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It is the time of year when the birds begin chirping, the green begins to multiply, and the pollen coats our cars in a yellow sheen. Along with that we also have the opportunity to walk outside and not shiver until our bones are frozen and brittle. For those of us who are avid readers, it is a great time to bask in the warm rays of the sun and flip through a few good pages of finely written prose. Below is just a short list of some of our favorite spring time reads.

 

The World Made Straight by Ron Rash

 

Set in North Carolina, this tells the tale of a young man named Travis nearing adulthood who is struggling through the trials that always harrow this age group. Travis is a high school dropout who faces challenges from his aloof father, perpetually stuck in his own complacency as a tobacco farmer, Carlton Toomey, a local drug dealer, and many others. Befriending a former teacher who now deals drugs part-time, Travis is pushed to progress into becoming the man he should be while trying to escape the life that has pinned him down and held him back for so long.

The story is deeply tinged with Civil War history and it shows how the past has divided the local community. Travis is also pushed beyond his comfort zone to escape these boundaries that hold him and break the chains that have long enslaved this remote Appalachian community. Can’t get enough of the book? You can catch the book adapted for film that was released in 2015. It stars Jeremy Irvine in the lead as Travis.


American Gods by Neil Gaiman

 

What better book to add to our list than one that just debuted its series on Starz? American Gods follows the events after the main character, Shadow, is released from prison. He intends to return home to his wife, but prior to his release, his wife and tentative employer are killed in an automobile accident. With nowhere to go, and no plan in place, Shadow meets the very enigmatic Wednesday who seems to find him with great ease, employing him as a bodyguard and personal protector. Strapped to his oath, he slowly walks out of reality and into a world of mythology, meeting many people that rival Wednesday’s odd personality.

Over the course of the novel we meet many new characters and read strange stories, but the adventure culminates when Shadow learns the truth behind everything, and he is left to make a decision. This is a very fun and interesting read, and you will find yourself entirely engrossed by Gaiman’s intricate story-telling.

 

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

 

This is a little older but there is no better time to start reading it than right now. Why? The Eye of the World is the first novel to the fourteen book fantasy series Wheel of Time, and it was just announced that Sony Pictures has picked it up for a TV series. The epic series began in 1990 and was finished by Brandon Sanderson in 2013, Sanderson writing the last three novels after Jordan’s late-death.

It follows the events of several main characters including Rand al’Thor, Perrin Aybara, Matrim Cauthon, Egwene al’Vere, Nynaeve al’Meara, and many others. The series has become well known for its vast magical world and Jordan writes through hundreds of characters. Once you pick up the first book, you will not want to set any of them down until you are done with them all. From Aes Sedai, trollocs, saidin, asha’man, Tel’aran’rhiod, and the many other things that make up the Wheel of Time, there is much to read about once the journey begins the whole way until it ends.


Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory MaGuire

 

Every story has to begin somewhere, and then that story also had a beginning, and then there was one before that too, and so on. Wicked is just that, a prelude to the Wizard of Oz. It tells the story of Elphaba, otherwise known as the Wicked Witch of the West. However, she does not gain that name until sometime later in this story, which begins at her conception, one that was not done lawfully or consensually.

In this story of good and evil we get a glimpse of how constant horrors can plague what might be a good person, and transform them into someone an ordinary person might consider evil. Maguire takes an interesting perspective throughout the novel, which we see primarily by following the life and times of Elphaba. The popularity of this novel actually caught the eye of Broadway, and in 2003 the show Wicked was launched, based on this novel.

As always, we hope you enjoy our list! Let us know what some of your favorite spring-time reads are in the comments. 


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