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We’ve been cozied up by the fire with our books all winter long, but now that March is here, we’re ready for a reprieve from the cold weather and we’re eagerly searching for the first signs of spring! That doesn’t mean we want to put down our books, though. We’re just ready to read under a tree instead of under a blanket. And with that in mind, we’ve compiled this list of the best books to read in spring!
This springtime reading list for adults includes books that remind us of spring in all different ways – from fresh starts and second chances to planting and gardening, stopping to smell the flowers, spring cleaning and decluttering, wedding season, Earth Day, and more. Not all of the fiction titles on our list are specifically books set in spring, but we feel that these books are better in the spring because they capture the promise of the season.
If spring temperatures haven’t yet arrived in your neck of the woods and you’re looking to escape the cold with books about spring break, or if you’re one of the lucky ones jetting off for a beach vacation and you’re looking for the best spring break books to read while lounging in the sand, be sure to check our list of the best beach reads for even more great springtime reading recommendations.
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Springtime Reading: The Best Books for Spring 2022
by Loretta Nyhan
Digging In weaves together two of our favorite themes for spring books - gardening and fresh starts. This short (248 pages) contemporary fiction novel is about Paige, who was widowed two years earlier.
Now, her trusted boss of 22 years is also gone, and his son has taken over. And he’s radically changing everything at the advertising firm, including an announcement that he’s getting rid of 2 employees at the end of the summer. Paige is trying to hold on to her job and her sanity for the sake of her teenage son, but her formerly perfect house and yard are both a mess.
As she tries to escape her new work problems on her back porch over a glass of wine, her nosy neighbor gives her a lecture about the dandelions in her yard. In frustration, she pours another glass of wine and begins yanking out the dandelions one by one…and it felt GOOD. Before long, she was looking for a shovel for more yard therapy.
Paige creates a bigger and bigger hole in her yard, much to the chagrin of her fancy suburban neighbors. But it’s helping her cope with the ongoing craziness at work and her lingering grief. Despite her inexperience in gardening and pushy neighbors, she finally begins to feel fully alive again.
This book is currently available with Kindle Unlimited.
The Seed Keeper
by Diane Wilson
Long before spring meant placing orders for seeds through gardening catalogs, the Dakhótas relied on their strong seed-saving traditions for survival. While this book will teach you about that seed-saving heritage, it also covers so much more.
Rosalie Iron Wing grew up learning about plants and her ancestry as a Dakhóta from her father. However, when he goes missing, she is sent to live with a foster family. Decades later, Rosalie is now both a mother and the widow of a farmer. She still takes solace in their land, although it has been threatened by both nature and man.
When Rosalie returns to her birthplace to search out more of her family history, she learns about the trauma of boarding schools, the war between the Dakhótas and the government, and the cache of seeds that survived through generations.
by Rachel Lynn Solomon
The cover of this book gives major spring vibes, but the story actually takes place during the few months following the holidays! Nonetheless, Weather Girl makes our list of best books to read in the spring because it’s all about fresh starts and new beginnings!
Ari loves her job as a TV meteorologist, and she’s eager to learn from her boss Torrance, Seattle’s famed weatherwoman. But Torrance’s ex-husband, Seth, is also the station’s news director, so she’s too wrapped up in her own relationship drama to provide mentorship to Ari.
After a particularly disastrous office party, Ari commiserates with sports reporter Russell. Together, they hatch a plan to get their bosses back together to calm the office storms. Their scheming leads to unforecasted results when it turns out that they are the ones with the real chemistry. Despite their connection, both are skeptical about starting a relationship - Ari is struggling with her mental health and Russell’s heart belongs to his tween daughter, and he’s not sure he’s ready to share it with anyone else.
The Garden of Small Beginnings
by Abbi Waxman
Like Digging In, you’ll get spring themes of both gardening and fresh starts in The Garden of Small Beginnings, which is from the author of The Bookish Life of Nina Hill. In this novel, Lili is three years past a car accident that unexpectedly made her a single mom of two young children.
Lili works as an illustrator and has been chosen for a prestigious boutique vegetable guide. But that means she’s also been assigned to attend a 6-week vegetable gardening class for some real-world veggie experiences. Despite convincing her kids and sister to join her in the class, she’s still not overjoyed with this required course. However, one patient instructor and a cast of quirky classmates later, she’ll realize the class wasn’t so bad.
While there is a minor romance thread, this is not a romance novel. Instead, it’s somehow both funny and emotional, with themes of sister relationships, family, and healing.
It Had to Be You
by Georgia Clark
Springtime, with all its beautiful blooms, is a very romantic season, which is why historically spring was the most popular time of year to get married. May kicks off “peak wedding season,” so what better time than spring to read a wonderfully heartfelt and laugh-out-loud funny rom-com all about weddings?
