A Book with a Month in Its Title: Picks for the 2023 TPL Reading Challenge

September 11, 2023 | Mike

Comments (1)

TPL Reading Challenge 2023 Banner

A few beads of sweat appeared on my forehead as I saw the note in my calendar to start working on this blog post. It might have been the summer heat, but it could have also been a fear on not actually having read any books that fit this category. Was I going to have to scramble to find a copy of The Hunt for Red October? Or, as someone who likes to test the boundaries of the categories, was there some cheat code I was missing? Maybe there was... just maybe (heavy emphasis on "May").

As someone who tracks what they read, it was easy to search the name of each month and see if there were any hits in my previously read books. There was one hit, and I would have to bend the rules a little bit. Mission: accomplished!

These are my recommendations for "a book with a month in its title":

Cover of 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act

21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act by Bob Joseph

No where in the Reading Challenge rules does it state that the month in the title must actually be referring to a month, so I would argue that any book with "may" in the title fits the category. This slim but weighty book by Bob Joseph is an excellent primer about the Indian Act, the core piece of government legislation that has impacted the relationship between Canada and Indigenous peoples. I would argue it is essential reading for every Canadian to understand how a law first passed in 1876 (still a law today!) has led to the need for truth and reconciliation.

Other categories:

  • a book about survival
  • a book about an optimistic future
  • a book about a historical event you are unfamiliar with

Cover of August: Osage County

August: Osage County by Tracy Letts

If you just finished the second season of The Bear and want more messy family drama in your life, August: Osage County is the perfect book pairing. This bulk of this play occurs in the home of Beverly and Violet Weston during a couple of hot weeks in August. Bev and Vi are self-professed addicts (alcohol and pills, respectively) who are content to live out their days under the fog of substance abuse. When Bev goes missing, their grown children and extended families return to the home to support Vi. Let the drama truly begin!

Other categories:

  • a book about survival
  • a play or screenplay
  • a book about a historical event you are unfamiliar with

Staff recommendations

These books were picked by our staff for this category: 

Cover of An Aegean April

An Aegean April by Jeffrey Siger

A prominent resident of the beautiful island of Lesvos, Greece is found dead with his blood splattered on a refugee-turned-aid worker. Set in April 2015, where one of the biggest humanitarian crises caught the world's attention, refugees were landing on Greek shores while fleeing war and persecution. This island received one of the largest influxes, with little means to care for them. Providing aid was becoming political and challenging. The top detective investigating the murder was investigating the possibility of human smuggling as well.

It was an interesting mystery to read mixed in with the current events of the world at that time, which continue into the present. I couldn't put it down!

Other categories:

  • A book with an alliterative title

—Despina, Branch Head

Cover of March: Book One

March: Book One, Book Two and Book Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell

These graphic novels follow the life of US Congressman John Lewis from 1958-1965. From sit-ins to the Freedom Riders movement, Lewis recounts his time as a civil rights activist, organizer and participant of nonviolent protests. I came to these books with very little knowledge of the civil rights movement beyond the broadest strokes, and Lewis's story was powerful and enlightening to me.

Other categories:

  • a non-fiction graphic novel
  • a book about a historical event that you are unfamiliar with
  • a book about a person over age 65
  • a banned or challenged book

—Kasey, Librarian

Cover of November 9

November 9 by Colleen Hoover

Fallon and Ben meet the day before she moves across the country. They continue to meet on the same day each year, but have no contact outside of their in-person meetings. Their relationship is thrown into turmoil when Fallon believes Ben is using her life to further his ambitions of being a writer.

-Nisha, Librarian

Cover of February

February by Lisa Moore

This is a novel based on the true story of the sinking of the oil rig Ocean Ranger off the coast of Newfoundland in February 1982. The author takes this devastating moment in Canadian history and constructs a riveting and heartbreaking novel about the impact of this tragedy on the lives of those left behind. Winner of Canada Reads 2013.

Other categories:

  • a book about Survival
  • a book set in Atlantic Canada
  • a book about a historical event you are unfamiliar with

-Joel, Librarian

Cover of One day in december

One Day in December by Josie Silver

A light romance about star-crossed lovers who cannot seem to live with or without each other. They find that circumstances always impede their relationship. This book was chosen as part of Reese’s Book Club.

Other categories:

  • A book about friendship
  • A book with multiple timelines
  • A book that makes you happy
  • A book about an optimistic future

-Pia, Branch Head

Cover of A million junes

A Million Junes by Emily Henry

For fans of  modern Rom Com Queen Emily Henry, let me point you to this gem in her back catalog published in 2017. The main characters in this story, Saul and June, give off big Romeo and Juliet vibes, but with a touch of magic thrown in for fantasy fans. Though this book is YA (read: chaste romance), the winding plot and character arcs make it interesting for those of us who usually scoff at teen fiction. Please try it in audio format because this book is actually the title that sparked my favourite working partnership of ALL TIME (narrator Julia Whelan has narrated all subsequent Emily Henry audiobooks). Bonus feature: this book works for so many other categories!

Other categories:

  • A book about friendship
  • A book told from a child's point of view
  • A book about a land you would like to explore
  • A book about survival
  • A book that makes you happy
  • A book about an optimistic future
  • A book with multiple timelines
  • A book you would recommend to your younger self (YA, duh!)

-Reagan, Librarian

Recommendations from the Facebook Group

These are just some of the suggested titles from our Facebook TPL Reading Challenge 2023 discussion group. You can read all of the responses in the original post. You do not need a Facebook account to read the suggestions.

French Recommendations

If you like to read in French, check out the list of recommended books for "un livre avec un mois dans le titre." There's a mix of books, ebooks and digital audiobooks to try.

Which book would you recommend for this category? Add your suggestions in the comments.