Here are some great suggestions for those who are still hard-pressed to find a gift for Father’s Day.
For the Musically Minded
1. There’s always those awesome karaoke CDs, like I mentioned last week. Who knew Dad was so into Abba?
2. And then there are always the intentions Dad had to learn a musical instrument, but never got around to. You could purchase music lessons, or even get him an instrument (we sell or do rent-to-own) and a learn it yourself book.
3. How about a gift certificate to your favorite family department store? (Hint, hint) 😉
4. OR You can always get him some Bucky Balls. I know it sounds strange, but have you ever played with these little ball magnets? They are super powerful and you can twist them into so many different shapes. I have friends who like to make pictures on their refrigerator everyday with them. People Magazine called it “Addictive” and Maxim declared Bucky Balls to be “Modern Art.” They are the ultimate desktop distraction.
5. The Miracle of Freedom: 7 Tipping Points That Saved the World, by Chris Stewart, is our LDS department’s Best Buy for the month of June, and there is little wonder why. If you enjoyed Stewart’s 7 Miracles that Saved America, you’ll find this an intriguing read.
6. Midway to Heaven, by Dean Hughes, is a quirky family comedy about a dad who just can’t seem to let go–of his dead wife’s memory and of their daughter who is now grown-up and dating “Mr. Perfect.” This movie, based on the book of the same name, is sure to make any dad chuckle at how real it is. I’d definitely recommend this if you enjoyed Father of the Bride.
7. Last Laborer: Thoughts & Reflections of a Black Mormon, by Keith N. Hamilton. Mr. Hamilton was BYU’s first black law-school graduate and one of the LDS church’s first black bishops. His autobiography is an interesting glimpse at his beliefs as he explains why he joined a church that didn’t allow African Americans to hold the priesthood until the 1970s.
And over in the General Book Department…
8. The Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand, is a book I’ve been meaning to read for ages. It’s still pulling good sales, and for the history-minded guy it would be a great gift.
Here is the story, in the author’s own words, of how she came upon this book:
“Eight years ago, an old man told me a story that took my breath away. His name was Louie Zamperini, and from the day I first spoke to him, his almost incomprehensibly dramatic life was my obsession.
“It was a horse–the subject of my first book, Seabiscuit: An American Legend–who led me to Louie. As I researched the Depression-era racehorse, I kept coming across stories about Louie, a 1930s track star who endured an amazing odyssey in World War II. I knew only a little about him then, but I couldn’t shake him from my mind. After I finished Seabiscuit, I tracked Louie down, called him and asked about his life. For the next hour, he had me transfixed.
“Growing up in California in the 1920s, Louie was a hellraiser, stealing everything edible that he could carry, staging elaborate pranks, getting in fistfights, and bedeviling the local police. But as a teenager, he emerged as one of the greatest runners America had ever seen, competing at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, where he put on a sensational performance, crossed paths with Hitler, and stole a German flag right off the Reich Chancellery. He was preparing for the 1940 Olympics, and closing in on the fabled four-minute mile, when World War II began. Louie joined the Army Air Corps, becoming a bombardier. Stationed on Oahu, he survived harrowing combat, including an epic air battle that ended when his plane crash-landed, some six hundred holes in its fuselage and half the crew seriously wounded.
“On a May afternoon in 1943, Louie took off on a search mission for a lost plane. Somewhere over the Pacific, the engines on his bomber failed. The plane plummeted into the sea, leaving Louie and two other men stranded on a tiny raft. Drifting for weeks and thousands of miles, they endured starvation and desperate thirst, sharks that leapt aboard the raft, trying to drag them off, a machine-gun attack from a Japanese bomber, and a typhoon with waves some forty feet high. At last, they spotted an island. As they rowed toward it, unbeknownst to them, a Japanese military boat was lurking nearby. Louie’s journey had only just begun.”
9. David McCullough’s new book is sure to be a hit. It seems like he has taken a new turn on subject, though. The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris, seems a little strange for a historian whose novels are predominantly set in America (I think 1776 and John Adams when I think of this author), but it’s still American history. He takes the stories of several Americans who migrated to France from 1830 to 1900 and ended up being some of the premier artists, thinkers, inventors, writers, and musicians into the twentieth century. Their contributions, shaped by the City of Light, would go on to influence American society and the world. Some examples include Mark Twain, Samuel Morse, and Harriet Beecher Stowe.