September Literary Holidays

September means school’s starting. What better way to get warmed up for school than with a few literary holidays?

National Read a Book Day has been celebrated on September 6th since the early 2000s. To celebrate, I’d like to give you this word: tsundoku. This is a Japanese word for collecting reading material but not reading it. So this is the perfect excuse to grab one of those books you’ve been meaning to read. If that doesn’t strike your interest try one of the following books and feel free to let people know what you are reading by using #ReadABookDay on social media.

An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine follows the story of a woman in Beirut who surrounds herself with books and is gossiped about for being godless, childless, and divorced.

The Club Dumas by Arturo Pérez-Reverte, also available in Spanish, is a thriller about a man who hunts down rare manuscripts. He becomes involved in a murder through an original manuscript of the Three Musketeers.

Lost for Words by Edward St. Aubyn follows multiple stories all surrounding the Elysian Prize for Literature and how crazy people can get when trying to win a book award.

An Unnecessary Woman   The Club Dumas    Lost for Words

September 8th is International Literacy Day which was established by UNESCO. Their goal is to fight illiteracy which is still very prevalent globally, with 750 million people unable to read. Each year they select a theme, and this year it’s ‘Literacy and Skills Development.’ Here are some books for you to consider for this day:

Mr. Potter by Jamaica Kincaid takes place in Antigua. With beautiful prose, the story of an illiterate taxi chauffeur is told. With lilting rhythms we travel through sorrow and disillusionment with Mr. Potter.

My Brigadista Year by Katherine Paterson is based on a true event, Fidel Castro’s national literacy program. Lora, a thirteen-year old girl, decides to join the literacy program despite her parents objections.

The Rent Collector by Camron Steve Wright is a story about learning. A trash picker in Cambodia befriends her rent collector in order to learn how to read and help save her son from poverty.

Mr. Potter    My Brigadista Year    The Rent Collector

On September 22, Hobbit Day is celebrated. It is the birthday of both Bilbo and Frodo Baggins. It was first officially observed in 1978 but it had been celebrated by fans before that. Hobbit birthdays are a great event of feasting, dancing, fireworks, and much merriment. In honor of hobbits, you could just walk around barefoot! While The Hobbit would be the best book for today, here are a couple epic fantasy adventures that are just as good.

Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence is a tale opposite from The Hobbit. It is about revenge for a prince who watched as his sister and mother were killed. Our main character is more of a villain than a hero.

The Innocent Mage by Karen Miller tells of Asher, a fisherman’s youngest son who travels away from home looking for adventure, which he finds: it seems he might be the one to fulfill an ancient prophecy.

The Hobbit, Or, There and Back Again      Prince of Thorns    The Innocent Mage

I look forward to sharing October’s Literary Holidays with you!

~posted by Meranda T.

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