For those craving a feast for the ravenous imagination, there is perhaps no greater method of expanding the mind’s horizons than to relax, grab a classic book, and enjoy the journey through one of the greatest stories ever told.
If you are considering a stroll through fiction’s hall of fame (which I highly recommend), then this list of 10 fantastic classic works might be exactly what you need to take that first step.
- The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck – With visceral, heart-wrenching clarity, this depression-era novel hitches readers to the back of beat up ‘26 Hudson pickup and drives them nonstop down a dusted dirt road, demonstrating beautifully one family’s fight for unity and prosperity in wake of endless hardship.
- Animal Farm by George Orwell – Allegory will likely never be executed with such brutal mastery as in Orwell’s dystopian masterpiece, where farm animals and humans reenact with startlingly, vicious honesty the motivations both personal and societal which erupted and fueled Russia’s Stalinist era.
- Catch 22 by Joseph Heller – Heller’s work reflects the sense of anguish felt when faced with an impossible, mind-eviscerating paradox. He did so, so poignantly he earned the phrase “catch-22” a spot in the English lexicon.
- A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess – Peer inside the dysphoric horror-scape inhabited by Alex, a delinquent murder turned involuntary, brainwashed moralist, and challenge yourself with the question of whether an involuntary good is truly preferable to a freely chosen evil.
- The Death of The Heart by Elizabeth Bowen – Given today’s prevailing anxieties, this novel explores experiences of sifting through the heightened, tense emotional landscape of Europe between world wars, where the newly rebuilt threatens to collapse once more, seems especially relevant.
- Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell – This epitome of the American romance novel also manages to vividly capture the cataclysm of Southern life and culture during the Civil War.
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis – One hundred years of mad winter hold sway over Narnia, and only four English children can break the land free of a witch’s clutches. The fantasy genre paradigms established in Lewis’s magnum opus set a standard to which hordes of later works would conform.
- The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway – Hemingway offers audiences an alternative glimpse into the psyches of the so-called “Lost Generation,” brave souls who lived through and thrived on after WWI.
- Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston – A rich tale of strife and self-discovery, Hurston’s electric prose embodies and empowers a voice too often marginalized.
- To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee – To Kill A Mockingbird tackles difficult subjects of rape and racism, succeeding massively in weaving a complex tale espousing the nature of human morals and motivations.
Open your mind to the thoughts and lessons contained in these pages, and soon you will become a greater thinker and writer, perhaps even creating classics of your own one day!
This blog was originally posted on here.