> Skip to content

Article  •  9 August 2023


What to gift Dad for Father’s Day based on his personality

Give the gift of the perfect book this Father's Day.

Father’s Day is coming up soon, and there’s no better way to show appreciation than with a book. In addition to being classic, thoughtful and affordable, books can also be cherished for years to come.

Sounds like a great idea, right? But – here’s the hard part – what book will Dad like?

Scroll on to for a few suggestions based on his personality.

For the self-improvement obsessive

Does your dad have a fascination with all things self-improvement? If your dad constantly tests productivity hacks, listens to health and wellness podcasts or has ever used the word ‘biohacking’, he will love these books for thinking.

Atomic Habits by James Clear book cover.

Atomic Habits by James Clear

If your dad hasn’t read Atomic Habits yet, this is your chance to change his life. With over one million copies sold worldwide, it’s no surprise that this book is a constant favourite. With easily-digestible tips for improving your habits – and therefore your entire way of living – the book will truly change how he approaches challenges and thinks about life.

Better Than Happiness book cover.

Better than Happiness by Gregory Smith

For a decade, Gregory Smith lived as a recluse. When he stumbled out of a New South Wales rainforest in 2000, he was determined to turn his life into one worth living. In undertaking a personal reconstruction, Gregory learned not just how to be happy, but something even more essential. He figured out how to be content, and with its simple strategies and practical steps, this book will give your dad a few pointers too.

Outlive book cover.

Outlive by Peter Attia, MD

Dr Peter Attia is one of the world’s top longevity experts. In Outlive, he explains where mainstream medicine has failed and the simple steps we can all take to extend our lifespans. His science-backed approach will not only give your dad simple strategies for maintaining physical health, but it will also highlight ways for him to support his emotional and cognitive health.

For the thrill-seeker

Does your dad yearn for a life lived on the edge? If he enjoys true crime documentaries, spy history or fast-paced noir films, your dad might love these books for thrills.

The Scarlet Papers book cover.

The Scarlet Papers by Matthew Richardson

Dubbed ‘the best spy novel of the year’ by the Sunday TimesThe Scarlet Papers tells the story of three lives colliding over one manuscript. Following a brilliant German scientist in 1946 Vienna, a US diplomat in a clandestine love affair in 1964 Moscow, and a present-day British academic on the run, the book is equally thrilling and entertaining.

Private Rome book cover.

Private Rome by James Patterson

From bestselling author James Patterson comes Private Rome, the eighteenth book in the Private series. When a priest is murdered, a Private agent becomes the number one suspect, but Jack Morgan doesn’t buy it. While he tries to prove the Private’s innocence, he will uncover a much deadlier conspiracy.

Broken Bay book cover.

Broken Bay by Margaret Hickey

If your dad loves Australian crime, he’ll adore Margaret Hickey’s writing. Broken Bay follows Detective Sergeant Mark Ariti as he holidays in a small fishing town on South Australia’s Limestone Coast. But while he’s there, a tragedy occurs. When a renowned cave diver drowns while exploring a sinkhole, it unravels a series of mysteries about the town and its two most prominent families.

For the deep thinker

Does your dad fancy himself an intellectual? If he has a bookshelf of biographies, finds history fascinating or is constantly trying to learn something new, he’ll love these books for discovery.

Wifedom book cover.

Wifedom by Anna Funder

Modern readers know him best as George Orwell, but to his wife, Eileen O’Shaughnessy, the famous author was better known by his birth name: Eric Blair. In Wifedom, author Anna Funder imagines the married couple's through Eileen's perspective. Subversive, intelligent and entertaining through and through, Dad will love this book, whether he’s a literature nerd or not.

Anam book cover.

Anam by André Dao

If your dad is a history buff, he’ll love Anam, an autofiction exploring concepts of history, family and legacy through the author’s journey of learning about his own family. Moving from 1930s Hanoi through never-ending wars and displacements to Saigon, Paris, Melbourne and Cambridge, Anam will take your dad on a journey through time and space to question what it means to belong.

The Making of Another major Motion Picture Masterpiece book cover.

The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece by Tom Hanks

While The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece is a work of fiction, the insight it gives into the real filmmaking process of Hollywood is unparalleled. Written by the famous actor Tom Hanks, the book takes readers through the history of film to illuminate the realities of the world of show business.   

For the creative 

Does your dad have a creative side? If your dad is often found in the kitchen or has an artistic pursuit like photography or music, he will adore these books for inspiration.

Book cover of 5 Ingredients Mediterranean.

