Last month I featured book suggestions for moms and grads. This month, with Father's Day just around the corner, it's time to celebrate the dads. Books might not pop to the top of most Father's Day gift lists, but I'm confident that there's a book for every dad, whether he's into sports, history or humor.
Here are a few that might fit your gift-giving needs.
"Field Guide to Fishes of the Chesapeake Bay" by Edward O. Murdy and John A. Musick. Illustrated by Val Kells
The Johns Hopkins University Press (2013)
"Field Guide to Fishes of the Chesapeake Bay" is a reference guide to fish identification in the bay and its major tributaries. Billed as "the only comprehensive guide to the Chesapeake's fishes," it features details and descriptions of more than 200 saltwater and freshwater species.
The guide's authors and illustrator all have Virginia connections which is evident throughout. Fishing enthusiasts will find information on feeding patterns, prey, locations and common fishing techniques. For commercial and game fish, historic catch totals are provided to give context on abundance of the species in the bay.
Entries contain the following information: fish features, color, size and range; habitat and habits; occurrence in the bay; reproduction; food habits; and importance to the bay. Each description is organized by family and includes a large, full-color illustration of the fish. Appendices provide additional information to assist in fish identification. The guide contains only fish, and does not include information about mammals, mollusks or crustaceans in the bay.
Anyone who seeks to know more about the fish that swim in bay waters would find this guide both useful and easy to navigate.
"Field Guide" won first place in the Washington Book Publishers 2013 Book Design and Effectiveness Competition for large nonprofits. A short trailer featuring the book's illustrations can be found at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1XZVXvRdIc
The guide is available in paperback from $20 to $25. To learn more or to purchase, go to http://www.chesapeakefishes.com.
"Why Men Don't Ask for Directions" by Roger Loring
Belle Isle Books (2013)
Here's one the ladies might want to buy for their husbands or boyfriends, then secretly sneak off with it.
"I have finally written a book, but believe me when I tell you that it was not an easy task." That's how Hayes resident and former Gloucester County teacher Roger Dale Loring begins the introduction to his book of essays about modern life.
From there to the end, about 140 pages later, Loring takes the reader on a meandering Andy Rooney-esqe, stream-of-consciousness-style journey through his thoughts and beliefs on a wide range of topics from cell phone use, to sports and politics. Along the way he pokes fun at himself and others with a dry wit that feels like having a conversation with a neighbor over the backyard fence.
In the chapter, "I'm Making a List and Checking it Twice," Loring compares his need for advanced planning with his wife's need for spontaneity.
"Despite the obvious merit of list making, my wife still finds my obsession with the process to be rather excessive. She is of the opinion that by making lists and then following them so diligently, I become too organized, too much like a computerized robot. … My wife's attitude is that if she wakes up some morning and feels moved to rearrange every piece of furniture in the house, then go for it."
I can picture my own husband jumping right into that conversation.
Loring takes a few shots at society as well. In "The Way Things Ought to Be," he lists things he'd like to see happen in the coming year, including, "A magazine that doesn't contain a single article about Brad and Angelina," politicians from opposing parties who agree with each other, and "Cheerleaders for professional golfers."
Again, I can see my husband giving the thumbs up.