Classic books, the ones you read for school or because they are on some list. Are they any good? Find out for yourself. Here are some classics that have publication anniversary dates in March. Have you read these classics?
March 1938 - The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings was the most popular book of 1938, selling more than 250,000 copies. It is about a lonely young boy named Jody, who lives in the backwoods of central Florida in the 1870s. Jody is an only child and longs for companionship, eventually befriending a fawn named Flag. The story follows Jody, his family, and his neighbors as they try to survive poverty and rural life. The Yearling won the Pulitzer Prize in 1939 and was turned into a film in 1946, starring Gregory Peck.
March 1, 1940 – Richard Wright started writing Native Son in 1938, receiving a Guggenheim Fellowship to help finish the book. Set in 1930s Chicago, the novel is broken up into three sections, Fear, Flight, and Fate. The main character, Bigger Thomas kills a white woman in a moment of panic and his life spirals downward. Native Son was one of the first novels in Black literature to portray the poverty, hopelessness, and fear felt by Black Americans in inner cities. The novel sold 200,000 copies in three weeks and is considered a classic of American literature.
March 10, 1969 - The Godfather by Mario Puzo is the story of the Corleones, a Mafia family. The Godfather, Vito is the head of the organization, and he wants his three sons to continue the business. Although very violent, the book is about loyalty, trust, justice, greed, and respect. The story was groundbreaking as it was meant to be an authentic look into the Italian American underground. The Godfather was an immediate success, spending 67 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller’s list. Francis Ford Coppola also made three popular and award-winning films partly based on the novel.
These authors are celebrating birthdays in March. Have you ever read their books? If not, give one a try. If you have, make sure you've read their most popular book or series. Have you read all their books? Make sure you've read their latest.
Sarah J. Maas was born on March 5, 1986 in New York City. Maas began writing her first published book, Throne of Glass, when she was 16. She published chapters of it on FictionPress.com. Maas graduated magna cum laude from Hamilton College in 2008. She married Josh Wasserman in 2010. Throne of Glass was eventually bought and published in 2012. It is the first in a young-adult fantasy series set in the kingdom of Adarlan. The protagonist is 18-year-old Celaena Sardothian, an orphan raised and trained by the king of assassins. The series has seven books, plus The Assassin’s Blade, a prequel containing five novellas. In 2015, she started a new series with A Court of Thorns and Roses. It is about a 19-year-old huntress named Feyre who is captured and taken to a magical land of faeries. The fifth book in the series, A Court of Silver Flames was published in 2021, with more to come. In March 2020, she published House of Earth and Blood, the first book in a new adult series named Crescent City. The second book, House of Sky and Breath, was released in 2022. It won the 2022 Goodreads Choice Award for Best Fantasy. It is the fourth Goodreads award she has won. Maas has sold millions of copies of her books which have been translated into 37 different languages. She currently lives in Philadelphia with her husband, son, and dog. (Maas photo by Beowulf Sheehan from Goodreads)
Alice Hoffman was born in New York City on March 16, 1952. Her father was in real estate, and her mother was a social worker. When Hoffman was eight, her parents divorced, and she and her mother moved to Long Island, N.Y. Hoffman's mother instilled in her a love of reading and Hoffman began writing at an early age. She graduated from Adelphi University in 1973 and earned the Mirelles Fellowship at Stanford University. She graduated from Stanford’s prestigious Creative Writing Center, where she honed her craft. After writing short stories for magazines, a publisher asked her about a novel. Hoffman immediately began writing her first novel, Property Of, which was published in 1977. Hoffman married Tom Martin, a writer, teacher, and investor. They moved to Boston so Martin could attend graduate school. The couple raised two boys in an old Victorian house and have written many screenplays together. Hoffman continued to publish a new novel every year or two, but her seventh book, At Risk, was her first commercial success. Several of Hoffman’s books were made into films, the best known is based on her 11th book, Practical Magic, starring Sandra Bullock. The book led to a series of 4 novels, two prequels and, the sequel, The Book of Magic, which is her latest novel. In 1998, Hoffman was diagnosed with breast cancer and was treated at Mt. Auburn Hospital. Hoffman used the advance for her book Local Girls, to fund the Hoffman Breast Center. She wrote about her cancer experience in Survival Lessons and the proceeds helped fund the center. Hoffman has also written books for young adults. Her book Aquamarine was turned into a film starring Emma Roberts. Hoffman has a book coming out later this year called, The Invisible Hour. (Hoffman photo by Vince Bucci from Gale: Biography in Context)
Jo Nesbø was born on March 29, 1960, in Oslo, Norway. His mother was a librarian and both his parents loved to read and tell stories. He graduated from the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration and became a stockbroker. After starting a job in finance, he became a founding member of the band Di Derre, which included his brother Knut. They got a recording contract and began to tour, their concerts selling out in hours. Nesbø kept his job in finance, working there during the day and playing gigs at night. This led to burnout and Nesbø took six months off from both jobs and flew to Australia. Nesbø had been approached about writing a book about life on the road with the band, but instead, he began writing a novel. When he returned to Norway, he finished the book, sent it to a publisher, and quit his day job. Nesbø’s first book The Bat was published in 1997 and began the Harry Hole series he is best known for. Nesbø began winning Norwegian writing awards and his books were translated into other languages. His fourth Harry Hole book Nemesis was nominated for an Edgar Award and his seventh book, The Snowman made the New York Times Bestsellers list. That same year he published his first children’s book, Doctor Proctor’s Fart Powder. The idea came when his daughter asked him to tell her a story at the dinner table and Nilly, Lisa, and Doctor Proctor were born. Nesbø has written other novels, some adapted into films. Nesbø has also written for television and is an experienced rock climber. Nesbø created the Harry Hole Foundation which invests in literary projects for children in developing nations. His books have been translated into 50 languages selling over 55 million copies around the world. Nesbø’s latest book is The Jealousy Man, a collection of short stories. His 13th Harry Hole novel, Killing Moon, will be published in the U.S. this summer. (Nesbø photo by Elena Torre from Wikimedia Commons)
Factual information from Gale: Biography in Context, and the author websites of Sarah J. Maas, Alice Hoffman, and Jo Nesbø.