“March” Madness

In ancient Rome, March was the first month of the year. Named after Mars (the god) of war, the month issued in springtime, which was apparently a good time to start up military campaigns.  Today, the month is often associated with the death of Julius Caesar (the Ides of March),  St. Patrick’s Day (the 17th), Women’s History Month, and the NCAA Basketball Tournament (aka “March Madness”).

Since “march” is also an action verb, it makes a ton of sense that it is often used in book titles (probably beaten only by “may”). In honor of the month that’s supposed to come in like a lion and go out like a lamb (that sounds vaguely like a Muhammad Ali quip), here are a few interesting books to help you get through the month:


The Ides of March by Thornton Wilder – The story of the murder of Caesar.

March by Geraldine Brooks – The Civil War story of the father of the Little Women.

The March by E. L. Doctorow – Sherman’s March brought to life.

March Upcountry by David Weber – Prince Roger is banished and must fight his way back to his home planet in the science fiction novel. (See the rest of the series: March to the Sea, March to the Stars, and We Few)

March Violets by Philip Kerr – A thriller involving diamonds and Nazis.



Braddock’s March: How the Man Sent to Seize a Continent Changed American History by Thomas E. Crocker – The French and Indian War from another perspective.

The Coldest March: Scott’s Fatal Antarctic Expedition by Susan Soloman

The Long March: The True History of Communist China’s Founding Myth by Shuyun Sun

Marching on Washington: The Forging of an American Political Tradition by Lucy G. Barber

The March of the Microbes: Sighting the Unseen by John L. Ingraham

The March of the Penguins by Luc Jacquet – Beautiful photographs from the documentary.

The March Up: Taking Baghdad with the 1st Marine Division by Francis J. West

My Father’s Bonus March by Adam Langer – A look at a father through his interest in the Bonus March.

Not Even My Name: From a Death March in Turkey to a New Home in America, a Young Girl’s True Story of Genocide and Survival by Thea Halo

Southern Storm: Sherman’s March to the Sea by Noah Andre Trudeau

Tears in the Darkness: The Story of the Baatan Death March and Its Aftermath by Michael and Elizabeth Norman

The Thirty-First of March: An Intimate Portrait of Lyndon Johnson’s Final Days in Office by Horace W. Busby

When March Went Mad: The Game That Transformed Basketball by Seth Davis – How the Championship Game featuring Bird and Johnson changed college basketball.

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