March is here and with it approaches the true heat of summer. As Edward Thomas said in his poem aptly titled ‘March’:
The sun filled earth and heaven with a great light
And a tenderness, almost warmth, where the hail dripped,
As if the mighty sun wept tears of joy.
This month, I think, embodies change. With that in mind let’s dive into our book picks for this month.
Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton
You would think a book from the perspective of a pet crow during a zombie apocalypse would be hilarious and weird. And you would be right.
But this book also happens to be deeply moving and insightful.
The book parallels the main character’s internal conflict about balancing his desire to be both human and crow to nature slowly reclaiming ravaged land outside. It makes a point of emphasizing that neither choice is good or bad, civilization and nature are not opposite forces. They’re just different and everything always changes.
I can’t remember the last time I read a book with a main character who celebrated noise. Or even read a book that presented noise as a good thing. It was an incredible chance to read something that showed that the natural world and the human world are equally noisy, misleading, creative, terrible, and worth living in.
Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett
Guards! Guards! is an excellent starting point to the entirety of the Discworld series.
It’s a story about how shallow bitterness, spite and the general distrust of others can lead to something terrible.
But it’s also about how dragons are not aerodynamic in any shape or form, like seriously, they should not be able to fly and most importantly, only Vimes – the washed-up, beaten down captain of the failed nightguard – should be allowed to set fire to this city.
It also pokes fun at the lost king trope (to be fair it pokes fun at a lot of things. It’s part of the book’s charm), sets up one of best relationships in the series and introduces us to Vimes who is an incredible character simply because at the end of the day he is just a person being fundamentally a person.
To conclude, here’s Terry Pratchett’s dedication in this book:
They may be called the Palace Guard, the City Guard or the Patrol. Whatever the name, their purpose in any work of heroic fantasy is identical: It is, around Chapter Three (or ten minutes into the film) to rush into the room, attack the hero one at a time, and be slaughtered. No one ever asks them if they want to.
This book is dedicated to those fine men.
Every Day by David Levithan
Our YA choice for this month embodies change. Every Day follows the story of A, who wakes up in a different body every day. When they fall in love with a girl, she becomes the one thing he wants to keep permanent in his life. David Levithan’s incredible writing explores the loneliness of a person who is thrown into a different life every day, the terrifying variety of human experiences and how many constant factors we take for granted.
Every Day is an incredible account about identity and what you define yourself by when nothing about your life is permanent.
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Fahrenheit 451, the temperature at which paper burns. Perfect for a book about the burning of books. Set in a dystopian future where the job of firemen is to burn books, what happens when one of them decides to read one instead?
Since it is a novella it is hard to discuss details without giving away spoilers for this remarkable book. All of Ray Bradbury’s writing is memorable and this book is no exception. With a haunting story and strange characters, it makes for a truly immersive read.
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Being one of Roald Dahl’s most absurd books, it is a terrific read. The story of an orphan boy who makes friends with a group of giant insects within a peach and the adventure they have together.
The last time I read it was years ago but seeing my brother read it I decided it was time for some childhood nostalgia.
Trust me it was worth it. This books zany characters were a welcome relief from the pressure of exams as well as a break from current books that are overly grim for no reason.
So if you’re looking for a book that doesn’t take itself to seriously but still manages to be endearing and touching, this book is a perfect summer read.
Those are our picks for March. Planning to read any of these? Or perhaps you’ve already read them and have some thoughts you wish to share. In any case, we would love to hear what you think os this month’s books as well as recommendations for next month.
As usual, most of these books are available by order on our website.