10 Best Classic Books of All Time: A Perspective to Different Times

Fictional novels open your mind to different possibilities but the classics have something to them that takes you back in time. To understand the culture, style and daily life of people back then, the classic novels serve as a great window. You’d understand history better as you peek into the social transactions of the characters.Hence, let’s talk about some of the best classic books that you must read.

However, before getting started, it’s best to know a little more about the purpose of classic literature books. You will also understand why reading them matters and how you can develop a healthy reading habit as well. So, let’s get started.

Why Read Classic Books at all?

The classics make you love reading even more. For the ones who grew up reading some of the best classic books like Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte or To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee, understand the journey through literary times and experience.

Moreover, classic books are a powerful expression of art with robust language that is timeless. Its essence touches readers even today and makes them yearn for more. Thus, classical literature will always stand the test of time. 

But, let’s take a deeper tour of the reasons why you should read classic novels.

1. Understand history and culture better

Some novels did not gain popularity during their time as they get today. However, when we read the novels, it allows us to peek into the time in which the author set the narrative. From the tiniest discussions, usage of items, thinking process, to the social system and more, the best classic books let you get a detailed understanding of the culture of different communities.

Furthermore, they allow you to have a personal experience with the context and characters. This way, you tend to develop your own unique perspective while looking at history.

2. Enhance your vocabulary

In classic books, the language reflects the age’s culture, aesthetics and principles. The writing style has a sense of perfection and structure that appeals to the intellect. Hence, this is why they remain a great recommendation to develop your vocabulary. Plus, with classic literature books, you develop a great love for reading that actually helps you think better.

3. Understand cultural references

When you delve into the classics, you’ll understand that there are so many references that people make from there. All classic novels are based in different social settings that help you understand the character’s societal setup and the history of the country. You’ll take a closer look at the lifestyle and find a clearer perception.

This way, you’ll understand different cultural references that people can make in a discussion.

4. Boost social skills

The best classic books present strong characters that transmit a sense of strong ethics and better your judgement. This also helps you boost your emotional intelligence and strengthen your social perceptions.

If you’re looking to get your children to pick up a reading habit, then a reading corner for kids is a great way to start.

10 Best Classic Books to Read: Develop a Healthy Reading Habit

If you are thinking of starting a reading habit or maybe just want to find out more classic books to read, this list finds you now! Talking about the benefits of reading classic literature, let us present you with a rich list. Here are some thought-provoking classic novels of all time that are bound to trigger your grey cells and enhance your thinking

1. To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee

The classic To Kill a Mockingbird is the journey of the young character from innocence to experience. She has an epiphany when her father, Atticus stands against the racist judicial system while defending a black man who was wrongly accused of committing rape to a white woman.

The narrator, Scout also has her personal encounters with someone that shuts himself in only to later realize that he too is a human being with noble attributes.

This is one of the classic novels of all time that show the growth of the character and hence the reader.

2. Wuthering Heights by Emile Bronte

The classic love story of Catherine and Heathcliff, Wuthering Heights stands tall as one of the best classic books in history.

The author, Emily Bronte published the book in 1847 under the pseudonym “Ellis Bell’. The novel covers the doomed love story of Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff. Their passionate but unfulfilled love eventually destroys them as well as the people close to them.

3. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust

In Search of Lost Time, also known as Remembrance of Things Past, is a novel in seven volumes and is one of the best classic books to read.

According to literature lovers, this is Proust’s most prominent work. The volumes deal with the theme of involuntary memory, with “episode of Madeleine” (First volume) as one of the most famous and often-cited examples.

This is one of the best classic books that highlight the loss of time and partly inclines towards the idea of nihilism.

4. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

It’s a novel by one of the greatest Russian authors to have ever walked on the planet. War and Peace is one of the classic books to read that allow you a peek into the then Russia. The events highlight the French invasion in Russia as well as the effects of the Napoleonic era on the Tsarist system.

Through the stories of five Russian aristocratic families, the book looks at the influence of the Napoleonic era on Tsarist society. If the plot has already blown your mind, then why not get started immediately!

5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

A 1925 novel by American author, F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, is the story of a young millionaire Jay Gatsby and his love and obsession for beautiful Daisy Buchanan. It’s one of the classic novels of all time that represents the American system and lifestyle after achieving the American Dream.

The book looks at themes of idealism, corruption, excesses of all kinds, and is often described as a cautionary tale of the American Dream. Gatsby’s yearning for Daisy led him to go up the social ladder and achieve wealth. Hence, the character of Daisy represents the American Dream in this classic and is considered as one of the best classic books even today.

6. Moby Dick by Hermann Melville

Moby Dick, or The Whale, by Herman Melville, is an 1851 novel of an obsessive quest. The character learns the value of friendship as well as sacrifice from Queenpueq, his friend. The strange and mysterious sea has led him to realize the mysteries of life as well.

