Being in the publishing business for so long, I think I’m expected to suggest nice reads to people. Though I’m not much of reader, there are a few works that I really like.
- Catch 21: First in the lot is ‘Catch 21’. Written by American author, Joseph Heller, it’s a satirical novel that is set during World War II in 1943. It follows a descriptive non-chronological third-person omniscient narration. This is considered as one of the greatest English language novel of the 20th century.
- Pride and Prejudice: Even today, this Jane Austen novel is Bible for so many adolescent girls. Its popularity can be rated by the fact that it has been adapted into film, TV version and theatre plays, several times since then.
- Tess of the D’Urbervilles: This classic work of Thomas Hardy is considered an important work of English literature. It was originally titled “Daughter of the d’Urbervilles” and the original manuscript is on display at the British Library. It is one of the best works of Victorian literature.
- The Great Gatsby: Set during 1922, this novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald provides a critical social history of America during the Roaring Twenties within its narrative. It has been filmed five times. The latest is Baz Luhrmann’s version.
- Gulliver’s Travels: I’m sure everybody must have read Gulliver’s stories back in school. Well, this work of Jonathan Swift is considered to be his best known full-length work and hence a classic of English literature.
- Jane Eyre: Written by Charlotte Bronte, this novel contains the elements of social criticism with a strong sense of morality at its core. It comes under Gothic fiction and is quite a read.
- Oliver Twist: This novel has been subject of many a film and television adaptations. It’s the story of an orphan, Oliver Twist who endures a miserable existence in a workhouse. It’s English author, Charles Dickens’ second novel.
- A Christmas Carol: Again a Charles Dickens read, it appeals to the children, adults and students alike.
- Anna Karenina: Written by the famous Russian author, Leo Tolstoy, this book is flawless as a piece of art. Tolstoy considered this book as his first true novel. And, many would describe it as ‘the best ever written’.
- Hamlet: A tragedy by William Shakespeare, this novel is set in the Kingdom of Denmark. The play is about the revenge that Prince Hamlet takes from his uncle Claudius for murdering King Hamlet. Owing to its writing style and the fact that it’s written by Shakespeare makes it a must-read classic.
These are the top ten classics that in my view everybody should read. If you have some others to add to this list, do share.