5 Ingredients Mediterranean by Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver has long been known for his quick, simple recipes, and his new cookbook, 5 Ingredients Mediterranean, is no exception. Full of delicious Mediterranean-inspired dishes, the book makes everyday cooking more exciting than ever. With 125 recipes to try, Dad will be cooking up a med feast in no time. 

The Aussie Dad's Book of Sometimes Helpful Responses book cover.

The Aussie Dad's Book of Sometimes Helpful Responses by Anon

If your dad finds humour in the little things, he’ll love The Aussie Dad’s Book of Sometimes Helpful Responses. Chock-full of all the answers to a bloke’s world, all dad has to do is put his hand on the cover, ask a question and flip to a random page for a quintessentially Aussie answer.  

1964: Eyes of the Storm book cover.

1964: Eyes of the Storm by Paul McCartney

Whether your dad is a music fan or a photography aficionado, he will love 1964: Eyes of the Storm. This book is jam-packed with 275 photographs from the band's adventures in six cities right as Beatlemania was taking off. Featuring several never-before-seen portraits of Joh, George and Ringo, Paul McCartney’s photos reveal what this time was like from the perspective of a Beatle.


Want more? See the full list of Father's Day picks, here

Featured Titles

Atomic Habits
A revolutionary guide to using tiny changes in behaviour to transform your life
Read more
Better than Happiness
Gregory Smith explains how after a decade living as a recluse in a rainforest he rejoined society and found something better than happiness - contentment. And how you can find contentment too if you just stop trying to be happy.
Read more
A groundbreaking manifesto on living better from the world's top longevity expert.
Read more
The Scarlet Papers
Intense and enthralling thriller, and a secret that will send shockwaves through the corridors of Westminster . . .
Read more
Private Rome
Secrets, lies and murder in the heart of the Vatican. The thrilling new instalment in the Private series.
Read more
Broken Bay
From the author of the bestselling and award-winning Cutters End and Stone Town, a captivating new crime novel featuring Detective Mark Ariti.
Read more

A blazing, genre-bending masterpiece from one of the most inventive writers of our time.

Read more
'Transcendent.' THE AGE 'Anam is a beautiful book. I loved its hypnotic rhythms, its restlessness, the way memories, dreams and ideas, like waves, kept riding in over the top of one another, undoing and complicating everything. It is the work of a soulful and scrupulous mind.' MILES ALLINSON
Read more
5 Ingredients Mediterranean
Jamie's most popular cookbook goes Mediterranean in this mouth-watering follow-up
Read more
The Aussie Dad’s Book of Sometimes Helpful Responses
Sometimes wise, occasionally funny, wildly hypocritical but always on the money, The Aussie Dad’s Book of Sometimes Helpful Responses puts the right words in your mouth to steer you and your loved ones through life’s thorniest questions and daily dilemmas.
Read more
1964: Eyes of the Storm
Photographs and Reflections 'Millions of eyes were suddenly upon us, creating a picture I will never forget for the rest of my life.'
Read more

More features

See all
What to read this International Women’s Day – as recommended by authors

In honour of International Women’s Day, we asked some of our inspiring women authors to share the books they love.

The best book duos to gift for Christmas 2023

Perfect book pairings to give loved ones this holiday season.

Penguin picks: 6 employees share their favourite books of 2023

See what Penguin Random House employees chose as their favourite books of the year.

QUIZ: Which book should you read this summer?

Take this quiz to discover what your summer read should be in 2023.

The 10 bestselling non-fiction books of 2023

Check out our top-selling non-fiction books this year.

Debut authors share their best tips for aspiring authors

The Fresh Voices of 2023 share their advice with fellow writers. Whether you’re aspiring to get your book published or looking for writing tips, these words of wisdom will help.

10 Atomic Habits quotes that will change your life

Atomic Habits by James Clear is a powerful book that will teach you how to transform your life through tiny habits. Check out some of the best quotes from the book.

Women's Murder Club Series giveaway

Your chance to win a James Patterson Women's Murder Club book stack.

See what reviewers are saying about Wifedom

‘One of the most startling explorations of life-writing in recent times . . . a genre-bending tour-de-force that resurrects an invisible woman.’

Dr Peter Attia shares what you should (and shouldn't) eat for a longer life

See some of the longevity expert’s top tips about nutrition, from his book Outlive.

Anna Funder books to read after finishing Wifedom

If you’re obsessed with Anna Funder’s new book, Wifedom, check out more books by the author to read next.

Check out the book that booksellers are loving right now

Anna Funder's book Wifedom has wowed some of the most plugged-in people in the book industry. Here's what they had to say.

Looking for more articles?

See all articles