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Father Essentials: David Yoon, NYT Best-Selling YA Author

Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano

When it comes to Los Angeles-based author David Yoon, the awards and accolades are numerous…and we only anticipate them stacking up even more over the next few years. David is the author of beloved YA books Frankly in Love (a New York Times bestseller) and Super Fake Love Song, and adult titles Version Zero and the upcoming City of Orange. He’s a William C. Morris Award finalist and an Asian/Pacific American Award for Young Adult Literature Honor book recipient. Plus, in addition to being a proud papa to 9-year-old Penny (and proud husband to fellow best-selling novelist Nicola Yoon), David has recently teamed up with his wife to launch Joy Revolution, a young adult imprint with Random House Children’s Books dedicated to love stories starring people of color. Oh, and the power duo just announced that they’ll be optioning some of their incredible stories for the big and small screen under their newly launched Yooniverse Media production house. Below, in honor of Father’s Day this month, the super-busy dad dishes on his current “Father Essentials.”

Pretentious Espresso Cups. “Does the double wall make a difference? Or the copper bottom? No. But don’t they look straight out of 2001: A Space Odyssey.” Fellow Joey Double Wall Ceramic Mugs, $35, Amazon.

Hygge House Slippers. “One of the most important things I learned during pandemic lockdown is to spend your days snuggled up as cozy as possible with the wife and child as much as possible.” Glerups Slip-On With Leather Sole, $95, Zappos.

Bird Feeder (a.k.a. Mealtime Entertainment). “Want to eliminate mealtime screentime? Get a bird feeder and turn your window into a nonstop nature show.” Bird Feeders, ~$20, Amazon.

Somewhat Automatic Espresso Machine. “No writing gets done in the Yoon household without coffee. If writers were stock car racers, Nicki and I would have the Breville logo on the hood of our Mustang.” Breville Oracle Touch Espresso Machine, $2499.95, Williams Sonoma.

Low-Commitment Notebook. “I always wanted a small journal that would let me add, remove, or rearrange pages to ease the pressure of a ‘nice’ notebook. So I invented one.” Cloth Notebinder, $24, Sorta.

A Stand For Books, Not Screens. “I got these sturdy book stands for everyone in the family, and our mealtime screen usage immediately gave way to paper books. Amazing!” A+ Book stand, $54.99, Amazon.

Painfully Effective Back Massager. “Guhhhhhhhhh.” Deep Tissue Massage Balls, $15, Deep Recovery.

“Hey Siri remind me to blablabla” Wristwatch. “I love smart watches; I am a big dork. But honestly, I use the voice reminder feature all the time to capture random writing ideas as they strike. It’s part of my process! Shut up!” Smart Watch, $400, Apple.

Big Fuzzy Ball Chair. “The wife got me this chair, which feels almost like an isolation chamber. I do all my writing here.” Orbit Luxe Faux Fur Chair, $2,199, Restoration Hardware.

Noise-Obliterating Headphones. “I need pretty much total silence to write. These headphones are super light and truly the best at erasing sound.” QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones II, $249, Bose.

Digital Piano That Does Not Look Like a Digital Piano. “A house without a piano is a lonely place. But man, acoustic pianos are expensive and heavy! This one’s neither, and yet it sounds like a friggin’ Bosendorfer.” Yamaha Clavinova CLP-745, $3,500, Sweetwater.

Tinkering With The Child. “I’d get these wonderful DIY gadget kits even if I had no kids. With my kid, they’re some of the loveliest ways to pass the time.” Tinker Crates, $20/month, KiwiCo.

My Usual Bourbon. “I like my whiskey bittersweet. If I wanted smoke, I’d light a fire.” Bulleit Bourbon, $33, Drizly.

Miniature Cattle Prod. “Just kidding, it’s really a USB rechargeable lighter. Unless you happen to own tiny cattle?” Rechargeable Candle Lighter, $8, Amazon.

Charmingly Simple Bicycle. “This bike has it all: it’s heavy, slow, retro, can easily be ridden no-handed, and makes you wish you lived in Paris and still smoked cigarettes.” Mixte 3i, $679, Linus.

Adorable Record Player For The Wife. “I mean, just look at it. Also, buying vinyl one album at a time forces you to consider the truly important music in your life.” Crosley Cruiser Plus Turntable, $59.95, Amazon.

Scary Powerful Portable Speaker. “What looks like a fancy Danish lunchbox is actually a formidable weapon designed to shake all booties in the vicinity, with sexy results.” Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20 Powerful Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker, $499, Amazon.

Book of Baby Names for the Child. “When you have a daughter who writes a new story every night before bed, it helps to have a book to pick out names for characters.” 100,000+ Baby Names, $14, Bookshop.

Actually Usable Video Editing App. “Now that all authors are required to be social media influencers, it’s crucial to have the right tool for shortening already razor-thin viewer attention spans.” Videoleap, $40, Lightricks.

Quiet” Drum Heads & Cymbals. “Playing the drums is really dancing in disguise. These perforated drum heads and cymbals are like 80% quieter than the normal stuff, and help maintain true drum feel while easing those fears of being murdered by your neighbors.” Remo Silentstroke Drum Heads & Zildjian L80 Low-Volume Cymbals, $349.95, Sweetwater.

For more Father Essentials—a.k.a. great Father’s Day gifting ideas—check out the must-haves of famed author and thought leader Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, best-selling illustrator Pete Oswald, photographer Gray Malin, activist and vegan chef Bryant Terry, and Barry’s Bootcamp CEO Joey Gonzalez.


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