Best 10 Classic Books to Read Before You Die

Last updated on July 4, 2023 by

Some books have stood the test of time and captured readers’ hearts and minds for countless generations. These timeless pieces of literature have influenced how we perceive the world, tested our assumptions, and captured our imaginations.  Today, let’s explore the top ten classic books to read that simply cannot be missed. These books will surely satisfy you’re craving whether you enjoy drama, comedy, or tragedy. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s continue browsing to get started and learn about the magic that has kept them relevant for so long.

Recommended 10 Classic Must-Read Books

  1. The Great Gatsby
  2. Pride and Prejudice
  3. Animal Farm
  4. Little Women
  5. The Lord of the Rings
  6. The Diary of a Young Girl
  7. Anna Karenina
  8. Lord of the Flies
  9. Crime and Punishment
  10. The Odyssey

The Great Gatsby

the great gatsby

First on the list of the best classic books is The Great Gatsby. In 1995, F. Scott Fitzgerald published this powerful and enduring piece in American literature. The plot centers on the young and mysterious millionaire, Jay Gatsby. He attempts to win back Daisy Buchanan who is his former love. Further, Nick Carraway is the neighbor of Gatsby and the narrator of the story.  Many readers love how the book presents its diverse cast of characters, meaning and relevance, historical context, and many more. Click here to see The Great Gatsby summary.

Pride and Prejudice

pride and prejudice

Pride and Prejudice is another most-loved book around the globe for its keen humor, societal critique, and endearing characters. It has become a classic of English literature since Jane Austen published it in 1813. Moreover, the story focuses on Elizabeth Bennet who is the second eldest daughter of the Bennet family. As the narrative progresses, she will have a complicated relationship with the affluent and proud aristocrat, Mr. Darcy.  Click here to see Pride and Prejudice summary.

Animal Farm

animal farm

Another fictional literary from our library of classic must read books is George Orwell’s Animal Farm. A group of farm animals is used in the book’s allegory to mock the events in the 1917 Russian Revolution. It was also the early years of the Soviet Union. At first, society seems to be a utopia. But as time passes, the pigs leading the revolution turn corrupt and tyrannical. Additionally, the book offers a strong critique of tyranny and the exploitation of power. Click here to see the Animal Farm mind map.

Little Women

little women

Louisa May Alcott’s work “Little Women” was written and released in 1868. It is all about the journey and difficulties of growing up in the nineteenth century of the March Sisters. Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy’s engaging characters continue to captivate readers worldwide. Furthermore, the novel looks at issues including family, love, and young women finding their place in society.

The Lord of the Rings

the lord of the rings

“The Lord of the Rings” is a work of high fantasy published in the mid-20th century. J.R.R. Tolkiens is an English writer and academic who is behind the success of this influential book.  The story centers around Frodo Baggins, a hobbit who embarks on a perilous journey to destroy the One Ring. Dark Lord Sauron is the one responsible for this evil and all-powerful object. For its enduring popularity, the novel is divided into three volumes and features a vast array of characters and creatures. 

The Diary of a Young Girl

the diary of young girl

One of the classic books to read to give hope amidst adversity is The Diary of a Young Girl. It details the experiences of a young Jewish girl named Anne Frank during the Holocaust.  At the age of 13, she started keeping a diary to record her daily life in hiding from the Nazis. It becomes controversial as she gives insights into the psychological and emotional effects of living in constant fear and uncertainty.

Anna Karenina

anna karenina

Leo Tolstoy penned and published the novel Anna Karenina in 1878. It takes place in 19th-century Russia and follows the tale of a married woman known as Anna Karenina. She has a passionate relationship with wealthy cavalry officer Count Vronsky. Also, it explores themes of love, marriage, infidelity, jealousy, and social class. Eventually, the book is regarded as one of the best books ever written and adapted into films, plays, and operas.

Lord of the Flies

lord of the flies

William Golding wrote the famous book “Lord of the Flies” in 1954. The narrative centers on a gang of British boys who crash land on a remote island. Without adult guidance, they must live and build their own civilization. Their initial attempts to establish a civilized community are quickly derailed by their intrinsic hostility and greed, resulting in chaos and violence. The issues covered in the book are human nature, authority, and the fading of innocence. The story continues to be a sad meditation on the innate darkness that hides inside humans. 

Crime and Punishment

crime and punishment

Crime and Punishment follow Rodion Raskolnikov, a destitute and unhappy former student in St. Petersburg.  He murders two people in a horrific fashion. With that, this literary piece of  Fyodor Dostoevsky explores Raskolnikov’s psychological issues. Additionally, it illustrates the rationalization of his crimes from within and his eventual atonement via suffering and punishment. The work also examines issues of morality, poverty, and social status along the way. No wonder why it is included in the best classic books of all time.

The Odyssey

the odyssey

The Odyssey is a well-known masterpiece of the poet Homer in the 8th century BC. Over time, this epic poem gains positive feedback from its readers as it becomes a significant piece of Western literature. The poem narrates the tale of Odysseus, a Greek hero who fights in the Trojan War. With that, he must overcome many hardships in order to return home to his wife and son. Odysseus encounters monsters, gods, and sorceresses along the voyage, and he also struggles with his own conceit and temptations. 


Whether you enjoy romance, adventure, tragedy, or satire, these ten classic books to read are perfect for you. These masterpieces have withstood the test of time and continue to enthrall readers around the world. Moreover, we assure you to find something you will enjoy in these books, which will also leave a lasting impression. So, if you want to be updated to a comprehensive list like this, please follow GitMind. There are more exciting blogs soon.

Rating:4.8 /5(based on 20 ratings)Thanks for your rating!
Posted by: on to Tips and Resources. Last updated on July 4, 2023

Leave a Comment

Please input your name!
Please input review content!

Comment (0)