Celebrate Books and Authors in March

Books & Authors text with cover images for The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, The Godfather by Mario Puzo, The Night House by Jo Nesbo, and The Invisible Hour by Alice Hoffman.


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, 1940Richard 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.

book cover of "The Invisible Hour" by Alice Hoffman
photo of author Alice Hoffman by Alyssa Peek

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. She wrote two prequels and a sequel, The Book of Magic. 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 help start the Hoffman Breast Center at Mt. Auburn. She wrote about her cancer experience in Survival Lessons and the proceeds went to the center too. Hoffman has also written books for young adults. Hoffman's newest book is The Invisible Hour. (Hoffman photo by Alyssa Peek from the author's website)


photo of emily giffin
book cover of "Meant to Be" by Emily Giffin

Emily Giffin was born on March 20, 1972, in Baltimore. The family moved to Chicago in the mid-80s, when her father took a job with Sears Roebuck. Emily always loved to write and made her own books as a child. Her mother was a librarian and encouraged Giffin’s literary aspirations. Giffin had her first work published in the children’s magazine Cricket, a poem titled “Ladybugs.” Giffin loved college basketball and was a team manager for the Demon Deacons while earning her bachelor's degree. She graduated summa cum laude from Wake Forest University in 1994. Then she went to the University of Virginia and earned a law degree in 1997. Despite realizing she didn’t want to be a lawyer, Giffin practiced at a big firm in New York for five years while she paid off student loans and wrote a novel in her spare time. Though the book was rejected, Giffin quit her job and moved to London to write full-time. Giffin began a new book and in 2004, Something Borrowed was published. Her boyfriend Hartley ‘Buddy’ Blaha, a Lehman Brothers executive, followed her across the pond and they married in 2002. Blaha took a job as president of corporate development with Newell Rubbermaid in Atlanta and the couple moved back to the States. They had twins Edward and George in 2003, just as Giffin was finishing Something Blue, the sequel to her first book. Giffin has continued to publish a new novel about every two years. Her daughter Harriet was born in 2007. Several of Giffin’s novels have been optioned for film and in 2011, Something Borrowed starring Kate Hudson hit movie screens. Giffin’s books have been translated into 31 languages, with over 12 million copies sold. Giffin’s most recent novel is Meant to Be. Her next novel, The Summer Pact, is set to be published in the summer of 2024. (Giffin photo from Amazon)


book cover of "The Night House" by Jo Nesbø
Jo Nesbo by Elena Torre

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. The latest Harry Hole novel is #13, Killing Moon. Nesbø’s latest book is The Night House. (Nesbø photo by Elena Torre from Wikimedia Commons)

Factual information from Gale: Biography in Context, and the author websites of Alice Hoffman, Emily Giffin, and Jo Nesbø.

By BethN on March 5, 2024