25 Classics that You Must Read

With countless classics to read, choosing which novels to read isn’t always easy. That is why we made this list of the 25 classics that you must read. Keep reading to find out which books made our list!  

There are thousands of classics out there and you won’t be able to read most of them. This list will help you choose some of the best classics ever written. There is a good chance you will end up binge reading some of these authors.  

25 Classics that You Must Read  

Not every classic novel will be to your liking. Some of them you may not finish and that is fine. Everyone has their own preference. With that said, there is a good chance you will like most of the books on this list. You can see the full list below!  

25 Classics that You Must Read  

  1. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger   
  2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee   
  3. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas   
  4. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell   
  5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen   
  6. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë   
  7. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez   
  8. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky   
  9. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood   
  10. The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien   
  11. Dracula by Bram Stoker   
  12. Lord of the Flies by William Golding   
  13. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley    
  14. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens   
  15. The Time Machine by H. G. Wells   
  16. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez   
  17. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott   
  18. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte   
  19. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald  
  20. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy   
  21. The Color Purple by Alice Walker 
  22. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad   
  23. Ulysses by James Joyce   
  24. The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton   
  25. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

The Best of the Best

Like most readers, I have a love hate relationship with the classics. Some of them are amazing like To Kill a Mockingbird and The Count of Monte Cristo. And then you’ll come across a classic that will make you never want to read a classic again. But for the most part, I have enjoyed most classics and I am glad I gave them a chance.  

Horror novels don’t often make the classic list but a few have broken through over the past couple of centuries. Dracula and Frankenstein are regarded as two of the best horror books of all time and rightfully so. If you haven’t gotten around to read these books, then you are missing out.  

There are many amazing novels such as Beloved, The Outsiders, and Catch-22 by Joseph Heller that move you. We won’t ever be able to grasp these moments in history which is why we turn to authors to show us what life was like. Even if these are fiction novels, they are based on real life moments.  


That is all for this list of the 25 classics that you must read. How many of these classics have you read? Which classics should we add on our next list? Let us know in the comments below!

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23 thoughts on “25 Classics that You Must Read

  1. Anonymous says:

    Why is Marquez’ “One Hundred Years of Solitude” listed twice?

      1. Sue Casselman says:

        I read it once in Spanish and that was enough! Also, no James Joyce or Russian novels Read Crime and Punishment -and it was

      2. Anonymous says:

        You missed adding Of Mice and Men and/or The Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck. Both are classics and must-reads.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Why is
      “Hundred Years of Solitude” listed twice? Because the author was good friend of Comrade Fidel Castro, and the Communist Pigs are taking over.

    2. Anonymous says:

      I noticed that too. Maybe it’s so good they want us to read it twice…

    3. Anonymous says:

      So there’s actually only 24 books you must read 😃

    1. Anonymous says:

      No person must read anything by a Bronte sister. Charlotte and Emily are perfect examples of what Hawthorne called a “damned mob of scribbling wome.”

  2. Anonymous says:

    Wow! You must really like “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” since you listed it twice.

    1. Samir Mokdad says:

      Ahaqir definetly hates Gibran Kahlil Gibran “The Prophet” the most sold book world wide translated into 22 languages.

      1. Daniel says:

        The Prophet is estimated to have sold a out 10 million copies. I could name a dozen books off the top of my head that have sold better.

      2. Traveler says:

        It is a good read, but not the most sold book in the world. Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes – which also belongs on this list – has been translated into more languages and read by more people than any book except the Holy Bible.

  3. Elena K Kallevig says:

    Jane Austen is extremely overrated – she is very boring and “Pride and Prejudice” couldn’t be even remotely compared to “Vanity Fair”by Thackeray. Strange choices for Dumas and Orwell -“Three musketeers” and “Animal farm” have had more impact on the reading public. I hope it’s a joke counting “Dracula” and “Frankenstein” as great novels.

  4. Lene says:

    We should include more recent classics and different genres that have had great impact to thesedust old tomes. Necromancer by William Gibson (he coined Cyberspace in an earlier short story and used it here, it inspired the Matrix and was the first of an eerily prescient trilogy). The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula le Guinn is also a beautifully written book on gender relations.

  5. Ewen says:

    Don Quixote is one classic I couldn’t possibly finish it was so idiotic

  6. Anonymous says:

    There are definitely some of my favourites on here but if you want to list Heart of darkness which is the European perspective on colonialism then you also need to list an African perspective and I recommend Things fall apart by Chinua Achebe. I was also let down a bit by this list, I’m a literature student and I can understand the literary contribution these novels made but it would’ve been nice if the list consisted of books by authors from different backgrounds instead of just focusing on American and British authors. Books like Pride and Prejudice, the Great Gatsby and Wuthering Heights are literally on every “classics to read” list. Everyone know they should have been read it by now, rather recommend books that are less popular. The Perfume by Patrick Süskind is a very strange book but it is amazing. It should have been on this list.

  7. Anonymous says:

    What about “Moby Dick”? Also what about Ivanhoe?

    1. Anonymous says:

      Or “Earth Abides” and “Flowers For Algernon”.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Please refrain from using the term “fiction novels” (“Even if these are fiction novels….” in your last paragraph before your “Conclusion”). It’s redundant (like Catholic pope, Jewish rabbi, etc.).


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