The arrival of April signals, finally, an escape from the clutches of winter and March's not-quite-Winter-not-quite-Spring vibes.
With longer evenings and (hopefully!) a bit more sunshine, spending time outdoors starts to become a very welcome prospect as opposed to its previous existence as the space between the car and the house!
To rekindle and celebrate your reunion with the outdoors, we have a summer reading selection of sunshine filled books to get you feeling sunny and content.
From early 20th Century Canadian countryside to the sublime Yorkshire moors, this is a very varied selection of books.
However, one thing unites them all and that's a great deal of sunshine and vivid, dreamy locations that will whisk you away!
1. Anne of Green Gables - L.M Montgomery
Perhaps one of the top feel-good book series for all ages, Anne of Green Gables follows the life of red-haired orphan, Anne Shirley.
Adopted by Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, the eleven year old Anne, arrives in the beautiful rural landscape and small town of Avonlea brimming with imagination and excitement. Expect plenty of musings on nature, heartfelt conversations and maybe even a few tears.
Anne of Green Gables has five sequels if you can't get enough of Anne's adventures!
“It has always seemed to me, ever since early childhood, amid all the commonplaces of life, I was very near to a kingdom of ideal beauty. Between it and me hung only a thin veil. I could never draw it quite aside, but sometimes a wind fluttered it and I caught a glimpse of the enchanting realms beyond-only a glimpse-but those glimpses have always made life worthwhile.”
2. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain
Another book for all ages, Mark Twain's 1876 classic follows free spirited 12 year old, Tom Sawyer as he skips school, gets "engaged" to girls and cleverly gets out of doing chores for his Aunt.
Set in sunny Missouri by the Mississippi River, this is a feel-good, nostalgic ode to youth and carefree summer days getting up to mischief.
“Saturday morning was come, and all the summer world was bright and fresh, and brimming with life. There was a song in every heart; and if the heart was young, the music issued at the lips. There was cheer in every face and a spring in every step. The locust-trees were in bloom, and the fragrance of the blossoms filled the air."
3. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
With its title giving away the main premise of the novel, Kerouac's "On The Road" follows the hedonistic travels of aspiring writer, Sal Paradise, a character based on Kerouac himself.
Inspired by America's "Beat" movement of the 1950's, expect plenty of discussions on jazz, philosophy and literature to the backdrop of endless journeys through the great expanse of America.
Featuring New York, San Francisco, New Orleans, Denver and Mexico City, this is a novel that will make you want to pack your bags and make your own journey across America.
“What is that feeling when you're driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? - it's the too-huge world vaulting us, and it's good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.”
4. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
Set in the Yorkshire moors, this novel for all ages follows the journey of orphaned Mary Lennox to Misselthwaite Manor.
Exploring the wild and lonely but beautiful grounds of the manor, Mary finds a secret garden and unearths many other surprises after this.
Packed with mystery, surprises and love for nature, this is book that will have you pining for secluded country lanes and quiet fields.
“Sometimes since I've been in the garden I've looked up through the trees at the sky and I have had a strange feeling of being happy as if something was pushing and drawing in my chest and making me breathe fast. Magic is always pushing and drawing and making things out of nothing. Everything is made out of magic, leaves and trees, flowers and birds, badgers and foxes and squirrels and people. So it must be all around us. In this garden - in all the places.”
5. Walden - Henry David Thoreau
An American classic, Walden, is based on Henry David Thoreau's experience of living in a cabin in the woods by Walden Pond for two years, two months, and two days.
While on the surface this may not sound like the most thrilling of books, Thoreau's social experiment is a classic that covers topics such as self-reliance and simplicity, not to mention finding out what it's like to be estranged from society for just over two years.
“We need the tonic of wildness... At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.”