Read These Books to Celebrate Spring

BY ANDREA MORAN • April 12, 2024

Read These Books to Celebrate Spring

As the weather warms, the trees flourish, and the birds chirp, most people’s thoughts can’t help but turn to spring. When all you want to do is lie back on a picnic blanket and whip out a beloved book while enjoying the afternoon sunshine, you may want to take a look at this list. You’ll find some of my favorite books that incorporate (directly or indirectly) the blooming hope that the season offers. Whether you revisit an old favorite or discover something entirely new, spring is the perfect time to immerse yourself in a far-off story that celebrates the planet’s natural beauty.

1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Let’s start with a classic. Austen’s masterpiece contains plenty of descriptions of walks taken in the beautiful English countryside. Elizabeth, especially, enjoys solitary wanderings. Descriptions of her “crossing field after field at a quick pace, jumping over stiles and springing over puddles with impatient activity” give a glimpse into both her beautiful surroundings and her feisty personality. There is also just a general sense of brightness to the novel, likely due to the idea of fresh starts that ultimately help Elizabeth and Darcy reunite in true love.

2. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
What could possibly evoke springtime better than the Shire? Home to all the most famous hobbits—and the jumping-off point of Bilbo’s (and later Frodo’s) epic adventures—the verdant Shire evokes all the fertility and natural wonders of spring: “I want to see the wild country again before I die, and the Mountains; but he is still in love with the Shire, with woods and fields and little rivers.” Both adventurous and cozy, The Hobbit is sure to ignite your sense of adventure just in time for taking those longed-for spring and summer vacations.

3. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
If poetry is more your thing (or if you’re just in the mood to try something entirely different), it might be time to hearken back to the ultimate celebration of spring with Whitman’s classic poems. With extensive musings on the season’s inevitable cycles and the passage of time, the whole collection perfectly embodies that beloved feeling of warmth on your face and a cool breeze in your hair that comes during this time of year: “Give me the splendid, silent sun with all his beams full-dazzling.”

4. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
The character of Kya represents a lot of things in Owens’s somewhat controversial novel, one of which is an embodiment of the relationship between humans and nature. Lush descriptions of Kya’s home in the rural North Carolina marshlands conjure images of life in all its messiness and glory: “Kya laid her hand upon the breathing, wet earth, and the marsh became her mother.” Many readers, myself included, would argue that nature itself is one of the most important characters in the entire story . . . which is saying a lot, considering it’s largely classified as a twisty murder mystery.

5. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
I admit that I was first introduced to this story via the 1993 movie. The touching tale of grief, love, and hope spurred me to read the novel that, if possible, celebrates the beauty of the natural world even more than the sumptuous movie visuals: “Everything is made out of magic, leaves and trees, flowers and birds, badgers and foxes and squirrels and people. So it must be all around us. In this garden—in all the places.” Despite it being considered a children’s novel, Burnett does a brilliant job of demonstrating how Mary’s discovery of the garden and the larger world around her can be read on a different level when reading the book as an adult.

6. Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence
Definitely the most NSFW entry on this list, Lawrence’s gem shocked the world at the time of its private publication in 1928. While it might still be considered somewhat graphic, the novel’s descriptions of love and nature bring to mind spring and all its virility: “From the old wood came an ancient melancholy, somehow soothing to her, better than the harsh insentience of the outer world. She liked the inwardness of the remnant of forest, the unspeaking reticence of the old trees. They seemed a very power of silence, and yet a vital presence.” Lady Chatterley’s passionate affair with Oliver, the gamekeeper, represents in part the wild freedom and possibility that warm weather brings.

7. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
This powerful novel has numerous musings on nature and its relationship to both earthly and spiritual matters. Shug’s theories on the natural world are ultimately centered on being true to yourself and appreciating the physical world around you: “I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it. People think pleasing God is all God cares about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back.” Nature takes on a divine role for her, which ultimately influences Celie’s outlook, as well.

8. The Secret Wisdom of Nature by Peter Wohlleben
Nonfiction fans will want to check out Wohlleben’s phenomenal analysis of the delicate and mutually beneficial relationships between animals and plants. His enthusiasm for, and awe of, nature is downright contagious: “In nature, not only does one cog connect with another; everything is also connected by a network so intricate that we will probably never grasp it in its entirety. And that is a good thing, because it means that plants and animals will always amaze us.” This is the perfect book to help readers become more aware of their surroundings as we enter the season in which life buzzes all around.


Andrea Moran lives outside of Nashville with her husband and two kids. She’s a professional copywriter and editor who loves all things books. Find her on LinkedIn.

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