Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Books To Read In Spring

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It's nearly spring, bookworms! Do you know what you're reading this season?

Usually, I'd look over my to-be-read shelf and pick out a bunch of books that are set in spring or that have spring-like cover art.

This year, I'm going to do something different. I have a bad habit of buying books and then leaving them on the shelf for years without reading them. I decided to look at my old book haul blog posts and find the books that have been sitting around the longest. This spring, I'm determined to read them.

Here are my 10 most neglected book babies.

🍃  What I'm Reading In Spring  🍀


Adult Essays

When I bought it: March 2021

Ten short years ago, Barack Obama became president of the United States, and changed the course of history. Ten short years ago, our America was hailed globally as a breathtaking example of democracy, as a rainbow coalition of everyday people marching to the same drum beat. We had finally overcome.

But did we?

Both the presidencies of Obama and Donald Trump have produced some of the ugliest divides in history: horrific racial murders, non-stop mass shootings, the explosion of attacks on immigrants and on the LGBTQ community, the rise of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, a massive gap between the haves and the have-nots, and legions of women stepping forth to challenge sexual violence—and men—in all forms.

In this gripping new collection of thirteen essays, My Mother. Barack Obama. Donald Trump. And the Last Stand of the Angry White Man., Kevin Powell interweaves brutally honest personal stories with the saga of America, then and now. Be it politics, sports, pop culture, hip-hop music, mental health, racism, #MeToo, or his very complicated relationship with his mother, these impassioned essays are not merely a mirror of who we are, but also who and what Powell thinks we ought to be.


Why I’m excited to read it: The title reminds me of my dysfunctional family, which is both intriguing and horrifying. I was searching for essay collections and was drawn to this one because of the variety of topics. Even though the title is political, the author writes about health, celebrities, and his own family. It sounds like an interesting variety of stuff.


Buy it on Amazon


Adult Historical Fiction

When I bought it: May 2021

Gustav Perle grows up in a small town in Switzerland, where the horrors of the Second World War seem only a distant echo. An only child, he lives alone with Emilie, the mother he adores but who treats him with bitter severity. He begins an intense friendship with a Jewish boy his age, talented and mercurial Anton Zweibel, a budding concert pianist. The novel follows Gustav’s family, tracing the roots of his mother’s anti-Semitism and its impact on her son and his beloved friend.


Why I’m excited to read it: I feel like I saw this book on every award longlist back in 2017. All the historical fiction fans were reading it. Well, all of them except me. Rose Tremain has written a ton of books, so if I enjoy this one, I’ll have her whole backlist to read.


Buy it on Amazon






Adult Literary Short Story Collection

When I bought it: May 2021

In her debut story collection Heartbreaker, Maryse Meijer peels back the crust of normalcy and convention, unmasking the fury and violence we are willing to inflict in the name of love and loneliness. Her characters are a strange ensemble—a feral child, a girl raised from the dead, a possible pedophile—who share in vulnerability and heartache, but maintain an unremitting will to survive. Meijer deals in desire and sex, femininity and masculinity, family and girlhood, crafting a landscape of appetites threatening to self-destruct.


Why I’m excited to read it: Well, the cover sure got my attention. That’s intense. This short story collection has amazing reviews on Goodreads, which is rare for a short story collection because people seem to hate them for mysterious reasons. The stories in this book are allegedly dark and disturbing. I’m intrigued.


Buy it on Amazon


Middle Grade Fantasy

When I bought it: July 2021

Strange things are happening in Village Drowning, and a terrifying encounter has Rye O'Chanter convinced that the monstrous, supposedly extinct Bog Noblins have returned. Now Rye's only hope is an exiled secret society so notorious its name can't be spoken aloud: the Luck Uglies. As Rye dives into Village Drowning's maze of secrets, rules, and lies, she'll discover the truth behind the village's legends of outlaws and beasts . . . and that it may take a villain to save them from the monsters.

Why I'm excited to read it: Whenever I meet an English teacher or a reading teacher, I have to ask which books their students are loving. A teacher I met said her students were passing this series around. I picked up the first book to see what the middle schooler hype is about.

Buy it on Amazon


Young Adult Contemporary Fiction

When I bought it: July 2021

The based-on-true-events story of Harry and Craig, two 17-year-olds who are about to take part in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record—all of which is narrated by a Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDS.

