Now that March is here, I am eager to welcome Spring - to throw open the windows, soak up some sunshine, go on a picnic, fly a kite, spring clean, go on an adventure, and (not least of all) enjoy books with a very vibrant vibe.
Since my mind is a-flutter with all the Springtime things, I decided to share with you a sampling of the springish somethings germinating inside my head - some March Madness, if you will.
Thanks to Pretty Literate's 22 in '22 Reading Challenge, I am reading more intentionally this year - and that includes March! This month the 22 in '22 Reading Challenge is to read two books:
🔲 one set in the Spring, and
🔲 one recommended by a librarian.
(Check out the full 22 in '22 Reading Challenge here, or download the free printable bookmark here.)
Not sure where to begin? How about one of these springtime reads?
A Room With a View by E.M. Forster
This is a classic that is just bursting with Springtime vibes! It's got travel, beautiful flowers in bloom, the great outdoors, an atmosphere of love. Experience A Room With a View in an interactive way here.
Miss Cayley's Adventures by Grant Allen
An independent heroine of the 19th century is hard to find, but Miss Cayley show us her adventurous side in this sweet classic full of travel, mystery, sport, and a little romance.
Absent in the Spring by Mary Westmacott (aka Agatha Christie)
The title (and the author) sum up Absent in the Spring best..."the book that I had always wanted to write, that had been clear in my mind. It was the picture of a woman with a complete image of herself, of what she was, but about which she was completely mistaken." Pick up this title if you're feeling reflective.
Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
This Shakespearean rom-com sings of love in the air and will leave you laughing.
Emma by Jane Austen
Complicated boy-girl relationships. ✅
More picnics. ✅
This is the epitome of Springtime reading by our girl, Jane.
Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
No Spring Break plans? No problem. Let Mr. Swift carry you away to places your wildest imagination could not conjure.
The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny
"It's spring in the tiny, forgotten village; buds are on the trees and the first flowers are struggling through the newly thawed earth. But not everything is meant to return to life. . ." Book Three in the insanely popular Inspector Gamache series, The Cruelest Month features a murder just in time for Easter.
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson
Small English countryside village. ✅
Rolling hills. ✅
Thatched cottages. ✅
Literature-loving characters. ✅
A lil bit o' love. ✅
This is basically the Spring Break of my dreams.
I enjoy connecting over books. I even write a lot about it here on Pretty Literate's blog. Book clubs. Online. In person. Sign me up. I'm there for it.
Which is why I was delighted to spend some time at my local library chatting up the librarians for the second book for this month's 22 in '22 Reading Challenge: a book recommended by a librarian. I headed to the Information desk first because normally the guy that teaches the library's free computer classes can be found there and I know the guy knows his stuff. He was off doing awesome librarian behind-the-scenes stuff, so I connected with the sweet young thing sitting in his seat.
The girl with purple hair and a passion for Sci-Fi. (YES!)
Fifteen minutes later, I was heading upstairs to chat with one of the librarians in the Fiction section - but not before Miss Purple Hair hooked me up with weekly emails chock full of recommendations from my very own librarians - in several genres that I love reading! (SCORE!)
Upstairs, I met the most enthusiastic librarian on the planet. THE librarian that took my reading challenge with a thousand percent seriousness and hooked me up with FOUR of her favorites that were currently available. Here's the kicker - they were all new-to-me authors with titles and dust-jacket reviews that made it difficult to choose where to start! (Check back at the end of March to see what I read.)
I fully realize that my small town library is extraordinary and that not everyone will be able to leave their library with an armful of awesome book recs from their local librarian. If that's your case, I suggest checking out the following websites this month to find the perfect book rec from a librarian.
Library Reads - lists the top librarian picks of books published that month; a great spot to find a recommended new release
The Greatest Books - lists 100 of the most librarian recommended books according to a survey (from the late 90s); will not include new releases, but an impressive list you're sure to score a great read from
The New York Public Library - lists the top titles the librarians of this well-known institution recommend; updated quarterly
March is for F-U-N in the S-U-N! Here are a few awesome literary holidays to have fun with this month:
Women's History Month - I devoted an entire Pretty Literate Live to classic female authors, so if you're interested in learning about awesome authors of the past, check out this Pretty Literate Live.
Paws to Read Month - a month-long celebration of literacy and our furry friends, so grab a book, your pet, and start reading. No pets? No worries! Volunteer at your local animal shelter. Reading aloud to the adoptable animals is an excellent way to socialize them. Who knows? You may find your new best friend.
Return borrowed books week (first full week in March) - Don't forget to return your recent reads back to the library. Anybody else thankful for this reminder?
March 2 - Dr. Seuss' birthday (AKA Read Across America Day) is set aside each year to celebrate the love of reading. Read a book this day. Make it a good one.
March 6-12 - National Read an e-Book Week. Find a list of websites that offer budget-friendly freebies for e-Book Week here.
March 21 - World Poetry Day - a big ask for non-poetry readers like myself; and it seems we are not alone. Do a quick Google search for "poetry to read for non-poetry readers" and you'll see what I mean. Come on. Let's do this.
25th - National Tolkien Reading Day - a day the Tolkien Society began almost 20 years ago to encourage fans to celebrate and promote the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien. Check out some ways to celebrate National Tolkien Reading Day here.
What "madness" do you looking forward to enjoying this month? Share your favorite Springtime pursuits in the comments.
There are some great recommendations in here! I fully intend to use my new local library card to pick our librarian’s brain and come home with at least a couple of her favorites.