Marvellous March

‘Hare on the Run’: engraving by Kay Leverton

The third month of the year marks the start of Spring – March, named after the god Mars in his agrarian guise, when hares madly box before mating, during which the vernal equinox takes place which is when some cultures chose to start the new year.

March also marks another round of literary events on the bookish blogosphere, inspired by patron saints, author anniversaries and continuing prompts or challenges.

For any bloggers who might be interested, I’m hoping to join in some of these events with at least one title as a way of shaping my reading for the next few weeks. Curious? Here is some of my intended reading.

Kristen of has announced that this year’s March Magics celebrating Diana Wynne Jones and Terry Pratchett (who both died during this month) will be the last she’s hosting after it started as ‘DWJ March’ back in 2012, the year after the author’s death. The final theme will be All Good Things … (Must Come to an End). “This means that basically anything goes,” she writes, “because, with these two, there are so, so many Good Things to enjoy and they’re different for everyone.”

I particularly want to reread Jones’s early novel Dogsbody (1975) which, in a different edition, I first read and reviewed nearly a decade ago. I also have copies of a couple of Pratchett novels I’ve yet to enjoy (such as 2011’s Snuff, claimed as the third-fastest-selling novel in the United Kingdom since records began) but first of all there’ll be Going Postal (2004).

I’ve been marking these anniversaries virtually since Kristen began posting about them, and along with many others I’m grateful to her for providing a reading focus for these two much-missed writers.

Meanwhile, Paula @ is running her annual Reading Wales Month, alias Dewithon, beginning with St David’s Day on 1st March.

I have a couple of titles after last month’s Dewi the Dragon (2006) by Christie Davies: The Green Round (1933) the final novel by Arthur Machen, and The Hill of Dreams (1907), both of which I shall endeavour – though it’ll be a push – to get through and review.

Cathy at is again running Reading Ireland Month (also dubbed the Begorrathon) through March to include St Patrick’s Day. I’ve yet to make any decisions on this – C S Lewis’s Till We Have Faces may be slated in, for example – but may use her optional schedule as a guide:

Intro Week: 1–5 March
Irish Classics Week: 6-12 March
Contemporary Irish: 13–19 March
Short Story Week: 20–26 March
Nonfiction Week: 27–31 March

Other commitments for the month include ongoing reading lists. There’s my own #LoveHain readalong which features Ursula Le Guin’s Hainish novels in publication order. March’s title is City of Illusions but I have a review of Planet of Exile to post first.

I’ve also planned to tackle books which have been on my shelves unloved and unread for too long, way more than a year in fact. This month, for Adam Burgess’s #TBRyear10 I’ve scheduled Terry Pratchett’s Going Postal (2004), which already fits in with March Magics.

Will I get through the half dozen or so books identified on a provisional basis? We’ll see! I wonder how many of you are joining in any of these celebrations, or if you’re going rogue with whatever takes your fancy?

28 thoughts on “Marvellous March

  1. DWJ died on my friend’s wedding day – a friend who was a big DWJ fan. I managed not to tell her during the celebrations …

    I am doing Dewithon (Sugar and Slate from last year, and How Green Was my Valley) and Reading Ireland (two books I forget which they are, you’ll have to look at my State of the TBR post tomorrow!).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well done for not telling your friend, though I suppose each anniversary might be tinged with a bit of sadness – hope she consoles herself with a reread of something by DWJ!

      I’ll check out your post tomorrow for Begorrathon reads; and I saw that Sugar and Slate was well received so I hope that proves a worthwhile read for you too. 🙂


  2. I have just begun my first Terry Pratchett, Small Gods. Have you read it? If you have you will know why it appealed to me. I can’t participate in any readathons; I have announced I am reading Proust this year and haven’t started yet.

