The National Day Challenge

Did you know that pretty much every day is a holiday? No, really, it is. For example, today is June 14th, and according to this website I found, nationaldaycalendar.com, there are 9 different holidays just for today—in the United States, at least.

Things like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Halloween get all the buzz, but I think these lesser-known holidays deserve some love too, so I came up with this challenge/tag. I don’t know exactly what to call it, since it’s not really a regular tag with preset questions and all that. It’s a little more open-ended, and I don’t know if this is something anyone else will want to do, or if this will even work out at all, but I thought it would be fun so here we are.

The rules are simple. For whatever day it is when you write your post (or, if you’re writing the post ahead of time, whatever day it’ll be when it goes up), look up what obscure holidays are going on, and then use each of those holidays as prompts for book recommendations (or just pick a few, if there’s a ton). You might have to get creative with some of your recs, since some of these holidays are truly odd.

Oh, and if you end up doing this tag, let me know down in the comments or over on Twitter (@wavesofpages) so I can go see what you come up with! Now, I’m super excited about this, and I have 9 books to talk about, so let’s start the celebration!

National Flag Day

This is the day when the United States celebrates the adoption of its flag back in 1777, so for this one, I’ve decided to recommend you a book with a cover I can imagine as a flag.

And the book I’ve chosen is Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor! This is the book I’ve finished most recently, and I loved it. The cover is beautiful, and I think if you flip it on its side and take away the lettering, it would make a gorgeous flag. Or even if you just leave it vertical, it would be nice. Either way.

International Bath Day

This holiday is apparently the celebration of the day the Ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes discovered that the exact volume of an object could be determined by submerging it in water, but for my recommendation, I’m just going to focus on the bath, and I’m going to talk about a book where there are a lot of scenes in, on, or near water.

For this I’m going with the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan, and in particular the second book in the series, The Sea of Monsters, which, as you can probably gather from the title, is largely set at sea. Really, though, water plays a huge part in the whole series thanks to the main character’s godly heritage, and I thought it would be a nice extra tie-in to the Ancient Greek roots of this holiday, since Percy Jackson is based on Ancient Greek mythology.

National Bourbon Day

I’ll be honest with you, this one is pretty hard to come up with a prompt for. I don’t read a lot of books where alcohol is a theme/mentioned at all, much less this specific kind of alcohol, which apparently originates in Kentucky. So for this one I’m going to go basic and recommend a book you’ve almost certainly already read, but which still applies to the whole theme of alcohol in a roundabout way.

That book is The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, where one of the major characters is an alcoholic. If for some reason you haven’t yet read this series, you need to get on that because it’s great.

Army Birthday

This is the celebration of the creation of the United States army, and in honor of it, I’m going to recommend a book with a heavy emphasis on army life, which would be Legend by Marie Lu. I know I talk about this book a lot, but it was one of my favorites back when the dystopian craze was still in full swing. It’s set in a world where the United States split into two different countries—the eastern half, called the Colonies, and the western half, called the Republic.

Our main characters are from the Republic, which is run under a system of martial law, and all of the highest achieving students go into the military. It’s a very military-centric story.

Wear Blue Day

Apparently this is a holiday promoting men’s health, but I’m just going to focus on the blue and talk about a book with lots of blue on the cover.

Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass. I haven’t read this book in a long time, but it was one of my childhood favorites. It’s about three different kids who all end up meeting at this same remote location where people are camping out to watch an upcoming solar eclipse. I remember it being beautiful and moving and the cover is a dark blue starry sky.

National Flip-Flop Day

This is another weird one. I can’t think of a book where lots of characters specifically wear flip-flops, but when I think of flip-flops, I think of summer, and the beach, so for this one, I’m going to recommend a book that I think makes a good beach read. And for me that’s Save the Date by Morgan Matson. It doesn’t take place on a beach, and I don’t think it even takes place over the summer, but it’s cute and funny and light-hearted and full of amazing family dynamics, all of which makes a great beachy read.

National Strawberry Shortcake Day

It wouldn’t be a list of weird national days if there wasn’t one about food thrown in there, now, would it? Since cake is a baked good, I’m going to recommend a book about a baker. Heartless by Marissa Meyer is the first thing that comes to mind (and is also probably the only book I’ve read with significant amounts of baking in it). In this book, the main character is a baker and wants to open her own bakery with her best friend. It also happens to be a prequel to Alice in Wonderland that tells the story of how the Queen of Hearts became… well, the Queen of Hearts. It’s great, but maddening at the same time, as all books should be.

National Pop Goes the Weasel Day

This is a holiday celebrating nursery rhymes. Nursery rhymes make me think of fairytales and children’s books, so I’m going to recommend a fairytale retelling, which is The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale. The writing in this book makes it feel like it actually is a fairytale. It’s so whimsical.

National New Mexico Day

Obviously, this is a day celebrating the state of New Mexico. If I had a book set in New Mexico, that would be perfect, but I’m fairly certain that I don’t. Instead, we’re going to go with the theme of deserts. Do I have a book set in/related to a desert in some way? You bet I do!

I present to you the Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan. Everyone loves the Percy Jackson series and Magnus Chase, but this series always seems to get overlooked. I don’t know why, because it’s awesome, and based on Egyptian mythology (that’s where the desert tie-in comes from), and features a mixed-race, magic-wielding brother and sister duo with one of the best sibling relationships the YA book world has to offer. What more could you want, honestly?

***

Okay! Those are all 9 of the holidays for today. I managed to finish this with a little over an hour left in the day, which is good… because if I had to put it up tomorrow, I’d have to rewrite the whole thing with tomorrow’s holidays.

Anyway, I’m tagging:

Nox

Faye

Hannah Dadd

Cerys

I hope you all enjoyed this post! Let me know in the comments what your favorite obscure holiday is!

See you all next time!

-Ariel

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