Here are a few books that have come through the Book Room in the last few weeks that might make good Father's Day gifts.
The Man's Book: The Essential Guide For the Modern Man (Little, Brown, 229 pages, $23.99) by Thomas Fink. From the guy who brought you 85 Ways to Tie a Tie comes this handy little guide to manhood. A man can learn the proper ways to dress, the ins and outs of smoking, how to choose a best man, eight ways to tie one's shoelaces and, perhaps most important, how to properly carve meat. It covers not only turkey, beef and ham, but also partridge, grouse and mutton. There is an entire chapter on James Bond -- and before you go thinking this is some kind of old fashioned how-to guide, the very next chapter is on text messaging.
The Golf Guru: Answers to Golf's Most Perplexing Questions (Quirk Books, 207 pages, $18.95) by John Barton. The author, who writes a column for Golf Digest, answers questions both general and specific about the popular pastime. For example: "Why do golf courses have 18 holes?" and "If Tiger Woods wears white socks with black shoes, why can't I?" Arnold Palmer wrote the foreword.
How to Talk to Dads (Collins, 47 pages, $9,99) by Alec Greven. The 10-year-old who last year caused a sensation with his How to Talk to Girls book now is cashing in on this little volume. In the introduction, young Alec tells us, "Don't worry. You will find out everything you need to know about Dad right in this book." Oh, if only it were that simple. (One must remember that the author is only 10.) I suppose this book would be better for kids Alec's age, but I could see youngsters giving this to their dads in hopes of pleasing him.
Last Journey: A Father and Son in Wartime (Atlas & Co., 304 pages, $25) by Darrell Griffin Sr. and Darrell "Skip" Griffin Jr. The book is a tribute to the younger Griffin, an Army staff sergeant who was killed in action on March 21, 2007, during his third tour of duty in Iraq. He was 36 years old. After his son's death, Griffin Sr. persuaded the Army to embed him with Skip's unit in Iraq so he could experience the war firsthand with the men who fought beside his son. The finished book provides a glimpse into the conflict and includes Skip's e-mail correspondence, photographs and excerpts from his journals.
Go Ask Your Father: One Man's Obsession with Finding HIs Origins Through DNA Testing (Bantam, 227 pages, $25) by Lennard J. Davis. The author plays detective in the story of his own life. When Davis' father dies, his uncle tells him that he is his biological father, through artificial insemination in the late 1940s. The story unfolds into a personal journey for the author as he tries to unravel the truth, and also a history of sorts of artificial insemination in America.
The Nine Lessons: A Novel of Love, Fatherhood, and Second Chances (Center Street, 223 pages, $14.99) by Kevin Alan Milne. A man named August Witte is terrified when he finds out he's going to be a father. His mother died when he was a toddler and his father was seemingly happier on the golf course than at home. Nevertheless, August agrees to monthly golf lessons with his father, during the pregnancy, and ends up learning as much about life as about golf.