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Best Classic Books

Embark on a journey through time with literature that has withstood the test of age. These top classic books have been selected for their enduring influence and popularity.

Recommendations from 55 articles, Barack Obama, Rihanna, Bill Gates and 181 others.
Best Classic Books
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To Kill a Mockingbird book cover
To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee - 2006-05-23 (first published in 1960)
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This classic American novel tells the story of a young girl growing up in a sleepy Southern town and the moral crisis that shakes her community to its core. With universal themes of innocence and experience, love and hate, and kindness and cruelty, this Pulitzer Prize-winning book has sold over 18 million copies and been translated into forty languages. Harper Lee's simple love story is now regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.
The Great Gatsby book cover
The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald - 1925-01-01
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Step into the glamour and intrigue of the roaring 20s with a masterpiece novel that defies classification. Follow the enigmatic Jay Gatsby as he rises to wealth and power, throwing elaborate parties and chasing his elusive love, Daisy Buchanan. Filled with both lyrical beauty and stark realism, this captivating tale reveals a hero like no other who will live on in readers' memories long after the final page. Prepare for a reading experience that blends irony, romance, and mysticism for an unforgettable literary journey.
Jane Eyre book cover
Jane Eyre
Charlotte Brontë - 2003-02-04 (first published in 1847)
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This classic tale tells the story of an orphaned young woman named Jane who struggles with feeling like an outcast. When she is hired to care for a young ward at Thornfield Hall, she falls in love with the brooding and mysterious owner, Edward Rochester. However, there is a terrifying secret lurking within the halls of Thornfield, and Jane must face difficult decisions about her future. Will she be left heartbroken and exiled once again?
Recommended by
Shonda Rhimes
Little Women book cover
Little Women
Louisa May Alcott - 2004-04-06 (first published in 1868)
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Four unique sisters rely on each other during their father's absence in this heartwarming story. From putting on plays to forming secret societies, they face life's ups and downs with the one question always on their minds: will Father make it home safely from war?
Pride and Prejudice book cover
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen - 2000-10-10 (first published in 1813)
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This beloved classic novel follows the dynamic protagonist, Elizabeth Bennet, as she learns the impact of hasty judgments and the importance of genuine goodness. Set in Regency-era Great Britain, the story satirizes societal expectations and the pressure to marry for financial gain. With witty humor and memorable characters, Pride and Prejudice has become one of the most popular and widely adapted novels in English literature.
Frankenstein book cover
Mary Shelley - 2018-03-08 (first published in 1818)
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This Gothic thriller is a cautionary tale about the dangers of science. It tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a science student obsessed with discovering the cause of life. Upon bringing his creation to life, Frankenstein recoils in horror at the creature's hideousness. Tormented by loneliness, the creature turns to evil and seeks revenge against his creator. This bestseller raises thought-provoking questions on the meaning of humanity, our responsibilities to each other, and how far we should tamper with nature.
Recommended by
Guillermo del Toro
Wuthering Heights book cover
Wuthering Heights
Emily Brontë - 2002-01-01 (first published in 1847)
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Experience a tumultuous and passionate tale of love and revenge in an English literary masterpiece. Follow the intense and almost demonic love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, a foundling adopted by Catherine's father, as they navigate the chaos and violence that surrounds them. With evocative descriptions of the lonely moorland setting and a complex structure skillfully executed, this unforgettable novel is a tour de force of poetic grandeur.
Recommended by
Chloe Grace Moretz
The Picture of Dorian Gray book cover
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Oscar Wilde - 2004-06-01 (first published in 1890)
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A Gothic and philosophical novel, this controversial book by Oscar Wilde explores the boundaries of morality and art. Originally censored before publication, the story of Dorian Gray offended British reviewers who accused Wilde of violating public morality laws. Despite the backlash, the author passionately defended his work and released a revised version with a preface that became a literary manifesto. With its unflinching examination of beauty, sin, and decadence, this classic continues to captivate readers today.
Recommended by
Jenn Im
The Catcher in the Rye book cover
The Catcher in the Rye
J. D. Salinger - 2001-01-30 (first published in 1951)
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This coming-of-age novel follows Holden Caulfield, a complex and conflicted teenager from New York, as he navigates his way through society, grappling with love, fear, and uncertainty. J.D. Salinger's masterpiece has been widely regarded as one of the greatest novels of the 20th century, and for good reason. With poignant and introspective prose, The Catcher in the Rye explores themes of rebellion, angst, and the struggle to communicate in a rapidly changing world. This classic novel continues to captivate readers, sparking discussions of societal norms and the complexity of adolescence.
Of Mice and Men book cover
Of Mice and Men
John Steinbeck - 2002-01-01 (first published in 1937)
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This powerful book tells the story of two outsiders, George and Lennie, who are in search of work and a dream - a place to call their own. Set in California's Salinas Valley, they eventually find work but their hopes are quickly dashed. Full of universal themes such as friendship and giving voice to America's lonely and dispossessed, Of Mice and Men has become one of Steinbeck's most popular and successful works.
Recommended by
Devon Sawa
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
1984 by George Orwell
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Animal Farm by George Orwell
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Ulysses by James Joyce
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Middlemarch by George Eliot
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone by J. K. Rowling
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
Charlotte's Web by E. B White
Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Emma by Jane Austen
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie
A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
The Diary Of A Young Girl by Anne Frank
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Corduroy by Don Freeman
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
My Ántonia by Willa Cather
The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
The Odyssey of Homer by Homer
The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
The Boxcar Children Books 1-4 by Gertrude Chandler Warner
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
Native Son by Richard Wright
The Art of War by Sun Tzu
A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
The Stranger by Albert Camus
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Stuart Little by E. B White
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
Night by Elie Wiesel
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Matilda by Roald Dahl
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou