Rainy Day Reads

April 16, 2019 Top Ten Tuesday 16

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/meme now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. The meme was originally the brainchild of The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Rainy Day Reads.


To me, any book is a good rainy day read. I mean, that’s what rainy days are for, right? That said, there are some books that seem particularly apt for reading on a rainy day. I’ve put them in order based on reading age, from youngest to adult.


Books that feature rain

On Noah’s Ark (Jan Brett) features Noah’s granddaughter getting all the animals onto the ark. The rising waters rock them to sleep, and eventually, as the floodwaters go down, they all exit the ark. Brett’s artwork is charming and intricate, as always.

Winnie the Pooh (A. A. Milne). The chapter about the blustery day, which turns into a blustery night and results in a flooded Hundred Acre Wood, is particularly apt on a rainy day.

The Children of Green Knowe (L. M. Boston).  Days of cold, winter rain mean rising waters around Green Knowe, the ancient manor house owned by Tolly’s great-grandmother. In the beginning of the book, Tolly has to cross floodwaters to reach the house, and the flooding certainly adds a rainy-day atmosphere to the book.

A Wrinkle in Time (Madeleine L’Engle) deliberately starts out with “It was a dark and stormy night.”  The first chapter takes place during a stormy, windy night, which ties in nicely with the book’s themes of light vs. darkness, facing your fears, and standing firm against the (metaphoric) storm.

The Nine Tailors (Dorothy Sayers) starts out with a snowstorm in England’s fen country, but later in the book, spring rains flood the flat countryside, forcing parishioners to take refuge in the village church that lies at the center of the mystery Lord Peter Wimsey is trying to solve. An added bonus: you’ll learn a bit about English-style bell-ringing.

Miranda – The Tempest. John William Waterhouse. (Wikimedia Commons; public domain)

The Tempest (William Shakespeare) begins with a storm that causes a shipwreck. And it’s not the only play in which Shakespeare references bad weather. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the natural world is experiencing rain and unseasonable cold as a result of a dispute between Oberon and Titania, the king and queen of the fairies (Act 2, Scene 1.) And King Lear invokes the storms in Act 3, Scene 2:

Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!
You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout
Till you have drench’d our steeples, drown’d the cocks!

The Dark Place (Aaron Elkins) begins with the discovery of a murdered man in the temperate rainforests of Olympia National Park, where a day without rain is a rarity, and significant portions of the book take place within the forest’s damp, twilit bounds.

Second Wind (Dick Francis) is one of my least favorite books by one of my favorite mystery writers, but it does involve rain—specifically, a hurricane, which forces TV meteorologist Perry Stuart’s hurricane-tracking plane down on a Caribbean island. And that’s just the start of his problems.


What rainy-day books would you recommend?

16 Responses to “Rainy Day Reads”

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      Winnie the Pooh was a formative influence! I have my mother’s well-loved copy, and I was a child when the first Disney versions came out. I also had (and still have) the first LP with Maurice Evans reading three selected chapters/stories.

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      Thanks! It’s a wonderful painting. Waterhouse is one of my favorite English painters, especially his more pre-Raphaelite works.

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      Thank you! Yes, I love that painting too. I included it in a collection of paintings and fantasy art that I use as both desktop wallpaper and screensaver.

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      Gaudy Night is my favorite, too, followed by Have His Carcase and Murder Must Advertise. Although honestly, I love them all (or nearly all.)

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      Me too, for all three authors! Except Dick Francis; I haven’t read a few of the later ones he wrote with Felix, nor any of Felix’s on his own. But thanks to your recommendation, I intend to try those again. And there are a few of L’Engle’s adult books I haven’t read yet. I’m sort of saving them.

  1. Katherine Pitts @ I Wish I Lived in a Library

    Love your choices for this topic! A Wrinkle in Time is a perfect blustery day read as is Winnie the Pooh! I discovered The Children of Green Knowe quite by accident (looking up L.M. Montgomery books) and have really wanted to read it ever since. Maybe I should get a copy ready in reserve for the next rainy day. I really want to read more Sayers. For as much as I love Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, and Patricia Wentworth I have sadly neglected Sayers.

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      Oh, you should definitely read the Green Knowe books. They aren’t all the same, the way some series are; they don’t even always have the same main characters. But they are enchanting. The Tornado might enjoy having them read to him, or reading them himself.

      And yes, please do read all the Sayers mysteries! They are so good! Of course, some are better than others, as with any author, but on the whole, they are wonderful. You might also give Josephine Tey a try, from the same era. She didn’t write many mysteries, but the ones I’ve read are all good.