While the two increasingly dehydrated and sleep-deprived boys are locking lips, they become a focal point in the lives of other teen boys dealing with languishing long-term relationships, coming out, navigating gender identity, and falling deeper into the digital rabbit hole of gay hookup sites—all while the kissing former couple tries to figure out their own feelings for each other.

Why I'm excited to read it: It sounds weird. Like, I'm not even sure what it's about. What's the plot? I picked up this novel because I studied the Greek Chorus narration style as part of my graduate school thesis, but I somehow missed this book.

Buy it on Amazon


Adult Horror Graphic Novel

When I bought it: August 2021

Getting yourself a girlfriend is easy, according to Richard. All you need is papier mache, string, soft material, a balloon, some old fashioned bellows, and a good pair of scissors. The difficult bit is keeping her secret. Set in an English suburb in the early 1990s, this is the story of Richard's all-consuming passion for creating 'girls' from household objects. But as his hobby begins to flourish, his real life friendships and family relationships deteriorate.

Why I'm excited to read it: Here's a story for you: Way back in 2014, I was looking at lists of horror graphic novels and came across this one. It immediately got my attention because dolls are creepy, and a dude who ruins his life by building himself "girlfriends" is even creepier. I searched everywhere for this book and couldn't find a cheap used copy. They just didn't exist in the US. I put the book on my TBR spreadsheet and waited, and waited, and searched. Fast forward to 2021. I found a copy for $3.88. YES! If you're broke, patience will eventually pay off. That's the moral of the story.

Buy it on Amazon


Adult Memoir

When I bought it: August 2021

When Sarah Perry was twelve, she saw a partial eclipse of the sun, an event she took as a sign of good fortune for her and her mother, Crystal. But that brief moment of darkness ultimately foreshadowed a much larger one: two days later, Crystal was murdered in their home in rural Maine, just a few feet from Sarah’s bedroom.
The killer escaped unseen; it would take the police twelve years to find him, time in which Sarah grew into adulthood, struggling with abandonment, police interrogations, and the effort of rebuilding her life when so much had been lost. Through it all she would dream of the eventual trial, a conviction—all her questions finally answered. But after the trial, Sarah’s questions only grew. She wanted to understand her mother’s life, not just her final hours, and so she began a personal investigation, one that drew her back to Maine, taking her deep into the abiding darkness of a small American town.

Why I'm excited to read it: I'm always looking for true crime books, but I'm super picky about them. I don't like books that are sensationalized and only focus on the killer and treat the victims like props in the killer's story. Since this memoir is written by a victim, maybe it will offer a unique perspective.

Buy it on Amazon


Young Adult Horror Graphic Novel

When I bought it: August 2021

Parallel plotlines, one told in text and one in art, inform each other as a young girl unravels the mystery of a ghost next door.

Mary is an orphan at the Thornhill Institute for Children at the very moment that it's closing down for good. But when a bully goes too far, Mary's revenge will have a lasting effect on the bully, on Mary, and on Thornhill itself.

Years later, Ella moves to a new town where she has a perfect view of the dilapidated, abandoned Thornhill Institute. Determined to befriend the mysterious, evasive girl she sees there, Ella resolves to unravel Thornhill's history and uncover its secrets.

Ella's story is told through striking, bold art; Mary's is told through diary entries. Each informs the other until the two eventually intersect to reveal the truth behind Thornhill's shadowy past, once and for all.

Why I'm excited to read it: This book was recommended to me by Goodreads. Do you ever look at the "Readers Also Enjoyed" part of the site? I loved Emily Carroll's Through The Woods, so I clicked "Readers Also Enjoyed" and discovered Thornhill. Let's find out if I like it as much as Goodreads thinks I will.

Buy it on Amazon


Adult History Nonfiction

When I bought it: August 2021

What was it like to live in one of the ancient world's most powerful and bustling cities, one that was eight times more densely populated than modern day New York?

In this entertaining and enlightening guide, bestselling historian Philip Matyszak introduces us to the people who lived and worked there. In each hour of the day we meet a new character, from emperor to slave girl, gladiator to astrologer, medicine woman to water-clock maker, and discover the fascinating details of their daily lives.

Why I'm excited to read it: This series was recommended to me because I want to learn more about ancient history. If I like this one, there are more books in the series! I can read about 24 hours in ancient China, Athens, Egypt . . .

