What makes a book a classic? You may receive a wide range of answers depending on the person you ask for the subject. But, there is something they all have in common. They last through time. Featuring timeless bestsellers, iconic life-changing classics, these are the classic books that everyone should read.
If you are looking for a top list of classic books that everyone should read at least once in their lifetime, this is the best place to start.
- 1984 – George Orwell
George Orwell´s picture of a world in which personal freedom is denied, where lies replace truth and where resistance is punished by torture. One of the most powerful satires ever written. Even though it was written more than 70 years ago, 1984 is a chilling prophecy about the future and today’s picture of totalitarian regimes.
Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
Recognized as one of the most beloved novels of all time, transcending the boundaries of time and age. It is no secret that Alcott based Little Women on her own early life. Follow the charming story of a New England family, where four daughters struggle to survive during the civil war, personal ambitions and responsibilities between their childhood and adulthood. Definitely one of the classic books that everyone should read.
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
One of the best loved stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird is a heart-wrenching and remarkable tale. It views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of a young girl, as her father, risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime. A must read for everyone.
- Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
With a sparkling wit, clever heroine and moving love story, Pride and Prejudice is a comedy of manners, and Jane Austen´s most popular novel. Elizabeth Bennet finds Darcy arrogant the first time she meets him. Even more, when she finds out he has been getting into her family matters. On the other hand, Darcy is increasingly attracted to her. You will fall in love with every part of this story.
- The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
An amazingly crafted tale of America in the 1920s. The Great Gatsby features the story of the mysteriously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan. Navigate through exquisite parties on Long Island when The New York Times noted “gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession,”
The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank
Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank’s remarkable diary has since become a world classic. Certainly, a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and a meaningful definition of the human spirit. This story will touch your soul, which is why it is considered one of the classic books that everyone should read.
- Moby Dick – Herman Melville
Ishmael narrates the monomaniacal quest of Ahab, captain of the whaler Pequod, for revenge on the albino sperm whale Moby Dick, which on a previous voyage destroyed Ahab’s ship and severed his leg at the knee. This story is considered to be the greatest novel of the sea ever written.
- Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
Nabokov´s most famous novel. This story narrates the old man Humbert Humbert´s passion for Dolores Haze, his landlady’s twelve year old daughter. Heart-breaking and full of ingenious word play, Lolita is an immaculate, unforgettable masterpiece of obsession, delusion and lust. A truly definition of a classic book.
- Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway
The Old Man and the Sea is one of Hemingway’s most enduring works. It is the story of an old Cuban fisherman, down on his luck. Certainly, a relentless, agonizing battle of Santiago who caught nothing for eighty-four days. However, then things changed.
The Outsiders – S. E. Hinton
No one ever said life was easy. But Ponyboy is pretty sure that he’s got things figured out. The Outsiders, a number one best seller, is a dramatic and enduring work that transformed young-adult fiction from a genre mostly about prom queens, football players and high school crushes to one that portrayed a darker, truer world. Filled with drama, this heroic story will change your life.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – J. K. Rowling
The global phenomenon, J. K. Rowling´s Harry Potter is both universally adored and critically acclaimed. The novel tells the outrageously funny, fantastic adventure story of Harry Potter, who escapes a hideous foster home thanks to a scholarship to The Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. To sum up, even if you have watched the movies, you should definitely consider reading the books!
“A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.”– Italo Calvino
So many books and so little time! But don’t worry, the perfect time is now.
I promised myself this year to read at least one book per month because there is nothing more rewarding than changing your perspective of the world through reading. As a result, I came up with this idea of making this list to share with you some iconic classics.
Challenge yourself and fill your shelves with this life changing books that YOU should read at least once in your life.