For twenty years, Liv has run a successful NYC wedding-planning business with her husband, Eliot. When he dies unexpectedly, Liv is shocked to learn that he's left his half of the business to his young girlfriend whom Liv knew nothing about. Much to Liv's chagrin, perky Savannah shows up on her doorstep eager to be her partner and protege.
In addition to Liv and Savannah, we are introduced to many of the wedding vendors that they work with - the florists, caterer, servers, and musicians. In a Love Actually-style narrative, this book follows each of them as they navigate love and friendship, and we see their lives overlap at weddings throughout the city.
With five different storylines, we were worried that we'd be left feeling like we didn't get enough of any of them, but the characters were very well developed and the way that each couple was woven throughout the book left us feeling very satisfied! This book was especially lovely in its representation of so many different types of love stories!
The Language of Flowers
by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
We all know that April showers bring May flowers, but did you also know that those flowers have a language all their own? Victoria Jones spent her childhood bouncing around between no fewer than 32 foster homes, but in one of them, she met a woman named Elizabeth who instilled in her a love of flowers and their meanings.
At age 9, Victoria wanted nothing more than to be adopted by Elizabeth, but something went terribly wrong. Nine years later, having aged out of the foster care system at age 18, Victoria finds herself homeless on the streets of San Francisco.
While Victoria is unable to get close to anyone, she finds that she can communicate through flowers, which allows her to get a job working for a florist named Renata. When Victoria meets a flower farmer named Grant, her past and present begin to collide and she is forced to confront some painful secrets for a second chance at happiness.
This novel is beautifully written and hard to put down! The book also includes the author's own flower dictionary, modeled one from the Victorian-era.
The Scent Keeper
by Erica Bauermeister
“We sat in silence, letting the green in the air heal what it could.”
There’s nothing better than stepping outside and discovering that finally, after a long winter, spring is in the air! Perhaps more than any other season, when we think of spring, we think of all the wonderful scents that come along with it - from rain and dew to flower blossoms and fresh-cut grass. And that’s why The Scent Keeper makes our list of the best books to read in the springtime.
This is a moving coming of age novel about how fragrances connect us to our memories and help share our lives. Emmeline grows up on a remote island with her father, who teaches her about the world through her sense of smell. Throughout her enchanted childhood, the one thing her father won’t explain, however, are the mysterious scents stored in the drawers that line the walls of their cabin, or the origin of the machine that creates them. As Emmeline gets older, her curiosity gets the better of her and she finds herself vaulted out into the real world, with all its ups and downs - love, betrayal, ambition, and revenge.
This book is described as lyrical and immersive, and unique in its exploration of scent. Even if magical realism isn’t a genre that you usually gravitate towards, give this book a chance this spring! It’s especially recommended for fans of Where the Crawdads Sing and The Great Alone.
by Jennifer Brown
As we brainstormed all the goodness that comes with spring, like fresh starts and gardening, Melissa couldn’t help but remember her least favorite part of spring as well - tornado season.
We found this highly-rated YA book for spring that tells the full story of fear and devastation along with hope, love, and survival. The main character is 17-year-old Jersey, who has a pretty normal life and family in Missouri, including her mom, step-dad, and a baby sister. She’s not worried when she learns of a tornado warning, they happen a few times a year, but nothing ever happens.
But this time is different. The town is leveled, and lives are lost, including her mother. Daily life is rough when she has to move in with her grandparents and father, who abandoned her. The book shows not only the original tragedy of the tornado but the ripple effects that often happen with natural disasters. Reviewers commonly call this short book both amazing and heartbreaking, so grab some tissues.
The Last Dance of the Debutante
by Julia Kelly
Spring kicks off the traditional British “social season,” so we picked Last Dance of the Debutante for this spring reading list to allow us a peek inside the grandeur of this aristocratic world.
The social season emerged in the 17th and 18th centuries. The British aristocracy would leave their country estates for the spring and summer months for a series of balls, receptions, and other social events. The season culminated with debutantes - the daughters of the upper class - being presented to the King and Queen in London.
Last Dance of the Debutante is a historical fiction read that takes us back to 1958. When it’s announced that this will be the last year that debutantes will be presented to the royal court, thousands of eager parents flood the palace with letters seeking the coveted invitation for their daughters to curtsy before young Queen Elizabeth as they come out into society.
The story follows three different young women - Lily, an aspiring university student who agrees to do be a debutante to appease her traditional mother; Leana, whose apparent perfection hides a darker side; and ambitious Katherine who dreams of a career but is willing to help her parents find a place among the elite. But the season takes an unexpected turn when Lily learns a devastating secret that could destroy her entire family.
by Mary Kay Andrews
Spring weddings are fun, unless perhaps it’s your ex-husband getting married! Annajane thinks she has totally moved on, but seeing Mason at his wedding makes her reconsider. But, her unexpected feelings aren’t the only secret in this small town.
