Spring is the time of renewal, regeneration and rebirth. Imagine a blossom of flowers flourishing everywhere around – preferably in yellow, pink and purple hues. Birds flitting across a wide blue sky, as if chasing the fleece of clouds. A temperate climate, with the fresh breeze caressing the face. That’s the essence of spring, and not a few authors have tried to translate it into words. Making this metaphysical experience palpable is not easy, but there are a plethora of books that feel like a fresh breath of air to your soul. Today, we’ve made a list of our personal recommendations of best books you should read in spring 2021.
List of Best Books You Should Read In Spring 2021:
Rumours of Spring by Farah Bashir
Set against the polaroid-like backdrop of 1990s Srinagar in Kashmir, this poignant coming of age memoir is teeming with tenderness and innocence. As stunning a portrait as this is of the political strife in Kashmir, it is also an exploration of girlhood and its nuances. As much as Bashir talks about the anxiety in ordinary, daily tasks due to the violence around, she also talks about her childhood crushes and pop song fandom. This novel is on this list for more than just the word ‘spring’ in its title. It is the embodiment of spring itself – it’s an account of the blossoming of a woman.
Flush by Virginia Woolf
It is the heartwarming biography of the brilliant poetess Elizabeth Barrett Browning from the eyes of her cocker spaniel, Flush. As Flush has regular dog experiences with other dogs and maids, he also provides insight into the life of his mistress. The dog’s perspective seems so real and so endearing, that one feels warm in the heart and the tummy after reading this book. What better novel to read in spring that one that makes you feel the goodness of the world in the pit of your stomach?
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Drawing on the Victorian language of flowers where every blossom had a message, a connotation and a vibe, Diffenbaugh cleverly weaves the language of flowers into our protagonist Victoria’s world. Her only connection to the world is in flowers, she understands and interprets the world through flowers. But when she is forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must risk everything to gain everything. This story is moving and painful at times – it contains abuse and abandonment. Yet, Victoria’s connection with her flowers and her second birth, those are definitely reminiscent of spring.
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
As with all of Márquez’s books, this one is full of color and vivacity. To read him is always a sensual experience, he satisfies simultaneously the literary cravings of the eyes, ears, tongue, nose and skin. This book is practically the book version of spring, and here’s why. The story follows Fermina Daza’s love story with Florentino Aziza through the cholera epidemic and various other seasons of their life. They’re young lovers but when Fermina marries someone else, Florentino is heartbroken. Yet, he never gives up on Fermina and their love. Finally, in the twilight of their lives, their love finds fruition and renewal. Much like a beautiful red flower blossoming in the last days of spring.
Color Outside the Lines edited by Sangu Mandanna
This beautiful anthology is written by various authors all across the world and tackles themes of race, gender and identity. It spans a variety of topics such as a flower festival, a garden of poisons and colonial India, but the editor says the common vein that links all these stories is much simpler. “Color outside the Lines is a collection of stories about young, fierce, brilliantly hopeful people in love,” editor Mandanna says. Nothing seems more fitting as a description. This captures the essence of spring and makes for a wonderful feel good read on a fresh, sunny morning.
Lanny by Max Porter
Perhaps the only man who can give an eerie connotation to the motifs of spring is the prolific Max Porter. This one had to be on our list, because it isn’t the kind of book you’d usually associate with spring. It isn’t full of life, abundance and sunshine, it’s a dark exploration of loss and loneliness. Yet, it is just as close to nature and its unfathomable beauty as is every other novel on this list. With the dreamlike touches of magical realism, Porter entwines the story of a small town in England with elements of nature. As the drawing schoolkids make of Dead Papa Toothwort, all green and leafy and choked with tendrils coming out of his mouth, a magical journey begins. Our protagonist Lanny is especially close to nature, and this off-beat exploration of nature is what gives the story its spring-like appeal.
The Beauty of All my Days by Ruskin Bond
The cover of this book, full of deep reds and green leaves, is perhaps the most colorful and vibrant thing I have come across, much like Bond’s writing. His true and pure love for nature reflects in his descriptions of the mountains, in his meditations on birds and trees, in every letter of every word of every sentence. This memoir feels like a love letter to life itself, and to all its beauties that escape the untrained eye. It’s a celebration of all things natural. And what feels more like spring than a tribute to everything that it comprises?