Ramadan in spring, Easter and Sham Al-Naseem; so much to look forward to! Winter is fading away (certainly not without one last fight!), and spring is blooming all around us. Things are different this year, we’re welcoming Ramadan alongside spring, and we’ll likely be eating feseekh and renga for Iftar soon (then regretting it, but alas!). It’s a new clash of unusual happenings, but that makes us all the more excited for them! This essence is what we’re focusing on!
We’re embracing this odd combo by recommending a spot-on list of books to read during this cheerful, holiday-charged spring!
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
We’ll start with the simple and the familiar! Despite getting categorised as children’s literature in the 20th century, this novel and its adaptations (most notably its most recent series adaptation on Netflix) are universally loved by adults. The premise follows Anne Shirley, an 11-year-old feisty orphan girl mistakenly sent to two middle-aged siblings, Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, and ends up staying with them. It’s a heart-warming story that’s all about new beginnings, youth, and innocent idealism. It ought to put you in a wholesome spring mood once you read it!
La Tutf’e al-Shams by Ihsan Abd al-Qudous (Don’t Set the Sun Off/The Sun Will Never Set)
The novel, 1961 film adaptation, and the recent 2017 modern series adaptation are all highly celebrated in Egypt. Now is a great time to revisit the book! The story focuses on a family following the death of the patriarch. The mother and the five children face a world that has been shaken to its core. Major themes of the story explore self-discovery and both the fright and excitement of new beginnings. Despite low moments in the book, the characters always rise again. It’s a feel-good book that’ll match with the natural vibes of spring.
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
This list wouldn’t be complete without some poetry! Since we’re under the theme of spring, nothing would fit better. When it comes to poetry, few collections do better than Leaves of Grass. Like La Tutf’e al-Shams, the title is evocative of spring and nature. The content also matches greatly and is thought-provoking!
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is another perfect fit; inspirational, energised, and heart-warming, it’s the perfect spring book! The story follows an adolescent girl who comes from an impoverished family and who, despite her times of struggles, remains hopeful and aspirational! A coming-of-age story about growing old and the paradoxes of life. It’s perfectly fitting for a paradoxical spring!