In literature, there are so many classics to read and enjoy that attempting to get through them all is nearly impossible! So, which books should you devote your precious reading time to? The books featured on our list are ones that, in our experience, a lot of people claim to love and have read... But not all are telling the truth! So, if you want to get ahead of the game and impress the literature connoisseurs in your life then give the following books a read. Each book listed here is well worth your time and fully deserving of their classic status.
This classic gothic novel about the villainous Count Dracula and eccentric Dr Van Helsing brought some of the most widely-recognised characters in film and fiction to life (pun intended!). But, how many can actually say they have read Bram Stoker's novel cover to cover? If you're only familiar with film and TV adaptations of Dracula then the story in the book may come as a surprise to you. So, if you're a sucker for an old-school horror then give this classic read.
This American classic is one that many have on their reading lists. It's definitely the kind of book where the title, cover and description give very little away. So, what is The Catcher in the Rye about and why should you read it? Well, if you enjoy realism and teen dramas then this book could be your new go-to as the story follows Holden Caulfield's awkward experiences in New York after being kicked out of yet another school. J.D. Salinger literally wrote the book on angsty teenagers and this is it.
This classic Bronte book is one we'd all like to say we've read but how many of us have actually sat down and read through to the end? Jane Eyre is a romance and mystery that follows Jane through her childhood and adult life as the governess to Mr Rochester's ward, Adele. Jane's determination to find her own way in life and her love for the mysterious Mr Rochester make this a classic not to be missed. This book is also a great gateway into the Bronte novels and Victorian novels in general if you've been meaning to give them a go.
Great Expectations is one of the best-known of Charles Dickens many books and a lot of people know the story from the various film and TV versions. However, few can claim to have actually read the book, even though it is a novel that is always considered to be one of the best ever written. Pip, a poor orphan boy, goes on an extraordinary journey through his life as he gains a great inheritance and falls in love with Estella, the beautiful ward of the sinister Miss Havisham. Take on this classic and discover the amazing writing of Charles Dickens for yourself.
Vera Brittain's brilliant classic autobiography is a must-read for getting your head around what life was like during the First World War. Over 100 years ago now Vera was a successful student about to start a degree at Oxford when war broke out and her life was altered forever. In 1915 she dropped out of university to work as a nurse, where she tended to wounded soldiers in the UK and abroad. As the war draw to a close, Vera had lost nearly everyone she held dear, including the man she loved. Stop pushing this powerful book down to the bottom of your to-be-read list and start exploring this story of the lost generation.
If you've been meaning to read The Great Gatsby then now's the time to jump into the Jazz Age as this unforgettable classic is only a grand total of 9 chapters long. It's short, easy-to-read and is a must-read for anyone that loves beautiful imagery and a gripping storyline. Jay Gatsby throws parties the whole of New York long to be invited to but the one person he's waiting for never seems to show. What lengths will Gatsby go to win back his old flame's heart?
The only way to really experience the dark mind of George Orwell is to give one of his books a read. 1984 is a dystopian classic and a must-read if you want to get your mind around what it would be like to live in an authoritarian state. George Orwell wrote this book in 1948 about how he imagined life might be in 1984 when constant surveillance has taken over and even your thoughts can send you to prison. Find out where phrases like "Big BrotherÃ¢Â", "Room 101" and "thought police"ÂÂ came from in this must-read.
We'll let you off if you haven't quite gotten around to this one yet. At over 1000 pages long, Victor Hugo's classic tale of injustice and rebellion is quite an intense reading project. But, if you enjoy the musical or film adaptations, it shouldn't really come as a surprise to learn that they left quite a bit out. So, if you want to read the full story of Jean Valjean and the whole host of quirky characters he meets along the way, you need to get started on this mammoth book.
If you're a diehard fan of the Game of Thrones TV show then why not try reading George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, the first in the series of books the show is based on? This high fantasy series sees the families of Westeros fight for the Iron Throne. Brutal and gripping, this modern classic is an absolute must-read for fantasy fans.
This classic is the only novel by Sylvia Plath and tells the story of Esther Greenwood, a beautiful and successful girl, who's slowly falling into a deep depression. The novel is partly autobiographical and considers the difficulties that women encounter when trying to live up to expectations of their gender. But, if you've avoided this book because you think it'll be too upsetting, the witty style of the story makes this book incredibly easy-to-read and compelling once you start.
So, how many of these books have you read? And, how many are you planning to read? Or, if you have already read all 10 of these classics then we salute you and your well-read brain. If not, we don't judge but we certainly think you've got a few to catch up on. Dive into these classic books and when asked what classics you've read you can proudly (and honestly!) reel these 10 off.