Best Spring Books – 20 Lovely Books to Take on a Picnic

After the long, dark days of winter, we readers very well deserve to read beautiful spring books outside, preferably at a picnic! I love spending my days outdoors in the spring months because it is not very cold or not very hot; it is the perfect weather. And I always have my book, coffee and snacks with me. I especially like reading spring settings in books while surrounded by all the spring flowers and bees. The descriptions really make me see all the different colours, blooms, and the bees’ dance. So I created this spring books list to enjoy in these months.

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Best Spring Books

In this list of spring books, I wanted to make sure the setting is appropriate, and there are diverse writers from around the world. You’ll find classics as well as contemporary fiction; some spring books are popular, some should be. I hope you’ll find various spring books to your liking and read them near wonderful spring flowers.

Best Spring Books

Meet Me in Monaco - Hazel Gaynor

Meet Me in Monaco – Hazel Gaynor

Movie stars and paparazzi flock to Cannes for the glamorous film festival, but Grace Kelly, the biggest star of all, wants only to escape from the flash-bulbs. When struggling perfumer Sophie Duval shelters Miss Kelly in her boutique to fend off a persistent British press photographer, James Henderson, a bond is forged between the two women and sets in motion a chain of events that stretches across thirty years of friendship, love, and tragedy.

James Henderson cannot forget his brief encounter with Sophie Duval. Despite his guilt at being away from his daughter, he takes an assignment to cover the wedding of the century, sailing with Grace Kelly’s wedding party on the SS Constitution from New York. In Monaco, as wedding fever soars and passions and tempers escalate, James and Sophie—like Princess Grace—must ultimately decide what they are prepared to give up for love. A historical fiction among spring books.

A Room with a View - E. M. Forster

A Room with a View – E. M. Forster

Lucy has her rigid, middle-class life mapped out for her until she visits Florence with her uptight cousin Charlotte, and finds her neatly ordered existence thrown off balance. Her eyes are opened by the unconventional characters she meets at the Pension Bertolini: flamboyant romantic novelist Eleanor Lavish, the Cockney Signora, curious Mr Emerson and, most of all, his passionate son George.

Lucy finds herself torn between the intensity of life in Italy and the repressed morals of Edwardian England, personified in her terminally dull fiancé Cecil Vyse. Will she ever learn to follow her own heart? A classic among spring books.

The Enchanted April - Elizabeth von Arnim

The Enchanted April – Elizabeth von Arnim

One of my faves among spring books. Mrs Wilkins and Mrs Arbuthnot, cowed and neglected by their husbands, make a daring plan: they will have a holiday. Leaving a drab and rainy London one April and arriving on the shores of the Mediterranean, they discover a flower-filled paradise of beauty, warmth and leisure. Joined by the beautiful Lady Caroline and domineering Mrs Fisher, also in flight from the burdens of their daily lives, the four women proceed to transform themselves and their prospects. One of the classic spring books.

The Beginning of Spring - Penelope Fitzgerald

The Beginning of Spring – Penelope Fitzgerald

It is March 1913, and the grand old city of Moscow is stirring herself to meet the beginning of spring. Change is in the air, and nowhere more so than at 22 Lipka Street, the home of English printer Frank Reid.

One day Frank’s wife Nellie takes the train back to England, with no explanation, leaving him with their three young children. Into his life comes Lisa Ivanovna, a country girl, untroubled to the point of seeming simple. But is she? And why has Frank’s accountant Selwyn, gone to such lengths to bring them together? And who is the passionate Volodya, who breaks into the press at night?

Frank sees, but only dimly, that he is a rational man in Moscow, a city where love, and friendship, power and politics, are at their most unfathomable. A gem among spring books.

