Books hold the unique ability to transport you somewhere and anywhere, from the most fantastic locations to the deepest depths of your own mind. There are always books that rise above the rest — these are the ones that stay with you for the rest of your life.
1. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
This enchanting, fable-like novel follows the journey of a Spanish shepherd boy named Santiago who gives up everything in pursuit of his “Personal Legend,” the dream he was always meant to achieve. This book’s style is simple and direct, but not to be mistaken for simplistic. Instead, it teaches the lasting lesson of going after your own dreams.
2. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austin
An enduring classic, Jane Austin’s iconic story has stood the test of time. Elizabeth Bennet’s stormy courtship with the mysterious, arrogant Mr. Darcy has captured the hearts of readers for centuries. It’s appeal as a love story is obvious, but it goes far beyond comical misunderstandings and heart-pounding reconciliations. It’s a book about the complexities of a family, our own tendencies to misjudge, and a time of elegance and refinement that is deliciously distant.
3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
It’s difficult to categorize a book as a modern classic before it has proven itself, but The Book Thief will surely qualify. Read in classrooms alongside major works such as Elie Wiesel’s Night, this beautifully written account of Hitler’s Germany is unexpectedly touching. Liesel Meminger and her foster parents experience every nuance of hiding a Jewish man in their basement during WWII, and the resulting novel is unforgettable.
4. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Another recently published book that is well on its way to becoming a classic, The Hate U Give is particularly relevant today. It follows the story of Starr, a young black girl who witnesses a horrific exchange between a police officer and her best friend. She learns to find her own voice in the aftermath, making this book an important testimony for truth and justice.
5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Arguably the greatest American novel, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterwork paints a dazzling picture of the Jazz Age at its height. Jay Gatsby’s fateful romance with Daisy Buchanan not only tears the lovers apart, but leaves an indelible mark in the lives of everyone around them. For almost 100 years, readers have been unable to look away.
Great books are like oases in a desert– they refresh and relieve, and they are entirely unforgettable. These literary classics and budding favorites are just a taste of the books that readers will continually enjoy for years to come.