If you enjoy Southern chick-lit and don’t mind when characters are quirky and sometimes even unlikeable, this could be a fun spring read for you!
The Authenticity Project
by Clare Pooley
Sometimes at the end of a long, cold winter what we really need most of all is just a truly feel-good, uplifting read. The Authenticity Project fills that role perfectly!
Julian is an eccentric artist in his 70s who is frustrated that more people aren't honest with each other. He shares his feelings in a notebook and leaves it in a cafe. The owner, Monica, adds her thoughts and leaves the notebook across the street at a wine bar. As former strangers find the notebook and share their authentic selves, they being to learn that instead of being scary, being yourself brings happiness.
The Little Teashop in Tokyo
by Julie Caplin
If your looking for a light, sweet, romantic read for spring - look no further. This second chance romance story is set amidst the temples and soft pink cherry blossoms of Japan - talk about major spring vibes!
Travel blogger Fiona has always had Japan at the top of her travel bucket list, so when she wins an all-expenses-paid trip, it seems like a dream come true. But upon her arrival in Tokyo, she comes face to face with Gabe - the man that broke her heart a decade ago. Despite the memories of the heartache he caused her, the Japanese art of contentment begins to soften Fiona’s resolve, and soon she and Gabe are soon seeing life, and each other, differently.
This is book 6 in the Romantic Escapes series, but it reads well as an independent standalone. The good news is that if you love this book, you can also look forward to armchair traveling to many more destinations through the pages of this series, including Copenhagen, Paris, Iceland, Croatia, Ireland, and Iceland.
Sunshine and Sweet Peas in Nightingale Square
by Heidi Swain
If you’re looking for a very light and enjoyable book about new friendships to kick-start your spring, this is a fun one. Kate moves from her hectic London life to a cottage on Nightingale Square to escape her almost-ex husband and start fresh. However, as soon as she arrives, she realizes that the village is not quite as quiet as she thought.
Her neighbors take neighborly to the next level, and before she knows what has happened, she’s assigned the job of convincing the local council to turn the Square’s green space into a community vegetable garden. But that’s not their only problem with the council. The historic manor at the end of the square is at risk.
Will Kate and her new quirky neighbors be able to save the mansion?
by Barbara Kingsolver
Our spring reading recommendations wouldn’t be complete without a book for Earth Day. While most of the lists you find online are books for kids, there are just as many wonderful Earth Day books for grown-ups. Flight Behavior is one of the best environmental novels to read on Earth Day because it paints a complex picture of the impact of climate change not just on the natural world, but also on ordinary working people.
Dellarobia had dreams of college, but she gave that up to marry Cub when she accidentally got pregnant at 17. After a difficult decade in an unhappy marriage on their failing Tennessee farm, she begins flirting with a younger man. One day, while hiking up a rural mountain road in Appalachia to meet this man, she spots what appears to be a lake of fire in the forested valley below. She soon learns that what she saw are actually millions of Monarch butterflies covering the trees. But why are these butterflies so far off course from their normal winter home in Mexico? Soon scientists, religious leaders, tourists, and the media descent on the town, each offering their own explanations.
This book strikes a nice balance between storytelling, science, and sociology - all with wonderful character development. While the specific biological event described in the book is fictional, Kingsolver says, in her author’s note, that “the rest of the biological story...is unfortunately true.”
by Jean Grainger
What could feel more like spring than the green, rolling hills of Ireland? We’ve always loved the Irish works of the late, great Maeve Binchy, so when we heard Jean Grainger referred to as “the next Maeve Binchy,” we knew we needed to check out her books. And then when we read a review that described The Tour as “a feel-good Irish springtime read,” we knew we’d hit the jackpot.
Each week, Conor O’Shea leads American tourists on a high-end tour of “The Real Ireland.” He’s a seasoned guide, but his most recent tour group is filled with a colorful cast of unintentionally hilarious characters that manage to leave him speechless for the first time in his life. As the tour continues, you won’t be able to help but fall in love with these tourists, as well as the locals they meet along the way. This is the perfect spring break book for armchair travelers!
This book is currently available free with Kindle Unlimited. Jean Grainger is also the author of the popular WWII historical fiction The Star and the Shamrock.
Flowers and Foul Play
by Amanda Flower
While some of our readers are already experiencing warmer weather for spring, others are still bundled up, trying to get through the rest of the cold season. To cross both weather patterns, we found some cozy mysteries about gardens!
Grab your blanket and head to Scotland to meet Fiona in the Magic Garden Mystery series. In the first book, she inherits her godfather’s cottage and walled garden, which may be a bit magical. However, when she arrives in the Scottish Highlands to make a new home for herself, she finds the garden overgrown with weeds…and a dead body!
As a newcomer, she’s quickly questioned but soon realizes that half the town had a motive to take out Alastair Croft, the dead lawyer with more enemies than friends.
