A few last-minute book recommendations. Links are provided, but they ain't gonna arrive Sunday morning!
If Dad is a amateur who regularly plays in clubs, tournaments, or the Web, the fourth edition of Jeremy Silman's How to Reassess Your Chess is great. And a classic by the late GM Larry Evans was recently republished, New Ideas in Chess.
If Dad just wants to read about chess, Frank Brady's Endgame: Bobby Fischer's Remarkable Rise and Fall - from America's Brightest Prodigy to the Edge of Madness is a page-turner.
If Dad is into photography, Harry Benson's Bobby Fischer (just published this week: I haven't seen a copy yet) might be great for the coffee table.
If Dad doesn't mind the occasional reference to Bourdieu and Foucault, he may well enjoy Counterplay: An Anthropologist at the Chessboard (I just started reading this today). (Fathers' Day P.S.: I finished it yesterday: refreshingly intelligent discussion of what it's like to be an serious amateur player.)
For the semi-serious player, Yakov Neishadt's Improve Your Chess Tactics: 700 Practical Lessons & Exercises is very good (I carry this with me on the train). And if Dad likes to bore his opponents to death, Grandmaster Chess Strategy: What Amateurs Can Learn from Ulf Andersson's Positional Masterpieces is another book that's good for commuters.
If Dad wants to learn to play chess, then Bruce Pandolfini's Beginning Chess: Over 300 Elementary Problems for Players New to the Game is a fine start.
Last-minute shoppers might be able to find these books at the Barnes & Noble or Borders on State Street.