorial team; there has been no compensation in exchange for recommendations. Some products may include affiliate links.



Best books for dads: Reasons My Kid is Crying for the dad with a sense of humor
The book for the new dad with a sense of humor
Life with a toddler can, at times, seem like one never-ending tantrum. If that’s where you are right now, take a deep breath and have a good long laugh at the arbitrary nature, if you will, of kids’ emotions in Reasons My Kid is Crying by Greg Pembroke, based on his popular blog. Watch other parents maintain their sanity by laughing at the different reasons why their kids have lost it:  I wouldn’t let her rub her popsicle on the dog. Or He thinks the letters on his shirt are upside down. (They weren’t, of course.) Based on the tears of laughter we’ve seen rolling down our own SigOths’ faces, it’s a pretty safe bet that Dad will love this.


Best books for dad: 100 Ideas for Dads who love their kids but find them exhausting. (Ha.)
A book for the hardworking dad (which may be most of them)
We know that when our kids’ dads work those 70-hour weeks, they still want to love on their children even though they’re about to fall asleep. So we think they’ll get a laugh out of 100 Ideas for Dads Who Love Their Kids but Find them Exhausting by Willem Van Eekelen. The book is a collection of 100 ways to play with your kids when you’re not necessarily in the mood. Most of the ideas involve dad lying down, closing his eyes, and letting the kids use their imaginations to play on or around him. We think they’ll work best with toddler-age kids, but the book is pretty hilarious in that “oh my gosh, that’s terrible…but also kind of brilliant” way.

Best books for dads: Dad's Book of Awesome Projects, and Science Experiments
For the hands-on dad who’s not afraid of a little glue, food coloring, or mess to clean up afterwards
Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments by Mike Adamick is full of fun and clever science experiments that Dad can do with the kids, or older kids could even do on their own, and impress him later. There are plenty of options that are simple and easy enough to do without a trip to a chemistry supply store, if such a thing exists, and plenty of new projects your kids haven’t seen before. Or, if your kids’ dad is more the type who lives for DIY weekend activities, you might like Dad’s Book of Awesome Projects. Big love for crafty dads.


Best book ideas for same-sex parents on Father's Day at Cool Mom Picks
Books for the dad parenting with another dad

There are some excellent memoirs on the experience of being a gay dad, and that could be the perfect gift if you happen to be celebrating Father’s Day with your husband or partner. Does This Baby Make Me Look Straight by Dan Bucatinsky follows his adoption of two children and is simultaneously honest, hilarious and sentimental. Another highly recommended book is The Kid: What Happened After My Boyfriend and I Decided to Go Get Pregnant by Dan Savage. Dan is known for his blunt way of talking about sex, and his story of deciding to try for a kid is an eye-opening view of what it’s like to be a gay dad in America today.


Best books for dads: Microadventures by Alastair Humphreys for the adventurous dad
A book for the adventurous dad
The excitement that takes over our kids when they set out on an adventure is so fun to witness. If Dad–or Grandpa–loves to get outside and get active with the kids, Microadventures  by Alastair Humphreys might be the perfect gift for him. It is full of ideas for ways to capture that adventurous spirit without the expense of a month-long trek through Patagonia; although that might go on our bucket list too. Pair the book with the gear he’ll need for his adventure, like a new set of techie bicycle tires, camping gear, and a commitment to try to check off all your top adventures before the kids graduate from high school. Sniff.


Book ideas for dads on Cool Mom Picks: Foodie Top 100 Restaurants Worldwide

A book for the foodie dad
While there are tons of cookbooks, of course (did you check out that Esquire cookbook we recommended? Yum.) we love the idea of the Foodie Top 100 Restaurants Worldwide, selected by top food critics and foodie editors from Ruth Reichl and Patricia Wells, to Masuhiro Yamamoto. (Those names will mean something to him if he’s a real foodie.) And the photography? Wow. Let’s just say this one might have to come with two plane tickets to dine at Alain Ducasse in Paris or Noma in Copenhagen. Not that we’d turn down a French Laundry visit.


Father's Day books: Good Talk, Dad by Bill and Willie Geist

A book for the dad of sons…or the son of a dad
We’ve been following the great reviews of Good Talk Dad, The Bird and the Bees…and Other Conversations We Forgot to Have, a witty, funny, and sometimes poignant he said/he said book from father and son team–and TV news mainstays–Bill and Willie Geist. Like a cross between Tim Russert’s Big Russ and Me and the laugh-out-loud Sh*t My Dad Says, it would make for great summer memoir reading for so many of the dads and grandfathers in our lives.

Father's day book for grandpa My Life Story So Far | Cool Mom Picks

Books for the cool grandfather
We all know stories from grandad are just the best, so we like the idea of getting him to write them all down for our kids to remember even when they’re grandpas too.We’ve covered lots of great journals like this in the past, and now My Life Story—So Far is a new one for us: a lovely linen-bound guided journal that will guide him through the process of telling his life story. It’s fun in that you can honor the family legacy–and get some good dirt on Grandpa’s younger years all in one go.



We’re so excited to give away one massive Father’s Day prize pack valued at more than $900, filled with some of our favorite gifts for dads. In fact, we want to steal them all.


Cool Mom Picks Father's Day gift guide giveaway 2014


•Collection of 10 Dove Men+Care skin products including dual-sided shower tool, 2 bottles of Body+Face Wash, 2 Body Bars, Thickening Shampoo, 2 in 1 Fortifying Shampoo and Conditioner, Cool Silver Antiperspirant, Clinical Protection Antiperspirant, Hydrate Face Wash, and Hydrate Face Lotion
Beats By Dre Solo Headphones available at Target
Custom keychain with your child’s artwork from Metalmorphosis
Dad’s Gotta Eat gourmet collection from MOUTH
Moleskine myCloud Messenger Bag
Duck Island Dopp Kit from Zady (to keep all those cool Dove products)
J Press York Street fine corded tie from Zady
Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments by Mike Adamick



Other 2014 Father’s Day Gift Guide posts:
Personalized Gifts for Dad
Gourmet Gifts for Dad
Gifts for the Stylish Dad
Gift ideas for New Dads
13 Cool Gifts for Dad Under $20
Gifts for the Dad who has Everything
10 Cool DIY Gifts from the Kids


Kate Etue divides her time between the book industry, checking out the newest tech trends for kids, and indulging in craft foods in a cool suburb of Nashville.


  • June 7, 2014


    The dad in my life deserves to win this fabulous prize pack because he takes care of the small and the large things, and is generous to a fault.

  • June 7, 2014

    Heather Schaefer

    My husband deserves this because he is a true partner. He supports me as a mother and does his best to help out around the house and with the boys.

  • June 7, 2014


    The dad in my life deserves to win this because he takes care of everyone in his life.

  • June 7, 2014

    Kristina Grossman

    My hubby is the most amazing, caring, and thoughtful dad to our daughter.

  • June 8, 2014

    Diane Compton

    My husband is the most selfless, hardworking, loving, man I know. He deserves so much for everything he does. It would be a blessing to win this for him.

  • June 8, 2014


    My husband deserves this package because of his partnership. He helps clean, he makes me tea at night, and he works very hard but most of all because he helps raise my son because he chooses to and not because he has to.

  • June 8, 2014


    These are all going on my to read list since i am the book reader in the family. I’ll tell him about them 😉
    He deserves a nice gift since he does read a lot of kid books in funny voices. Whether the kids want the voices or not.

  • June 8, 2014

    Sara A.

    Mine deserves it because he supports us all. He works hard and also manages to be a fun dad to three kids too.

  • June 9, 2014


    My husband is a kind, loving, patient and hard-working father and husband. He is an amazing partner and I couldn’t do it without him.

  • June 9, 2014

    Toni Moore

    Gallant and Beau printed sock set

  • June 10, 2014

    theresa J

    My husband is involved and supportive of all our kids. He is definitely the calm presence in our family

  • June 10, 2014


    the dad in our home totally deserves to win this because he is always looking out for everyone else but himself. i am so thankful for all he does, especially the dishes, laundry, vacuuming and other household chores so that i don’t have to. he is also the best fort builder, wrestler, jedi and best dad to our son.

