Revealed! Book Club Picks for March. Happy Reading.

Because nothing boosts happiness more than a great book, each month, I suggest:

  • One outstanding book about happiness.
  • One outstanding work of children’s or young-adult literature. I have a crazy passion for kidlit.
  • One eccentric pick. This is a book that I love, but freely admit may not be for everyone.

I’ll post these recommendations here, or to make sure you don’t miss them, sign up for the monthly Book Club newsletter.

Shop at the wonderful Brooklyn indie WORD, BN.com, Amazon (I’m an affiliate of all three), or your favorite local bookstore. Or visit the library! Drumroll…

An outstanding book about happiness: Edmund Gosse, Father and Son. Buy from WORD; BN.com; Amazon.

An outstanding children’s book: Betsy MacDonald, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. Buy from WORD; BN.com; Amazon.

An eccentric pick: Edward Tufte, The Visual Display of Quantitative InformationBuy from WORD; BN.comAmazon.

I’ve noticed that many times, when someone describes a book to me, I want to read it less. And often, weirdly, the better a book is, the worse it sounds. So I won’t describe these books, but I love all the books I recommend; I’ve read them at least twice if not many times; and they’re widely loved.

If you read last month’s recommendations…what did you think? Faber and Maslish’s How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk; Zilpha Keatley Snyder’s Black and Blue Magic, and the Journal of Eugène Delacroix. Such good books!

  • I have adored and regularly referred to Tufte’s book for over 20 years. It lives on my coffee table! Love, love, love. xo

    • gretchenrubin

      Wonderful!

  • peninith1

    I got the Delacroix journal last month. Because it has been a very busy time in my family, I have not got far with it, but I am already happy with the book in a way that I have not enjoyed the sensation of ‘book’ for a while. It’s the Phaedon paperback edition I bought–onionskin pages and a separate paper cover in a size very friendly to my small hands. The first few pages — all I have got to — are a great pleasure so far.

    • gretchenrubin

      So happy to hear that! I have the same edition, so pleasing, and the book is wonderful.

  • Congrats on being one of the most looked at profiles!

  • Carole-Ann

    I read How to Talk so Kids will Listen at School and at Home and found it to be so helpful. My library didn’t have the one you recommended but I’m so glad as I’m a teacher and really benefitted from the one I read.

  • yvonroemer

    I can’t believe someone else has found Mrs. Piggle Wiggle! I read all of the books as a child in the late 50’s. Every library trip, I got a Mrs. Piggle Wiggle book. I bought one about a year ago thinking I could read it to my grandkids. They weren’t nearly as impressed by it as I was. Diary of a Wimpy Kid is more to their liking. Too bad.
    Thanks for bringing back great childhood memories for me.
    Yvonne

    • gretchenrubin

      Mrs. Piggle Wiggle is almost better to read as an adult, because you understand how she’s poking fun of adults, parenting fads, etc. SO GOOD! All of them! But the first one is my FAVORITE. And also Mrs. Piggle Wiggle’s Farm. Oh, all of them.

  • wootz

    I also grew up on Mrs. Piggle Wiggle and the movies Ma and Pa Kettle – Loved the books. Yes my Grandson reads the Diary of a Wimpy Kid over and over.

  • Lisa Y

    When I was in 5th grade our school had a contest called Battle of the Books. As a team of four, we had to read 50 books an memorize the names of the authors. The librarian would read a quote and we’d have to identify the book and author. Mrs. Piggle Wiggle was probably my favorite of those books and I’ll remember Betty McDonald (as well as many of the other authors) for life!

  • That Tufte book is endlessly fascinating. I have a friend who has the two prints you can order too.

  • SusanB

    You describe your attraction to kidlit as a crazy passion. I say not so crazy as you might think. I spent much of my early career as a children’s librarian. One of the principles that was instilled in me was the understanding that “good” kids books will, and should, appeal to all ages.

  • Marsha

    I read Father and Son years ago, and it still resonates with me. Tufte’s work, about escaping ‘flatland’ via graphs and other textual visuals, is both beautiful and thought-provoking.

    • gretchenrubin

      So happy to hear you like them both.