My Favourite Classic Novels

Since my grade 12 year of high school, I have been working on completing a book challenge from Reedsy. The site lists “100 Books to Read Before you Die,” and I am determined to finish what I have started! I have finished 60 of the books on the list, and I’ve listed my favourites (so far) below!

Here is the link to the list I’m working on: 100 Books to Read Before you Die.

1. The Harry Potter Series – J.K Rowling

I’ll admit, I read the series before I started the reading challenge, but they definitely hold up as some of my favourites.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was the first novel I had ever read, and the world building and characterization made me fall in LOVE with reading.

I proceeded to read the novels 9 times over, and this year, I am doing a research project on Hermione Granger.

Although I am not a fan of J.K. Rowling as a person, I owe these stories a lot, especially as an English major.

2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

If you like sci-fi and comedy, Adams perfectly melds the genres in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

This is the first novel in a series of 5, all crazier than the last. Adams destroys the Earth in the novel’s first pages, and the readers are launched on an adventure where they, quite literally, hitchhike across the galaxy.

The novels are short and casual, but they still managed to muster multiple belly laughs.

3. The Catcher in the Rye – J.D Salinger

The classic coming of age story of Holden Caulfied still holds up. I read this one in grade 12, and I remember telling my high school English teacher, “this book describes exactly what it’s like to be a teenager.”

Holden makes you feel understood in being misunderstood, and shares in your frustrations of the world being full of “phonies.” Beware of existential crisis. 

4. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott

Now this one hit close to home. The novel follows the lives of 4 sisters, from their youths into their early adulthood.

I also have only sisters, and I found Alcott described the dynamic of an all-female household extremely accurately.

We fight ruthlessly, but my sisters will always be my best friends.

Despite being set during the American Civil War, the novel felt like home.

5. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy

Yes…Tolstoy novels are intense reads, but Anna Karenina is worth the patience.

The novel is long (around 950 pages), so prepare for intensely vivid descriptions.

The novel boasts 2 protagonists, whose individual love stories intertwine in unexpected ways.

The novel questions sacrifice, duty, and the nature of love (all during the rise of communism in Russia).

I became so subliminally involved in the story that, when it was over, it felt like part of me was missing!

As always, I’m definitely leaving out some GREAT books (Les Miserables, Emma, The Remains of the Day, and MANY more) that are all worth a read. But enough about me! What are some of your favourite classics? Tell me below!

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