Which books in history can be classed as classic books? A classic book is defined as:
“A classic is a book accepted as being exemplary or noteworthy, for example through an imprimatur such as being listed in a list of great books” – Source
The books on this list are considered some of the greatest books ever written, and having stood the test of time, they are still essential reading for any lover of books. As classics, these books have laid the foundations for many books, movies and art, as well as entertaining millions of people around the world. Here at WhytoRead, we’re fans of great books and these classics deserve a read.
Here are some of the greatest classic books of all time.
Classic Books: 10 Classic Books Everyone Should Read
1. The Brothers Karamazov – Fyodor Dostoevsky
(As featured in 10 Great Books That Will Make You Change Your Life)
This is both a great philosophical book and a great work of fiction.
The story follows the lives of old man Karamazov, a filthy penny-pinching lech and his three sons. Each son represents a different side to the Russian character: Dimitri the spoiled lout, Ivan the tortured intellect, and Alyosha the spiritual searcher.
2. The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
(As featured in 8 Books That Will Make You Proud And Satisfied To Have Read)
This book is a great example of perfect fiction writing. Its length is 5 times the average book and it still was not long enough! The story, the characters, the settings and the emotions will enthrall you for days. You’ll be left with a total feeling of astonishment as you finish the book.
3. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
(As featured in 14 Powerful and Mind Blowing Quotes From The Best Books)
From the opening line of the book, “When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow…” Lee hooks the reader with a deceptively simple story of a Southern family and a Southern town caught up in a cataclysmic moral crisis, and keeps us enthralled till the very last word.
4. The Lord of the Rings – J. R. R. Tolkien
(As featured in 10 Greatest Fantasy Books)
There is absolutely no way to produce a fantasy books list without J.R.R. Tolkiens fantasy epic The Lord of the Rings.
“One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them”.
This book will be the only fantasy book you’ll ever need to read, if you only read one.
5. Wuthering Heights –
There’s something for everyone in this book: Windswept castles, difficult and neurotic family members, dark secrets about tragic former lovers, good triumphing over evil, all that good juicy stuff that makes a great romantic story. What elevates Jane Eyre is Bronte’s remarkable style & skill and her sharp and complex characterizations.
6. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoevsky
Crime and Punishment centers upon the story of a young Russian student, Raskolnikov, who plots and carries out a brutal murder. However, this is less than a quarter of the story. The rest centers upon his attempts to come to terms with the philosophical and psycological consequences of his act.
7. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
Lord of the Flies is a 1954 dystopian novel by Nobel Prize winning English author William Golding about a group of British boys stuck on an uninhabited island who try to govern themselves with disastrous results.
8. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
Beautiful, sumptuous and satisfying, this book is a monumental achievement that should be on the top of your holiday wish list and considered one of few editions available to be esteemed truly accomplished.
9. Gone with the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
Gone with the Wind is an American War & Peace. This is serious literature, which won the Pulitzer prize, no less. Most people don’t see past the epic plot or the love story, but this is a successful attempt to reclaim a discarded culture.
10. The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
(As featured in 8 Books That Will Enrich Your Vocabulary And Train Your Thinking Mind)
The book is beautifully written. Steinbeck’s style flows so smoothly and is accessible as well as being challenging. The book follows the Joad family for about nine months as they are driven from the place they’ve called home for generations and travel to California, only to find out that it is not the land of opportunity they expected.
11. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – C. S. Lewis
(As featured in 10 Books That Will Make You Fall In Love With Reading)
Four adventurous siblings—Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie—step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia, a land frozen in eternal winter and enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change . . . and a great sacrifice.
12. Slaughterhouse-Five – Kurt Vonnegut
(Featured in 8 Outstanding Classic Books Which Are Easy To Read)
Slaughterhouse Five follows a young man, Billy Pilgrim through his life. Billy believes aliens have abducted him. We assume that it’s through these aliens that he learns to time travel, a skill he frequently uses. The book changes the very way you think about time, life and death.