I am not the biggest fan of books written more than 50 years ago because most of them have a style that doesn’t really fit my more modern tastes, not the action or mentality manages to stand out and make any sense in today’s world. However, out of hundreds of thousands, a few stand out and I believe will always be absolutely amazing and must reads for the generations to come.
Below you have my list of 10 amazing classic books everybody should read in their lifetime. You might have read them all or a big part of them – but if you didn’t, make sure you start working on it. You will feel complete after reading the books on this list!
Ernest Hemingway – For Whom the Bell Tolls
Published in 1940, the novel tells the story of young explosives expert Robert Jordan during the Spanish Civil War. He is tasked with the dangerous mission of blowing up a bridge during the Segrovia assault. A real masterpiece, considered one of Hemingway’s best books. More about it here.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez – One Hundred Years of Solitude
Just 8,000 copies of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ book were published in 1967, but it became and instant hit and was eventually translated in 35 languages and sold over 30 million copies. It tells the story of seven generations of the Buendía Family in a South American city and you can find out more about it here.
Albert Camus – The Stranger
I remember reading The Stranger when I was a teenager – not the wisest choice, despite the novel’s masterpiece quality. A main character like no other and a story that’s dark and enraging… all these blend in together with Camus’ style and the deep thoughts-provoking storyline. Check it out here.
John Steinbeck – East of Eden
Considered one of Steinbeck’s most ambitious novels, East of Eden re-tells the story of Cain and Abel in a more modern setting in California. Find out everything about it here.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky – Crime and Punishment
Difficult to read, but totally worth it! The novel tells the story of young student Raskolnikov who plans to kill a pawnbroker to steal her money and solve his financial problems, as well as saving the world from an unwanted vermin. The book follows the mental anguish and moral dilemmas of the student. Check it out here.
Frank Herbert – Dune
Being a science fiction fan myself, I simply had to include a sci-fi book on this list. It tells the story of Paul Atreides and his noble family who accepts stewardship of planet Arrakis, the only source of the Spice, the most valuable and important resource in the universe. Check it out here if you haven’t done so already.
George Orwell – Animal Farm
Published back in 1945, Orwell’s novel is the best known political satire of the 20th century. It was translated in 70 languages and studied in colleges and universities all over the world. Find out more about it here.
George Orwell – 1984
Set in a dystopian universe, the novel tells the story of the life of Winston Smith living in Airstrip One (formerly known as Great Britain), a province where manipulation and complete government surveillance are the norm. This is where to Big Brother concept started, together with many others. A must read – here.
Alexandre Dumas – The Count of Monte Cristo
An amazing adventure novel, this literary classic tells the story of Édmond Dantes, a man who is wrongfully imprisoned, escapes from jail, acquires a fortune, and sets about getting revenge on those responsible for his imprisonment. You’ve probably seen the movie – I certainly did – but trust me when I say that the book is a lot better! Check it out here.
Daniel Keyes – Flowers for Algernon
Written first as a short story, then expanded into a novel in 1966, it tells the story of lab mouse Algernonwho has undergone surgery to increase his intelligence by artificial means. Pretty interesting? Well, find out more here.
There are indeed way more literary classics out there that deserve to be read, but start with my list of 10 and work your way up from here. And don’t forget to share this article if you know that your friends love to read too – these are really some of the best reads ever!