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    257 Books To Choose From For The BuzzFeed Books Spring Reading Challenge

    Spring has sprung and so has our first official reading challenge!

    by ,

    Feeling like your TBR needs some ~ spring cleaning ~ ? Join our 2021 Spring Reading Challenge! We've got six fun categories just waiting to be checked off by your next book.

    A colorful graphic explaining the Spring 2021 challenge
    Alexa Fishman/BuzzFeed

    One book can count for multiple categories (notice the crossover between "cottagecore vibes" and "plant covers" *wink wink*), btw!

    Excited yet? You better be! And in case you need some inspo for each category, we compiled some of our editors' favorite recommendations.

    A book set in a place on your bucket list
    Alexa Fishman/BuzzFeed

    15 YA Books To Read If You Really Miss Traveling

    HarperTeen/Olga Pichkova / Via abigailhingwen.com

    These 21 Amazing Books Will Inspire You To Explore The World

    HarperCollins/Simon and Schuster
    A genre you don't usually read
    Alexa Fishman/BuzzFeed

    Here Are The Best Science Fiction And Fantasy Books Coming Out This Spring

    MCD; Tor Teen; HarperTeen; Harper Voyager; Erewhon; Tor

    21 Upcoming Historical Fiction Books You're Going To Love

    Freiling Publishing/Amazon Crossing

    30 New YA Books You'll Want To Read This Spring

    Swoon Reads/Aiden Thomas / Via aiden-thomas.com

    10 Creepy Horror Books From Around The World

    Scribner, Picador
    A book published this year
    Alexa Fishman/BuzzFeed

    Stay up-to-date on 2021's latest releases with our weekly #TuesdayBookDrop!

    BuzzFeed
    A book with a plant on the cover
    Alexa Fishman/BuzzFeed

    Of Women and Salt by Gabriela Garcia

    Flatiron Books

    This poignant story follows multiple generations of Cuban and Cuban American women. Jeanette, combatting addiction, is determined to understand her family history, but her mother — who’s still processing the emotional effects of leaving Cuba — won’t give up much. When Jeanette travels to Cuba to visit her grandmother, uncomfortable secrets and betrayals come to light. In breathtaking prose and evocative imagery, Garcia allows the reader to travel through history alongside these complicated, resilient women as they navigate a legacy of trauma.

    Read it with the BuzzFeed Book Club this April!

    World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments by Aimee Nezhukumatathil

    Milkweed Editions

    Reading World of Wonders, it’s clear that Nezhukumatathil is a poet. These essays sing with joy and longing — each focusing on a different natural wonder, all connected by the thread of Nezhukumatathil’s curiosity and her identification with the world’s beautiful oddities. In bits and pieces, we learn about a chaotic childhood spent moving around the country for her parents’ jobs, among white classmates who made certain she understood she wasn’t like them. We learn about her life by learning about the creatures that helped her survive or understand it — how the axolotl’s smile can be deployed when “a white girl tells you what your brown skin can and cannot wear,” how the touch-me-not plant protects itself. It’s a heartwarming, poignant, and often funny collection, enlivened by Fumi Nakamura’s dreamy illustrations.

    These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

    Margaret K. McElderry Books

    These Violent Delights will sweep you away into a rich, luscious, and gritty world, and it's perfect for those looking for an adventurous escape. This Romeo and Juliet retelling is set in 1920s Shanghai and follows Roma Montagov and Juliette Cai, both leaders of rival gangs who must work together to save their city from a monster in the depths of the Huangpu River. Told in multiple POVs, it's compelling, high stakes, and extremely immersive.

    An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

    Algonquin Books

    Celestial and Roy are the definition of the American Dream: newlyweds both on the brink of exciting careers. But when Roy is suddenly arrested and convicted of a crime Celestial knows he's innocent of, their lives are turned upside down. Celestial, facing twelve years without her husband, turns to her childhood friend and Roy's best man Andre for comfort. As years pass, Celestial and Roy find themselves unable to hang on to the love they once shared. After five years, Roy is suddenly released on an overturned conviction and returns to Atlanta to restart his life with Celestial, only to find that nothing is quite the same as it once was. A moving and intimate story of three people who are bound and unbound by love, happenstance, and pain, An American Marriage is a masterpiece of storytelling.

