Thursday, April 4, 2019

7 Must-Read Classic Books


Reading never goes out of style. Regardless of the format, be it on traditional paper or on e-readers, books make timeless companions for persons of all ages and generations. Here we have 7 of our top picks of the must-read classics, perfect for spending a quiet day or taking a break from the frenetic pace of modern life.




1. “Les Miserables” by Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo’s epic work tackling the human condition tells the life and times of Jean Valjean, known at some point to the French justice system as Prisoner 24601. After serving 19 years in the galleys as a prison sentence after stealing a loaf of bread, Valjean must struggle to make a living in the ever-changing landscape of 19th century France. This mammoth work has been adapted into several movies and a musical play; however, these can only do so much compared to the original text in telling of the colorful personages Valjean’s life intersects with, and Valjean’s journey towards redemption. 

2. “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriela Garcia Marquez

A gem of the Latin American novel canon, “One Hundred Years of Solitude” tells the tale of seven generations of the Buendias, a family residing in the town of Macondo. Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s surreal writing brings to life a whole household of lively characters, who all meet fantastical fates. For initiates as well as aficionados of magical realism, this book is a must!  

3. “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy by JRR Tolkien

A groundbreaker in the high fantasy genre, the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy introduces the reader to Frodo Baggins, an unlikely character entrusted with destroying a powerful Ring that heralds the return of the evil lord Sauron. The beauty of this trilogy of books is in the world JRR Tolkien created; few realms are as detailed, magical and complex as the Middle Earth that has stoked the imaginations of many readers and writers for decades. 

4. “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen

This spirited tale of dislike-turned-to-love has become the subject of several movies and a delectable mini-series. Nevertheless, nothing quite matches Jane Austen’s witty prose, and the verbal repartee she gives two of English literature’s most beloved characters: the intelligent Elizabeth Bennet and the brooding yet gentlemanly Fitzwilliam Darcy. 

5. “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee

Of the novels on this list, “To Kill a Mockingbird” has achieved two distinctions: it has won a Pulitzer Prize, but it has also been challenged on schools’ reading lists owing to its controversial subject matter. Harper Lee’s semi-autobiographical tale follows the life and times of Scout Finch, a girl residing in the fictional town of Maycomb in Alabama. As Scout grows up through the years of the Great Depression of the 1930s, she witnesses the best and worst of the town, particularly when her father, the lawyer Atticus Finch, defends a black man accused of a heinous crime. 

6. “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding

What starts off as a group of children’s idealistic dream to create an island paradise descends into a cataclysm of violence and death in this short but powerful cautionary tale. William Golding’s young hero Ralph is a wonderful and sympathetic character that readers can root for, and later fear for as the book reaches its terrifying climax. 

7. “Dracula” by Bram Stoker

Want to know where the “original” vampire story came from? Bram Stoker’s famous novel is among the works that have inspired many other books as well as movies and TV shows dealing with the blood-sucking Undead. The story is told as a series of letters and diary entries, giving the reader a first-hand look at the frantic quest of a group of friends to hunt down the powerful vampire Dracula. Suspense is mingled with horror in this book that will surely keep readers up till the late hours of the night! 

These are only a few of the many novels that have made a mark not only in readers’ imagination but in history. Hopefully picking up one, or all of these books, will hone your appetite for good stories and begin your foray into the wonderful journey of exploring world literature!  

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