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10 Rainy Day Reads

We need very few excuses to stay cozy at home and read all day. Let’s face it, an entire day curled up in bed, or anywhere with a blanket—really, is better than just about anything else you could be doing with your day. Yet, life all too often requires us to part with our libraries and all the cozy comforts of home. The ability to read in lazy splendor for hours on end recedes into fantasy behind the daily demands of work, school, and being a contributing member of society in general. But, when April comes, fantasy becomes a reality once more and Mother Nature blesses us with rainy day after rainy day. For some, April showers mean the dawning of spring, but for any bookworm, this means the dawning of days at home spent reading.

Here to help guide your next rainy day, we’ve made a list of ten books fit for any dreary day.

  

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte 

 

There’s no better scene to match your rainy day like the dreary landscape of northern England. Abandoned as a child and sent to a charity school by her cruel aunt, Jane Eyre receives an education and begins a life as a governess at the estate of Edward Rochester where love, agony, and long kept secrets are unveiled.

Read this book if your ideal rainy day read includes orphans, romance, mystery, and dark brooding estate owners. 

 

A Room with a View by E.M. Forster

 

Also set in Europe, A Room with a View is a romance story, but at its heart also a critique of turn of the twentieth century life. Nature is just as much a character as any other in this novel, making it a perfect pre-spring book.

Read this one if your ideal rainy day read includes coming of age stories, romance, secrets, and Italian cities. 

 

The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway by Ernest Hemingway 

 

Including stories such as “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place,” “Hills Like White Elephants,” and “The Snows of Kilimanjaro,” this collection is not only great for its unending set of Hemingway, but its length as well. It’s huge—over 50 stories huge.

Read this book if your ideal rainy day read includes short stories, adventure, few adjectives, and exotic travels.

 

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

 

Disclaimer: this one is a tearjerker. The story follows the lives of four boys who meet in college and grow old in New York City. Through addiction, love, loss, and suffering, the four are bonded by an enduring friendship.

Read this one if your ideal rainy day read includes hatred for bookmarks (you won’t want to put this one down), mental illness, friendship, and you crying. 

 

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

 

Every rainy day needs a spooky mystery. Better yet, a spooky mystery set on an even spookier isolated island. On the island of Devon, eight strangers meet at a hotel, with tailored invitations catered to each individual, asking them to come for a work opportunity, leisurely trip, and so on. As the group slowly starts to shrink and the hotel patronages die one by one, the remaining few try to find the killer before it’s too late.

Read this one if your ideal rainy day read includes goose bumps, sleeping with the lights on, eerie hotels, and murder mysteries.

 

The Waves by Virginia Woolf 

 

With the sumptuous roll of water always in the background, this book is perfect for wet weather. It is beautifully composed, written in soliloquies from the six respective characters, and chronicles life parallel to the movements of the sea in the span of a single day. 

Read this one if your ideal rainy day read includes a slow meandering pace, beautiful language, tons of water imagery, and experimental narratives.

 

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

 

A rainy day is the perfect opportunity to read some poetry and sharpen up your vocabulary. Satisfy your poetic sweet tooth with Whitman’s musing on philosophy, nature, and humanity.

Read this one if your ideal rainy day read includes lilacs, silk threads, spiritual sentiments, and transcendental revelations. 

 

Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey

 

This one is another wonderful read, overflowing with lush Oregon imagery (where there’s plenty of rainy days), and enough pages to last you all day, if not longer. Sometimes a Great Notion follows a family of Oregon loggers, and carries a political undercurrent of unions, striking, and civil strife.

Read this one if your ideal rainy day read includes beautiful northwestern scenery, Beat generation writers like Kesey, and a political punch.

 

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

 

This story surrounds the mystery of a garden, and the curiosity of a little girl named Mary who is eager to unravel the garden’s secrets.

Read this one if your ideal rainy day read includes magic, mistresses, and childhood friendships.

  

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

 

In this eerie book, a blind man, an apprentice at a tattoo shop, and the haunting spirit of a mad women narrate on the oddities of a house that continuously grows new hallways. The story has a unique structure, containing footnotes within the footnotes, multiple narrators, and many pages empty aside for a few hanging words.

Read this one if your rainy day read includes strange phenomenon, unreliable narrators, and spiral staircases.

 

 Any other great April shower reads? Share them with us in the comments!