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December 23, 2011

DadCentric's 2011 Last Minute Gift Guide For Dads

Leg-lampLet's cut to the chase: 'twas the night before The Night Before Christmas, and you totally borked on getting the dad(s) in your life a present. Not to worry: we got your back. Here's a few last minute gift ideas for you from us.

Jason: I love getting books for Christmas; getting someone a great book is about as thoughtful as you can get, IMHO. Here's a few suggestions.

  • Susan Russo's The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches and Recipes Every Man Should Know. Susan Russo is a great food writer (check out her blog here), and these two books compliment each other well. Perfect for the foodie dad, or the wanna-be foodie dad, both are chock full of great recipes and helpful suggestions.
  • Neal Pollack's Jewball. Our old friend Neal Pollack boldly decided to self-publish this novel; yes, we're helping a brotha out by promoting his book, but I'd do so regardless, because this tale of Jewish basketball players in the years leading up to World War II is a blast. 
  • Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris' Ex Machina. This celebrated comic book series is available in trade paperback; I downloaded issue #1 for free over at Comixology and was hooked. The story of an average guy who becomes super-powered (in this case, given the ability to communicate with control any type of machinery with his mind) has been done before, but Vaughn puts a whole new twist on the genre when his protagonist becomes the mayor of New York.

TwoBusy: The single best thing I read this year: Alden Bell's The Reapers Are The Angels, a stunningly beautiful zombie novel. Yes, you read that correctly: beautiful. Think of it as Cormac McCarthy's The Road meets World War Z, filtered through the voice of Flannery O'Connor. The imagery, the lyricism, the characters... plus, y'know, zombies. I read several remarkable novels this year - including John Hart's The Last Childand Emma Donoghue's Room, which were both outstanding - but The Reapers completely blew my socks off. Absolutely worth seeking out. 

The single best thing I heard this year: the self-titled debut by Winged Victory for The Sullen, in a narrow win over the veryveryvery different The Big Roar by The Joy Formidable. Winged Victory is the kind of thing I simply don't have the musical vocabulary to adequately describe: it's a series of neo-classical collaborations between composer Dustin O'Halloran and Stars of the Lids' Adam Wiltzie that manage to be so wordlessly powerful and deeply emotional that it's almost impossible to listen to the album without feeling like the world around you has slowed and changed into the saddest, most haunting film you've ever seen. A truly gorgeous piece of work.

The Holmes: Does Dad love beer? Does he have a bit of the DIY spirit about him? Perhaps he'd like to try his hand at brewing up his own beer. Get him stared with The Complete Joy of HomebrewingOr maybe Dad likes shiny things that go zoom through the air. RC helicopters are crazy-cheap these days. Or does Dad get bored sitting in a cube all day? Bring a little excitement to his workday with some weapons of siege warfare.

Kevin: Combine Dad's love of Star Wars and cocktails with the Han Solo in Carbonite Silicon Ice Tray. It's perfect for sucking back icy whiskeys while watching the 47th re-re-remastering of The Saga and bitching about how George Lucas has yet again played you for a sucker.


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