Check out The Garden Plot, part of the Potting Shed Mystery series for another UK-based gardening cozy mystery. It features a Texas ex-pat living in London as a professional gardener who stumbles on a mysterious artifact, followed by a body, on one of her job sites.
by Sarah Tierney
We recently saw a meme that said, "I feel like I should clean the house, so I'm going to read until the feeling passes." If you start to feel the need to spring clean, we give you permission to pick up this cleaning-themed, poignant romance novel instead!
Miriam - like many twenty-somethings - is still struggling to find herself and her direction in life. Erik is in his 40s and struggles to let go of the things that he’s been holding onto to use in his art. He sees himself as a collector - but most would call him a hoarder. When his daughter asks to move into his Manchester home, he urgently needs help cleaning up and making space for her. Miriam’s new company assigns her to the job. Despite coming from two very different worlds, Miriam and Erik are both lost souls and in each other, they find the connection that they’ve been longing for. Reviewers describe this novel as beautifully written and insightful, but also terribly sad in parts. But like springtime rain, sometimes tears can be cathartic.
Here’s a bit of trivia that you might not know about The Book Girls… in addition to running this website, we each also run our own organizing blogs (Blue i Style and Polished Habitat). So we’re always intrigued when we see books that featured organizing and decluttering themes!
If you are interested in another novel that deals with hoarding, we also recommend The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell. In this book, the Bird family has come back together after an event that drove them apart many years before. You’ll read about their complex relationships, and the challenges they face in the aftermath of their mother’s hoarding disorder.
We are also looking forward to Camille Pagán’s upcoming novel, Everything Must Go, in which the main character is a professional organizer struggling to bring order to the chaos in her family life. This book will be published on April 26, 2022 and is currently available for pre-order.
Irish Parade Murder
by Leslie Meier
St. Patricks Day is often the mental start of the spring season, so a cozy mystery set around an annual St. Patricks Day parade seemed like a perfect addition to the list. This is book #27 in the popular Lucy Stone series. The books all work as stand-alone cases, but there are threads in Lucy’s life that progress throughout the series.
In this book, Lucy meets the young new reporter, Rob, who threatens her job. In fact, she only gets assigned to cover the parade after he passes on the story. However, the tables are turned, with Rob becoming the story instead of the reporter. Despite the charges and her skepticism about him as a co-worker, she also doubts his guilt and needs to get to the bottom of this mystery.
This book is currently included with Kindle Unlimited.
You might also like some of the other springy titles in the Lucy Stone series, including Easter Bonnet Murder, Mother's Day Murder, St. Patrick's Day Murder, and Easter Bunny Murder.
by Mary Ellen Taylor
We try not to judge books by their covers, but if ever there was a book cover that radiates spring, this would be it. Fortunately, the story that unfolds on the pages - filled with romance, mystery, and family history - is just as beautiful!
Megan is a young historian and a pregnant widower. Despite her grief, she is eager to restore a landmark hunting lodge on Virginia’s Eastern Shore that was built by her great-great-grandfather, in hopes that it will help attract much-needed tourist revenue to the town of Cape Hudson. As the renovation progresses, Megan discovers a collection of old letters in Spring House - the caretaker’s cottage on the grounds of the lodge. Through the letters, she is drawn into the life of the woman who wrote them a century ago. Like Megan, this woman had many secrets. As the past and present weave together, Megan learns more about her family and herself.
There are lots of characters and quite a few different storylines in this book. If you’re not feeling up for the challenge of keeping track of the family tree, this might not be the right book for you right now.
This book is currently included with Kindle Unlimited. It is the second book in the – series, but reviews say it reads as a standalone, and many liked this book more than the first (Winter Cottage).
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Saturday 12th of March 2022
I like the way you listen to the people who are part of your group. While I’ve been very interested in the books about Ukraine and other countries in that area, others need to escape into something less stressful. Your suggestions will be, I am sure, welcome
Saturday 12th of March 2022
Thanks Carol, we totally understand that balance as well because we've been on both sides at different points. Sometimes we want the heavier books that help us learn and sometimes we need to escape in order to recharge so we are at our best to help others however we can!
Anna M Dennany
Friday 11th of March 2022
I loved the book The Language of Flowers! When my book club met to discuss it, I had bought a coffee table book of flowers so we could picture them in all their beauty. I also invited a woman who had fostered hundreds of teenage girls so she could talk about ageing out of the system. It was a great night.
I read The Authenticity Project this year, and it really took me by surprise. I am wary of the English formulaic story lines of predictable characters and endings. Not this one. I loved reading about the artist and his flamboyant ways. I loved reading about the influencer and how looks are deceiving. It wasn't so predicatable, after all!
Saturday 12th of March 2022
That sounds like such an incredible book club night!