Bourbon Empire - Jim Beam, Maker's Mark, Evan Williams. From the Civil War to bourbon's coronation as an American icon, Slate contributor Reid Mitenbuler takes you behind the brands and through the rich history of this unique spirit. Given the current bourbon revival and the rise of craft movements, make your dad star of the show at work parties and dad gatherings by gifting him Bourbon Empire.

Left of Boom - This book is badass, and inarguably one of the most entertaining memoirs to come out of the Afghan war. Not only does Douglas Laux, who just recently revealed his identity after writing under the pseudonym "John Smith," take you to the front lines of the CIA counter-terrorism efforts, but he also brings you the personal struggles of a young man dealing with a high-stress, life-threatening job, unable to tell his closest friends, family, and girlfriends what he does for a living.


Moor's Account - If it's good enough for Craig Ferguson, it's probably good enough for dad. This historical fiction is, in fact, great. Guest Judge Craig described it as "an imagined account of the first black explorer of what eventual became the United covers the morality of slavery, it covers the morality of colonialism, exploration, a clash of cultures, and it's a good ole rollicking adventure story as well."

The Verdict - If you had a front row seat to watch the spectacular downfall of your ex-best friend who almost ruined your life, would you help him? Or would you contribute to his demise? A billionaire hedge fund owner suspected of a murder in a hotel room and his former friend - who happens to be assigned to investigate the case - are at the core of this compulsively readable novel. Judge Liberty Hardy, a die hard mystery thriller fan, declares that it's one of the most satisfying thrillers of the decade.

The Association of Small Bombs - How do terrorists become terrorists? That's the question author Karan Mahajan seeks to answer in this fictionalized account of an actual bombing that took place near his home in Delhi in the 90s. Judge Alexander Chee describes it as "a novel that takes us all the way around the bombing, a story about the lives of the victims, the survivors and the bomber...By including the terrorists as characters Mahajan insists on their humanity...and holds them accountable for their crimes." It's a surprisingly easy and quick read for such a fraught topic.