Memoirs, Humor, and More About Fatherhood

In honor of Father’s Day, let’s take a look at some dad related humor, memoirs, and related collections of letters that can be great reads for dads new to the wonders of parenthood, those that are not quite as new to its wonders, and just about anyone.

Too Good to be True: a Memoir by Benjamin Anastas. When he was three, Anastas found himself in his mother’s fringe-therapy group in Massachusetts, a sign around his neck: Too Good to Be True. The phrase haunted him through his life. This is his deeply moving memoir of fathers and sons, crushing debt and infidelity– and the first, cautious steps taken toward piecing a life back together.

A Father First: How my Life Became Bigger than Basketball by Dwyane Wade.
NBA star Dwyane Wade discusses the rewarding responsibilities of being a single dad to his two sons, Zaire and Zion and highlights of his basketball career.

The Ticking is the Bomb: a Memoir by Nick Flynn. A dazzling, searing, and inventive memoir about becoming a father in the age of terror.

Fatherhood by Bill Cosby. A collection of ruminations, anecdotes, and vignettes based on Cosby’s experiences as a son and father.

Manhood for Amateurs by Michael Chabon. An entertaining omnibus of opinionated essays previously published mostly in Details magazine spotlights novelist Chabon’s (The Yiddish Policemen’s Union) model of being an attentive, honest father and a fairly observant Jew.

Lamentations of the Father by Ian Frazier. More serious than a “gag” writer and funnier than most essayists, Frazier has a classical originality. This collection, a companion to his previous humor collections “Dating Your Mom” and “Coyote v. Acme,” contains 33 pieces gathered from the last 13 years.

Don’t Make Me Stop this Car!: Adventures in Fatherhood by Al Roker. Al provides an unprecedented, intimate look into his experiences with infertility treatments, adoption, and the normal fears and wonders of an expecting parent. As Al manages the needs of his daughters from two marriages and the demands of a high-profile career, he is like millions of others who fantasize about the newest sport utility vehicle, struggle with a GapKids addiction, and bask in the golden moments of first steps and special Father’s Day meals. Along the way, Al comes to a deeper understanding of his parents’ love for him and a whole new appreciation of them as grandparents.

Raising Cubby: a Father and Son’s Adventures with Asperger’s, Trains, Tractors, and High Explosives  John Elder Robison. The comic memoir of an Aspergian father raising his Aspergian son, by the bestselling author of Look Me in the Eye.

As usual, I found too many great books to stop, so if you are looking for even more you might want to check out; Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan, The Council of Dads: My Daughters, My Illness, and the Men Who Could be Me by Bruce S. Feiler, Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern, Wisdom of our Fathers: Lessons and Letters from Daughters and Sons by Tim Russer, No Wonder my Parents Drank: Tales from a Stand-up Dad by Jay Mohr, A Promise to Ourselves: a Journey Through Fatherhood and Divorce by Alec Baldwin, The Bastard on the Couch: 27 Men Try Really Hard to Explain their Feelings about Love, Loss, Fatherhood, and Freedom edited by Daniel Jones, and Big Russ and Me: Father and Son by Tim Russert.

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