After having his leg bit off at the knee by a giant white sperm whale (Moby Dick), Ahab, captain of the whaling ship Pequod, seeks revenge on the former.

7. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

An 1813 romantic novel that people are still gushing about, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is a story of Elizabeth Bennet, who, in the novel, learns about how hasty judgments can have repercussions. And by the end of it, comes to appreciate the actual goodness over superficial niceness. Also, Mr Darcy!

This is one of the classic fiction books that teach us to set aside negative judgements and pride. Throughout the novel, the characters realize and unlearn their inclinations and reconcile with each other. Because of its structure and underlying message, it stands as one of the best classic books in history.

8. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf is a 1927’s classic that centres on the Ramsay family’s visits to the Isle of Skye, Scotland, between 1910 and 1920.

The book’s themes include loss, subjectivity, the problem of perception, and the nature of art. Throughout the novel, the characters question the meaning of life and discover different answers, that’s because they have different experiences in their lives. Hence, it is one of the classic literature books that showcase a psychic voyage.

9. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

One of the best classic fiction books is Charles Dickens’s 13th novel, Great Expectations.

This novel is a bildungsroman that shows the personal growth and development of Pip who is an orphan. The imagery used in the book is extreme, from poetry and prison ships to fights to death, the book is a feast for the reader.

Moreover, this classic novel teaches us that a single act of Christian kindness has the potential to change a man’s whole character.

10. 1984 by George Orwell

One of the best classic books, 1984 by Orwell warns the readers against the dangers of extreme power and control. The author noticed the absolute political power and exercise in a technology-led era. The purpose is to make the youth understand the dangerous consequences of absolute power that they might have as they grow.

The book is considered the best of Orwell’s work because of its anticipatory depiction.

This is our exhaustive list consisting of the best classic books that you can read to develop a healthy reading habit. If you are starting off, it’s a thoughtful start for beginners. Avid readers can make another pick from this list to read. With good reads, you think better. Read more about best time to read books to understand the context effectively.

Not only good books help you expand your knowledge but also make for a perfect addition to your home design. Create your own home library or use them as one of your coffee table decor ideas to enhance the beauty of your home. If you are starting afresh reading some of the best books to read for beginners can you bring peace to you and help in having a goodnight’s sleep.

Frequently Asked Questions on Best Classic Books

  • Which books are the greatest classic novels of all time?

The greatest classics of all time are those that take you back in time and acquaint you with the communities and social systems. Here are some of the greatest classics:

  1. To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee
  2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  3. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzerald
  4. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  5. 1984 by George Orwell
  6. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • What books should every person read?

Every person should start with the classics as they tend to teach a lot of history showing the details of lifestyle, thinking, social systems, etc. Here is a list of what books you should read:

  1. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
  2. To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee
  3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  4. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzerald
  6. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  7. 1984 by George Orwell
  8. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • What makes a book a classic novel?

A classic book is an expression of literary art that provides a window into the societal system of a particular time in history. A classic novel also teaches much more through the regular communicational transaction of that time. It also shows the culture of a community more closely with more details than in any history book. Plus, the writing and storytelling style of a classic is richer and is able to stand the test of time.

  • Which classic should I read first?

To start reading, you can start with simple ones to something thought-provoking. Gradually you’ll learn to think differently. Here is what you can start and end with chronologically:

  1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  3. To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee
  4. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger
  5. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  6. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  7. 1984 by George Orwell
  8. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  9. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • How do you tell if a book is a classic?

The writing style of a classic reflects the cultures of the time the novel is set in. Now, classics come from different cultures and different times. But the constant essence is to showcase the societal cultures, beliefs, principles, political stances thereby taking a closer look at history altogether! For eg, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.

  • What do the great classics contain?

Literature’s great classic fiction books have certain elements tied into storytelling that marks the piece. They have

  1. A remarkable protagonist
  2. Details of the human condition
  3. Clearer historical context
  4. Rich style and meaning that welcome multiple readings
  • What classic authors should I read?

To start with you can read the works of the following authors:

  1. Jane Austen
  2. Oscar Wilde
  3. Emily Bronte
  4. Shakespeare
  5. Mary Shelly
  6. F. Scott Fitzerald
  7. Aldous Huxley
  • Who are the best Classic authors of all time?

Some of the classic authors left behind the timeless philosophy of life and the human condition. These remain meaningful and something to think about even today. Here are some of the best classic authors who allow the same:

  1. James Joyce
  2. Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  3. Charles Dickens
  4. William Faulkner
  5. William Shakespeare
  6. Vladimir Nabokov
  7. Anton Chekov