20 Best books to read in springtime

Written by Michelle Watson

April 12, 2022

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Here’s my list of the best books to read in spring. You can read them anytime, of course, but there’s something special about reading them when winter is melting away and tiny little green buds appear on the tips of tree branches—when warm days start to outnumber chilly days and the idea of being outside begins to sound appealing.

I selected these books because they’re evocative of these springtime elements:

  • A deep love of nature and the natural world (plants, animals, food, etc.)
  • The blossoming and growth of a person’s heart
  • Coming of age from childhood to adulthood
  • Saying goodbye to the sedentary winter life and springing into new action
  • Budding romance is an added bonus!

So, without further ado, here are the best books to read in spring.

5 Children’s Books Set in Nature

Here are the best kids’ books to read in spring—your kids will love them, but so will YOU. You’ll find some great picks for middle-grade March here.

The Secret Garden

By Frances Hodgson Burnett

Why it’s great for spring: It’s the quintessential garden novel! Not only does it feature the rebirth of the natural world, it beautifully showcases the blossoming of three shriveled human hearts.

Astrid the Unstoppable

By Maria Parr

Why it’s great for spring: It’s set on a pristine piece of Norwegian mountainside with clear running springs, baby goats, and every natural beauty your heart desires. Plus, you’ve got a spirited, fearless protagonist who personifies the unpredictable, changeful nature of spring.

Pat of Silver Bush

By L. M. Montgomery

Why it’s great for spring: This precious story starts with a young girl who cherishes her home (called Silver Bush) on idyllic Prince Edward Island and hopes nothing about it will ever change. Of course, everything does.

The Wind in the Willows

By Kenneth Grahame

Why it’s great for spring: This children’s classic is a slow-paced, sweet ode to friendship set in the great outdoors. Mole is a newbie to the Riverbank, but Rat takes him under his wing. He introduces him to the wise, faithful Badger and (of course) the impulsive, mischievous Mr. Toad.

My Side of the Mountain

By Jean Craighead George

Why it’s great for spring: This classic has all the wonders of nature but with more boy appeal with the survivalist plot line.

5 Books About Growing Up

These coming-of-age stories are just better in springtime. There’s something about the awakening of the natural world that mirrors the awakening of the mind and the entrance into a new season of life.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

By Betty Smith

Why it’s great for spring: The title alone makes this a great spring read. Just like the tree that grows (totally out of its element) along a cement city sidewalk, Francie, our protagonist, is determined to flourish despite poverty and mistreatment. This one’s a classic for good reason.

The Blue Castle

By L. M. Montgomery

Why it’s great for spring: At 29 years old, Valancy is an old maid destined to live out the remainder of her days cooped up in parlor rooms. Until some shocking news catapults her out of her home in town and into a new life with idiosyncratic friends. Loving descriptions of the Canadian backwoods are proof of how much Montgomery must’ve adored nature.

A Girl of the Limberlost

By Gene Stratton-Porter

Why it’s great for spring: Written by a naturalist, this book has a lot of appeal for nature lovers, as Elenora, the main character, wanders the Indiana swamps and collects moths to fund her higher education. This old-school novel has all the beautiful nature-love that characterize Where the Crawdads Sing but is decidedly G-rated. Plus, there’s a strong love story.

Anne of Green Gables

By L. M. Montgomery

Why it’s great for spring: Anne’s vivacious personality is just right for spring. Even if you get a late snow, Anne’s resiliency and positive spirit will bring a smile to your face. The devotion that blooms between fanciful Anne and no-nonsense Marilla is the stuff that classics are made of. 

Persuasion

By Jane Austen

Why it’s great for spring: Anne Eliot has lost her girlish bloom, according to social gossip. But this is a novel of second chances—at love and independence of mind. Anne’s growth happens as she begins to trust her own mind more than relying on the opinions of others.

5 Books to Spring Clean Your Mind

Springtime is when we fling open the windows to the sun. These nonfiction books will invite you to flex your mental muscles and pump lifeblood into your soul.

Mere Christianity

By C. S. Lewis

Why it’s great for spring: It’s a great time of year to get back to the basics. Lewis’s timeless treatise on what it means to be a Christian—essentially, at your core—will blow away any spiritual fluff that’s been collecting in corners.

The Next Right Thing

By Emily P. Freeman

Why it’s great for spring: New year, new decisions. I love how Freeman provides the indecisive among us (me!) a toolkit for the mind, a godly approach to making decisions, big and small. This is a great book to sweep out the mental cobwebs that keep us from moving forward.

One Thousand Gifts

By Ann Voskamp

Why it’s great for spring: The wife of a farmer on the Canadian prairie, Voskamp writes beautifully about God’s creation and how we can cultivate thankfulness in our hearts. The lush, poetic language gives rise to a garden of gratitude.

Walking on Water

By Madeleine L’Engle

Why it’s great for spring: This is a book about writing, and many of us who read also dream of writing, too. This is a fresh take on the intersection of art and faith by the celebrated author of A Wrinkle in Time

Loving the Little Years

By Rachel Jankovic

Why it’s great for spring: This short, sweet book on motherhood is the perfect spring read for moms with littles—and maybe a few bigs, too. Jankovic is humorous, but she also talks straight and clear and gets to the heart of what’s going on in our crazy family lives.

5 Literary Books With Gorgeous Writing and Nature-y Elements

These literary novels bring a dose of gravitas to this list of books to read in spring. A little slower paced, a little more thoughtful, these books delve deep into the soil of human nature. 

Hamnet

By Maggie O’Farrell

Why it’s great for spring: This is the story of Shakespeare’s family—the people he left behind in Stratford when he went to London to write deathless verse. His wife, Agnes, is like a fairy sprite, a naturalist and herbalist, who possesses an otherworldly “sight.” Much of the book takes place in (and is influenced by) nature.

Once Upon a River

By Diane Setterfield

Why it’s great for spring: We celebrate new life in spring, and this book starts with a dead girl coming back to life in an English pub on the Thames. Nobody can quite explain what happened—or the strange events that occur next. 

Kitchens of the Great Midwest

By J. Ryan Stradal

Why it’s great for spring: This wonderful foodie novel will make you hungry all while making you laugh out loud. There’s something that says “springtime” in all the wonderful descriptions of food—pepper jelly, juicy tomatoes, prize-winning cookie bars. Even though food takes center stage, the novel is really about how people use food (for good or ill). 

All Creatures Great and Small

By James Herriot

Why it’s great for spring: Animal lovers rejoice. (Miniseries fans rejoice, too.) This classic collection of veterinary tales lead you through hill and dale, pasturelands and farms. These are simple, sweet tales that are as bright as the spring sun.

Where the Crawdads Sing

By Delia Owens

Why it’s great for spring: No list of spring reads can be without this bestseller. Owens loves the catskills, you can tell. And even if that’s not your thing, the mystery and intrigue will keep you turning the pages.

What are your favorite books to read in spring?

Drop me a comment and let me know what books you’d add to this list! What books are just better in springtime?

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