10 Timeless Classics to Read in the Spring

I love classic literature.

I love the rich language.

I love learning new bits and pieces of history through novels written in a different time than the one I experience.

I love exploring new settings and visiting in my mind's eye locations my physical body has yet to journey.

I love the depth of classic literature, from themes thoughtfully considered to the complex characters grappling with those themes.

I love the sense of connection when I read of characters undergoing the same struggles with human nature that we continue to encounter today.

I love reading, but what I especially enjoy is when my reading mirrors my reality.

This is why the classics we read together inside PL's Monthly Book Club in any given month are often chosen because they are appropriate to what we are experiencing in real-time. Today.

If you're a mood reader, as well, here are 10 Timeless Classics to Read in the Spring that I know you will love.

10. The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim

Reading The Enchanted April in the springtime is a seasonally delightful experience. Set in Italy during spring, the novel's atmosphere is alive with vivid descriptions of blooming gardens, warm weather, and beautiful landscapes where friendships blossom and love truly is in the air. The classic is alive with themes we often associate with springtime like transformation and personal growth while keeping the mood light, airy, and hopeful.

9. A Room With a View by E. M. Forster

This E. M. Forster classic begins in the springtime in the beautiful Italian countryside. The lush landscapes and blooming flowers in the book resonate with the season's theme of new life and through the main characters' enjoyment of the outdoors during this time of year, the reader gets to vicariously engage in the same enjoying long walks, outdoor picnics, and the idyllic weather for springtime activities. The spring season serves as a parallel to the awakening the main character experiences during the novel and evokes a sense of vitality and happiness.

8. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

Beginning in the spring, I Capture the Castle offers vivid descriptions of the English countryside, including blooming flowers, lush greenery, and picturesque landscapes. Reading this classic in the spring enhances the reader's experience of the same, creating an immersive experience that helps the novel come alive. Spring often is associated with romance and Dodie Smith did a great job weaving the themes of love and relationships in her coming-of-age debut novel.

7. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Alcott's classic is one that can be enjoyed year-round. Still, I think spring is a particularly ideal time to read it because the season mirrors the personal growth and development of the March sisters as they navigate the challenges, joys, and big feelings of adolescence amid outdoor activities and nature. Reading Little Women in the Spring invites the reader to imagine herself joining the March sisters in their outdoor adventures and appreciating the beauty of the natural world described in the story.

6. Miss Cayley's Adventures by Grant Allen

Spring is the perfect time for outdoor adventures and this 1899 classic features one adventure after another! Exploration. Mountain climbing. Cycling. Racing. Train travel. Mystery. Combine all that with an entrepreneurial female with a keen eye and even keener ability to make stuff happen and you've got yourself an amazing springtime adventure. Consider it the Spring Break of a Lifetime - in a book!

5. Passing by Nella Larsen

Not only is Passing set partially during the spring in Harlem in the 1920s with its main characters on holiday, but the classic has also recently become a favorite to read in book clubs because of its ability to spark meaningful discussions during a season associated with renewal and self-discovery. Spring being a season of growth, Passing provides an opportunity for readers to delve into different perspectives, thoughtfully considering viewpoints that differ from their own, and develop a deeper understanding in the process. (Check out the LAST Passing Book Box here.)

4. The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer

The Grand Sophy features a charming love story set against the backdrop of England's Regency society, making it the perfect classic for readers seeking heartwarming romance during the springtime. Sophy's lively personality and daring escapades inspire readers to likewise embrace a sense of adventure and spontaneity during the spring season. The Grand Sophy makes a perfect, light-hearted, and humorous read during the spring season.

3. Emma by Jane Austen

The arrival of spring heralds a time of renewal and transformation in the fictional village of Highbury. As the landscape bursts forth with blossoms and beautiful spring hues, Emma Woodhouse, the novel's protagonist, finds herself swept up in the lively rhythms of springtime, her youthful exuberance matched only by the burgeoning romance and societal intrigues that unfold amidst the season's backdrop. From leisurely walks in the countryside to charming garden parties, Austen masterfully captures the essence of spring's vibrancy and vitality, infusing this fun story with a sense of optimism and possibility as characters navigate the complexities of love and self-discovery against the picturesque setting of rural England in bloom.

2. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

Not only does the book open in April (cue chirping birds, blossoming flowers...), Chaucer's diverse cast of characters sets out on a pilgrimage to Canterbury, their interactions and stories unfolding against the backdrop of spring. Additionally, the tales themselves often explore themes of love, courtship, and rebirth, and entertain themes of renewal and fertility we associate with springtime. 

1. The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery

Set against the idyllic backdrop of the Canadian wilderness, spring arrives with a burst of life and color, symbolizing new beginnings and the promise of renewal. As the snow melts away, revealing the lush beauty of Silver Bush and its surroundings, the main character, Valancy, finds herself awakening to a newfound sense of freedom and adventure. The fragrant blossoms, verdant landscapes, and gentle breezes of spring serve as a backdrop to Valancy's blossoming romance with one Mr. Barney Snaith, as well as her courageous pursuit of her own dreams and desires. Montgomery's vivid descriptions of nature in springtime evoke a sense of wonder and possibility, infusing the novel with a palpable sense of hope and optimism as Valancy embraces the fullness of life and love amidst the changing seasons. (Check out The Blue Castle Book Box here.)

Your Turn

Which titles would you add to this list of Timeless Classics to Read in the Spring?

1 comment

  • I have read 9 of the 10 novels listed above- the Chaucer is one I haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading. They are all of them wonderful books. I would add in several of the Mitford series , which describe in beautiful detail the glories of spring in the North Carolina mountains and foothills. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek also spends much time in the outdoors in the Kentucky backwoods and hills.

    Lynda A.

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