1 June 2018

2018 FATHERS' DAY SPECIAL: Books Our Dads Love

Both of us have always enjoyed buying our dads books and appealing to their interests whether it's music or history. As we mentioned in our mothers' day post, having parents that were avid readers really shaped our love of reading as well, and we wanted to share some books our dads love on the blog today since fathers' day is next week. 

Left: Meghan and her dad reading in a tent (obviously Meg was VERY young to be looking so relaxed in a tent)
Right: Meghan and her dad at an April Wine concert
Hopefully this list helps you with your own fathers' day shopping, or, gives you some ideas for some different books to try  - especially if you're into non-fiction.

It's amazing how Pierre Burton can cover a subject. He doesn't just tell what happened and how, but what it was like to be there and go through it. He does this by researching articles, interviews and letters sent home by the soldiers. The book is broken down into many individual personal stories that together form the whole. Vimy is a detailed historical account that reads like a novel. Even if you're not a history buff it's still a good read. I couldn't put it down.

I was never one to read as a child or for school purposes but as I got older I seemed to be really drawn towards autobiographies. I really enjoy them, you'll notice that all my picks are basically in this genre. I especially love musicians' autobiographies. I enjoy their perspective on why they chose their instruments and lifestyle, as well how they overcame negativity while trying to become who they are. My first pick is about Ronnie Wood the guitarist from The Rolling Stones. To me, he was the quiet character on stage that always seemed to be having so much fun, but you never heard much about him. This is my favourite book because Wood seemed to have written it as if we were at his kitchen table just talking. It explains why music is important to him, and why he started playing the guitar.

This is a historical fiction series about an Englishman named Richard Sharpe who rises up the ranks of Wellington's army during the war against Napoleon. Sharpe and his faithful sergeant, Sergeant Harper, fight their way from Portugal to Waterloo with all the major and minor battles along the way. There is a lot of action, great villains, and descriptions of actual battles, places and people. It's better to read the books in chronological order than in the order they were published as Cornwell went back to when Sharpe meets Wellington and Harper in later books. I found that I would end up looking up the places and battles after reading each book.

This is an amazing book. I enjoyed reading the choices Springsteen made that led to him becoming one of our greatest musicians and lyricists.  He talks how he had to differentiate himself with other popular acts to be noticed when he was starting out and decided it would be his live performances and his lyrics. I enjoyed how he separated his personal life from his career and fame (his wife is also a famous musician) throughout the novel.

Dryden covers what it was like to be on the 1970s Montreal Canadians (one of the best teams ever), the Canada/Russia '72 Summit Series, Montreal vs the Red Army game (New Years '75) and how it felt to go from a superstar rookie to feeling like, in his own words, "[he'd] lost them" (referring to the fans). He's not braggy and even comes off as a bit nerdy compared to his blue-collar teammates. His book isn't a tell-all tabloid-type book, but it has lots of interesting stories on his teammates and coaches such as Larry Robinson, Guy Lapointe, Lafleur, and Scotty Bowman.

Carole King had 1 of the greatest albums ever sold by a woman, but what I didn’t know was  how she wrote for so many other artists. Some of my favourite songs by other artists were written by her and her late husband at the time. I loved learning this. I also enjoyed reading about how she overcame financial issues, a divorce, and being an artist in the early 60’s trying to make a living as a writer first and performer second. I think anyone interested in music would enjoy this book, regardless of gender.

This is a great book for fans of historical fiction. It follows the life of an Aztec named Mixtli from his childhood to old age. It takes place during the years from the Aztec Empires peak to the arrival of Cortez and his conquistador and the destruction of the Aztecs. The book is very intense with violence, sex, human sacrifices, and cruelty, but it all goes with the flow of the story. You learn about Aztec culture and what it was like day-to-day in a story format. The book is over 1,000 pages and a bit hard to read with all the ancient words but is still worth it.

This was a book told by a musician who became who is because of who he knew. Clemons talks about growing up as a young black man and how his parents wanted him to be different from everyone else so they gifted him a Saxophone. He talks about how this instrument would then propel him through life as one of the greatest musicians of all time.  How it allowed and afforded him the life he had and the friends he gained throughout his career. I love stories like this, where one small thing has the power to change the course of someone's entire life.

I like reading detective novels and Connelly's series about Harry Bosch is my favourite, followed closely by Ian Rankin's John Rebus. The first book (Black Echo) has Harry working in the elite Hollywood Division as a top investigator who believes it's his "mission" to bring murderers to justice. The problem is he has no patience for anyone else who won't give 110% and is always butting heads with his superiors. This attitude leads to demotions and suspensions and by the 20th book he is 65 years old, forced into retirement and working part-time for the lowly San Fernando Police Department. Through the course of the series you learn all about what makes Harry tick through his days in Vietnam, his troubled childhood, relationships with his partners, and the cases he solves. The story lines are so exciting that it's hard not to skip ahead to find out who the murderer or murderers are.

I had the opportunity to meet with Goodwyn many years ago in our mutual hometown Hudson, Quebec. I grew up listening to him and his band, April Wine. Meagan got me this book last year and it was a great read. I loved learning how he became who he is and why he continued to maintain the band after so many years.

1 comment:

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