Middlemarch - George Eliot

Middlemarch – George Eliot

Taking place in the years leading up to the First Reform Bill of 1832, Middlemarch explores nearly every subject of concern to modern life: art, religion, science, politics, self, society, human relationships. Among her characters are some of the most remarkable portraits in English literature: Dorothea Brooke, the heroine, idealistic but naive; Rosamond Vincy, beautiful and egoistic: Edward Casaubon, the dry-as-dust scholar: Tertius Lydgate, the brilliant but morally-flawed physician: the passionate artist Will Ladislaw: and Fred Vincey and Mary Garth, childhood sweethearts whose charming courtship is one of the many humorous elements in the novel’s rich comic vein. A classic among spring books.

The Darling Buds of May - H. E. Bates

The Darling Buds of May – H. E. Bates

And so the Larkins – Pop, Ma, Mariette, Zinnia, Petunia, Primrose, Victoria and Montgomery – return from an outing for fish and chips and ice cream one May evening. There, amid the rustic charms of home, they discover a visitor: one Cedric Charlton, Her Majesty’s inspector of taxes.

Mr Charlton is visiting to find out why junk-dealer Pop hasn’t paid his tax – but nothing’s that simple at the Larkins. Mariette takes a shine to ‘Charley’ – as Pop calls him – and before long the family have introduced the uncomplaining inspector to the delights of country living: the lusty scents of wild flowers, the pleasures of a bottle of Dragon’s Blood, cold cream dribbled over a bowl of strawberries and hot, hot summer nights.

In fact, soon Charley can’t see any reason to return to the office at all. A humourous one among spring books.

The Language of Flowers - Vanessa Diffenbaugh

The Language of Flowers – Vanessa Diffenbaugh

The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it’s been more useful in communicating mistrust and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings.

Now eighteen and emancipated from the system with nowhere to go, Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But an unexpected encounter with a mysterious stranger has her questioning what’s been missing in her life. And when she’s forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must decide whether it’s worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness. A beautiful romance among spring books.

The Roman Spring Of Mrs Stone - Tennessee Williams

The Roman Spring Of Mrs Stone – Tennessee Williams

Mrs Stone changed from a famous, rich American actress to a notorious, very rich American widow. But the transition took years and all that time her youth and legendary beauty slipped away. So she escapes to Rome. But even the distractions of the Eternal City cannot stop old age wrinkling its way into her life. Frantic, she decides to take a lover, a young and very handsome Italian, being prepared to invest in his body for good return. But the price is too expensive. Not in money, but in her dignity. A gem set in Italy among spring books.

Spring Garden - Tomoka Shibasaki

Spring Garden – Tomoka Shibasaki

Divorced and cut off from his family, Taro lives alone in one of the few occupied apartments in his block, a block that is to be torn down as soon as the remaining tenants leave. Since the death of his father, Taro keeps to himself, but is soon drawn into an unusual relationship with the woman upstairs, Nishi, as she passes on the strange tale of the sky-blue house next door.

First discovered by Nishi in the little-known photo-book ‘Spring Garden’, the sky-blue house soon becomes a focus for both Nishi and Taro: of what is lost, of what has been destroyed, and of what hope may yet lie in the future for both of them, if only they can seize it. A Japanese novella among spring books.

Illyrian Spring - Ann Bridge

Illyrian Spring – Ann Bridge

Grace Kilmichael, the well-known painter, is running away. She’s escaping her husband, and his wandering eye, her bullying grown-up children, and the tiresomeness of being herself.

En route to Split and Dubrovnik, Grace travels through Paris and Venice, and to the glories of Torcello. Here she meets Nicholas fascinating, rebellious, completely unsuitable (and half her age). Thrown into turmoil by their relationship, it is not until Grace arrives in the remote, unspoilt beauty of the Illyrian coast, among the wildflowers and peaceful villages, that she can truly begin to find enlightenment.

Both farcically funny and full of wisdom, this is a classic novel of escape and rediscovery, set against the glorious Illyrian spring among spring books.

The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett

Rediscover the favourite childhood classic among spring books.

