Let’s start 2021 with reasons to have a little party every day. There are holidays and observances every day of every month – so many reasons to celebrate!
I’m not saying there should be cake every day, but I’m not saying there shouldn’t be cake every day, either.
New Year’s Day
National Hangover Day
Check out Hungover: the Morning After and One Man’s Quest for the Cure by Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall – a reporter’s quest to learn everything there is to know about hangovers.
National Science Fiction Day – the official birthdate of the Granddaddy of Science Fiction, Isaac Asimov.
J. R. R. Tolkien Day
The birthdate of the renowned writer – not to be confused with Tolkien Reading Day, which is March 25th.
Check out Self-Inflicted Wounds: Heartwarming Tales of Epic Humilation by Aisha Tyler, where the comedic podcast host of “Girl on Guy” recounts her own hilarious life mistakes.
Festival of Sleep Day
Check out Why We Can’t Sleep by Ada Calhoun – as GenX women reach middle age, many of them are facing problems being the “have it all” generation. Or perhaps try The Family That Couldn’t Sleep by D. T. Max, which is about an Italian family that has suffered for generations from fatal familial insomnia, which is an inherited condition that is just as horrible as it sounds.
Check out Brain Candy: Seriously Sweet Facts to Satisfy Your Curiosity by Julie Beer – contains over 500 fascinating knowledge nuggets to boost your brainpower and impress your friends.
National Spaghetti Day
Check out a trio of “spaghetti westerns” from Sergio Leone: The Good, the Bad and The Ugly , A Fistful of Dollars, and For a Few Dollars More.
National Bird Day
Check out The Backyard Birdwatcher’s Bible by Christopher M. Perrins – a book with an elegant aesthetic paired with practical tips on identifying, attracting, and caring for backyard birds.
Old Rock Day
Check out Petra by Marianna Coppo – a picture book about a little rock who believes she is a mighty mountain. Or maybe Art on the Rocks by F. Sehnaz Bac – a book of projects, tips, and techniques for painting on rocks. Or perhaps you’ve found some interesting rocks and want to identify them. Rocks and Minerals: a Photographic Field Guide by Chris Pellant can help!
Bubble Bath Day
I’m pretty sure that every day is bubble bath day, but check out Your Guide to Forest Bathing by M. Amos Clifford to find out how to learn this gentle, meditative practice of connecting with nature. Or maybe you’d prefer Around the World in a Bathtub by Wade Bradford – a children’s book exploring the many ways people worldwide bathe. The whole month of January is Bath Safety Month, so make sure you’re careful in that bubble bath!
National Static Electricity Day
National Word Nerd Day
Check out Word Nerd by John D. Williams, Jr. – dispatches from the games, grammar, and geek underground; or Word Freak by Stefan Fatsis – about the heartbreak, triumph, genius, and obsession in the world of competitive Scrabble players.
Peculiar People Day
Check out Unique by David Linden, a peek into the science of human individuality. The whole month of January is It’s Okay to be Different month, so check out It’s Okay to be Different, a picture book by Todd Parr.
Houseplant Appreciation Day
Check out Plant Parenting by Leslie Hallaeck to understand how plants multiply. Or maybe you’d prefer to learn about the “hero” house plants that will love you back in The Healing Power of Plants by Fran Bailey.
National Bittersweet Chocolate Day
Check out Chocolate: a Bittersweet Saga of Dark and Light by Mort Rosenblum for a delectable journey in the world of chocolate.
Learn Your Name in Morse Code Day
Check out Spy Codes and Ciphers by Susan Mitchell, a children’s book which explains Morse Code and other methods of secret communication. Maybe you don’t want to learn dots-n-dashes, but just dots. Okay then – January is also Braille Literacy Month, so check out Six Dots by Jennifer Bryant, a children’s biography of Louis Braille.
National Pharmacist Day
National Hot Tea Day
Check out Cosy: the British Art of Comfort by Laura Weir – shares the British indulgent, luxurious, and yet unfussy way of creating comfort and joy. January is also Hot Tea Month, so enjoy the warming beverage every day!
Make Your Dream Come True Day
Check out Why We Dream by Alice Robb – a lucid dreamer examines the science of dreams. Or maybe you want a book about hope – try Everything is F*cked by Mark Manson – a counterintuitive guide to the problems of hope. January is also Reach Your Potential Month, so check out Bravey: Chasing Dreams, Befriending Pain, and Other Big Ideas by Alexi Pappas.
National Rubber Ducky Day
Dress Up Your Pet Day
Perhaps your darling canine isn’t sure he’s ready to wear clothes. Well, January is Train Your Dog Month, so perhaps we should start there. Check out Decoding your Dog by Debra Horwitz or The Secret Language of Dogs by Victoria Stilwell, because understanding your dog makes you both happier.
National Hat Day
Check out the eponymous picture book Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina – a tale of a peddler, some moneys, and their monkey business. Or, maybe Happy Birthday Madame Chapeau by Andrea Beaty – a delightful picture book featuring many hats!
National Bagel Day (not to be confused with National Bagel and Lox Day on February 9th)
Appreciate a Dragon Day
National Nothing Day
Check out Not Buying it by Judith Levine – the author and her partner embark on a year where they buy only necessities. Or maybe you can’t quite embrace nothing, but have aspirations towards less. Try Cozy Minimalist Home by Myquillyn Smith if you want more style and less stuff.
