So you’ve suddenly got extra time on your hands? Use it to get into reading! But where to start? The classics, of course!
Here are some titles to get you started in your reading.
Pride and Prejudice, 1797 — Jane Austen
Although it was written over 200 years ago, Pride and Prejudice is still relatable for most of us. Austen’s most famous novel focuses on an English family and offers a roller coaster of humor and emotion. Its themes revolve around finding love in unexpected places, dealing with family, and acquiring wealth.
If you like this book, Austen has over 10 others. Try Sense and Sensibility or Persuasion.
A Christmas Carol, 1843 — Charles Dickens
Known as one of the greatest novelists of the Victorian era, Charles Dickens is well-loved by many. Any of his books is a good book and definitely a worthwhile read.
But if you are looking for a classic redemption story, you’ll want this book. One of the best-loved Christmas tales of all time, A Christmas Carol is sure to warm anyone’s heart, even the biggest “bah humbug” sayers in existence.
Dickens actually wrote more than 20 books. Try A Tale of Two Cities, Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, etc.
Wuthering Heights, 1846 — Emily Brontë
Like Austen, Brontë was also a fellow British writer. However, Brontë wrote her famous (and actually her only) novel decades later.
Wuthering Heights is a love story. While Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy were more playful in their pursuit of love, Catherine and Heathcliff’s romance was downright dangerous, even toxic. It went on for generations, making this book a romance, but it is also a tragedy.
If you like this book, try another Brontë (Charlotte, that is) book, like Jane Eyre.
Little Women, 1868 —Louisa May Alcott
There is a reason that Little Women has been adapted into six films and over 10 TV adaptations. It’s a timeless classic focusing on strong-willed women, struggling to make it in a world upended by the American Civil War. Even today’s woman will relate to one of the four March sisters or even Marmee.
If you like this one, try one of the other two books in the trilogy, Little Men and Jo’s Boys.
The Great Gatsby, 1925 — F. Scott Fitzgerald
If you haven’t read this one, you’ve missed out on the quintessential story. It’s about the 1% of the 1% of the Roaring 20s. But Jay Gatsby is not your typical wealthy person.
If you like this, also try Fitzgerald’s final novel, Tender is the Night.
The Grapes of Wrath, 1939 — John Steinbeck
The Grapes of Wrath will give you a hard taste of what the Great Depression was like. This is a tale of the Joad family leaving Oklahoma’s Dust Bowl to the prospect of a better life and jobs in California.
Love this book? Try East of Eden next!. This one won’t be a quick read. But it will be a good one.
1984, 1949 — by George Orwell
Ever wonder about the origin of “Big Brother is Watching You?” Well, here it is. Orwell’s final novel was way ahead of its time. It continues to be relevant to, and at times, very similar to today’s society.
If you like this, try Animal Farm, the story of a group that rebels against their cruel boss. Except the group is a bunch of farm animals, and the boss is a farmer.
Lord of the Flies, 1954 — William Golding
Golding’s coming of age is not your typical coming of age tale. These boys were forced to grow up after their plane crashes on an island, and were left to fend for themselves. Against themselves. With no adult supervision.
If you like this book, try The Inheritors, his second novel.
Frankenstein, 1818 — Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
“It’s alive!” Although quoted from the 1931 movie adaptation, its association in popular culture is forever with the doctor and his monster. Read the original masterpiece for yourself, written when Shelley was only 18 as part of the best horror story contest. It’s just as macabre as one would hope one of the most famous monster stories would be.
If you like this, try some of her husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley’s, English Romantic poetry.
This is just a shortlist of some of everyone’s favorite classics. While these will undoubtedly take some time to read, know that there are HUNDREDS more to keep you and your mind happy and occupied!