Author: Sherry Helms
Here is a list of 10 Must-read Classic Books of all time that our editorial team compiled for you after making a rigorous online research. Though this list could be endless, our adept team members restricted it to just 10 titles by selecting books that are highly readable, very popular and widely-recommended by bibliophiles.
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens – While reading this classic book, readers become part of an extremely turbulent part of history – the bloody, terrifying French Revolution. One of the Charles Dickens’s most influential literary works, its opening line is possibly the highly admired in literature: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…” Oscillating from France during its revolution to England, across the English Channel, the author looks at the politics of his day that was not only disturbing the peace of the nation but also invading people’s personal lives.
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien – In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell by chance into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins.
While reading this mesmerizing story, readers’ would fully engulfed in a real world, with real people. The eloquence with which Tolkien compiled this book makes Middle Earth come out of the pages, letting you feel as one of the characters of this book. This is an amazing classic literature of all time.
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo – This is an 1862 French novel by author Victor Hugo that is widely considered one of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century. This classic literary work has a moving story of the trials of the peasant Jean Valjean, a man unjustly imprisoned, baffled by destiny, who is hounded by his nemesis, an ambiguously malevolent police detective Javert. This epic is at once a tense thriller that contains one of the most compelling chase scenes in all literature, an epic portrayal of the nineteenth-century French citizenry, and a vital drama of the redemption of one human being.
The Godfather by Mario Puzo – More than thirty years ago, a classic was born. A searing novel of the Mafia underworld, The Godfather introduced readers to the first family of American crime fiction, the Corleones, and the powerful legacy of tradition, blood, and honor that was passed on from father to son. With its themes of the seduction of power, the pitfalls of greed, and family allegiance, it resonated with millions of readers across the world—and became the definitive novel of the virile, violent subculture that remains steeped in intrigue, in controversy, and in our collective consciousness.
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins – Widely regarded as one of the first (and finest) in the genre of ‘sensation novels’, this classic work tells the story of one woman’s journey through madness, murder, and mistaken identity. This is a classic work of Victorian sensationalism employing many of the sleuthing techniques of later private detectives. Highly histrionic and often the portrayer of strong female characters, Wilkie Collins intertwine the story of two sisters– one delicate and pretty and the other strong and indomitable. Though almost forgotten today but was a sensational best-seller of its day, this classic mystery is still worth-to-read, today.
A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway – The best American novel to emerge from World War I, this is the unforgettable story of an American ambulance driver on the Italian front and his passion for a beautiful English nurse. Hemingway’s frank portrayal of the love between Lieutenant Henry and Catherine Barkley, caught in the inexorable sweep of war, glows with an intensity unrivaled in modern literature. This is a moving story of love and pain, of loyalty and desertion, representing a new romanticism in classic era of literature.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – This is a classic love story in the recommendation list of our readers. Vivacious and witty Elizabeth Bennet, the second eldest of the five daughters whom Mrs Bennett is anxious to put into marriage, hastily dismissed the superior Mr. Darcy – the most disagreeable man in the world. But, as soon as he realizes that he is deeply in love with Elizabeth, he starts improving his stubborn manners and made her to change mind. This volume is loved by book-lovers for its depth, humor and playfulness.
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen – This is another great classic work by Jane Austen that everyone who has or aspire to have a romantic love story in his/her life should read. It is a timeless tale of romantic manners and mores in which two vastly different sisters (the Dashwood sisters) experience love and loss under the rigid view of British society. We can say this novel is an excellent introduction to Austen’s works because of its relative simplicity and the use of typical themes and social situations.
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell – First published in 1936, this book is a historical novel set off against the harrowing milieu of the American Civil War. This American classic has a page-turning story in which a manipulative woman, Scarlett O’Hara and a roguish man, Rhett Butler carry on a turbulent love affair in the American south during the Civil War and Reconstruction. Its movie adaptation is also as popular as this book is.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – This highly consequential classic work is the story about a black man charged with the rape of a white girl. Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with rich humor and unswerving honesty the irrationality of adult attitudes toward race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s. One of the best-loved classics of all time, this Pulitzer Prize winner book has earned many acclamations since its original publication in 1960.
We invite our readers to comment and share if they have some other titles in their mind to add in this list, and they can explore the same at our specific Classic Books category.