6 books for hip dads and cool guys

Jun 19, 2010 at 12:58 p.m. ET

Whether you're looking for a last-minute gift for the hip dad in your life, heading out on vacation and need a great male beach book, or simply want the guy in your life to pick up something other than the remote, we've got you covered.

Check out these six fantastic books your man (or your hipster dad) might love to read. And you might like them, too.

6 Books for COOL Guys and HIP Dads

1. Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris
Joshua Ferris, just named one of the top fiction writers under the age of 40 by The New Yorker, can do no wrong in our eyes. We love his bestselling debut novel, Then We Came to the End, an incredibly funny, moving and modern portrait of corporate cubicle life.

Set during the dot-com bubble at an unnamed Chicago advertising firm, the book is a hilarious romp of cubicle culture -- office gossip, ridiculous pranks, free food in the breakroom. It's a great view of how work becomes your dysfunctional family -- a la The Office but so much more.

Also recommended:
The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris, which came out in early 2010, about a man who loves his wife, his family, his work and his home. And one day, he stands up and walks out.

2. This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
Speaking of dysfunctional families, Jonathan Tropper captures the drama, complexity and sibling dynamics perfectly in his book, This is Where I Leave You. Out in paperback July 6, this family saga is outrageously funny and heartfelt.

The dad in the Foxman family has passed away, and the adult children return home to sit Shiva for seven days together. Old sibling rivalries, marriage issues, sex, love and enemies all surface and make for a messy, funny, sad and delicious read.

Also recommended:
How to Talk to a Widower by Jonathan Tropper, a moving and funny book about a man raising his stepson after his wife dies.

3. The Accidental Adult by Colin Sokolowski
If your guy is reluctantly responsible and marginally mature, he's likely an accidental adult. As writer Colin Sokolowski defines it, "An accidental adult is an individual whose age indicates maturity but whose approach to life suggests otherwise."

This comic collection of essays is perfect for the guy who longs for the carefree days of hanging out in a bar and feeling like he belongs there, but who now has a minivan-driving wife, kids and a mortgage. Part how-to advice and part how-not-to narrative, The Accidental Adult will have you laughing, remembering the good ol' days and realizing that "older" doesn't have to mean "lamer."

Also recommended: Not sure if you or your man are accidental adults or assimilated adults (those who embrace the responsiblity of adulthood)? Take this fun adult aptitude quiz to find out. And read some cool stuff our favorite chick lit bloggers, Liz and Lisa, found out when they spent Seven seconds in heaven with The Accidental Adult.

4. Beginner's Greek by James Collins
Does your guy believe in fate? Is he a little romantic? Beginner's Greek is something many men can relate to. It's about Peter, who meets Holly -- the woman of his dreams -- on a flight from New York to LA and then loses her number.

Years go by, and Holly gets married to a womanizer. Peter gets married, too. Lightning strikes, literally, and everyone's lives are changed. It's an amazing story about missed opportunities, second chances and lost love. Picked as one of our hot summer beach reads, Beginner's Greek appeals to the romantic in all of us, male or female. You'll laugh, you'll cry (okay, maybe he won't cry), and you'll pass it on to your best friend, boyfriend/husband and back again.

Also recommended: The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Italian author and mathemetician Paolo Giordano, which has become an international sensation. A fascinating story of two lonely people whose lives intersect in their youth and again as adults but who may be destined to be alone.

5. War by Sebastian Junger
If your guy steers clear of anything with romantic undertones and thrives on excitment, battle and lots of action, then War is the book for him. Bestselling author Sebastian Junger is best known for The Perfect Storm, which was made into a movie starring George Clooney.

War is a riveting insider look at combat thanks to Junger's superb, exciting writing and the fact that he spent 14 months embedded with a platoon in one of the most conflicted parts of Afghanistan.

Junger experiences first-hand everything these soldiers do and writes vividly about it -- from roadside bombings to ambushes to the thrill these soldiers experience in combat and their fierce loyalty to their unit. War is an incredibly exciting book about combat and the soldiers fighting this war who are willing to die for a cause and for each other.

Also recommended: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson, which have become the hottest books on the planet, according to Entertainment Weekly, with 40 million copies sold. Hollywood is stepping in for movie adaptations, too. These are the hottest books since the Twilightseries. Better get reading.


6. One Day by David Nicholls
David Nicholls tells a brilliant, funny story about Dexter and Emma, who meet in 1988 on the day before they're about to graduate college and go their separate ways. The problem is, they can't stop thinking about each other, despite the fact that they only had one day together.

Over a 20-year span, One Day reveals snapshots of that relationship on the same day each year -- July 15th. It's super funny, moving, smart and a fast read. You know, for the guy who likes a fast ...read.

And girls, you'll like it, too, though you may be a bit disappointed that it's over so soon because Dex and Em stay with you after the last page.

Also recommended: Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby, which is about regret, the all-too fast passage of time and mid-life crisis. Hornby gets back to his music roots in this quick, fun read.

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