New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

Start your spring right with these 4 books

It’s time to get excited about the weather warming up.
Kennon Cummings
(Kennon Cummings for WSN)

There’s nothing more exciting than the first day the weather is warm enough to head to the park, bask in the sun and finally get lost in a good book. It’s important to pick the right read before heading outside for the whole day, and we have compiled a list of the perfect books for the blooming season.


“Emma” by Jane Austen

An illustration of a green book with several white chairs on it. “EMMA” and “JANE AUSTEN” are written in white.
(Kennon Cummings for WSN)

Jane Austen’s “Emma” is the quintessential companion for afternoons spent basking in the sun at the park or at a cafe drinking tea. The novel follows its titular protagonist, a young woman named Emma who lives in the English countryside, as she navigates love and societal expectations in the early 19th century. Austen’s elegant prose and the gentle unfolding of the narrative captures the essence of spring rejuvenation.


“You Are Here: Poetry in the Natural World” by Ada Limón

An illustration of a blue book with a deer jumping over shrubs drawn in black. The cover says “YOU ARE HERE” in white, “POETRY IN THE NATURAL WORLD” in orange and “EDITED AND INTRODUCED BY ADA LIMON” in black and white.
(Kennon Cummings for WSN)

“You are Here: Poetry in the Natural World” is a collection of 50 poems from some of today’s most revered poets that is edited and introduced by Ada Limón, the 24th Poet Laureate of the United States. The poems in this collection explore various facets of nature, from the beauty of the earth to the looming climate crisis. With April marking the return of both spring flowers and National Poetry Month, there’s no better time to read this meditation on the world around us.


“The Enchanted April” by Elizabeth von Arnim

An illustration of a book cover with a woman sitting in a garden of flowers overlooking the water. The cover says “THE ENCHANTED APRIL” in white and “VINTAGE VON ARNIM” in brown and white.
(Kennon Cummings for WSN)

In the melancholic days of early spring in the city, there is generally nothing people desire more than an escape to warmth and sunshine. In Elizabeth von Arnim’s classic, “The Enchanted April,” she tells the tale of four women facing different personal conflicts who find solace from the gloom of London in a medieval Italian castle in Portofino. As the women revel in the luxury of idleness for the first time in their lives, the novel reflects on the essence of happiness and its pursuit.


“Matisse” by Volkmar Essers

An illustration of a white book cover with a blue contorted body on it in a black box. On the cover, “MATISSE”, “VOLKMAR ESSERS” and “TASCHEN” are written in white.
(Kennon Cummings for WSN)

The vibrance of spring brings to mind the bright colors and natural settings associated with the Fauvist art movement, in which the French painter Henri Matisse was incredibly prominent. In Volkmar Essers’ book, “Matisse,” the artist’s life and work are analyzed and explored. Filled with colorful images and evocative essays, “Matisse” paints the picture of a masterful artist whose work undeniably evokes the feelings of springtime.

Contact the Arts Desk at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Alexa Donovan
Alexa Donovan, Deputy Arts Editor
Alexa Donovan is a sophomore majoring in Journalism and Art History and minoring in Creative Writing. Her favorite drink is lemonade and her party trick is listing the U.S. presidents in chronological order. You can find her in Bobst Library most hours of the day, on instagram @alexadonovan/@lemonadequeen5678 and on Goodreads @alexafdonovan.

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