Friday, April 10, 2015

Top 10 Spring Reading Recommendations

The month of April marks the beginning of spring for many around the world.  The weather is thawing out, jackets are being left behind, nature is blooming, and students are preparing for final exams.  Traditionally, it's also a season of love and flirtation.

With all that in mind, here are ten books that I recommend for this beautiful season.

Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver

With spring often comes spring cleaning and busyness as outdoor activities start again and the school year starts to wind up.  In all that, however, we still need to make our quiet moments with God the priority.  Joanna Weaver uses the story of Jesus' visit to Martha and Mary's house to talk about the necessity of our quiet time and having a balance to our lives.  

Emma by Jane Austen

Jane Austen is a good idea no matter what season, but I particularly recommend Emma for the spring.  It's full of wit, folly, youth, and love.  It's an excellent story with many important themes, but it's also a fun read.

Ouran Highschool Host Club by Hatori Bisco

Here's the deal.  I know that Ouran Highschool Host Club is not good literature.  I know that it's ridiculous.  If you're at all familiar with shōjo manga, the story will be very predictable.  Sometimes, however, that is exactly what I need.  When I'm really busy with difficult things, I just want to unwind with something light that makes me feel good.  That's exactly what this manga is.  It's hilarious, super cute, completely outlandish, and doesn't require deep thought.  If you like manga and need a light-hearted escape from the stress of life, this is it.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

I've said before that Fangirl is my favorite Rowell book, and I think it's perfect for the spring.  It's easy to read, though the story has a few substantial themes, entertaining, a perfect balance of light and heavy moments, and very entertaining.  Cath may not be the most relatable character for older readers, but for those just going into or coming out of their college years, I think you'll get along with her quite well.  

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

This is one of my all-time favorite children's books.  The copy I had growing up absolutely fell apart from the amount of times I read it, and I still love it today.  Not only is the garden setting perfect for Spring, but the changes that the characters go through is also perfectly mirrored by these changing seasons.  Mary arrives to her new home as icy as the winter but the garden and her new friends thaw her out.  If you've never read this book, read it.  It doesn't matter how old you are because this book is a classic for a reason.  This would also be a good book to read with your children, if you have any.

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

There are times when I just really crave some good chick lit, and this is a favorite of mine.  It's easy to read, so you can lounge in a hammock in your backyard for a few stolen moments and get a substantial amount read.  Yet, it's not quite a beach read.  Unless you don't mind ugly sobbing in public.  

The Help by Katherine Stockett

If you are looking to read a substantial contemporary, and you haven't picked up The Help yet, I recommend this to you.  Stockett addresses a really brutal topic in a unique way, and the result is easy to read with many heavy moments that never become too suffocating.  

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

Short story collections are really excellent for busy days because they don't require a lot of time, can withstand being set down for long periods of time, and still offer the satisfaction of finishing an entire story.  Interpreter of Maladies is one of my favorite collections by one of my favorite authors.  Whether you have read and loved The Namesake or are new to Lahiri's writing, I highly recommend her story collection to you.

The Roads to Sata by Alan Booth

I really enjoy reading non-fiction, especially when it is about Asia.  The Roads to Sata chronicles Alan Booth's experience walking the entire length of Japan.  It's full of interesting cultural observations, hilarious anecdotes, and rare insights into rural life in Japan.  This is also perfect to gear you up for any summer traveling you may be planning.  

A Midsummer Night's Dream by Shakespeare

I know that the title suggests that this play should be a summer one, but the fairies, the enchantment, and the young love bring spring to my mind instead.  This is one of Shakespeare's more accessible plays, and it's so much fun to read, as well as watch.
Those are my spring book recommendations!  What book epitomizes this season in your mind?  Tell me in the comments below.

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Happy reading!

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