What little girl can turn a whole household upside down and breathe new life back into a strange, old manor? The wonderfully contrary, strong-willed, angry, misunderstood Mary Lennox.

When Mary Lennox is sent to Misselthwaite Manor to live with her uncle, everybody says she is the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen. It is true, too. Mary is pale, spoilt and quite contrary. But she is also horribly lonely. Then one day she hears about a garden in the grounds of the Manor that has been kept locked and hidden for years.

And when a friendly robin helps Mary find the key, she discovers the most magical place anyone could imagine… A must-read among spring books.

The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien

The Hobbit – J. R. R. Tolkien

Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely travelling further than the pantry of his hobbit-hole in Bag End. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard, Gandalf, and a company of thirteen dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an unexpected journey ‘there and back again’. They have a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon… A must-read among spring books.

The Makioka Sisters - Junichiro Tanizaki

The Makioka Sisters – Junichiro Tanizaki

Tanizaki’s masterpiece is the story of four sisters, and the declining fortunes of a traditional Japanese family. It is a loving and nostalgic recreation of the sumptuous, intricate upper-class life of Osaka immediately before World War Two. With surgical precision, Tanizaki lays bare the sinews of pride, and brings a vanished era to vibrant life. One of my faves among spring books.

Spring Torrents - Ivan Turgenev

Spring Torrents – Ivan Turgenev

Returning to Russia from a tour in Italy, twenty-three-year-old Dimitry Sanin breaks his journey in Frankfurt. There he encounters the beautiful Gemma Roselli, who works in her parents’ patisserie, and falls deeply and deliriously in love for the first time. Convinced that nothing can come in the way of everlasting happiness with his fiancée, Dimitry impetuously decides to begin a new life and sell his Russian estates.

But when he meets the potential buyer, the intriguing Madame Polozov, his youthful vulnerability makes him prey for a darker, destructive infatuation. A novel of haunting beauty, Spring Torrents (1870-1) is a fascinating, partly autobiographical account of one of Turgenev’s favourite themes – a man’s inability to love without losing his innocence and becoming enslaved to obsessive passions. A classic from Russia among spring books.

Spring Snow - Yukio Mishima

Spring Snow – Yukio Mishima

Tokyo, 1912. The closed world of the ancient aristocracy is being breached for the first time by outsiders – rich provincial families, a new and powerful political and social elite.

Kiyoaki has been raised among the elegant Ayakura family – members of the waning aristocracy – but he is not one of them. Coming of age, he is caught up in the tensions between old and new, and his feelings for the exquisite, spirited Satoko, observed from the sidelines by his devoted friend Honda. When Satoko is engaged to a royal prince, Kiyoaki realises the magnitude of his passion. A Japanese classic among spring books.

Spring - Karl Ove Knausgaard

Spring – Karl Ove Knausgaard

Spring follows a father and his newborn daughter through one day in April, from sunrise to sunset. It is a day filled with the small joys of family life, but also its deep struggles. With this striking novel in the Seasons quartet, Karl Ove Knausgaard reflects uncompromisingly on life’s darkest moments and what can sustain us through them. A popular one among spring books.

Cicada Spring - Christian Galacar

Cicada Spring – Christian Galacar

On a warm May evening in the spring of 1979, the people of Heartsridge, Massachusetts, are living the American dream. Families are gathered for barbecues. Kids are playing in front yards. Gardens are being kept.

Meanwhile, Kara Price stumbles home through the woods, raped and beaten, her life shattered by a wicked act of violence.

Surrounding Kara is a cast of compelling and nefarious characters—a violent-tempered mayor, a sheriff bound by the rules and plagued by a guilty conscience, a father bent on revenge, and a serial killer in the midst of an identity crisis.

With plot and emotion braided together, this haunted group of people all acting on behalf of their own interests begs the question: How far would you go to protect your own? A mystery among spring books.