    That is an exquisite engraving by Kay Leverton.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Not read Small Gods yet, but I like its premise! Proust – I keep thinking I might start small with this, but I’m still thinking…

      Kay Leverton is a talented local artist and we have a numbered copy of this print in the house, from which I took this snap.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. If I can I’ll fit in another from the Seren New Mabinogion set for the Dewithon, I have two Irish titles in my pile for the month, plus a couple of Japanese ones for the last month of the Dolcebelezza’s Japanese Lit 16 which runs from Jan-March each year. Add in a handful of blog tours and my reading is set!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, I’ve only read the Horatio Clare and the Fleur Dafydd titles from the series – liked the first but didn’t quite ‘get’ the second – and really ought to, like you, try another. I had Sayaka Murata’s Earthlings as a possible read in January but I doubt I’ll even be able to squeeze it in this month – ho hum. Well, at least it’s there for later in the year, probably Cathy’s 20 Books of Summer! I wish you good reading for March, Annabel, with all your blog tours you’ve been assiduously doing and have still got lined up. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. As a confirmed procrastinator myself, Karen, my heraldic motto would also be “We’ll see…”! But I know you manage to squeeeeeze in so many titles as it is so I have high hopes about our Diana appearing … 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Aonghus Fallon

    Dogsbody is one of my favourite DWJ books. Random fact: I remember reading an interview with her years ago in which she said the opening line is an amalgam of two different quotes, one of them from Joyce.

    The Hill of Dreams is pretty short and seems have been written at a time when Machen was trying to write literary fiction rather than horror fiction. Whether this is a recommendation or a qualification depends on the reader.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, I’m so intrigued by that random fact, Aonghus, that I’m now constrained to eventually chase that up! This’ll be my second read of Dogsbody and I’m curious to see if my reaction remains the same, especially now I know it’s one of your favourite DWJ titles.

      I’m penning – or at least typing – a review of the Machen right now, having finished it ahead of time. I confess that some of the literary aspects still feel a bit gauche to me this time but I accept this may be Machen trying to capture Lucian’s stream of consciousness verbiage (albeit in third person mode) with all the gaucheness thrown in. Anyway, the review should be ready tomorrow!


      1. Aonghus Fallon

        I googled it – turns out Jones is paraphrasing rather than quoting verbatim, so –

        The heaventree of stars hung with humid nightblue fruit.



        It lit the underside of the rooftrees and turned their moist blue fruit to emerald.

        Plus that’s the second sentence and the one that stuck in my mind. Can’t remember the source of the other quote/inspiration – which I’m guessing is the first sentence? (I read the interview a very long time ago).

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s helpful, thanks; I know that she drew on her university studies and, of course, she married the late John Burrows who remained in academia, so as you’re aware her fantasies are full of literary references, not many of which I’ve ever got to the bottom of, nor am likely to!


  5. I’ll definitely be taking part in Reading Ireland and will try to join in with Dewithon as well, although I don’t seem to have many Welsh options on the TBR this year. I hope you enjoy your March reading!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m sure March will be a good bookish month for me, Helen, and I hope it’ll be for you too. 🙂 Look forward to seeing what you’ll be reading for the Begorrathon!


  6. Pingback: Marvellous March – Glyn Hnutu-healh: History, Alchemy, and Me

  7. What a busy and eventful reading month. I will miss March Magics for sure, it was one of my first blogging events to participate in and partly inspired the first Witch Week. I haven’t decided what to read yet but I’m sure it will be wonderful. Dogsbody is a gem, and I remember laughing a lot at Going Postal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Reading Dogsbody and finding a lot is still fresh in my mind from nearly ten years ago, so that’s promising! While I shall miss the formal recurrence of Kristen’s March Magics I’m sure I shall continue to informally read and/or reread the works of these two wonderful authors – as I imagine you might too, Lory! Good too to know Going Postal is well worth a visit. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, there’s a post scheduled for tomorrow, the last Friday of the month, with the usual three prompts! I’m racing through a reread, taking notes for a review, and noting commonalities and differences related to these three early novels, a distinct group bound together through the League of All Worlds and the emergence of the Shing.

          Liked by 1 person

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