It’s a problem for the ages, returning every year and so challenging to address: What to get Dad for Father’s Day? Problem: solved. These two books, together or singly, are sure-fire Dad-pleasers:

CompressedJPEGPlus One
Brand-new in paperback, this smart and sharp comic novel tells the story of Alex, a midlevel marketing guy in L.A. whose writer wife suddenly hits the Hollywood jackpot and enters a vortex of all-consuming work. He quits his job to become the domestic first responder and carpool driver for the kids, a new life he relishes—but challenges arise that he never anticipated. Written with “wit, warmth, and candor” (said the New York Times), Plus One dives merrily and deeply into the pool of modern family life, and it’s a great read for men of all ages. Author Christopher Noxon (who also wrote Rejuvenile: Kickball, Cartoons, Cupcakes and the Reinvention of the American Grown-Up) knows whereof he speaks—he’s married to Jenji Kohan, creator/producer of Orange Is the New Black and Weeds, and he in fact drives carpool for his three kids.

You can buy Plus One on Amazon,, or Indiebound.

Mark Twain cover smallerMark Twain’s Guide to Diet, Exercise, Beauty, Fashion, Investment, Romance, Health & Happiness
This illustrated collection of Mark Twain quotes presents the best of the curmudgeonly writer’s thoughts on diet, exercise, medicine, smoking, drinking, romance, parenting, old age, fashion, finances, politics, and religion. Curated by Twain expert Mark Dawidziak (who’s also the television critic for the Cleveland Plain Dealer), it’s the perfect gift for anyone who’s had enough of Gwyneth’s self-righteous advice. And even though it’s packed with wicked humor and anti-advice, it’s actually rich with wisdom as well. For example:

 Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.

As for drinking, I have no rule about that. When the others drink I like to help.

I have seen slower, quieter, more listless, lazier people than I am, but they were dead.

Familiarity breeds contempt — and children.

Do not put off until tomorrow what can be put off till day-after-tomorrow just as well.

Pick up Mark Twain’s Guide on Indiebound, Amazon, or

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