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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at South Carolina chapter.

Looking for a new read this spring? I’ve got you covered with several selections for all different moods, learning, or self-reflection!

My recommendations will be focused on newer, more obscure novels with varying opinions on the subject matter. While the novels recommended are to help inspire thinking and different moods, they may not be the best fit for all readers.

That being said, all novels listed will have a small disclaimer on content and/or a warning for some audiences.

If Cats Disappeared From the World: Genki Kawamura

*Disclaimer: Illness, Death, Self-Contemplation*

While the title may seem misleading, this beautifully written exposition by Genki Kawamura, director of award winning films Your Name and Weathering with You, on the necessities of the modern day will move you to tears.

Although spring 2023 is looking up, If Cats Disappeared From the World creates a wider worldview and a sense of loss and reconciliation. Pondering the existence of the self and companionship, this morality-bending novel works to quite literally break the psyche down just to restructure it — to build attention to what all we have in relation to what we could lose.

While the novel pulls on the heart-strings, this lovely piece about human existence and the companionship of a cat will prove to be a newfound reflectional piece this spring!

Wolfish: Erica Berry

*Disclaimer: Actively breaks down fears, male predation*

Here we have the oddest addition to our spring 2023 book list — but while odd, Erica Berry navigates through predatory and prey relationships in the vast world we exist in. Being able to take on the role of both predator and prey, Berry lyrically associates a link between humans and wolves.

Charting the life of a tagged wolf and the life of the author, Wolfish takes on fear, danger, and body autonomy in both a primitive (wolf-like) and modern (human) relationship to blend the domestic and wilderness.

Spring 2023 is the time to learn something new! Wolfish allows for introspective learning on the political, social, and environmental roles that wolves and humans share, but also the raw livelihood who faces both predation and being preyed upon.

Before the Coffee Gets Cold: Toshikazu Kawaguchi

*Disclaimer: Depictions of dead loved ones, Mental illness (Alzheimer’s)*

Go ahead and think of your favorite novelistic coffee shop. Well, Kawaguchi has you beat with his crafty, magical coffee shop that has treated customers with a nice steamy cup o’ joe for more than 100 years.

This coffee shop grants time travel-like abilities, but unlike the typical science fiction time travel novel, Kawaguchi sets his limits. However, there are no limits on the age-old question: What would you do if you could go back in time?

This emotionally challenging book with very specific parameters around it leave much to the imagination of what all the human mind can take, while also questioning the length of time it takes for a cup of coffee to get cold.

The Body Keeps the Score: Bessel van der Kolk

*Disclaimer: Trauma, Sexual Assault, Violence*

Easily one of the sadder novels recommended, Dr. Bessel van der Kolk’s work exemplarily details the effects that trauma has on the human mind and body. Declaring that trauma is a fact of life, van der Kolk not only welcomes trauma, but makes sure trauma has a place in everyday life.

Without a need to exile trauma, the novel works to help readers understand their trauma responses and give them meaning. The Body Keeps the Score also notes how past traumas can change a person’s responses to pleasures, engagement, self-control, and trust.

Explaining both his and his fellow researcher’s findings, van der Kolk writes to help mollify the public health issues surrounding stress and trauma.

This novel not only helps explain trauma responses to those with unhealed wounds, but can help anyone with tips and tricks to prevent further mental and physical injury due to trauma.

Now go ahead and grab your copy! It’s time for some good spring reading in 2023!

Anna Henderson

South Carolina '24

Anna Grace is a Junior English major and Education minor at the University of South Carolina. She is extremely passionate about literature and information access and hopes to pursue a career in teaching one day!