Over the 56 years he's been a father we've tried to give my dad just about everything for Father's Day: Cards covered in painted pasta and hand prints, socks, jumpers, screwdriver sets, a teapot, several bags of gravel, 42 different wallets that all live in a drawer, belts, monogrammed handkerchiefs, more socks, ties and an electronic tie rack so he can always find the 4 he actually wore.
The most successful presents have consistently been books, particularly current affairs or politics. The world is a terribly confusing and fast moving place and, as a father, it's part of the job to pretend you know what's going on, so interpretive material is always welcome.
With this in mind here's a couple of books we'd recommend for your dad this Father's Day.
The Adults in the Room by Yanis Varifouakis. My fella's current mancrush (I don't think it's just because of his motorbike) A weighty tome from the Greek Ex-Minister for Finance about the financial crisis and the fallout we're still dealing with.
Histories of Nations by Peter Furtado. A fascinating look at how nations were forged, edited by a former editor of History Today. It covers a different nation in each of it's 28 chapters, each written by an expert in the area. The essay on Ireland (In the shadow of the fond abuser) is written by Ciaran Brady and goes through the intense and troubled relationship the country has had with Britain.
Chronicles by Thomas Piketty. Piketty is currently one of the most famous rock star economists. Chronicles is a collection of 50 short essays from is articles in Le Monde and Liberation that's far easier to digest than his incredibly dense best seller Capital.
Post Truth by Matthew D'Ancona. Political editor of the Guardian gives his two cents on where it all went wrong and what we can do about it.
The Descent of Man by Grayson Perry. Artist, potter, transvestite and media darling, Grayson Perry's very amusing musings on the current state of manhood.
The Art of Sound by Terry Burrows. A beautiful chronology of the development of sound recording. The perfect gift for the audiophile paterfamilias.
How it Works: The Dad. While this ladybird parody book is not quite instruction manual for how to be a father, you could definitely qualify it as interpretive material.
The absolute best thing about getting a book as a present is that it comes with the anticipation of getting a bit of peace and quiet in which to read it. Is it a cliche to suggest that's the gift fathers want most of all?