    Hex by Rebecca Dinerstein Knight

    Penguin Books

    After an accidental poisoning in her lab, biological scientist Nell Barber is booted from her PhD program, where she was studying toxins and antidotes. Reeling from this blow, and looking for ways to continue her research on her own, Nell finds herself yearning for her beloved, enchanting mentor, botanist Dr. Joan Kallas. She begins journaling in notebooks dedicated to Joan, where she tracks not only her work but also her deepening insights into beauty, desire, knowledge, and love — all of which is complicated by her ex, her best friend, and Joan’s husband.

    A book that gives off cottagecore vibes
    Alexa Fishman/BuzzFeed

    The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey

    Algonquin Books

    As Bailey intimately recounts the period of her life she spent bedridden from an illness doctors couldn't quite figure out, she also shares details about one of the few things that brought her solace: a common garden snail that has taken up a home on her nightstand. Interspersed with snail facts and a sense of wonderment towards a misunderstood creature is a story of resilience, survival, and an appreciation of life itself.

    A Million Junes by Emily Henry

    Razorbill

    Jack "June" O'Donnell has never questioned her parents rule about staying away from the Angerts or wondered what had caused the century-long feud between the two families. That is, until she met Saul Angert, back from three mysterious years away from Five Fingers, Michigan. As Saul and June find the connection between them growing stronger, the ghosts and magic that surround their families also come out to play, hinting at a secret curse that has haunted their bloodlines for generations. With her life thrown into chaos and her heart torn by love, June will have to decide if she can betray her legacy and let go of her past.

    Little Weirds by Jenny Slate

    Back Bay Books

    Part magical realism, part non-fiction, 100% weird. In true Jenny Slate fashion, this collection of essays, stories, and poems border on the absurd, with a touch of whimsy that weaves itself into each chapter. Just a few of the books topics include: the smell of honeysuckle, a vagina singing sad old songs, a French-kissing rabbit, and a dog who appears in dreams as a spiritual guide. Earnest, surreal, and as heartbreaking as it is cozy, Little Weirds truly lives up to its name and more.

    Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver

    Penguin Press

    Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver was the master of beautiful and accessible poetry about nature, humanity, and existence — and these poems, which span more than five decades — showcase her unembellished brilliance.

    The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

    Pamela Dorman Books

    In a quiet retirement village, four friends in their seventies spend their Thursdays discussing unsolved crimes. When a mysterious death occurs right in their neighborhood, they see an opportunity to use their honed skills on an active case — but can they solve it before it's too late?

    The Tea Dragon Society by K. O'Neill

    Oni Press

    After finding a lost tea dragon in a marketplace, young blacksmith apprentice Greta becomes tied up in the world of tea dragons, whimsical and adorable creatures. As she befriends local tea shop owners, Hesekiel and Erik, and their shy ward Minette, Greta learns the dying art of caring for tea dragons and sees how it enriches her new friends' lives — and soon her own. This touching graphic novel is fun for all ages and full of the warm cozy feelings you get from drinking a cup of tea.

    A collection of poetry or short stories
    Alex Fishman/BuzzFeed

    32 Short Story Collections That Will Cure Even The Worst Reading Slump

    Dorothy Project, Liveright, New Directions, Strange Object, Scribner, Amistad Press, Harper Perennial, 37 Ink

    13 Books By Queer Poets To Add To Your Reading List

    Haymarket Books, Britteney Black Rose Kapri

    Still not seeing something you like? Follow us on Instagram to get continuous recommendations as the challenge goes on! And don't forget to use #BFBooksChallenge so we can follow along. So which category are you most excited about?

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