Spring House - Mary Ellen Taylor

Spring House – Mary Ellen Taylor

Pregnant and still grieving the death of her fiancé historian Megan Buchanan is forging ahead on a dream project: to restore to its original glory the landmark hunting lodge her own great-great-grandfather built on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. With the help of her fiancé’s caring best friend, it’s sure to draw much-needed tourist revenue to Cape Hudson, a town rich in southern history.

However, it’s Spring House, the caretaker’s cottage on the grounds, that holds the most intriguing history for Megan. In a cache of old letters, she’s drawn into the captivating life of a young woman who embarked on her own dream adventure a century ago. With each one, Megan is swept away into her enthralling world―and all its secrets. But Megan has secrets too.

Now, as one woman’s past unfolds in each revealing letter, Megan will discover more about herself and about the emotional tides of family that can be weathered with those you love and trust the most. A romantic historical fiction among spring books.

Death in Spring - Mercè Rodoreda

Death in Spring – Mercè Rodoreda

Death in Spring is a dark and dream-like tale of a teenage boy’s coming of age in a remote village in the Catalan mountains; a place cut off from the outside world, where cruel customs are blindly followed, and attempts at rebellion swiftly crushed. When his father dies, he must navigate this oppressive society alone, and learn how to live in a place of crippling conformity.

Often seen as an allegory for life under a dictatorship, Death in Spring is a bewitching and unsettling novel about power, exile, and the hope that comes from even the smallest gestures of independence. One set in Spain among spring books.

Spring Flowers, Spring Frost - Ismail Kadare

Spring Flowers, Spring Frost – Ismail Kadare

As spring arrives in the Albanian mountain town of B, some strange things are emerging in the thaw. Bank robbers strike the National Bank. Old terrors are dredged up from the shipwreck of history. And ultra-explosive state secrets are threatening to flood the entire nation. Mark, an artist, finds the peaceful rhythms of his life turned upside down by ancient love and modern barbarism and by the particular brutality of a country surprised and divided by its new freedom. One set in Albania among spring books.

Check out my other lists about books!

  1. 10 Uplifting Books
  2. Great Novels by Poets
  3. Feel-Good Cozy Mystery Series
  4. Autumn Books – 20 Cozy Novels
  5. Winter Books- 20 Atmospheric Novels
  6. Spring Books – 20 Lovely Novels
  7. 20 Captivating Gothic Books
  8. Japanese Books Under 200 Pages
  9. 20 Best Campus and Academic Novels
  10. 25 Intriguing Dark Academia Books
  11. 20 Literary Romance Novels
  12. 20 Best Food Culture and Food History Books
  13. Comforting Food Memoirs
  14. Top 5 Haiku Books
  15. 15 Best Eco-fiction Novels
  16. Perfect Christmas Books
  17. 20 Best Turkish Books
  18. Standalone Fantasy Books
  1. Books Set in Museums
  2. Books Set in Hotels
  3. Books Set on Islands
  4. Novels Set in Ancient Egypt
  5. Novels Set in Bookshops
  6. Novels Set in Libraries
  7. Books Set in the English Countryside
  8. Books Set in Edinburgh
  9. Books Set in Oxford
  10. Books Set in Istanbul
  11. Books Set in Portugal
  12. Books Set in Forests
  1. Novels Under 100 Pages
  2. Novels Under 150 Pages
  3. Novels Under 200 Pages
  4. Novels About Books
  5. Best Books About Books
  6. Novels About Vincent Van Gogh
  7. Novels About Leonardo da Vinci
  8. Novels About Marriage
  9. Novels About Food
  10. Novels About Writers
  11. Books About Witches
  12. Novels About Ernest Hemingway
  13. Best Books About Birds
  14. Best Books About Walking
  15. Best Books About Tea
  16. Novels About Scents & Perfume

Are there any spring books you’d like to add to this list? Would you please share in the comments section below?

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