Being a dad is usually a thankless task … sorry it is a challenging yet rewarding experience that adds greatly to the quality of your life! As a dad, you are responsible for providing for your family, being a role model, and creating lasting memories with them … or rather you need to not seriously maim them, poison them, encourage them to do dangerous things “for the craic”, or teach them to fart when you pull their finger and most importantly, remember that it isn’t ‘babysitting’ when it is minding your own children!


Seriously though, if you are reader or your father is a reader, there are certain books that through extensive conversations on the shop floor, we are repeatedly informed are ‘dad’ books.  They are not the ones we expected to make it onto the list, but for some reason, these are the books Irish dads seem to have recommended to their kids … how many of them do you recognise?


Oh, the Places You'll Go!’ by Dr. Seuss (1990)

This classic children's book is a timeless reminder that life is full of ups and downs. It encourages readers to embrace new experiences and challenges, even when things get tough. This book is a must-read for dads who want to inspire their kids and remind themselves of the joys of life – but actually any Dr. Seuss will do as dads seem to have endless fun saying the nonsense words and making up the rhymes … on second thoughts maybe we shouldn’t encourage them ….

The Road’ by Cormac McCarthy (2006)

This post-apocalyptic novel tells the story of a father and son's journey through a desolate landscape. It explores themes of survival, love, and hope in the face of adversity. This book is a must-read for dads who want to reflect on the importance of family and resilience.


The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle (1997)

This spiritual guide offers practical advice on how to live in the present moment and find inner peace. It encourages readers to let go of their worries and embrace the beauty of life. This book is a must-read for dads who want to become more mindful and present and it is really encouraging that it has become so frequently recommended.


To Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee (1960)

This classic novel explores themes of justice, racism, and morality in a small Southern town. It follows the story of a lawyer named Atticus Finch and his daughter Scout as they navigate the complexities of life. It is a must-read for dads who want to teach their kids about the importance of empathy and standing up for what's right. It seems to be the book that has stuck with most dads from their schooldays, and they want their children to experience it too!


The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ by Stephen Covey (1989)

This self-help book offers practical advice on how to become a more effective and successful person. It explores seven habits that can help improve your personal and professional life. Though it is supposed to be a ‘business’ book, this is really a guide to how to be a decent and trustworthy person in all areas of your life.


The Catcher in the Rye’ by J.D. Salinger (1951)

Another one that appears to have made a big impression on dads during their teenage years, this coming-of-age novel follows the story of a teenager named Holden Caulfield as he navigates the complexities of adolescence. It explores themes of identity, alienation, and rebellion.


‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho (1988)

This mystical novel tells the story of a shepherd named Santiago who embarks on a journey to find his destiny. It explores themes of destiny, purpose, and spirituality. This book is a must-read for dads who want to reflect on the meaning of life and pursue their dreams.


The Grapes of Wrath’ by John Steinbeck (1939)

I am noticing a theme of ‘books that we did at school’! This classic novel tells the story of a family's journey from Oklahoma to California during the Great Depression. It explores themes of poverty, injustice, and resilience. This book is a must-read for dads who want to teach their kids about the value of hard work and perseverance and perhaps is a reminder to us all that we have it better than our grandparents did.


‘The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy’ by Douglas Adams (1979)

This hilarious science fiction novel follows the adventures of a human and his alien friend as they travel through space. It explores themes of humor, philosophy, and the absurdity of life. This book is a must-read for dads who want to have a good laugh and escape from reality for a while.


Reading is a fantastic way to bond with our kids, to tell or show them something about ourselves as people and the books that dads share with their families are illuminating and actually make me feel rather emotional, especially as I recognised a few that my Dad passed onto me. Can’t buy them for him anymore but think I might make sure that they are on my bookshelf in memory of him! Oh, along with a really bad ‘Dad Joke’ book – they should actually give all new parents one of those when you leave the maternity hospital!