I’ve been dreading this one.
My coworker called me “festive” the other day. Or, rather, “the most festive person” besides her.
I don’t think that’s accurate. I’m not a holiday person. I forget Halloween every year and I spend New Year’s Eve in bed watching TV by myself.
I do go nuts at Christmas. And my birthday. But that’s IT.
My solution today: recommend several books for every month of the year and see what happens. There might be some holiday tie-ins, there might not.
Be warned: I drank a lot of coffee while writing this post.
January: New Year’s
Books to read: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, Originals by Adam Grant
Recommit yourself to creativity! Start that new year off right!
February: Valentine’s Day
Books to read: The Romantics by Leah Konen, A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall, The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Revisit romance, where true love (mostly) prevails!
March: Women’s History Month
Books to read: Like a Mother by Angela Garbes, We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, How to Be a Heroine by Samantha Ellis
Appreciate the literary ladies in your life!
Books to read: Pastrix by Nadia-Bolz Weber, What’s So Amazing About Grace? by Philip Yancey, Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans
Absolve your American Christian guilt of, “I should read more spiritual books.” Read these and let yourself off the hook for another year!
May: Mental Health Awareness Month
Books to read: Turtles All the Way Down by John Green, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
Anxiety and depression suck for everyone. We can all show more empathy toward those who suffer from it.
June: Pride Month
Books to read: You Know Me Well by David Levithan and Nina LaCour, Less by Andrew Sean Greer, Ship It by Britta Lundin
This might be my favorite time of the year, if only because everything in Seattle turns rainbow for a month. Give queer love stories a shot!
July: Fourth of July
Books to read: Dear Martin by Nic Stone, The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak, The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obrecht
War, freedom, and social justice – three important topics I frequently avoid. At your next family picnic, use these topics as conversation starters – or conversation stoppers!
August: Nonlinear Storytelling
Books to read: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill, Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
TIME IS A CONSTRUCT! Everything has already happened and is yet to happen! Most importantly of all – Wikipedia told me National Clock Day was in August, which is NOT TRUE AT ALL!!
September: Back to School
Books to read: The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You by Lily Anderson, Chemistry by Weike Wang, The Disreputable History of Frankie-Landau Banks by E. Lockhart
Learning is overrated! Reading about the education of others is basically the same thing!
Books to read: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, Rebel Belles by Rachel Hawkins
Can’t handle spooky literature? Read some spooky-adjacent fiction instead! Sure, horses maim and monsters call…but who will win Homecoming Queen?
November: The Doldrums
Books to read: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Far From the Tree by Robin Benway, Heartless by Marissa Meyer
Hands up if you turn into a mega-bummer at the start of November! Traditional wisdom recommends happy literature to counteract the coming darkness – I choose to lean into the sadness and cry all month!
December: AIDS Awareness Month
Book to read: Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
Trust me – this is the only book you’ll need. Break your heart over and over again until the new year.