Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Book for Father's Day

This was my first Father's Day.  Before my son was born I sat down and researched books about fatherhood and how to be a good father.  I discovered that books about fatherhood and how to be a dad are divided into two categories.  First, there's the "What to Expect When Your Expecting" category.  These are books that go into detail about the logistics of having a child.  E.g, what sort of diapers to buy, sleep cycles, why their poo changes color, etc, etc.  I've found that these books are not necessarily a narrative, but a car owners guide really (what to do IF?), with a helpful index and sometimes even tabbed sections.  So, like a dictionary, they are helpful, but aren't (at least for me) a fun read.  

The next category is the narrative memoir.  Now these are fun to read.  And while I hate to say it, I often read them and laugh at other father's misfortunes (e.g., holding your son and he suffers a "blow out").  But now I try and stuff my laugh back in my belly, because god knows whatever just happened to that unlucky father in the book is bound to happen to me, if it hasn't already.  So now I just sort of smile when I read a passage in a "father memoir" that I find hilarious, as to not upset the karma "blow out" gods.

So for this first father's day I want to recommend a book: Michael Lewis's Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood.  I’ve read it, and really enjoyed it.  Mr. Lewis is the author of Moneyball (yes, the Brad Pitt movie about baseball) and a few  other books about Wall Street, oh, and he also wrote a little book called The Blind Side (yes, the football movie with Sandra Bullock).  And a short anecdote, Admiral Stavridis was asked a few months ago what book his staff was talking about and reading, and the Admiral rattled off Mr. Lewis' book, The Big Short, which is about the financial meltdown that occurred due to the sub-prime mortgage lending which destroyed the housing market.  The man can write, and the stories he writes are very interesting.  I’m not going to talk about Home Game in detail, but let me say this: I was laughing by page 2.  The  opening of the book is him poolside with his family. And from a distance he watches as his daughter fends of some rowdy boys by telling them she just peed in the pool. Which of course, causes the young misfits to scramble, and Mr. Lewis to feel -- deservedly -- a fair amount of pride for a daughter that can hold her own.  Hilarious.   Check it out.  And for all you fathers out there: Happy Father’s Day.

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