Arts + Culture,  Literature

7 Books to Read This Spring, and the Order You Should Read Them In

Blossoms, bees, lilac bushes; spring is about growth—we finally get to watch nature come back to life after the dull ache of winter. With the air smelling of fresh lavender and magnolia trees, and the taste of strawberry banana smoothies on your tongue, how else would you want to spend the warm weather other than with a good book in your hands? Here are the best books to read this spring, and the order you should read them in to fully soak up the atmospheric fervour of the season. The best part? All these reads can be found at Book City on the Danforth (348 Danforth Ave).

1 The Vanishing Half

by Brit Bennett

Cover of The Vanishing Half

As the weather ebbs and flows and the grass starts peeking through, Brit Bennett’s book, The Vanishing Half, is perfect for the few hopeful sunny days of March’s end. Well thought-out and poetically written, Bennett writes the stories of the Vignes twins, one living in the Black community they grew up in, while the other passes for white, living a completely different life than her sister. This book explores the impact of the decisions we make as people while also depicting what may motivate one to live a different life. Read this by the chilled windows of The Only Café paired with their delicious macchiato.

Find at Book City $24.00

2 Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures

by Merlin Sheldrake

Cover of Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures

For those with an interest in foraging, this one’s for you. Biologist Merlin Sheldrake explores the lives of fungi, expands the readers knowledge of the species, and develops an understanding of their hidden lives. Sheldrake delves into the intricacies of fungi through a new perspective, depicting their world from the eyes of the fungi themselves. Perfect for the freshness of mid-April, make sure to read Entangled Life before foraging season reaches its peak. Pick a mild April day and read this one on the benches of Withrow Park off Carlaw Avenue, south of the Danforth.

Find at Book City, $24.00

3 Normal People

by Sally Rooney 

Cover of Normal People

Simple, poignant, charming; Sally Rooney’s writing is one of the most creative and memorable of current literary voices. Normal People, Rooney’s second novel, is an exploration of characters Connell and Marianne. Their relationship is kept private—hidden from the judgement of their classmates—but is completely human, wholly natural, and unapologetically vulnerable. Rooney allows the reader to peer into the lives of these characters as they drift apart and come back together throughout their young adult lives. This book is best read on a rainy day at the beginning of May, when the storm clouds are in full bloom. Pair this with a cozy spot beside a window in the Toronto Public Library Danforth/Coxwell Branch.

Find at Book City, $21.00

4 Heartstopper #1

by Alice Oseman

Cover of Heartstopper #1

With the sun shining more frequently, and the flowers blooming after the dull of April, Heartstopper #1 by Alice Oseman is a fitting choice for mid-May. Heartstopper is everything beautiful all wrapped in one. Readers follow characters Nick and Charlie through their new-found romantic relationship. This graphic novel is only the first in the series, and all are effortless—yet impactful—reads best suited to the lighthearted atmosphere of spring. Once you’re done reading, you can check out the show on Netflix just in time for season two’s release in 2023. Make sure to explore the grounds of Monarch Park with this book in hand.

Find at Book City, $19.99

5 Spring

by Ali Smith

Cover of Spring

What could be more fitting for spring than Ali Smith’s book Spring? Written in a series, Spring is the third book in the Seasonal Quartet series by this author— but don’t worry, you don’t have to read them in order. This book is true to its title: it’s all about spring. It captures the atmospheric attitudes of the earth as it drifts through spring year after year. This one is best read in late May, with the season at its fullest. Be sure to explore the East side of the Danforth and try some coffee at East Toronto Coffee Co. with this book in tow. Their flavourful cold brew will be the best choice for the warm weather of May.

Find at Book City, $19.95

6 The Sun and Her Flowers

by Rupi Kaur

Cover of The Sun and Her Flowers

If you haven’t had the chance to spend some time with Rupi Kaur yet, now is that time. Her second poetry collection, The Sun and Her Flowers, describes her relationship with nature and with her past self. It encapsulates the vivid emotions and passionate vibrancy she finds while healing from her past. Kaur connects personal growth to the natural lifecycles of plants and flowers in a beautiful and memorable way. Make sure to admire the trees of Phin Park at the beginning of June with this book at your side.

Find at Book City, $19.99

7 Son of a Trickster

by Eden Robinson

Cover of Son of a Trickster

As spring fades to summer, one may be thinking about how to keep the magic of spring alive a little longer. Eden Robinson delivers this with her novel Son of a Trickster (the first of a trilogy). Best read in mid-June, with hints of summer in the air; Son of a Trickster is about Jared, a sixteen-year-old Indigenous boy who drinks, smokes, and sells weed cookies in order to cope with trauma and poverty. He struggles with the complexities of his home life, and doubts his life will ever improve…until his grandmother tells him of his family’s magical past and the powers that have been bestowed upon him. With these new developments, his life just may get a whole lot more interesting—and not always for the better. Check out the enclosed courtyard space of Carrot Common (where you’ll find Book City) with this gripping read.

Find at Book City, $21.00

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