Oh, how I love spring! Everything is fresh and new; the days are longer, birds are chirping and daffodils are blooming everywhere. I like to take this time to mentally recharge. I am lucky to live in a beautiful old neighborhood with hundreds of trees (which means hundreds of birds, squirrels and other “critters”) so I like to sit on my back patio at dawn and dusk. It’s so relaxing to get back to nature and all the sights and sounds that come along with it. One of my favorite things about April is that my azalea bushes and dogwood trees start budding. I never knew how much I loved nature until I moved to this neighborhood.
As I begin to venture outside I start feeling the itch to read books in tune with the season. When I think of the type of book that would be preferable this time of year, I think of books about renewal or change, set in beautiful landscapes with elegant prose. I also think light-hearted, easy-reading is best (for some reason). I know a lot of us take road trips for spring break so it’s nice to have a quick, fun read handy for things like that.
I put together a short list of some of my favorites that I thought you might enjoy reading this spring.
The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George – This is one of my all-time favorites. I mean, a floating bookstore with a man who prescribes novels like a medicine for those who visit? I was smiling the whole time I read this one. This is tailor-made for book lovers like me.
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty – This is another one of my faves! It might be good for those who have been married for awhile and have found themselves where they never thought they’d be. It will make you want to find your inner 28 year old self and ask some hard questions. We tend to forget where we started from.
The House at Tyneford by Natasha Solomon – This is just beautifully written. I am drawn to stories with interesting characters in a lovely setting, but particularly when it’s in the English countryside. (Think Downton Abbey…) I don’t know about you but whenever I think of spring, I imagine rolling hills of wildflowers and lush green grass like you’d see in the English country.
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh – This is an obvious choice (flowers=spring), but I genuinely loved this book. Not only does it contain elaborate descriptions of flowers and their Victorian language to convey romantic expressions, it is, at its core, a moving story of survival and change.
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton – A secret garden, an old book of fairy tales, and a mystery? Sign me up! Kate Morton is one of my favorite authors and this is my favorite novel written by her. I think it is a wonderful book to get lost in as you lay in your backyard hammock.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – Because, Pemberley. As I mentioned, I think of English countrysides when I think spring, so naturally this book came to mind. It is light and witty and fun. Even if you’ve already read it (most of us have) it doesn’t hurt to revisit the classics from time to time. I am currently listening to the audio version read by Rosamund Pike and it is quite entertaining. Highly recommend.
If you like a little more edge, here’s a couple of my favorite suspense novels that might be good spring reading:
Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin – Yeah, I obviously picked this for it’s title. But…it is so good! This is not cheesy, run-of-the-mill suspense. If you’re in the mood for a psychological thriller that keeps you guessing, pick this one. You won’t be able to put it down.
Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight – Another psychological suspense story set at the end of the winter. What makes McCreight’s books different is the way she structures her novels. She tells the story through different mediums; emails, newspaper articles and comments on social media (Ha!) It makes for a quick read without losing your interest. (Perfect for vacation!) I also recommend her first novel, Reconstructing Amelia.
If you are looking for a challenge, try “My Brilliant Friend” by Elena Ferrante. This is the first of Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels. It is a complex saga telling the story of two friends who grew up in Naples, Italy in the 1950s. The writing is perfect. I was captivated by these characters. If you’re looking to be swept away by a lavish, spellbinding story, this is the one for you.
I’d love to hear from you. Be sure to comment and let me know what you are reading this spring. My husband and I will be visiting some nearby hiking trails in Southeast Missouri and Southern Illinois to explore and enjoy nature before the heat and humidity of summer hits.
Our dog, Maverick, is just as excited about the springtime activities! That means more walks and frequent visits to the local dog park.