Memoirs seek to make Father’s Day unforgettable

Turn the page on boring gifts

Tools, tech and ties traditionally grab the Father’s Day gift headlines, but Dad still needs something to read during summer’s off-hours. (Do fathers still have off-hours?) Surprise him with a book— which he’ll ideally take as a cue to relax once in a while. It’s been an especially good year for memoirs. Dads often like to read about other men who fought their way through adversity. These five recent books all come from prominent authors who achieved success while managing to inspire others and stay out of trouble (well, for the most part). Not an easy thing to do.

Father’s Day memoirs

Questlove’s the driving force behind The Roots — currently the house band for “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” His book, Creative Quest, focuses on cultivating creativity and living your best creative life. It’s perfect for Dads who yearn to explore not only the arts, but also new business ventures. Other topics include finding a mentor, serving as an apprentice, maintaining a creative network and coping with critics.  Sample chapter title: “The Spark”

Flowers and photos placed in honor of Anthony Bourdain
Flowers and photos placed in honor of Anthony Bourdain in New York City. (Photo: Donald Bowers)

Though not exactly recent, Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential remains a true classic. A guy can learn a lot from Bourdain.

Tragically, the charismatic chef and writer took his own life nearly one year ago, but he left behind numerous creative projects. Bourdain had his demons, obviously.

Watch “Parts Unknown” on Netflix (or the CNN app) to learn the true meaning of the word “passion. “Sample chapter title: “Food is Pain” (Note: The first-ever Bourdain Day takes place on June 25.)

Things did not start well for current “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah, who was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother. The problem? This came during a time when such a union could result in a five-year prison sentence. Eventually, Noah and his mother gained enough freedoms to embrace the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle against apartheid. His book, Born a Crime, tells the story of how a a mother’s unconventional and unconditional love guided him through treacherous obstacles. Sample chapter title: “Run”

Questlove on drums
Ahmir Khalib Thompson aka Questlove performs with The Roots in Napa, California. (Photo: Sterling Munksgard)

NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath is out with “All the Way,” a book about “fame, fatherhood, and football.” The superstar athlete brilliantly mixed sports and entertainment before anyone else figured it out. Most famously, he led the New York Jets to a stunning upset over heavily-favored Baltimore in the 1969 Super Bowl. Namath fought off injury and addiction to stage a remarkable comeback in his personal life as well. Sample chapter title: “The Warm-Up”

Finally, Howard Stern’s just-published book reveals how he outgrew his notorious “shock jock” days, embraced both therapy and meditation, and wound up one as one of America’s most influential entertainers ever. (He also raised three daughters in the process.) The book contains some of Stern’s most fascinating interviews with everyone from Madonna to Tracy Morgan to Donald Trump. Sample chapter title: “And Now a Word from Our President…”