Spring Reading Recommendations


Regan Mies, Editor

The snow is just beginning to melt, the breeze is crisp but warming, and we can finally see blue sky through thick blankets of clouds. Or maybe that’s all just wishful thinking on my part. Although we did just have our first snow day of the year, I’d like to imagine that spring is very, very slowly making its way back to Stearns County. Soon, we’ll have weather perfect for getting outside and listening to audiobooks while walking your dog or for reading in front of your window on a sunny but brisk Saturday morning, so I’ve put together a quick list of great books to pick up in the coming spring months! (And even if it does just keep snowing, I’d still recommend these novels.)

With his recent launch of SpaceX’s latest rocket, the Falcon Heavy, prototypes of functioning sci-fi-movie-ready space suits, and the Boring Company’s newest product (flame throwers?!), Elon Musk seems to be all over the news. I found his biography, Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, really, really interesting. If you’ve ever wondered about the man behind Tesla, SpaceX, the relatively new tunneling start-up called the Boring company, and SolarCity, this book gets into all the bits and pieces of Elon Musk and his companies in an accessible way. Although he’s not the nicest guy—a bit of a jerk, really—you can’t deny that Musk is a genius. If anything, read this book so that when Elon starts taking over the world (and our solar system), you’ll know what’s up.

Now, for a jump to the other side of the genre spectrum! I feel like I have no choice but to recommend Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine, which I do on a fairly regular basis. Bradbury uses this novel to tell the nostalgia-inducing story of a young boy named Douglass in small-town Illinois over the course of one long, adventurous summer. If any book at all can make me look forward to warming weather and the sound of lawn mowers, it’s this one. Even after I read it far too many times in the process of writing my extended essay last semester (about this novel and another of Bradbury’s works, The Martian Chronicles), I think I might just have to pick it up again this spring. If that doesn’t convince you it’s worth a try, I don’t know what will.

If it does stay cozy and cold for a bit longer, A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles is perfect for Sunday evenings and hot tea. The novel is immersive, elegant, and absolutely beautiful. In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is sentenced to house arrest in a grand, aristocratic hotel called the Metropol. The story spans decades of Russian history as seen through the eyes of a powerful and intricate cast of characters. Although it’s already 462 dense pages long, I truly never wanted this one to end.

Finally, I want to recommend a really fun and light-hearted young adult novel. Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli tells the story of closeted, gay high-schooler Simon Spier in his junior year. After a revealing email gets into the wrong hands, things start to get messy, and Simon is forced to find a way to step out of his comfort zone. Parts of this story are intense and dramatic, some are hilarious, and most are adorable. I read this one a while back, but I remember spending the majority of it grinning. A movie adaption is coming out on March 16 this year, titled Love, Simon and wow, I can’t wait to see it. So, if any of this sounds interesting you, I’d highly recommend reading the book in time for the movie’s spring release!