Want to read the classics but don’t know where to start? Or feel lost at the bookstore in the vast sea of classic novels to choose from?
Here is a list of the Top 10 Classics You Must Read Before You Die to help get you started! (in no particular order)
1.) Dracula – Bram Stoker
A great gothic read for Halloween! Count Dracula attempts to move from Transylvania to England but Jonathan Harkness and Van Helsing stand in his way.
2.) Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
Another great read for Halloween! Frankenstein depicts the story of Dr. Frakenstein’s monster and his coming to terms with life after being reanimated. It is also the study of the potential of science in the time period (about 1818).
3.) Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
For the romantics out there! Perhaps you have seen the many movie adaptations and want to read the original novel. Pride and Prejudice tells the story of Elizabeth Bennet and her sisters as they each get married off, particularly focusing on Lizzie and Mr. Darcy – her “arch nemesis” so to speak. Don’t worry, it has a happy ending. 😉
4.) The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
Ahhh the Great Gatsby. One of my all time personal favorites! This 1920s novel is a story told by Nick Carraway about his friend Jay Gatsby and his love affair with the beautiful and rich Daisy Buchanan. If you can’t live in the jazz age at least you can read about it!
5.) Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
This is story of a girl named Jane Eyre who grows up poor, mentally and emotionally abused, and then goes off to boarding school and later becomes a teacher and a governess. When she becomes a governess she moves to Thornfield where she meets the mysterious Mr. Rochester. The whole east wing of the house is closed off, and Jane can hear eery laughter coming from the attic. A gothic tale that only a Bronte could write, this is a classic you can’t pass up!
6.) The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
Moving from 19th century English literature to American 1960s novels we come to Sylvia Plath and her heart wrenching novel The Bell Jar. It is a semi-autobiographical novel of Sylvia’s own struggles with depression and her time in mental hospitals (including electroshock therapy) – you could think of The Bell Jar as the pre-cursor to Girl, Interrupted.
7.) David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
Aaaaand back to our Victorian literature (because so many great novels were written during that period!) we come to Mr. Charles Dickens – the king of Victorian literature. David Copperfield literally tells the life story of a boy named (ehem) David Copperfield – we start with his birth and the novel depicts his entire life. It is a tome and not a fast read but one of the best books you’ll ever read. It is peopled with many interesting and unforgettable characters and events.
8.) The Age of Innocence – Edith Wharton
In The Age of Innocence wealthy lawyer Newland Archer is recently engaged (and pleased as punch about it) to the sweet, but slightly vacant May Welland in 1870s New York. This picture perfect life is shaken up with the arrival of May’s bohemian (and much more interesting) cousin Ellen Olenska.
9.) Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
Wuthering Heights is one of those classic novels whose reputation rather preceeds itself. It’s the torrid, gothic story of the romance between Heathcliff and Catherine, from childhood into adult hood. But it’s not all rainbows and glitter – the relationship is strife with drama nearly from the beginning. Read on a snowy night bundled up with tea!
10.) Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
Sense and Sensibility is my favorite of Jane Austen’s novels. The story revolves around the lives of two sisters Elinor and Marianne Dashwood in early 19th century England (otherwise known as the Regency era). Elinor and Marianne can not be any more different from each other – Elinor is very reserved (the “sense”) and Marianne very emotional (the “sensibility” – and want to express those emotions which was seen as unlady like at the time) – each falls in love (Marianne more then once) and we follow the sisters on their journeys through these relationships and their relationship with each other.
Which of these classic novels will you be adding to your amazon cart?!
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