National Day Challenge Round Two

Hey everyone! Last year, I made up a little game/bookish challenge thing that I called the National Day Challenge, and I decided that I wanted to do it again, because the nature of the challenge means that you could do it… well, you could do it at least 365 times, one time for every day of the year.

Here’s the link to the version I did last year, in case you’re interested: National Day Challenge.

Basically, though, this challenge involves looking up all the unusual/obscure holidays that are happening on whatever day the post is going up and coming up with book recommendations that go with them. I meant it to be kind of a fun, easy-going type of challenge, so you can come up with your own prompts and pick and choose which holidays you want to recommend books for. Last time, I did June 14, but this post is supposed to go up on Friday, August 7, 2020. According to nationaldaycalendar.com, there are 5 holidays happening today, so those are what I’ll be basing my recs on.

I had a lot of fun doing this last time, so let’s get started!

Purple Heart Day

This day commemorates the creation of the Purple Heart, a military merit award given to US military members for heroic actions. In honor of that, I’m going to recommend a book with a lot of military themes.

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir! I haven’t talked about this book in a while, but if you’re looking for a book with military themes, look no further than this one. It’s a YA fantasy set in a world based on Ancient Rome, and a large portion of the book takes place at a military academy. It’s really dark and twisted and generally great. Talking about it is really reminding me that I need to get around to reading the second book in the series, since, you know… there are like four books out now.

National Lighthouse Day

This day is basically the day to celebrate lighthouses, which for hundreds of years represented security and safety for boats and ships out at sea. For this one, I’m going to recommend a book that makes me feel safe.

The book I’m choosing is one I like to fall back on and read whenever I’m feeling down, one of my favorites from when I was a kid: the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan. I’ve talked about this series a lot, but it’s probably always going to be a fave or mine. Every time I reread it, it feels like coming home.

National Raspberries N’ Cream Day

This is the day to enjoy some fresh raspberries in cream. I had a bit of a hard time coming up with a prompt for this one, but I think I’m going to recommend a book that is light and sweet.

A prompt like this is harder than you might think to answer, at least for me, since most of the books I read tend to be a little darker. But for this one, I think I’m going to go with The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West. In case you don’t know, this is a YA contemporary romance book about a girl whose boyfriend dumps her in the parking lot on the way to prom. Suddenly without a date, and desperate to impress her friends, she enlists the help of another boy, convincing him to pretend to be her boyfriend. It’s a classic case of fake dating, and it’s a very quick, easy read.

International Beer Day

I feel like this is pretty self-explanatory: it’s a day that celebrates beer, in all forms and from all parts of the world. I don’t drink, and I also don’t read a ton of books where beer is specifically featured prominently, but I can offer you a book with alcohol in it.

I’m going to recommend The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson (and the rest of the Wax and Wayne series, but that’s the first book). This is a companion/sequel series to Sanderson’s  Mistborn trilogy and is set a few hundred years after the events of that series. It’s a flintlock fantasy, so the setting is less medieval, like traditional fantasy, and is set in a post-industrial age. It’s kind of like a Western mixed with a murder-mystery mixed with a fantasy novel. It’s really cool to see the ways the magic of the Mistborn world has shaped the development of things like radio, guns, and other technology.

I do have to say: if you haven’t read the original trilogy, I don’t recommend reading this series until after you’ve finished that one. I suppose it can technically be read on its own, maybe, but it contains several major spoilers for the original trilogy, and in general, you’ll just have a much better time with it if you understand the references to the original series. Plus, in my opinion, the original series is better than this one, so you should read it anyway—but this one is still great.

National Water Balloon Day

Another self-explanatory one, this is a day to get out and have a good old-fashioned water balloon fight (socially distanced, of course). Or, if you’re not into that, you could just spend the day reading a book that’s fast and fun, like this one:

The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend. This wasn’t my absolute favorite book, but it was certainly a lot of fun. It’s a middle grade fantasy novel about a girl named Morrigan Crow who is supposed to die on her next birthday. Then, a man named Jupiter North appears and whisks her away to a magical world called Nevermoor. The characters are great and the story was really light and fun.


There you have it! Five book recommendations for the five unusual holidays that are happening in the United States on this day. Have you read any of the books I mentioned/are you planning on reading them? Let me know down below!

I’ll see you next time!

-Ariel

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