Happy new year everyone. Have you set your reading plan for 2019? To help you, I was compiling a list of authors born in January to kick off the year, and I could swear the results were some of my favourites authors of all time. So here are my picks for January-born writers, each listed with their most prominent works to add to your reading lists:

J.D Salinger born 1/1/1919:

JD Salinger (thedailybeast)

J.D Salinger was born in New York USA. His best known work is the Catcher in the Rye which tells the story of Holden, a rebellious and seemingly-tough teenager who is actually very soft on the inside. In the end, by taking all of Holden’s adventures across the novel into consideration, the reader understands the meaning of the phrase ‘the catcher in the rye’ -which is one of the most beautiful metaphors in English literature.

Another fact that is important to mention and adds to the aura surrounding this book -although a dark one- is that assassin Mark David Chapman was carrying his own copy of The Catcher in the Rye when he shot John Lennon.

J.R.R Tolkien born 3/1/1892:

JRR Tolkiens (www.theverge.com)

J.R.R Tolkien was born in Orange Free State (what is today part of South Africa).  You may have watched The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy but have you tried reading them? The magic in Tolkien’s books is unreal! The fact that this man was capable of being so imaginative and create his storylines is beyond fathomable. I recommend you try grabbing his books in the special edition covers because those come with graphs, maps, drawings and sketches from his original works.

Khalil Gibran born 6/1/1883:

Gibran Khalil Gibran (medium.com)

Khalil Gibran was born in Lebanon and later moved to the USA. Gibran is internationally known for his bestseller The Prophet which promotes love and peace. Gibran’s other works also carry strong messages; for one, he defies the power of religious men and claims that they misuse their positions for personal benefits. This is mainly prominent in books like Nymphs of the Valley, The Processions, The Madman, The Broken Wings and A Tear and A Smile.

Stephen Hawking born 8/1/1942:

Stephen Hawking (universalistdergi.org)

Stephen Hawking was born in Oxford UK. He was an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author, the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics and the Director of research at the Center for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge -I am not sure any other titles on planet earth are more impressive than those! Diagnosed with ALS at 21 and given a life expectancy of 2 years, Hawking survived the odds and lived until the age of 76, passing away in 2018. The way I see it, he is one of God’s gifts to mankind. You can start by reading his book A Brief History Of Time and then expand to other books  like The Universe in a Nutshell and the posthumously-published Brief Answers to the Big Questions.  

Haruki Murakami born 12/1/1949:

Murakami (The New Yorker)

Haruki Murakami was born in Kyoto Japan. Since grabbing my first Murakami book in 2014, he has become my all-time favourite author. I describe his genre as ‘Murakamic’. In other words, no one writes the way he does and no other writer is capable of transmitting the reader to other worlds the way he does. I recommend you start with one of his short novels like South Of The Border West Of The Sun or Sputnik Sweetheart (read my full Murakami feature on artmejournal here).

Lewis Carrol born 27/1//1832:

Lewis Carroll, 1863 (wiki.org)

Lewis Carrol was born in the UK and is most known for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass, which are -in my opinion- two of literature’s best works.

Other important January-born authors include:

Yukio Mishima (b. 14/1/1925) who is considered one of Japan’s most important 20th Century authors. The author committed Seppuku (ritual suicide) in an interesting series of political complications.

Alan alexander Milne (18/1/1882) wrote Winnie the Pooh.

Edgar Allan Poe ( 19/1/1809) was an American writer, editor, and literary critic, best known for his poetry and short stories.

Virginia Woolf (25/1/1886) was an English writer, considered one of the most important 20th-century authors.

And finally Emile Habibi (28/1/1922) born in Haifa, Palestine, who was a writer of Arabic literature and a politician who served as a member of the Knesset. His most well-known book is الوقائع الغريبة في اختفاء سعيد أبي النحس المتشائل The Secret Life of Saeed: The Pessoptimist . The name comes merging the Arabic words for pessimist (al-mutasha’im المتشائم) and optimist (al-mutafa’il المتفائل). The story is about Saeed who is visited by people from outer space.

So here’s a big collection of January-born authors to choose from!

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All images courtesy indicated in captions.