January is also National Get Organized Month, so check out these booklists for ideas and inspiration:
Get it Together – Organizational tips for the wildly successful procrastinator.
It’s Simple Really – Our lives are frittered away by detail .. simplify, simplify (Thoreau)
Lost Time is Gone Forever – It’s your only time, spend it wisely.
Benjamin Franklin Day
Check out Poorer Richard’s America by Tom Blair – an updated-for-today book written in the voice of Ben Franklin and drawing on the essence of Poor Richard’s Almanack. Or try Walter Isaacson’s biography, Benjamin Franklin.
Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day
Check out The Right Word by Jennifer Bryant, a children’s biography of the shy young Peter Mark Roget.
Winnie the Pooh Day
Check out the DVD Goodbye Christopher Robin, which tells the story of A.A. Milne bringing the famous bear to life after WWI. Then take a look at The Natural World of Winnie the Pooh by Kathryn Aalto – which is a walk through the forest that inspired the Hundred Acre Wood.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – all Richmond city offices, including all branches of the Richmond Public Library, will be closed.
National Popcorn Day
Gobble up Tomie DePaola’s picture bookThe Popcorn Book, which presents a variety of facts about popcorn, plus two recipes!
National Tin Can Day
National Cheese Lovers Day
Check out a trio of yummy books: That Cheese Plate Will Change Your Life for some gorgeous, show-stopping cheese plate inspiration; Fromages by Dominique Bouchait – a guide to cheeses from a French master; and Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll – with techniques and recipes for all kinds of artisanal cheeses.
Penguin Awareness Day
Check out The Polar Affair by Lloyd Spencer Davis – about the physician on the ill-fated 1910 Antarctic expedition whose study of penguins shocked his Victorian audience. Then warm up with How the Penguins Saved Veronica by Hazel Prior – a delightful adult fiction title starring a curmudgeonly old woman, her estranged grandson, and a colony of penguins.
National Hugging Day
Check out The Boy Who Loved Too Much by Jennifer Latson, the true story of a boy with a genetic disorder that makes him pathologically friendly. Follow that up with The Hug, a clever flipbook by Eoin McLaughlin about two unhuggable animals who are just looking for a hug.
Squirrel Appreciation Day
Plenty of squirrel appreciation! First, check out Shakespeare for Squirrels, a hilarious adult novel by Christopher Moore, then The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzie, another funny novel. Or, perhaps try My Squirrel Days, a book of essays by the comedian Ellie Kemper. And last (but not least), don’t forget Richmond’s own Minor League Baseball team, the Flying Squirrels.
National Blonde Brownie Day
Check out Face It, a memoir by Debbie Harry, the front woman of Blondie.
National Handwriting Day
Check out The Missing Ink by Philip Hensher about the lost art of handwriting. Or maybe you want to try Cursive Writing Practice by Violet Findley, a book of jokes and riddles “practice pages” for kids to improve their cursive writing skills.
National Pie Day
Check out Some Days There’s Pie, a funny, bittersweet novel by Catherine Landis.
Check out I See You Made an Effort, a hilarious memoir by Annabelle Gurwitch about the backhanded compliments women of a certain age receive.
Belly Laugh Day
Check out a pair of rom-com novels where very different people find their aversions to each other turning into … the opposite. Beach Read by Emily Henry is about two very different writers, and The Hating Game by Sally Thorne pits two antagonistic co-workers against each other.
National Chocolate Cake Day
Punch the Clock Day – check out The Factory Witches of Lowell by C. S. Malerich, a historical fantasy about a mill strike in Lowell, Massachusetts, where the young female workers have a secret weapon on their side. Workers need mentors, and January is National Mentoring Month. So check out Tim Gunn: the Natty Professor, which is the style maven’s “master class on mentoring, motivating, and making it work!”
National Kazoo Day
Data Privacy Day
Check out None of Your Damn Business , a history of privacy in the United States by Lawrence Cappello; and Exploding Data, a look at cyber security in the digital age by Michael Chertoff.
National Puzzle Day
Check out The Creativity Code by Marcus Du Sautoy, a look at art and innovation in the age of Artificial Intelligence.
National Corn Chip Day
Draw a Dinosaur Day
Check out All About Drawing: Dinosaurs and Reptiles by Diana Fisher; Dinosaurs: Fact and Fable by Seymour Simon; and, Weird But True! 300 Dino-mite Facts to Sink Your Teeth Into by National Geographic Kids – a trio of juvenile books about dinosaurs.
Check out Aging Backwards by Miranda Esmonde-White, which purports to reverse the aging process so you can look ten years younger in just 30 minutes a day.
Inspire Your Heart With Art Day
Check out The Art of Noticing by Rob Walker, which contains “131 ways to spark creativity, find inspiration, and discover joy in the everyday”.
January is also National Creativity Month and National Hobby Month. Check out At the Center of All Beauty by Fenton Johnson – a nonfiction book about solitude and the creative life; or Keep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times or Bad by Austin Kleon. Then take a look at Creative Bug, one of RPL’s “premium resources”. Unleash the power of your library card! Create an account to access thousands of award-winning arts and crafts video classes.
Sign up for library email newsletters to see what’s new and what’s hot in reading areas that interest you! Head on over to RPL’s home page and click on the “Subscribe to Our Newsletters” link at the bottom of the page.
Stuck in a reading rut? Looking to read outside your comfort zone? If you want hand-crafted reading suggestions, check out The Bookologist – a bespoke readers advisory service for adults, teens, and kids.