There are literally hundreds of books that can be considered classic – and throughout the never ending course of my educational career, I've read a lot of them. I have not, however, enjoyed all of them, and of course I would never recommend a book I didn't enjoy! That being said, here are 8 classic books I do think everyone should read – not necessarily because they're classic but just because they're good!
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I was actually loathe to read Jane Austen for the first time. I thought her books were going to be stuffy and proper and not at all interesting. I was terribly wrong, and especially wrong about this novel, which is still an anthem for women, and was certainly hugely important when it was written.
Price: $9.60 at amazon.com
I couldn't decide whether I wanted to include this one or Anna Karenina, but I finally decided on Madame Bovary – with the addendum that you should feel free to read Anna Karenina as well. This book is about longing and loss, but from a French standpoint, which provides a richness in the tone and the language.
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This is often considered a young adult book, but I still love it. The story of Scout and Boo Radley is timeless – and I have to say that the movie is really great as well. Gregory Peck is just smoldering in the film. What matters more is that, on the written page, the characters are vibrantly alive.
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While the subject matter is a little controversial, this is one of my favorite books. This is mainly because the writing is absolutely gorgeous but, as well, the story is incredibly intriguing. This made a really good movie as well – but only if you see the original version with James Mason!
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This book held me in thrall from the very first page. It's a nightmare scenario, especially for anyone who loves to read. For that matter, however, if you love to read, then you will love this book – although you will quite likely fear the story down to the bones.
Price: $10.20 at amazon.com
I'm not typically into science fiction, but I make exceptions for both Bradbury and Kurt Vonnegut, who is a genius. Main character Billy Pilgrim pulled me in from the very beginning. He shows you exactly what it feels like to be unstuck in time – although you may well wish he hadn't, because it's terribly disconcerting.
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This is another nightmare scenario. It is on par with Orwell's 1984. I actually didn't know which to include, but I remember reading Animal Farm in a high school political science class, and I had to go with this one. Both it and 1984 are eerily reminiscent of the things we see today...
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I'm not always a huge fan of Dickens, but I love this book. From Defarge to Sydney Carton, it actually thrilled me all the way through. It also has one of the most iconic opening lines: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” it begins, and within the two cities highlighted in the tale, you quickly find out that it is indeed both at the same time.
Like say, there are numerous other classics, these are just my favorites. I could read them over and over. Which books do you consider the best classics?
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