12 Great Books to Read With a Flower Behind Your Ear

MR Book Club is back!


If April 25th is the perfect date for layers, May is the perfect month for books: not too hot, not too cold, all you need’s a blanket for your butt, a tree to lean up against and something good to read, no bug spray or portable fan (that does nothing) required.

Scroll through the slideshow above to see what we’re skimming. Some of our recommendations are old, some are new, but of course, the list isn’t complete — tell us what you’re reading so we can all join in!

Photos by Edith Young.

Check out our other MR Book Club recommendations here: 10 Works of Black Literature America Needs Right Now, 11 Must-Read Books for Winter Hibernation, 12 Fall Recommendations and last year’s Guide to the Best Summer Beach Reads.

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  • Laure-Helene

    Oooo. Thank you for reminding me of A wrinkle in Time, it was such a favorite of mine and I definitely need to acquire a copy as an adult.

    Also Argonauts x10000 and am excited to check out some of these other recommendations

    • Patty Carnevale

      A favorite of mine, too!!!

    • Betsy

      I teach middle school English and while some books come and go, A Wrinkle in Time holds up against time itself. So good.

  • Dani Heifetz

    Abstract City costs $1,444? (check the amazon link!)

  • Just read Rules of Civility by Amor Towles and it’s so goooood!! I was ready to read it again the moment I finished the last page

    • Adrianna

      I enjoyed that book too. It was the perfect airplane/vacation read

  • Julia

    I just finally read “My Life in Paris” by Julia Child! I love cooking and food and France. The way she explains everything is beautiful. Her nostalgia makes me think if I had read this book 10 years ago I would have followed my childhood dream of being a chef.

  • Kay Nguyen

    “Sick in the head”? I just read the title and I was pretty much sold <3


  • Aydan

    great great recommendations! def want to buy some of those as they sound like gorgeous books to own and keep coming back to! I recently read the terranauts (sci-fi but approachable — more about the meaning of life, humanity, etc.) and the men in my life (a memior) both were phenomenal and would def recommend!

  • Hilary

    These all sound excellent! It’s always fascinating to see what you’re all reading. Also, I particularly love reading all your answers to “Where are you reading it?” – such lovely summery descriptions. <3

    I just finished Jitterbug Perfume, and I've been recommending it to everyone. I adore Tom Robbins, and this has handily taken the top spot as my favorite book of his. Next up on my reading list is Valley of the Dolls.

    • Megan

      Ugh yessss, Jitterbug Perfume is an all-time favorite. It’s Tom Robbins at his best for sure!

    • Love Tom Robbins! Skinny Legs and All is my favorite, and Jitterbug Perfume is a close second.

    • Adrianna

      I was surprised by how much I loved Valley of the Dolls. I also recommend Peyton Place

    • Jitterbug Perfume is on my shelf to read right now. I keep setting it aside, but I definitely need to make it my next read now!

  • Haley Scott

    Thank you for the recommendation Edith, et al!

  • Catherine Elizabeth

    Man Repeller should start a Goodreads account to track what books people are reading, have discussions, maybe even start a book club?

    • Molly D


    • Sophie ♥

      Yes please!

    • YES! Please! (am already there …waiting 🙂

    • Leliforever

      please, please, please, YES!

    • Ashley Hamilton

      Amazing idea.

  • Molly D

    The Untethered Soul is incredible. Anyone with a voice in their head (everyone) should read it I highlighted it on the bus on my way to work, pretending it was I was a student and it was for school.

  • beccamu

    gahhh jane eyre is everything!!! no matter how many times i read it, i’m always surprised by something i didn’t notice before

  • Natalie

    If you decide to read A Wrinkle In Time and enjoy it, consider also reading another one L’Engle’s books – A Wind in the Door. It’s not as widely read, but still beautiful and resonates deeply, like much of her writing.

  • Meg S

    I hated Things Fall Apart, but I read it for school and that seems to make all the difference. I might give it another shot on my own. A Wrinkle in Time is my favorite childhood book. It might have something to do with amazing girls named Meg, but it’s a really great book and I’ve read it several times in adulthood. Murakami is always a home run for me, so I second this. Colonize This! is now on my summer reading list. I need to look into the others a little more thoroughly too.

  • Cristina

    Currently reading Behind Closed Doors. I like a good thriller, especially one set in the UK so I can read with an accent in my head.

  • I always find something great in your recommendations. The Rules Do Not Apply sounds incredible, adding to my to read list right now

    – Natalie

  • Donna

    Men Explain Things to Me. Check it out.

    • Donna

      Also Careergasm

  • Sophie ♥

    I am currently reading ‘The Curated Closet’ in an attempt to minimise my wardrobe and maximise my use out of what I own and also ‘The Cows’ by Dawn O’Porter. Pure unadulterated contemporary fiction at its finest with plenty of humour throughout.

  • starryhye

    Love this! I’ve been on quite the bender at my local library, so I get excited to add more books to my list. I’ve recently finished Jessica Valenti’s Sex Object, The Handmaid’s Tale, and loads of Liane Moriarty’s books. Currently on Cat Marnell’s How to Murder Your Life 😀

  • I’m reading ‘What Lies Beyond the Stars’ by Michael Goorjian. ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ is a classic!

    I haven’t read State of Wonder, but Bel Canto is one of my favorites if anyone is looking for something else by Ann Patchett.
    Also, going to reiterate that a Goodreads account would be awesome for Man Repeller!

    • Adrianna

      Loved Truth and Beauty by Ann Patchett, and I’m not the type of person who has an intense friendship