When you’re shopping for Easter treats it’s all too easy to head directly to the shelves piled high with chocolate eggs. But how about moving away from edible presents and choosing something lasting this year? We’ve selected some of our favourite books that have something of spring about them, whether that’s the colour of the binding or the nature themes inside; these are editions that will satisfy literary – rather than chocolate – cravings.
Illustration by Pierre Mornet
With the setting and characters’ lives so closely intertwined with nature, Middlemarch is an obvious choice for an Easter gift. It also happens to be one of the greatest novels in history; an epic story of a community adapting to a fast-changing world, and a boundary-pushing work by a female writer.
Long Walk to Freedom
Nelson Mandela’s biography is essential reading. The striking yellow binding features an anti-apartheid rally poster, and the Folio edition includes 41 pages of photographs. Charting Mandela’s life as a descendent of the Thembu royal house, to his campaigning, political career, family life and humanitarian work, this is the story of one of the world’s great leaders.
Illustration by Sandra Rilova
Mysticism and mystery are at the heart of this unique and moving book. Jostein Gaarder interweaves the teachings of some of the greatest Western philosophers, as his young protagonist grapples with life’s big questions while trying to solve the fantastical twists of a much bigger story.
An edition with a green binding, this collection of 200 tales has been gathered from the length and breadth of Italy. Featuring stories full of heroism, omens and daredevil antics, this page-turning collection is an invaluable treasury of the country’s folkloric heritage.
Illustration by Gérard DuBois
Philip Larkin: Collected Poems
One of the most widely read poets of the 20th century, Larkin was able to transform everyday events and observations into memorable and remarkable poems that struck a chord – and continue to strike one – with readers from every walk of life. There are plenty of references to spring in his work – ‘The Trees’ and ‘The Whitsun Weddings’ to name just two poems – and the Folio edition celebrates this seasonal theme with a beautiful green binding and slipcase.