10 Books That Feel Like Spring

It may only be March, and still extremely gray and drizzly over here in the PNW, but we are so ready for SPRING. We want sunshine and flowers and the fresh renewal that the new warmth brings. The older we get, the more we seem to appreciate seasonal reading; seasons just feel so much more fleeting.

To help satisfy our cravings for all things floral and light, we of course look to books that carry classically spring themes of transformation, renewal, and rebirth. Bonus points for containing top notch springy settings to soak up! It's hard not to appreciate the magic of the upcoming season with these novels.

Classics-

  1. Emma | Jane Austen- Honestly, this book basically has the characters having sun drenched picnics in the English countryside and going for long walks in the warm spring sunshine all day long, with some airy outdoor painting sessions and the discovery of love thrown in for good measure. 
  2. A Room With a View | E.M. Forester- This book has such focus on a trip to Italy being transformative for our heroine Lucy as she awakens a stronger sense of self, breaking away from her rigid middle-class English life through meeting unconventional characters in more passionate Italy, and exploring for the first time her personal liberty. Plus, who doesn't want to read about falling in love and learning to trust yourself against the backdrop of gorgeous, sunny Europe?
  3. Middlemarch | George Eliot- Primarily set in warm weather, and featuring a lot of galavanting through the countryside, this is a deep work of fiction, but feels closely linked to spring for me, because of the deluge of sunny countryside scenes. The novel revolves around the lives of the inhabitants of fictional Middlemarch and Eliot's writing is just chock full of comforting, warm wisdom.
  4. The Enchanted April | Elizabeth Von Arnim- Essentially, a group of women leave rainy, gray London behind to go on a month long holiday together in an Italian castle, where each one finds themselves awash in self discovery and eventually are utterly transformed. Light, exuberant, and absolutely perfect daydreaming for those of us living in gray, rainy environments and sadly can't jet off to warmer climates at the moment.
  5. The Secret Garden | Frances Hodgson Burnett- The quintessential spring novel, with spring personified and flourishing all over the pages. This story is positively bursting with the magic of being alive, childish wonder at the changing of seasons, and pure, joyous exaltation in the arrival of spring.

Contemporary-

  1. The Paris Wife | Paula McLain- Based on the love story between Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley in 1920's Jazz Age Paris amongst other well known figures such as Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. This is a really interesting historical fiction novel and is rife with bohemia and themes of growth and self discovery all against the wild, glittering backdrop of Paris. 
  2. My Life in France | Julia Child- Julia Child's classic memoir recounts how she discovered cooking in France and utterly transformed her entire life. Child is so engaging and upbeat, and so talented at penning rich descriptions of foods and wines. This book is genuinely such a pleasurable read as she awakens to the joy of cooking and grows into the icon we all know today.
  3. Under the Tuscan Sun | Frances Mayes- Tackling the little details of daily life as one woman undertakes the restoration of a villa in Tuscany after a mid-life divorce. This adventure/undertaking is peppered with new foods, new neighbors, and all kinds of other novel experiences as she navigates it all and is reborn as she falls in love with her new Tuscan town. Such a joyous and upbeat tone with a warm, lovely background of her villa and town, this is perfect for spring, and I can't wait to watch the movie!
  4. The Art of Racing in the Rain | Garth Stein- From one of the best and most unique, engaging perspectives I've ever read, this story takes on twists and turns as a young man travels through a few formative years of his life, including the love of his life and beautiful baby girl, and fighting for those he loves. It's beautiful and heart wrenching, and yes, actually includes racing in the rain. 
  5. Wild | Cheryl Strayed- Talk about a literal journey of self discovery and transformation, Cheryl literally walks you through the years leading up to her PCT journey. From a young ill-prepared, but determined woman, she learns what it means to truly be alone, connect with people in the most raw sort of way, and to push yourself to the limits. You'll, no doubt, enjoy the description of landscape and feel inspired to hit the trails in no time!

We're also excited to announce that we're hosting our first READ-A-LONG slash virtual book club over on our instagram of A Room With a View starting Wednesday, March 15th if you're interested in joining us! Our first discussion of chapters 1-10 will be Wednesday, March 22nd here and over on instagram. We're planning on some doing some fun stuff together when the book is finished, too! It's a gorgeous, short, and perfectly springy novel, so come join us!

What books feel like spring to you? Let us know below or by tagging #TheArdentBiblioReads!