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Six Must Read Classic Books

Updated on February 7, 2016

Classics are like the scent of a perfume. The fragrance lingers for days to months after the read. There are many books that were published in yesteryears that have a great significance in the modern era. So if you haven't paid attention in your high school English class, the below-mentioned classics are worth reading or re-reading.

Must Read Classic Books

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Six Must Read Classics

  1. Emma (1815): A novel by Jane Austen. Emma Woodhouse, the protagonist of the story is a high-spirited, slightly spoilt young woman in her twenties, who takes delight in making matches for others. Though mature in many ways, she is naive, inexperienced and overestimates her abilities. She commits blunders mainly due to her conviction that she is always right. She is unaware of the risks and repercussions of poking nose in others lives, and her imagination and perceptions (probably delusions) often lead her astray.
  2. Gone With The Wind (1936): This is a fiction novel written by Margaret Mitchell. The story belongs to the American Civil War and Reconstruction Era. It describes the struggle of young Scarlett O' Hara, the rich spoilt daughter of a well-to-do plantation owner. It is based on the life and experiences of the lead character, as she ages from sixteen to twenty-eight years, who is bound and determined to shove off poverty from her life, for which she uses every possible means and tactic. Read this novel when you feel depressed and disheartened constantly facing setbacks, for that extra bump of determination.
  3. Little Women (1868): A novel by Louisa May Alcott that was published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869. It revolves around the lives of four sisters - Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March - detailing their journey from childhood to womanhood. The story explores the many roles of women by allowing each one to take a different path. Meg and Jo go out for work, Beth helps around the house, and Amy attends school. Alcott has a way of telling her story so that the reader is smitten with all her characters. She lets you explore themes of duty versus individual growth.
  4. A Tree Grows In Brooklyn (1943): A novel by Betty Smith, it is spread into five volumes, each covering a different period in the characters' lives. It is a heart-warming, coming-of-age story of the young idealistic, impoverished but aspirational Francie Nolan and her family, as she grows up in the slums of Williamsburg, Brooklyn during the early 20th century. She is a sweet narrator who relies on her imagination and a passion for reading to provide a temporary escape from poverty. Francie shares a great admiration for her father and wishes for an improved relationship with her mother. The story traces her desires and the way she faces the horrors of life, battling assaults, loneliness and an effort to survive despite her environment.
  5. The Color Purple (1982): A novel by Alice Walker that is set in rural Georgia. Walker paints the horrifying, yet realistic account of a young, uneducated, teenage slave girl who suffers oppression all her life. She later learns to write letters to god and develops the strength to survive and let go of the past, after discovering that her life is worth much more.
  6. The Grapes Of Wrath (1939): A novel by John Steinback set during the Great Depression, it focusses on the life of a poor family of tenant farmers driven from their Oklahoma home by drought and economic hardships. It describes their journey through the Dust Bowl towards California, and the way they battle hunger, lack of employment and failures.

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    • Jonas Rodrigo profile image

      Jonas Rodrigo 2 years ago

      I've read Little Women when I was about 13 years old and it was one of my favorite books. I've changed a lot since then but would very much like to read it again because I believe it's story is timeless.

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