Back to the classics (books, that is!)
New novels come out every month, but the traditional classics always retain their popularity and remain some of the most loved books of all time. So put down Harry Potter for a while – we’ve made a list of five of the best for you to read!
- Pride and Prejudice
You haven’t read chick lit until you’ve read a book by Jane Austen! Given she was writing around the early 1800’s, her key female characters are entertainingly opinionated and likeable. In Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet finds rich, eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy conceited and arrogant. Her playful nature and good looks, however, make it difficult for Darcy to keep up his outward indifference towards her. A tale of prejudice, first impressions and snobbery ensues… Middle-class provincial life has never been so entertaining! (For bonus points, track down BBC’s made-for-TV miniseries featuring Jennifer Ehle and a young looking Colin Firth)If you like this: Try Austen’s Sense and Sensibility or Emma.
- Little Women
Louisa May AlcottSet in the nineteenth century, the four March sisters each must find themselves as they grow up in New England during the Civil War. Beautiful Meg, frail Beth, and spoiled romantic Amy each have their own aspirations in love and life. However, tomboy Jo March is a talented writer and wants nothing more than to be a published author – what is she prepared to give up in pursuit of following her dream career?If you like this: Read the sequels, Little Men and Jo’s Boys.
- The Secret Garden
Frances Hodgson BurnettFollowing the death of her parents in India, young and unwanted Mary Lennox is brought back to England to live in her uncle’s huge lonely house on the moors. She is disagreeable and miserable until the day she finds a hidden door to a mysterious secret garden. A touching tale which focuses on the unlikely friendship of three very different children.If you like this: Try Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis or A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
- The Great Gadsby
F. Scott FitzgeraldIt’s time for flappers, bathtub gin and week-long house parties! Gatsby’s mansion in West Egg, east of New York, has the most exciting parties where everyone who’s anyone goes to be seen. The gossiping socialites of 1920’s high society who attend these events love to talk about their host’s mysterious past. Oblivious to the speculation caused by his life’s history, Gatsby’s destructive passions and dreams will be revealed as the tragic story unfolds.If you like this: Read any other novel or short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
- Jane Eyre
Charlotte BronteIn early 19th century England, Jane breaks away from her harsh childhood as an orphan, and grows to be an independent and confident survivor. When she takes a job as governess at Thornfield Hall, she falls in love with her employer Rochester. However, he has a terrible secret that will force her to make a choice between following her beliefs or following her heart – whatever the consequences.If you like this: Read anything else by Charlotte or Emily Bronte.