Omaha Public Library wants to help readers find new books — or at least books new to them. Every month in this space, Omaha Public Library employees will recommend reading based on different writing genres, themes or styles. Staff have suggested some of their favorite books about, by or relating to dads for Father’s Day. Find these books and more at your local branch or omahalibrary.org.
Evonne Edgington, manager at Millard Branch
“Endangered,” by C.J. Box. Joe has a family of daughters. In this book, his adopted daughter runs off with a rodeo cowboy who belongs to a family that dislikes Joe. When April is later found near death, Joe has to figure out what happened and deal with a family out for revenge.
Rose Fennessy-Murphy, library specialist at Millard Branch
“The Great Santini,” by Pat Conroy. This autobiographical novel made Conroy’s reputation when it was published in 1976. It tells the story of a family completely dominated by the overpowering presence of the father, a fighter pilot named Bull Meacham.
Theresa Jehlik, strategy and business intelligence manager for Omaha Public Library
“Sunset Beach,” by Mary Kay Andrews. Drue Campbell just buried her mother, lost her job and moved back to Florida’s west coast to start working for her estranged father. Adding to her woes is her father’s new wife, Wendy, Drue’s nemesis from junior high school. Andrews does a good job with characterization, plotting and place descriptions. I could almost feel the mosquitoes and sauna-like heat in Drue’s cottage.
“Kitchens of the Great Midwest,” by J. Ryan Stradal. Eva Thorval is left with her father as a baby when her mother falls in love with a sommelier and leaves. She is shaped by her upbringing in Iowa and Minnesota, as well as the people around her. Each section begins with food important in Eva’s journey and culminates with “The Dinner” where several of the 16 paying guests are people from her past.
Elizabeth A. Johnson, senior manager of operations for Omaha Public Library
“The Passage,” by Justin Cronin. I absolutely love this beautifully written epic, and its beating heart is the bond between 6-year-old Amy Harper Bellafonte and her adoptive father and protector, Brad Wolgast. As the world is overtaken by an extreme viral infection, they seek to survive for another day, not knowing yet the role they will play in the years to come.
“Dad is Fat,” by Jim Gaffigan. Gaffigan’s observations on life as father to five young children are absolutely hilarious. I love the audiobook edition, which he narrates.
“The Senator’s Children,” by Nicholas Montemarano. David Christie, a senator who experiences success and scandal, has two daughters who have never met each other. I loved how the novel explored the lives of people under intense scrutiny and the complex connections between fathers, daughters and sisters.
Elly Roberts, youth services specialist at A.V. Sorensen Branch
“My Brother’s Husband,” volumes one and two, by Gengoroh Tagame. Yaichi and his young daughter, Kana, have built a happy, if quiet, single-parent home together. That balance shifts with the arrival of boisterous Mike Flanagan, widower to Yaichi’s estranged gay brother. Mike’s endearing commitment to understanding his deceased husband’s childhood and embracing his family is matched only by Kana’s enthusiasm with her newfound Canadian friend. I love this sweet, tender story because of its respectful parsing of closeted cultural norms about gay men in Japan, and each characters’ willingness to reflect on their own thoughts about family, grief and relationships.
April Underwood, library specialist at Millard Branch
“Daddy-sitting,” by Eve Coy. This is a cute picture book about a little girl who considers herself to be dad-sitting. The events of one of their days is told from the girl’s perspective. They get up early, make breakfast, have nap time and continue through the day. When evening comes, the girl ponders how smart her dad is and how he can be anything he wants, but being her dad is really all he wants to do, and that makes her very happy.