"Drop Everything and Read" is a day to put responsibilities to the side and cozy up with a favorite book.

I wouldn’t normally encourage you to ignore responsibilities. I’d be the first to tell you to stop procrastinating on that paper, clean out the fridge, run those errands, whatever it is you need to do. But today, I’m completely behind you if you drop it all.

“Drop Everything and Read” is a day to put responsibilities to the side and cozy up with a favorite book, celebrated in honor of Beverly Cleary’s birthday, April 12, and sponsored by HarperCollins. She first wrote about D.E.A.R. in her book Ramona Quimby, Age 8, but since then the phenomenon has spread. Libraries and schools everywhere participate with programs and activities, but even if your local chapter isn’t involved, that doesn’t exclude you from joining in the fun!

Fictionist’s managing editor, Jackie, is settling in with Frostblood by Elly Blake. This relatively new release is the first in a saga following Ruby, a Fireblood in a kingdom where Firebloods are very much illegal. Ruby’s abilities are unpredictable at best, but that doesn’t stop her from training with rebels against the vile ruling class of Frostbloods. Jackie couldn’t say much now, but the synopsis is surely promising, and readers can be on the lookout for a future interview with the author, Elly Blake!


Ellie, one of our contributors, is excited to read Agatha Christie’s The Body in the Library. This is one of her many novels featuring Miss Marple, an elderly spinster who acts as an amateur detective. Christie recognizes the cliché represented by the book’s title and writes in her foreword, “I laid down for myself certain conditions. The library in question must be a highly orthodox and conventional library. The body, on the other hand, must be a wildly improbable and highly sensational body.” With this ‘screw-you’ to cliché on the front page, readers know they’re in for a suspenseful read.


I must say I’m jealous of Tamara, another of our contributors, who is reading A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. I haven’t gotten my hands on it yet, but I’m in love with the magical London vibe. The main character is Kell, one of the Antari. These magicians have the ability to travel between parallel Londons, including Red, White, Black, and the equivalent of our world, Grey. He works under the table as a sort of courier, giving those who can afford it the barest glimpse of alternate worlds and not always realizing the dangerous consequences.


For my part, my cat and I are going to reread Neil Gaiman’s American Gods in preparation for the TV show coming out April 30th! This book is a wonderful mix of cultures and gods, based on the premise that gods exist so long as people believe in them, and as beliefs fade, so do the gods. This leads to the creation of “new” gods such as Media, Technical Boy, and the gods of the modern stock market in war with older gods that find their basis in religion. I won’t say too much about this book right now, but with the show’s release date pending there’s definitely more to come — and besides that, I want to get reading.


What are your plans? Got any D.E.A.R. traditions? Tell us in the comments!