A person’s life nowadays revolves around his television set, computer and mobile but hardly ever involves a book. Everyone talks about time constraints while they lavishly squander it on worthless novelties. When a person can’t even set aside time for a read do you think anybody would pick up a classic novel to read when they do have the time. Most people consider classics to be drab, vapid and a big bore. Well you might be wrong there. These books have stood the test of time, some more than a century and there must be something to them that has managed to charm readers through the years. So why not give it a go. Here are eight best classic novels everyone must read that have enchanted me time and again and I hope will fascinate you too.
8 Best Classic Novels Everyone Must Read At Least Once
1. Pride And Prejudice
If it is The Hitchhikers Guide to the galaxy for the geek, Sherlock Holmes for the detective in you, Mills and Boons for the romantic then it is Pride and Prejudice for the classics aficionado. This book by Jane Austen tears down the ideas that prevailed in the 18th-century society; principles set in concrete regarding women, in general, are shattered by this enchanting tale.
This book is a captivating tale woven around the lives of a family, the Bennets. The heroine Elizabeth Bennet is everything a woman is not supposed to be. She is robust in her ways as opposed to delicate, headstrong and will not be intimidated by anyone not even or especially not by the rich, handsome and proud Mr.Darcy.
The book opens with the phrase “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” This gives you a glimpse of the patriarchal society that existed then and a foretaste of the humor and sarcasm you can expect in the narrative. With wonderful characters and a lively narration, this book is an experience that is worth every word of all 345 pages!
2. Anne Of Green Gables
My most treasured possession (not that I own a lot) would be my rather battered copy of Anne of Green Gables by L.M.Montgomery. Why do I like this book? What’s not to like about it? The appealing 11- year old orphan Anne who steals your heart – her vivid imagination that keeps you in splits – the lively narrative – the charm of Avonlea (the place where this book is set) and its people – and most importantly the magic the author conjures up with words that it almost sounds poetic!
The little red-headed protagonist is prone to a vivid imagination which helps her through mundane chores and sometimes even conveniently distracts her from these very chores. She manages to bewilder people, charm them and capture their hearts with her unusual speeches and ways.
This book has managed to capture the hearts of millions of people around the globe and well it should. It’s the go-to book when you are feeling down in the dumps. The innocence with which Anne deals with the problems she faces as an orphan is touching. The girl automatically turns to her imagination to lighten up her world. This can be observed when she explains about her make-believe friends to Marilla (the stern but kind–hearted lady who eventually takes her in) when she had none. In a way, she is teaching us all a lesson in survival. She is an inspiration in her own right and you just can’t help loving her!
Also Read: 5 Books You Are Never Too Old To Read
3. Swiss Family Robinson
Imagine you find yourself on a tropical island in the middle of nowhere. Your ship is wrecked and not another living soul on the island, what would you do? Well, that is exactly the situation the Robinsons find themselves in. The family comprises of William and Elizabeth Robinson and their four sons Fritz, Ernest, Jack and Franz and how their resourcefulness, immense inner strength, faith and love for each other enables survival on this island, forms the rest of the story. The life on the island is no piece of cake but it is a one of a kind experience that can be humbling and also brings the family together in many ways and throughout the book there is the question of when they will return to civilization. This book is comprised of highly delightful details of the family’s adventures on the island and is well worth a read.
4. Little Women
Sick of books with pious heroine’s, people we can never match up to and who keep reminding us of our incompetence, well then you probably would love the protagonist of this Louisa Alcott book. The inscrutable Jo is anything but a lady and her efforts to tame her tom-boyish ways always end up in failure. She and her sisters and mother share a tight bond especially in the face of their struggling means and their father being away serving in the Civil war. Despite their circumstances, the sisters manage to befriend their rich neighbor Laurie and together they cook up enough fun to keep us entertained. A tale about the struggles, pleasures and challenges of the four sisters this is a story you will take with you through life. Their story can also be followed through the other books in this series – Good Wives, Little Men and Jo’s Boys.
5. Eight Cousins
Thirteen-year-old Rose suddenly finds herself orphaned with her father’s sudden demise and the ward of an uncle she never met. Her aunts each insist on prescribing what they think is best for the sickly girl only making her feel more ill. And to make matters worse she is expected to meet and even play with her seven rowdy boy cousins. And then she meets her uncle the doctor who recommends unusual but highly enjoyable activities that soon turns her into a rosy, cheerful and healthy young girl. What with seven energetic cousins, an uncle who never ceases to amaze her and Phoebe, the unusual girl Rose befriends there is never a dull moment in Rose’s life. This book by Louisa May Alcott though a little pious still affords to be fun.
6. Children Of The New Forest
This isn’t a book you usually come across on people’s bucket list but it is certainly a classic worth giving a shot. This is a poignant tale set in 17th century England, of four children Edward, Humphrey, Alice and Edith who go into hiding in the New forest to escape death at the hands of the king’s enemies. Children of a Colonel who gave up his life in service to the king, they are cheated of their fortunes when the king is overthrown during the civil war. How they overcome the sudden change in their fortunes and live in the forest so far away from civilization under the guidance of the trusted local gamekeeper forms the rest of this fascinating book.
7. A Christmas Carol
This book consists of ghosts and not one but three, a certain Mr. Scrooge, yes that really is his name and the story takes place on Christmas. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? Mr.Scrooge is a miser whose acumen at business does not extend to his social skills. He loathes Christmas and is the tight-fisted, grouch no one expects capable of uttering anything cheerful. But this is only until one fateful Christmas eve when he is visited by the ghost of his late business partner, Marley, who had been no more of an altruist than Scrooge himself during his lifetime. Marley is suffering for his sins and asks or rather warns Scrooge to change his ways rather than share the same fate. He informs him of the three ghosts that would visit him later that night. What takes place next and whether Scrooge eventually does have a change of heart is something you will have to read about. This is a story with a moral but never a moment passes when you feel the book is preaching to you.
8. Adventures Of Tom Sawyer
The beloved character Tom Sawyer is a teenage boy whose antics form the story. The trouble maker in him gets on the nerves of his haggard Aunt Polly who still loves him albeit all. Tom goes around the town gallivanting with his vagabond friend Huckleberry Finn and together their adventures involve witnessing a murder, rafting away from home, marching into their own funeral and finding treasure. We also get to meet Tom’s love interest Becky Thatcher and witness first-hand the pains and joys of teenage love. Everyone should read this novel for it is not just a read but a one of a kind experience.
Summing It Up
So, these were some of the best classic novels everyone must read and when I say these books are a must read I mean it. Nobody should go through life without having this experience because that’s what these books are – an experience, a journey, a long but delightful journey that I urge everyone to embark on!