10 classic books to read in your lifetime
It's true what they say, 'a reader lives a thousand lives before he dies'. There's no better friend than a book honestly. It teaches you, helps you through rough times, makes the best company, and keeps your imagination vividly alive. Through good times and bad, there's a book to keep you going, no matter where you are.
Here is a list of 10 books that are 'must-reads' in this lifetime. Each with its own charm, journey, and outcome - but with a singular promise, you will love them all.
In Cold Blood, Truman Capote
Capote marked the birth of a non-fiction style of writing with this masterpiece, In Cold Blood, in 1965. A true masterpiece of reporting, relayed through prose, marked the introduction of a riveting, journalistic style in writing. This book could very well be marked as the inspiration for the invention of the 'true crime' genre, which also leads to the creation of the true-crime tv shows and podcasts we consume today.
Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
Written in 1813, this book is truly riveting. It explores the lives of a family with charming daughters, and a quest of finding the right husbands for them. It warms the heart to see the dynamic between the siblings, their unique characteristics, and the choices each one makes given their differences. A heart-warming, witty and timeless story.
Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky
Written in 1866, this book focuses on the dilemma faced by a poverty-stricken ex-student in Saint Petersburg who maps a plan to kill an immoral pawnbroker. The novel dwells on the man's deep mental anguish and the guilt that envelopes his soul as he explores the idea. Most readers say that no other novel has made them feel so deeply for the characters.
Persuasion, Jane Austen
Published six months after Jane Austen's death, Persuasion is the last novel completed by the author. It is known as one of the most romantic novels written by the author. The book explores the theme of love, and how a young person can trust one's own heart against the advice of an experienced elder. The story is centred on Anne Elliot, a young lady, in love with Captain Wentworth. Literary critic, Harold Bloom called the piece 'a perfect novel'.
Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
A social science fiction novel was written by English author, Aldous Huxley, Brave New World explores a new, utopian world/society. This is a world where there is no pain, but then again, there is no meaning to life. This world is similar to the one we live in today, with drugs to uplift a mood, social classes, and the conscious and ongoing effort to maintain social equilibrium. A book beyond its times and a must-read in the present day.
I Capture the Castle, Dodie Smith
J K Rowling wrote, 'This book has one of the most charismatic narrators I've ever met'. Enough said. The book is centred on Cassandra Mortmain, who lives in a dilapidated castle with her novelist father, stepmother, Topaz, sister - Rose, and Little brother, Thomas. Their lives change drastically when the American owners of the castle arrive. We see Cassandra coming of age and falling in love for the first time. This is a relatable and fun story, that will resonate with most readers.
Moby Dick, Herman Melville
Published in 1851, Moby Dick is recognised as one of the greatest American novels. It is an account by a sailor, Ishmael about the quest of the captain (Ahab) of a whaling ship, Pequod, to hunt down the whale that bit off his leg. The whale is named Moby Dick. The book has been recognised and loved for its wonderful language that recounts the captain's madness on his hunt for Moby Dick.
The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
A 1925 novel, The Great Gatsby is set in Long Island, showcasing narrator, Nick Caraway's interactions with Jay Gatsby, his millionaire neighbour. Through the novel, Nick finds himself drawn to his magnetic neighbour's lifestyle. Set in the Jazz age, Jay Gatsby hosts grand parties but doesn't partake in them. This book will transport you to a place of plenty, and music, and style.
One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Gabriel Garcia Marquez ironically explores the importance of language in this novel. The Columbian author, a Nobel Prize winner for Literature, delves into each character and their reading of the world around them; this is explored through multiple generations of the Buendia family. This novel has been recognised as one of the author's best works.
To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee
A book known to be well ahead of its time, written in 1960, explores a beautiful narrative about how humans behave with each other. It brings us one of the most well-loved heroes in literature - Atticus Finch, a man on a journey to correct the wrongs in the South, in Alabama, during the Great Depression. It addresses the issues of inequality and race; a sure keeper, this book is also a Pulitzer-Prize winner.