Buy it on Amazon


Adult Memoir

When I bought it: September 2021

For twelve years, Andrea Lankford lived in the biggest, most impressive national parks in the world, working a job she loved. She chaperoned baby sea turtles on their journey to sea. She pursued bad guys on her galloping patrol horse. She jumped into rescue helicopters bound for the heart of the Grand Canyon. She won arguments with bears. She slept with a few too many rattlesnakes.

Hell yeah, it was the best job in the world! Fortunately, Andrea survived it.

In this graphic and yet surprisingly funny account of her and others’ extraordinary careers, Lankford unveils a world in which park rangers struggle to maintain their idealism in the face of death, disillusionment, and the loss of a comrade killed while holding that thin green line between protecting the park from the people, the people from the park, and the people from each other. Ranger Confidential is the story behind the scenery of the nation’s crown jewels—Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Great Smokies, Denali. In these iconic landscapes, where nature and humanity constantly collide, scenery can be as cruel as it is redemptive.

Why I'm excited to read it: Um . . . I guess I'm reevaluating my life choices? Do I want to continue working in parks? Nature is cool, but OMG humans are exhausting. I just need everyone to remain calm and alive while I'm multitasking as fast as I can. The burnout is real. I need several naps.

Buy it on Amazon

What are you reading in Spring?


  1. I am trying to read more of the books on my own shelves in general! LOL Looks like you have a nice mix here. :)

    Lauren www.shootingstarsmag.net

  2. I also want to try to read books that have been sitting on my TBR for awhile! Good luck and enjoy all of these!

  3. What an eclectic set of books! It's funny that you went back through old posts to find your upcoming books as I was recently thinking of redoing my TBR shelf according to when I bought the books to guilt myself into reading the ones that have been on my shelves the longest.

  4. That is a good way to do your spring TBR list. I am catching up on library books and THAT is my spring TBR, LOL!

  5. I've heard great things about Two Boys Kissing. I hope you love it.

  6. I love this post. I have been trying to get through some books from the backlog too. Right now I am reading one I won a hardcover back in, Primitives by Erich Krauss. I added it to my reading list about a year ago. If you check it out, you will see why the cover kept calling to me.
    sherry @ fundinmental

  7. This is an excellent idea. I'm hoping to read a lot of my backlog this year, too.

  8. The first book looks like it would be relevant to my extended family too! And both Thornhill and the Ranger book sound great.

  9. I like this challenge you have set for yourself. I have been very pleased with my backlist reading since joining Carole's Books from the Backlog. You have quite an interesting mix up there. I think that bunch will keep you on your toes.

  10. The Rose Tremain novel looks pretty good. I'll see if you like it - then will look for it. Many spring books to read. I'm trying to keep my head above water in the reading department. Enjoy.

  11. You have quite a variety of books and everyone of them sounds great. I hope you enjoy all of them

  12. Great list! I've been interested in reading Two Boys Kissing for a while now!

    Here’s my Top Ten Tuesday

    Rabbit Ears Book Blog: WORLD’S WEIRDEST BOOK BLOG!

  13. Such a cool list of books.. while I love the sound of all of them, I think I am going to look for the first and last ones on the list before the others - the first one because of its title.. and the last one because i love our national parks ..

  14. I periodically think of reading the books that have been on my GoodReads TBR the longest... and then I don't. But to be fair, I'm having a hard time finding them. For perspective, they've been on there since 2007. That's right, 16 years!

    You have a nice assortment. The one that catches my attention the most is Ranger Confidential. It's so ironic that people think of rangers as just working with nature, away from it all, but you're burnt out on the people. I'm sure I would be too. Just watching some of the other visitors to national parks wears me out.

    I hope you enjoy these when/if you read them!

  15. I hope you enjoy all of these! I also need to try and prioritise some of the books that have been sitting on my shelves for a while instead of continually being distracted by all the shiny new books ha ha.
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2023/03/14/top-ten-tuesday-411/

  16. I will look forward to your review of Powell's book on "White Angry Men." As for your last book, I just read an advance copy of a book that'll I'll review closer to its publication date in May titled "Dear Ranger," which is about man who wife works for the NPS and he follows her around the country. One of the several books I'm into right now is "The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism" which seems to go with Powell's book.