Books for International Days

Books mentioned for January International and US observances

I know, I know, I said I was throwing out the schedule and I am. But also, have you ever looked at the list of International Days at the UN website? Click here to go the full list and check out all the days. For now, let’s get into the three in January.

4 January

World Braille Day (A/RES/73/161)

I know it’s past already but I think it’s great that there is an actual day for Braille and therefore braille readers. I did search for books in Braille on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble which had limited returns, but it possible to get in books in Braille from both booksellers. Unfortunately, the selections were mostly learning to read in Braille or about Louis Braille, who invented the system in the first place. Mostly, but not all. Then I found two websites that were specific to Braille books:

Braille Bookstore

Seedlings: Braille Books for Children

24 January

International Day of Education (A/RES/73/25)

Over the years, I’ve read quite a few memoirs of teachers and as well as a few from activists who promote equal education as the main path to gender equality. Here are a few of them:


Without You, There is No Us

Reading with Patrick

Reading Lolita in Tehran

The Woman Who Changed Her Brain

Things I’ve Been Silent About

Devotion and Defiance


I Am Malala

Paradise Beneath Her Feet

Half the Sky

27 January

International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust (A/RES/60/7)

I’ve only read one book thus far that is about a victim of the Holocaust, and that’s The Choice by Edith Eger. Well, one one that is non-fiction. I had read an amazing novel a few years ago about a victim of the Holocaust that had a different take on the whole thing than I’m used to hearing about in the US but let’s stick to non-fiction here. The Choice is a Eger’s memoir of not only her time as a victim of the Holocaust but her life before and after. She’s an amazing woman.

There are only 3 international days in January. Other months are quite long and I know I don’t have recommendations for all of them, but I’m excited that I can at least give a little something on the topics and remembrances for this month. I’d do national days too, but the US has several for each day and though many are fun, they are also nonsense. I wouldn’t even know what to recommend on National Kiss a Ginger Day anyway.

That said, there are 3 in the US that are actually observed by the government and deserve mentioning:

January 16th – Religious Freedom Day

Though we strive to be a country that promotes and honors religious freedom as a right, I think we all know and should be able to admit that we fall short of that goal if your religion is not a form of Christianity. The need for a remembrance day is obvious when we remember that, despite that many people will still see it as a day to proclaim that Christianity is somehow on the attack just because fewer people believe in it. I know it was yesterday, and I therefore missed out on any sort of actual remembrance, one day late isn’t too bad right??

I think the Read Harder Task 12 will help with this sort of thing, for a little about someone from another religion in the US, there is Unorthodox by Deborah Feldman and Looking for Palestine by Najla Said.

3rd Monday in January – Martin Luther King Jr Federal Holiday

Though I haven’t read his biography specifically, a great book that is specific to the Civil Rights Movement and includes some of his activities is At the Dark End of the Street.

3rd Sunday in January – Sanctity of Human Life Day

This one started out as the anniversary of Roe v. Wade and though I am pro-life, that doesn’t mean the same thing to me as it does to other people. I believe in the life of born people. I don’t think pregnancy or the unborn should be wasted but it’s not my call and there are lots of reasons that are in no way flippant to have an abortion. So, I am pro-life and pro-abortion by being for the dignity of the child as well as the life of the mother. I know that doesn’t make sense to everyone, but it’s a real thing. A child shouldn’t have to be sentenced to die a slow and agonizing death inside the womb because of pretentious people who can’t see past the end of their noses, nor should a woman be forced to carry her dying child for however long that takes. I had some really terrible pregnancies, only two of which ended with a live birth and only one with a child who survived beyond two weeks. Our unwillingness to face the horrors that can come from pregnancy is far more harmful than people want to realize. However, if you’re curious about the road to prevention of pregnancy, The Birth of the Pill is a great book.

On the other hand, let us remember the Sanctity of Human Life when we remember the genocides that have taken place in our world and our own country. For that, read The Last Girl by Nobel Peace Laureate Nadia Murad or When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors about the Black Lives Matter Movement or An Indigenous People’s History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz or The Choice, mentioned above with the International Days or My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me by Jennifer Teege which is also about the Holocaust but not by a victim. It was written by the biological granddaughter of Amon Goeth, one of the concentration camp commandants and is about her dealing with the knowledge of her family history and what that meant for her moving forward.

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