What to read when: Father's Day is nigh
He won't know it's a last-minute purchase because this is a niche read
It kind of snuck up on me this year. Sunday is Father’s Day! Whether you are a father, have a father, have issues with your father, or you fall somewhere in between all this, this book is not your average Father’s-Day reco, and by that, I mean that it is not big on the “feel good” vibes of fatherhood. (But I will recommend a feel-good chaser at the end of this post!)
The book: We Begin Our Ascent
The author: Joe Mungo Reed, a British author with a philosophy degree.
The why: Have you ever read a cycling crime novel? Well, now you can! The main character, Sol, is headed for the Tour de France, which is exciting. Less exciting is that everything Sol does is meant to prop up his team star, Fabrice, which ends up with Sol being pretty anonymous, even though he’s in the world’s biggest cycling competition and has a brand new son at home. His wife, a geneticist, will step into this story in an unexpected way. The prose is dry but in a compelling way that underscores the obsessive nature of pro athletes (and cyclists in particular— I know, I dated one.) You can gift this to your father and hope he never opens it so you can steal it back.
Watch an interview with the author: There aren’t a lot (or any?) interviews with Joe about this particular title, which is one of the things you’ll like about me, I hope— I go to bat for underdogs. But there are a good deal of interviews about Joe’s past novel, “Hammer.” Literati is one of my favorite midwestern bookstores— they interviewed Joe live about that novel, here.
Now for the chaser!
The New Zealand comedy “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” directed by Taika Waititi is your one stop shop for feel-good dad vibes this weekend, and beyond. I won’t even tell you the plot. Just trust me!
This Thursday, I'll be in conversation with Lisa Taddeo at The House of Books in bucolic Kent, Connecticut about Lisa's newest book, “Ghost Lover.” Find us at 6pm!
This coming weekend, I'll be at the Deep Water Literary Festival in Narrowsburg, NY. The line-up of events is truly amazing. Come and join us if you can- I’m panelling with Electric Literature’s editor Halimah Marcus about femininity, motherhood, horses and mental health at 2pm on Saturday.
On June 30th, I'll be in conversation with the fantastic Sarah LaDuke of WAMC radio at Edith Wharton's storied home, The Mount. You can get tickets to our event here, and you'll also be able to stroll the gorgeous grounds!
July 19th I'll be in conversation about my memoir with the queen of memoir writing herself, Dani Shapiro! This is sure to be a wonderful event: Join us on Thursday, July 19th at 6:30pm. You can register here.
In the meantime, I’ll be sending out my first industry-centric post for paid subscribers this Sunday. The topic? Making comp titles work for you!
Until then, be well, stay healthy, and Happy Father’s Day to everyone who identifies as a Dad or dad!
The blue Bookshop hyperlink is an affiliate link. If you opt to buy the featured title with that link, I get a tiny kickback at no cost to you which I use as credit to buy books on Bookshop, myself. “We Begin our Ascent” is (mostly) available everywhere books are sold, although it appears to be on backorder at Bookshop! Whoops!