So many books, so little time! Reading can be one of life’s sweetest luxuries. But how to quickly find the next great volume to dive into? To lend a hand, we’re sharing our Dandelion Chandelier Recommended Reads: books that we’ve personally read and loved – some brand new, and some published long ago. Selected to suit the season, we think they deserve a place on your nightstand. Or your e-reader. In your backpack. Or your carry-on bag. You get the idea. Previously, we’ve shared suggestions for what to read on Veterans’s Day, MLK Jr. Day, and Valentine’s Day. In this edition, our correspondent Abbie Martin Greenbaum shares her picks for the perfect books to read on President’s Day this year.
president’s day weekend is an ideal time for a great book
Presidents Day is just around the corner, and we all love having an extra day or two off of work. In addition to catching up on sleep, answering emails, and catching up with friends and family, there is no better time to settle in with a great book and finally do some of the reading you’ve been too busy for in the past couple of months.
perfect books to read for president’s day this year
If you are searching for the perfect book to read this weekend, here are some ideas to get you started. For those who’ve already read Michelle Obama’s wonderful Becoming, here are some other titles, both fiction and nonfiction, that are appropriate in one way or another for this holiday.
Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon. You may have already spied this book in your local bookstore. If you were not inspired to pick up a copy by the cover picture of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg with a crown on her head, we strongly encourage you to take the plunge. This biography is not only informative but also a lot of fun, appealing even to readers who aren’t ordinarily drawn to nonfiction. It documents both Justice Ginsberg’s life and her ideologies. If you already love RBG, you will love her even more after delving deeper into her story.
The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer. If you are looking for a book that is a piece of heartfelt, readable fiction, but that still feels relevant to the world around us, Female Persuasion is a great choice. Wolitzer’s novel tells of an unusual relationship: that between protagonist Greer Kadetsky, and the fictionalized feminist icon Faith Frank whom she idolizes. After Greer grows up and graduates from college, she goes to work for her hero, only to discover that politics are a little bit more complicated than she had understood. The book is not only about Greer’s career, but also her relationship with her high school sweetheart, Cory, who faces his own obstacles. It plays with the way our political beliefs pervade our personal lives, and the way small moments can make an enormous impact on the course of a life.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. You have maybe seen this book at the top of the Young Adult Bestsellers List for the last year and a half, or maybe you caught the movie that came out in the fall of 2018. Even though this book is technically classified as ‘young adult,’ it is certainly a book everyone should read. The Hate U Give follows protagonist Star’s life in the aftermath of extreme violence, when her friend, Khalil, is murdered in an act of terrifying racism and police brutality. The book shows the way in which Star copes following this tragedy, as she deals with the response at school, at home and within her community. Thomas’ work is stunning, an unforgettable and significant book for all ages.
Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel. Station Eleven portrays the apocalyptic dystopia that maybe we all need to contemplate right now. Set in the future, after a plague wipes the world of most of its population, the survivors are struggling to get by, and trying to enjoy what is left of day-to-day life. The book has several rotating focal points, including a troupe of actors, who travel around the world performing Shakespeare. It is wonderful l to see a dystopian vision that focuses so specifically on the power and importance of art, even in the apocalypse. If Presidents Day makes you want to think about the “what if’s” of society, then this is the perfect book for you to read. You’ll also have trouble putting it down once you pick it up.
Borne by Jeff VanderMeer. Another dystopian novel, Borne is probably different than any book you have ever read. It tells the story of a woman in the future, Rachel, living in a world completely changed beyond recognition. Rachel befriends a non-human entity by the name of Borne. Borne is a book with very few characters, showcasing an extremely strange and disturbing future. If you’re a fan of dystopian fiction, but looking to read something that feels completely different, Borne is a strange and excellent adventure, and a perfect book to polish off on Presidents Day weekend.
Halsey Street by Naima Coster. This wonderful debut novel was released a year ago, and everyone who has read it since has fallen in love. It is a book about familial relationships, and the way in which the world we live in is changing. The protagonist, Penelope, moves from Pittsburgh back to Brooklyn, only to find that it has changed beyond recognition. Coster’s novel at its heart is about Penelope’s relationship with her mother Mirella, who had moved from Brooklyn back to the Dominican Republic. It perfectly weaves the personal with the political, as gentrification and the changing landscape of Brooklyn play an extremely important role in setting the stage for the mother-daughter relationship at the book’s center.
First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies by Kate Anderson Brower. If you’d like to let President’s Day literally inspire your reading choices, First Women is a great choice. This lovely nonfiction volume highlights ten First Ladies of the United States, ranging from Patricia Nixon to Michelle Obama. It’s a delightful and readable book, and the way it delves into the personal lives of these extremely famous women will keep you entertained and engaged throughout. It will also probably teach you some things you didn’t know previously. You will learn about a wide range of characters, and the incredible variety of perspectives and experiences they brought with them and lived through during their time in the White House.
Those are our picks for the perfect books to read on President’s Day this year. Have a great weekend!
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Abbie Martin Greenbaum grew up in New York City and currently lives in Brooklyn, where she drinks a lot of coffee and matches roommates together for a living. At Oberlin College, she studied English and Cinema, which are still two of her favorite things, along with dessert and musical theater. She believes in magic.