Top Ten Must-Read Classics

I love classics. Unfortunately, a lot of people see classics as boring. And granted, some classics are absolutely horrible to go through. But not all of them are that way. So today, I thought that I’d give you some of my “Top Ten Must-Read Classics”. These are not necessarily books that follow the “must be at least 100 years old” rule. The only criteria for making it onto this list is that they are labeled as classics on Goodreads by at least 500 people. While my goal was to make these “readable” classics, there are a few that are more difficult to get through than others and will be noted as such. Happy reading!

· THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY by Oscar Wilde – If you choose to only read one book from this list, this one should definitely be that one. This book is super readable. While you will end up despising most of the characters, you also will care for them and find the plot impeccable. Okay, well, that’s what I thought. And I think that it’s one of the most readable classics I have personally ever read. It’s absolutely fascinating. While it is gaining popularity, I still feel like it is one of the most underrated classics. Definitely highly recommend this one. People always think “Ooh… Oscar Wilde’s intimidating…” Believe me, this book is easy to get through. And for you musical people out there… I think that this is a book that should get a musical adaption. If you read this book or have read this book, tell me what you think of that idea! I think it’d make a great gothic musical thriller.

· BLACK BEAUTY by Anna Sewell – This is one that I read way back when I was younger. I’ll admit that I have not read this book in years. But it left a lasting impression on me and so did many of the characters. It’s not a very long book and I remember reading through it in a few days. Highly recommend. It’s also one of my best friend’s favorite books as well.

· WHITE FANG by Jack London – So this is one that my dad and I both love. I remember first falling in love with the story when I read the graphic novel version of it when I was five (to be honest, I was mostly looking at the pictures because the graphic novel was, while a graphic novel, not really written for children to understand). This one is also not a very long one. If you like animals, this one and Black Beauty would be good picks for you! And if you find the graphic novel version, give it a try! I know I still have my copy around somewhere but…

· A CHRISTMAS CAROL by Charles Dickens – So this is yet another one that is super easy to go through. Maybe even easier than The Picture of Dorian Gray. It’s also one of the shortest ones on this list. I listen to the audiobook of this book whenever I’m sick and I just really love the story in general. This was one of the first classics that I truly fell in love with.

· A TALE OF TWO CITIES by Charles Dickens – As a French revolution and French history fanatic, I couldn’t not include this one on this list. A Tale of Two Cities is iconic for its characters and its opening and closing lines. I will say that this is going to be one of the tougher ones to get through for some people but I still think that it is one of the most enjoyable, must-read classics ever.

· LITTLE WOMEN by Louisa M. Alcott – I remember reading this when I was in fifth grade and falling in love with all of the characters. I think that this was the first book that made me cry in the middle of the reading process. And I still love this book. Highly recommend. A lot of guys out there will probably say “That book is for girls!” But trust me, it’s not just for girls.

· THE NEVERENDING STORY by Michael Ende – Okie dokie. This one is a good one. Super duper good one. This one has the highest rating on Goodreads of any of the books on this list, I think. Originally published as Die unendliche Geschichte (literally translating to The Unending Story) in Germany, this book has reached international acclaim. And with good reason. This book is a book intended for children but anyone can enjoy it. I reread it every year and it never gets old. Highly, highly recommend.

· FAHRENHEIT 451 by Ray Bradbury – So… for the longest time I refused to read Fahrenheit 451. I thought it was overhyped. And then I caved and read it. And I fell in love with it. And my dad said “I told you so.” I deserved it. This book is great, guys. The writing is great, but then, what more could a person expect from Ray Bradbury? The man has a beautiful style. I wish that I could write like him.

· THE PILGRIM’S PROGRESS by John Bunyan – So, let me just start by saying that this book is not going to be for everyone. It is an allegory about a man who becomes a Christian and his journey to heaven (literally and spiritually at the same time). And it is a book that is absolutely wonderful. I highly, highly recommend it. Even though it is a book about Christianity, I do think that anyone can enjoy it.

· LES MISÉRABLES by Victor Hugo – This one’s a toughie. But if you’re in for a challenge, pick up Les Miz. Yes, it’s a huge book. Yes, it’s got parts that seem to ramble on forever and ever. But it’s got an amazing story and characters that you will never forget.

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Have you ever read any of these books? If so, which ones? Which books from this list do you want to add to your reading list? I personally highly recommend all of them but especially The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Neverending Story, Little Women, and The Pilgrim’s Progress. 

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10 thoughts on “Top Ten Must-Read Classics

  1. Obviously, I read Les Misérables, but I also read Tale of Two Cities. I love A Christmas Carol, but don’t think I ever picked up that book. The problem with Tale of Two Cities is that I kept on struggling on figuring out what city the plot is currently. Dad recommended Tale of Two Cities for me due to my love for Les Misérables. I only find time to read the classics in between semesters

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    1. I try to read at least one classic every quarter. A lot of the time, I opt for a reread of The Picture of Dorian Gray or The Pilgrim’s Progress because they’re so near and dear to my heart. I think that you would really like The Pilgrim’s Progress, actually!

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      1. So far, for fun, read Les Misérables, Don Quixote, Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations. Next ones to read that are on list: listed in order of which I am going to read them- Oliver Twist, Hunchback of Notre Dame and Nicholas Nickelby. Some of those books that are on the list of books to read were recommend by others

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      2. I think that my personal favorite classic is probably The Picture of Dorian Gray. I’m not quite sure why but I just fell in love with the story and the writing style. I’ve yet to read Nicholas Nickelby, actually!

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      3. It was dad that recommended Nicholas to me. It took a lot of thinking until I decided I wanted to read Hunchback because I didn’t know if I wanted to read another book where some author likes to interrupt the story with boring history lessons

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      4. I first read the abridged of Les Misérables and through that experience, I felt like a lot was missing in a way. So I decided to actually attempt the unabridged adaptation and that version is much more worth it in the end. Using my knowledge of the musical helped me get through the book because I was able to mark up major characters and write in songs. That book made me love the musical even more

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