  • June 10, 2014

    Amanda Alvarado

    My hubby deserves this because he sacrifices so many things so that dd and I don’t have to do without.

  • June 10, 2014


    For being the bad cop!

  • June 10, 2014


    My husband is a wonderful father to our 2 daughters. He is funny, adventurous, supportive and involved in their day-to-day lives. And, he lets them give him “makeovers” – including fancy hairdo’s, painted nails and make-up. :-) He may not appreciate me making that public knowledge…

  • June 10, 2014

    Cay Tolson

    My husband should win this because about half of them would be perfect for him, and the rest he’d just enjoy! He enjoys spending time with our kids more than any dad I’ve ever seen, and his joy in them makes mine even bigger.

  • June 10, 2014


    I frequently travel (both domestically and internationally), and my husband often solo-parents our 2 year old daughter. I couldn’t do the work I do without him (global health), and I know that the time spent with between father and daughter is priceless.

  • June 10, 2014

    Christina C

    Our special Dad deserves this because he works so hard for our family and tells us all the time how much he loves us.

  • June 10, 2014

    Linda L

    my husband deserves this because he puts in so much effort to make sure our daughter is happy. she’s still not at the age yet where she appreciates him as much as he should be, which is why i try to show it for her!

  • June 10, 2014

    Shelley J

    My husband just became a dad for the second time. I didn’t think he could be more of a loving father, but he is doubly so now.

  • June 10, 2014

    Erin T

    My husband because he is an amazing father! He works hard every day and when he comes home he has a smile on his face and is ready to play and always insists I take a little break for some me time! He’s always willing to lend a hand to a friend in need and always takes time to focus on the kids and follow their play!

  • June 10, 2014


    He deserves to win because he does so much for others. He could use a little something for himself!

  • June 10, 2014


    My husband works hard & plays hard. Between him & my son putting in a lot of manual labor around the lawn or going on a gazillion mile bike rides. They’re always up to something.

  • June 11, 2014


    My husband is the king of teachable moments with our girls. (And we’ve had a fair amount of them lately!) From talking about making good choices with money, good decisions at school and with friends, and most importantly that Family is what matters. No matter the issue, he is hard at work instilling good values in our girls and reminding us that we succeed together when we stick together.

  • June 11, 2014


    My fiance and our son are ‘best buddies’. Our son absolutely adores his daddy and the feeling is mutual. Not only is he awesome with our son, but he’s caring, thoughtful and generous with everyone close to him. He always has a smile on his face and makes us laugh constantly to help us forget the stressful things in life.

  • June 11, 2014


    Because he just made captain. His lifelong dream, and now it’s bittersweet because he’s away from us so much for training.

  • June 11, 2014

    Whitney A

    My hubby is a patient, selfless, kind man who loves reliving his favorite boyhood experiences with our son.

  • June 13, 2014

    michelle r

    always doing for others

  • June 13, 2014

    Jess Evans

    My husband should win this prize package, because we are trying to expand our horizons as partners and parents. It is great to always try new things.

  • June 13, 2014

    Allison K

    My husband is a great day because, when he’s not at work, his hobby is our 2 daughters. He spends all his free time with them, and takes them to fun places. They also come first.

  • June 14, 2014


    My Dad ideserves to win because he is the best Dad around. He made so many sacrifices for us kids growing up. ALways there for us in good or bad times.

    gmrichhicks at gmail dot com

  • June 15, 2014


    My husband is my best friend. We met as teens and got married young. Everyone thought we were crazy and it would never last. We had our first son the year after we were married, cue the naysayers again. Our oldest will be 12 this month. We have 3 boys total. The youngest who has epilepsy and is under the autism spectrum umbrella. We are thriving through love, determination, and lots and lots of laughter. My husband and I never dreamed this life that we have but he has really stepped up at all the right times. Life is good.