Everyone loves a good a page-turner, right? So what is it that makes a book a ‘classic?’ Readability? Enjoyability? If it’s any sort of ‘ability’, it’s the ability to stand the test of time.
But for some reason, the oldest book in the world The Gutenberg Bible, isn’t really considered a ‘classic.’ No, a classic book has much more on its side than just age. The classics seem to evoke an array of wistful feelings from any avid reader. Ask a fellow bookworm about their favourite classic and you’re sure to find yourself face-to-face with a faraway look, a wry smile and more than a hint of nostalgia. And more often than not, the response is a totally cliche title.
Over the years these books have touched people’s hearts, opening up worlds of adventure, romance, wonder and mystery. If you’re looking for a great classic to bury your nose in, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s a list of our favourite titles from days-gone-by, plus a little something short and sweet telling you why the book makes the perfect classic read.
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1911)
Why? Because fresh air and nature can heal many things. This Edwardian classic is almost as good as a self-help book in its messaging, but much more fun to read.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey (1962)
Why? This is the tale of a patient who fakes insanity to land a place on psychiatric ward; it is funny, sad and touching. Plus, the characters are wickedly, darkly honest.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1960)
Why? It tackles the defining, dividing issue of race in America beautifully and its protagonist, Atticus Finch, is a superb hero. And now you can read the sequel!
Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell (1949)
Why? Because totalitarianism is no longer a distant nightmare — it’s a reality for millions of people. This novel was way before its time and the comparabilities between the dystopia it features and modern-day life are truly terrifying.
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame (1908)
Why? Because this heart-warming tale is the perfect bedtime read. It’s worth a read for Toad, the protagonist, alone – he is conceited and arrogant as he is long-legged and loveable.