10 Classic Novels Everyone Should Read in Their Lifetime

Classic novels are true treasures that have the power to imprint upon our souls, transforming us and the way we view the world.

classic novels stacked half hazardly with one book opened to show a painting inside

If you’re new to reading classics, do not let their reputation intimidate you. But rather, be open to the transformative power held within their pages. In this post I would like to offer my recommendations of the books that have profoundly shaped my perspective and have had a lasting impact on my life. Some of these works may be familiar to you, perhaps even encountered during your school days. However, even if you have already traveled their well-worn paths, I implore you to revisit them once more. These masterpieces have the ability to move us in new and unexpected ways. Each time we return to their pages, we discover something new, something that we might not have needed during our earlier encounters.

The 10 Classic Novels Are:

The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells

The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells is an exquisite novel that explores the scientific realm of invisibility, uncovering the darker sides of human nature. The story’s exploration of the human psyche and the consequences of wielding too much power resonates with readers on a deep level. We see the dangers of becoming too obsessed with scientific experimentation and the impact that isolation can have on an individual’s mental state. As readers finish The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells, they are left with a haunting feeling that lingers long after the final pages.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre is a beautiful classic novel that has captivated readers for over a century. The story follows Jane, an orphaned girl, on her journey through life as she navigates love, heartache, and societal expectations. This book teaches us that love can come from unexpected places and that we have the strength to overcome even the most difficult obstacles. It’s a story that will resonate with readers of all ages and backgrounds, and one that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

This Russian classic is simply captivating and continues to resonate with readers all these years later. Not only is it a beautiful tragic love story that will sweep you away to another time and place, but it also has a powerful message about the double standards women face in society. Anna Karenina’s story is a poignant reminder of the consequences of societal expectations and the consequences of challenging them. This is a book is massive, but that hasn’t stopped me from re-reading it multiple times. Each time I read this beautiful book I find something I didn’t notice before.

Frankenstein by Marry Shelly

Frankenstein is a captivating and eerie story that delves into the darker aspects of human nature. Through the character of Victor Frankenstein, we see the dangers of unchecked ambition and the consequences of playing God with science. Shelley’s writing style is masterful and keeps the reader on edge throughout the entire book. What I appreciate most about this novel is the message that our actions have consequences and that we must be mindful of the power and responsibility that comes with pursuing our dreams.

Passing by Nella Larson

Nella Larson’s Passing is such an impactful book that really dives deep into topics of race, identity, and privilege. It tells the story of two childhood friends, one of whom chooses to pass as white to reap the benefits of society. The story is so compelling and thought-provoking, and it really sticks with you long after you turn the final page. This book teaches us the importance of honesty, and how denying one’s true identity can lead to dangerous consequences. It’s was an easy choice for this list.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Great Expectations is a beautiful classic that still speaks to us today. The story follows Pip, an orphan who has big dreams of becoming a gentleman. But as he pursues his aspirations, he learns important lessons about the true meaning of success, the value of kindness, and the power of loyalty. I believe that the message of the book, that self-improvement can truly transform our lives, is one that we can all take to heart.

Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles is such a powerful novel that shines a light on the social injustices of Victorian England. The story of Tess, a young woman from a poor family, is a heart-wrenching journey through the complexities of love and morality in a society that values social status and wealth above everything else. Tess’s story teaches us the importance of treating others with kindness and respect, regardless of their social status or circumstances.

1989 by George Orwell

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck is a poignant novella that speaks to the human condition and our innate desire for companionship. George and Lennie’s story, set against the backdrop of the Great Depression, highlights the harsh realities of life for migrant workers during that time. The book’s message of the need for human connection and the pitfalls of isolation is a lesson that resonates with readers, reminding us of the importance of empathy and compassion for others. Steinbeck’s writing is both evocative and emotionally powerful, making Of Mice and Men a classic work of literature that stands the test of time.

Of Mice And Men by John Steinbeck

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck is a poignant novella that speaks to the human condition and our innate desire for companionship. George and Lennie’s story, set against the backdrop of the Great Depression, highlights the harsh realities of life for migrant workers during that time. The book’s message of the need for human connection and the pitfalls of isolation is a lesson that resonates with readers, reminding us of the importance of empathy and compassion for others. Steinbeck’s writing is both evocative and emotionally powerful, making Of Mice and Men a classic work of literature that stands the test of time.

The God Of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy is simply exquisite. This novel takes us on an emotional journey through the lives of two twins, Estha and Rahel, as they face the complexities of growing up in a family that has been shattered by tragedy. Set in India, the book explores themes of family, love, loss, and the human condition. Roy’s prose is simply breathtaking, and her ability to capture the small moments of life is unparalleled. The message of the novel is one of forgiveness and the power of love. It is a truly moving masterpiece that I cannot recommend enough.

The best thing about classic literature is that it’s easily accessible and affordable. You don’t have to go out of your way to find these books or spend a ton of money. In fact, they are all free to download on the Apple Books store, and many of them can be found for free online. Plus, classic novels are often available at your local library, as they generally keep multiple copies of these timeless tales. So, what are you waiting for? Start reading and exploring the wonderful world of classic literature!

quote from one book on my list of 10 classic novels everyone should read,  the image is a photograph of a valley up in the mountains during gloomy weather
a quote from one of the books listen in my 10 classic novels everyone should read, quote is overlaying an image of a renaissance painting.

Thanks for sticking with me through my list of classic novels that I’m recommending. I hope you find them as captivating and thought-provoking as I do. Happy reading! Don’t hesitate to reach out if you want to discuss any of these books further or if you have any other literary recommendations. Take care!

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