Next Monday is Memorial Day. After a cold, wet spring in many parts of the country, people will be firing up their barbeques and shaking out their picnic blankets. They should also consider shaking up their routines -- and their reading lists -- according to experts.
We usually think of time management in terms of hours, day, and sometimes years. But as writer Matt Thomas has pointed out, humans also have natural seasonal patterns. Our energy ebbs and flows and our desire to curl up or head out and get stuff done shifts with the weather. By acknowledging this reality and adjusting our routines to better fit our seasonal moods, we can get more done with less effort and more joy.
One way to do that is shift what you read. The natural inclination to cocoon in the winter makes the season the perfect time to tackle that epic novel or weighty tome. Summer reading is beach reading for many, heavy on the page turners. Fall, with its feeling of quiet and impending chill, may be best suited to pondering paradoxes and mysteries.
But what about this time of year when the birds are chirping, the sweaters are newly packed away, and life seems fresh and full of energy? The internet has suggestions.
1. Circe by Madeline Miller
Quartz's Thu-Huong Ha has a long list of literary, translation-heavy suggestions for spring. "The best of spring reading should prepare you for the onslaught of summer energy, and intensify the pleasure of the in-between, if only for a brief few weeks. It should help you embrace the uncertainty of the future," she opines. What fits the bill? Try Miller's Circe, she suggests. It's "a juicy reimagining of the story of Circe, the exiled witch who turned Odysseus's men into pigs."
2. The Pisces by Melissa Broder
Looking for another watery fantasy? Mashable's list of spring reads includes Broder's The Pisces. "The book follows Lucy, a PhD student who has been writing her dissertation for nine years. When Lucy and her boyfriend break up, she visits her sister in Los Angeles for the summer -- where she falls in love with a merman," the site explains.
3. The Year of Less by Cait Flanders
This more down-to-earth pick could inspire you to take spring cleaning to a whole new level this year. It tells the story of 20-something Flanders' decision to not buy anything aside from consumables like toothpaste and gas for a whole year. "Along the way, she... decluttered her apartment and got rid of 70 percent of her belongings; learned how to fix things rather than throw them away; researched the zero waste movement; and completed a television ban. At every stage, she learned that the less she consumed, the more fulfilled she felt," reports BookBub. ?
If it's screens, not stuff, crowding out the good things in your life, why not try this book by NYU marketing professor Alter to help you reset your digital life this spring. Amazon's editors have chosen this look at what the science of addiction has to say about our relationships with our devices as one of the best books of the season.
5. Failure Is An Option by H. Jon Benjamin
Another BookBub suggestion, this title from comedian H. Jon Benjamin, aims to "remind everyone that as great as success can be, failure is also an option. And maybe the best option." If spring is a time to launch outrageous projects, than funny stories of failure and its positive effects, might just help you dare to dream a little bigger.
6. The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer
"This novel, which you may or may not have seen plastered all over the planet, has been hailed by everyone from The New York Times to Vogue to People, who called it 'equal parts cotton candy and red meat, in the best way,'" notes blogger Joanna Goddard, who along with nearly everyone else is recommending Wolitzer's latest this spring. It's about "a college student's relationship with a Gloria Steinem-esque feminist icon who becomes her friend and mentor."
7. Startup by Doree Shafrir
Want something business-y but still light and enjoyable to kick back with this Memorial Day? Why not try this novel, also crowned by Amazon editors as one of the top titles of the season. "This fun and funny debut novel by a writer for Buzzfeed combines ambition, youth, love, and the tech world. No pun intended, but this one is getting a lot of buzz," notes Business Insider. ?
Still looking for more suggestions? Click the links for loads more, from literary novels to the latest Stephen King.