rusty_halo: (sp: i can't handle the pressure)
[personal profile] rusty_halo
I'm trying to pick a Christmas present for my dad.

I never worried about getting him a present before, because he's a humorless and generally miserable person who hates receiving gifts and always complains that you shouldn't have wasted the money. However, last year, for the first time ever, he liked the present I got him. It was Doris Kearns Goodwin's book about Lincoln, Team of Rivals. He's been talking about it all year, and now he's trying to get me to read it.

So now I want to get him something he'll like again. But I don't want to just copy what I did before.

I was thinking maybe another nonfiction or history type book, published this year so that it's not something he's already read. Nothing too current, and nothing too partisan (he's very middle of the road), and nothing too obscure. He likes to read about Lincoln (obviously), and I'm always seeing him with books about the Third Reich, and he watches the history channel, but I don't think he's actually pro-war or a military buff. And he's very, very critical, so it has to be something highly regarded. And it can't be too fun, because he hates fiction and anything at all imaginative or fanciful.

So um, any highly regarded non-fiction history type books come out this year? Any recommendations? Please help!

(I was thinking maybe 1776 by David McCullough, mainly because it's on Amazon's "People who bought Team of Rivals also bought..." thingy. Although it came out in 2005; I'd prefer something more recent.)


(no subject)

Date: 2006-12-07 11:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm currently reading Tom Holland's Rubicon, about the last years of the Roman Republic, and am utterly slayed by it. Lots of military and social history, so your dad might enjoy that. Assuming he likes ancient world stuff at all.

(no subject)

Date: 2006-12-07 11:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you! That does look interesting. And maybe it's different enough that it won't just seem like I'm copying what I got him last year.

I don't know if I've seen him reading anything about the ancient world, but I've probably seen him watching it on the history channel. I really have so little clue what he likes; it sucks how little he lets us know him.

(no subject)

Date: 2006-12-07 11:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, there are lots of interesting parallels between ancient empires and modern ones, so he should enjoy that aspect of it, at least.

(no subject)

Date: 2006-12-13 09:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Nifty. I ended up getting him that and 1777 since they're both in paperback. Hopefully he's bound to like (or at least not have read) at least one of them.

Thank you again for the rec. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2006-12-07 11:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, everybody loves the heck out of Jared Diamond, and he's got a new(ish) one out this year:

(no subject)

Date: 2006-12-13 09:27 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2006-12-07 11:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
>>And it can't be too fun, because he hates fiction and anything at all imaginative or fanciful.

Hahahaha! Your dad and my husband would get along fabulously. :0P

(no subject)

Date: 2006-12-13 10:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
How can you stand it?? I'm assuming he has other good qualities to make up for it. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2006-12-14 01:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hee, he reads a lot, but not fiction. He hasn't read fiction since he was forced to in HS, and has never read fiction he's enjoyed, so I get why he'd be reluctant. He has no idea what he's missing. I asked him if he'd read my novel if it got published, and his answer was, "I guess?"

(no subject)

Date: 2006-12-08 01:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
MAYFLOWER: A Story of Courage, Community, and War. By Nathaniel Philbrick. (Viking, $29.95.) Philbrick's vivid account of the earnest band of English men and women known as America's founders offers perspectives of both the Pilgrims and the Indians.

The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bow, by Timothy Egan, a Seattle -based reporter for The New York Times.

Blood and Thunder: An Epic of the American West
By Hampton Sides
Doubleday, 402 pp., $26.95

Harris, Robert "Imperium"

'Justice for All: Earl Warren and the Nation He Made,' by James S. Newton: Another award-winning journalist with access to previously unavailable documents, another crucial bio: of the most influential chief justice since John Marshall

You should be able to find something suitable with one of these.

(no subject)

Date: 2006-12-14 11:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This ( just popped up on my radar as well as these (

I blog about fannish things. Busy with work so don't update often. Mirrored at

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