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10 Outstanding Classic Books for Beginners

Updated on December 3, 2019
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Classic literature constitutes a notable piece of work that has enduring quality over the years. It is accessible and timeless. But still classic literature is usually not on a leisure reader's list.

Classics are perceived to be written in difficult, ornamental language and so many don't prefer to read them. Largely wasted on high schoolers who have to read classics as a part of curriculum or those in college who opt for English literature as a subject, the classics remain for many an untapped source for knowledge.

Classics abound in many genres and eras. You could spend your whole life reading the golden reservoir of classic literature. Here are 10 classic novels that are perfect for beginners and can help one get started on a never-ending journey into the literary excellence that classic literature offers:

1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice is a timeless classic which centers around the Bennet family with five unmarried daughters. Their familial estate has been promised over to a male line descendant of the family. So the mother is in constant fear of losing their home and like every loving mother, she wants to marry off her daughters to rich suitors. When the rich Mr. Darcy comes to town, the perfect opportunity is foreseen, the action commences and we're left with this delightfully wonderful tale.

A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.

— Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

2. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

We've all probably read about Alice's adventures as a child and if not then, at least have heard about Alice. It would be wrong to dismiss it as just children's book as children's literature can give us a whole new perspective when read as an adult. Alice's adventurous journey begins when she sees a white rabbit wearing a waistcoat. Finding it queer, she starts following it and soon she falls into a rabbit hole and finds herself in the wonderland. There are intriguing creatures she meets and unique experiences she gathers.

The book when read as an adult, seems to be a metaphor for life. It is thoroughly enjoyable and also teaches us that it is always good to be imaginative and to believe that we're all a little mad.

3. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley was just 18 years old at the time of writing this novel. She wrote the book on a bet with a number of renowned literary genius. Shelley shows her writing prowess and historical knowledge in the story of Victor Frankenstein- a young scientist who creates a hideous sapient creature in an unorthodox scientific experiment. Frankenstein is not just a Gothic thriller but also a cautionary tale on the boundless powers of science.

Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge, and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be his world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow.

— Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

4. A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens

This classic from Charles Dickens is a novella about the mean-spirited, miserly old man named Ebenezer Scrooge. His personality undergoes drastic transformation after his encounters with three ghosts who represented Christmas traditions. There is an interesting commentary on the views of the elite on the destitute and the downtrodden, which still remains to the present day.

5. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Brontë’s eerie and obsessive love story about Catherine and Heathcliff still resonates with readers today. This doomed romance is a literary masterpiece. The tormented love and grief between Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw continues to inspire writers even today. Wuthering Heights is a masterpiece of Gothic fiction and has catapulted .Emily Brontë into the league of Literary genius.

6. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Mark Twain's most famous novel delves into a number of social issues like racism, war, religion and so much more. Huckleberry Finn is synonymous with American literature. It tells the story of an orphan boy and runaway slave in the Southern United States. Twain delved into the heart of so many important moral issues like slavery, abuse and corruption through this story which on the surface seems like a simple adventure. It has achieved the status of a foundational classic.

7. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Literary excellence seemed to run in the Brontë family. Written by Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre was an incredible breakthrough for an English novel at the time. The reader is brought into a very personal account of the story right from the very beginning. Jane Eyre is regarded as one of literature’s steeliest heroines. She has overcome a traumatic childhood only to be challenged by secrets, strange noises and mysterious fires in her new home at Thornfield Hall. And that's not all, she falls in love with her employer, Mr Rochester. Jane Eyre is a Gothic masterpiece which was groundbreaking due to its intimate use of the monologues.

If all the world hated you and believed you wicked, while your own conscience approved of you and absolved you from guilt, you would not be without friends.

— Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

8. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a classic novel about adventure and magic. It tells the story of little Dorothy Gale when she and her dog, Toto, are caught up in a cyclone They are whisked away from their Kansas farm and find themselves in the land of Oz. Here they meet a host of colorful characters including the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodsman, and the Cowardly Lion. Together they travel to the Emerald city to meet the celebrated Wizard. The novel is a beautiful,heartwarming stale of friendship and bravery.

9. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird is told through the point of view of the 6 year-old Scout Finch. It recounts a crime that rocks her Alabama hometown. African American Thom Robinson is accused of raping a young white woman. Scout’s father, Atticus Finch, is the lawyer who is appointed to represent Robinson. The novel looks critically at social issues of class and race with humor and brutal honesty .

10.The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway

The Old Man and the Sea is a short novel which is fierce and full of vibrant energy. The story centers around an aging fisherman who engages in an epic battle to catch a giant marlin. This standard “man against nature” story is told with such craft that it has become a timeless classic.

Which is your favorite book out of the following:

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Pride & Prejudice Official Trailer #1 - Keira Knightley Movie (2005) HD

© 2019 Shaloo Walia


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