What to Read on the Subway This Week: 6/18
If, after yesterday’s Father's Day festivities, you’re still feeling nostalgic about dear old dad, read some funny dadisms, scroll through the funniest on-screen father figures, listen to a heartwarming podcast about a loving dad, and ponder the president’s relationship with his own father.
On Your Kindle
Sh*t My Dad Says, by Justin Halpern
When comedy writer Justin Halpern moved back home at 29, he began keeping a daily chronicle of the colorful commentary his 74-year-old father made to spice up the day. He transferred his dad journal to Twitter under the handle @shitmydadsays, and his success was almost immediate. The Twitter feed attracted thousands of followers, and the comments—unselfconsciously funny, mostly profane, very often insightful—germinated into a touching, un-sugar-coated memoir of the relationship between a father and son. The resulting book is absolutely hilarious and feels very real. Read it this Father’s Day week, and call your own dad to get a dose of his wordy gems.
On Your Smartphone
Funniest Dads in TV and Movies, by the Huffington Post
Some of the best comic relief in TV shows and movies has come from fathers: the well-meaning, beer-guzzling, often accident-prone loved ones that add a mix of humor and heart-warmth to a television show. This fun slideshow aggregates the funniest fathers from the silver screen, including Peter Griffin, Phil Dunphy, and Cliff Huxtable. Read it and weigh in—who is your favorite on-screen dad?
On a Podcast
The Council of Dads, by Bruce Feiler
This week, the New York Times published a series of opinions centering on the question “What About Dad” in its popular “Room for Debate” series. Seven debaters discuss fathers’ involvement in their children’s lives, questioning the perception that dads are traditionally less involved than moms. This TED talk by cancer survivor Bruce Feiler is heart-wrenchingly antithetical to that conventional wisdom. In twenty inspiring and funny minutes, Feiler discusses how, when he was diagnosed with cancer that might have been terminal, he first thought of his three-year-old twin daughters and how much of their lives he would miss. Unwilling to allow his daughters to grow up without the loving presence of a father, Feiler assembled a “council of dads” among his friends: a group of men devoted to teaching his children certain lessons in case he could not. Get ready to laugh (and perhaps tear up) as you listen to this podcast on your post-Father’s Day commute.
Dreams from My Father, by Barack Obama
In this election year, one of the best ways to get to know the Democratic candidate (and current president) is to read his autobiographical memoir, Dreams from My Father. Written before his political career truly began to flourish, this book, often described as “lyrical” and praised by literary greats including Toni Morrison, weaves together Obama’s patchwork life, from his upbringing in Hawaii to his post-graduate life in New York to his journey to his paternal homeland of Kenya. Obama’s story offers insight into his own psyche—read it to learn about his family and about his role as a father and president.
Photo courtesy of Francisco Osorio.
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