Spring is coming. It’s time for flowers and sunshine and making everything new again. While we anxiously anticipate the warmth arriving, here are some of our favorite reads that will inspire your own fresh start while you wait for that final snow to melt.
1. “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury
Fireman Guy Montag finds his fresh start after meeting his neighbor, Clarisse, whose open mind and liberal thinking make him question his life, his choices and his own perceived happiness. And while he has to scratch and claw and fight his way into finding a life where he can enjoy literature and free thinking in peace, Montag discovers his true identity along the journey.
2. “The Beautiful and Damned” by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Sometimes the path to self-discovery is full of pitfalls, and this is never seen more than in Fitzgerald’s stories. Anthony Patch spends the entirety of “The Beautiful and Damned” trying to find himself—in his wife, Gloria, in wealth, at the bottom of a bottle—and while he never truly does, readers can learn from his mistakes and apply those lessons to their own journey. (Need more convincing or a preview? Here’s a list of 30 beautiful quotes from the book.)
3. “Lonesome Dove” by Larry McMurtry
When lifelong friends and cattle ranchers Gus McCrae and Woodrow Call set out from Texas to Montana in an attempt to be some of the first settlers in the area, wanting to carve out a new life for themselves in the new territory. They must fight against Native Americans, the elements, and sometimes each other. It is a tale of friendship, struggle and following your dreams.
4. “The Secret Garden” by Francis Hodgson Burnett
When Mary Lennox finds herself at an unknown uncles house after her family dies, she discovers a garden behind a locked door and tall walls. She shares her finding with Colin, her cousin who believes himself a cripple, and together, the two overcome their issues: Mary becomes less surly and spoiled, and Colin finds himself able to walk, growing stronger every day. There is perhaps no better tale of discovery, both literal and metaphorical, than “The Secret Garden.”
5. “Land of Love and Drowning” by Tiphanie Yanique
A generational saga, Yanique’s novel spans decades, chronicling the lives of of an island family from 1916 to 1970, as the Virgin Islands switch from Danish to American rule. The family must adapt themselves to changing technologies, laws, and racial dynamics, all while trying to piece together a life. It is a story of adaptation, forgiveness, and starting over.
6. “The Princess Bride” by William Goldman
Love is the center of this classic tale. Westley and Buttercup face challenges that seem insurmountable—ROUS, evil princes, and dread pirates. The couple get a chance to rekindle their love after a fake death and an almost-wedding. This is a great spring read and you can watch the unparalleled movie after—like any of us need a reason to rewatch this classic.
7. “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee
If you don’t know the story of Scout’s childhood in a small Southern town, you officially no longer have an excuse. This is a classic American tale of what it means to move away from a rough past. We all have a little Boo Radley in us, but we must press on anyway. ICYMI: Lee’s new novel “Go Set the Watchman” will be released this July. GSTW isn’t a sequel, but it’s time. Familiarize yourself with Lee’s work or regret it.
8. “Out of the Easy” by Ruta Sepetys
Josie’s mother is a prostitute in New Orleans French Quarter. Josie lives above the bookshop where she works in the evenings, and cleans the brothel house where her mother works at night. All Josie wants is to be normal, and not carry her mother around with her like a spot on her face. Josie knows there is more to life than this, and she is determined not to become her mother. She wants to go to college and see the world she’s read about in books.
9. “Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes
Lou’s life is safe. She works at a cafe, but when the owner tells her he’s closing, she needs to find a job quickly, and the only one she can find is as a caregiver for Will. Before his accident, Will’s life was filled with adrenaline, and now he no longer has the will to live. This is a heartbreaking story of love and letting go. “Me Before You” is being made into a movie starring Emilia Clarke as Lou and Sam Claflin as Will, so read this before it’s here!
10. “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” by Jenny Han
Lara Jean has loved five boys. When she stops loving them, she writes them a letter, stuffs it in a hatbox, and never thinks of them again. Until her little sister decides to mail them out. This is a adorable spring read about love, friendship, and sisters. Being in love with a jock; we’ve all done that, but coming back from a crush on your sister’s boyfriend is a little tougher. LJ has to deal with her crushes knowing she crushed and then try to convince herself and everyone else she’s over them. Han will be releasing the sequel, “P.S. I Still Love You,” on May 26.
11. “Anne of Green Gables” by L.M. Montgomery
Call it a blast from the past but Anne (with an ‘e’) will forever be one our favorite heroines. She starts out as an overly enthusiastic orphan hoping to be adopted by Marilla and Matthew in Avonlea. Anne is feisty, intelligent, and gets into more scrapes than you can possibly imagine. Her story is packed with romance, hilarity, and heartbreak and while the first book is always the best, the entire series simply can’t be replaced.
12. “The Magicians and Mrs. Quent” by Galen Beckett
We were originally attracted to this book as it was sitting innocently on the “New Books” shelf at the library, but little did we know what we were getting into. This book, the first of the trilogy, has gothic undertones and a sassy, headstrong heroine that reminds us faintly of “Jane Eyre.” But, unlike “Jane Eyre,” this book is chock-full of wizards, witches, and magical forests. The book starts slow, but the intricate detail Beckett builds into the story will undoubtedly draw you in.
13. “Warbreaker” by Brandon Sanderson
Brandon Sanderson is best known for his “Mistborn” series (which, btw, we also highly recommend), but “Warbreaker” has a different kind of magic—magic that is derived from breath and color from everyday objects. The Idrian princesses, Siri and Vivenna, are two very different sisters, and Vivenna has been contracted to marry the God King of a rival nation from birth. Siri, the forever delinquent child, decides to take Vivenna’s place and runs off to Hallandren. Things unfold in a typical chaotic fashion that is filled with intrigue, romance, and the plot twists Sanderson is so notorious for. We promise, you won’t want this book to end and you definitely won’t be disappointed.
Bonus: “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen
Let’s be real, this amazing book can’t really be contained by one season. It’s great for rereads all year long, but at its core it is a story about mistaken first impressions and love, and what better time to read about that than spring?
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