The Top Five Best Classic Novels You Should Read ASAP

When I was in high school, I absolutely hated the books we had to read in class. They were all old, classic novels with big words and strange concepts. I would much rather have been reading YA dystopias because those were super popular at the time.
But then I saw The Great Gatsby movie in theaters, and I loved it. The beauty and complexity of the plot floored me. And when I read the book soon after, the words the writing style that had confused me before now made sense because I could imagine the movie in my head.
As I moved on to college, my taste for classic books changed. I didn't just skim the words or read the important parts to get a good grade; I paid attention to the story and the characters. I read and analyzed what was happening and discovered that these classic novels with big words and strange concepts were actually beautifully written, enchanting works of art.
We all know that reading helps make our writing better--but it's what we read that teaches us how to write. Reading classic books can help expand your vocabulary as well as inspire you to try new concepts and plot twists, and even add a poetic sound to your writing.
If you're not big on classic novels, here are my top five absolute favorites to get you started!

1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Words cannot express my love for this book. It is a beautifully complex story of love, heartbreak, and murder all wrapped up in the glamor of New York during the Roaring Twenties.
When I first tried to read it, I was really turned off by Fitzgerald's writing style. I couldn't imagine the world or characters and I was overall pretty bored. BUT, then I saw the movie and it really helped me picture everything and understand the story better.
So, if you've been wanting to give this book a try but also aren't sure you'll be able to read it, I suggest seeing the movie first.

2. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol
Oh, how I love this book. It has the most whimsically wonderful world and plot. I love the characters, the dialogue, the sheer magic of it all! I read this story a few years ago after watching the movie (yes, I am aware watching the movie before reading the book is basically a sin. It's fine.) After the movie reminded me how much I love this story, I decided to sit down and read the actual original story. Needless to say, I now own the entire collection.

3. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
THIS BOOK. GUYS.  I was assigned to read this story in college for my Short Story and Novel Lit class, and I expected it to be a historical war story that wouldn't catch my interest. I WAS VERY WRONG.
This book is told from a totally unreliable narrator, so who knows what actually happened and what didn't. This book delves in time travel, history, POW camps, alien planets, and everything follows a timeline that is completely out-of-order. This story is a masterpiece of strangeness, and I highly recommend reading it.

4. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
This was another book I was assigned to read for my Short Story and Novel Lit class, and again, I thought it was going to bore me. Again, it did not.
This story is beautifully captivating and challenges the expectations of women in the 19th century. Though I did skim a few parts (only because I procrastinated and had to read this book in like a day) overall I really enjoyed the story--mostly for the ending. The ending is just... wow. Read it!

5. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
I read this book in middle school, and at the time I hated  it. Absolutely hated it. The language, the style, it was all so... ugh.
But, I was a middle schooler who didn't know how to appreciate classic books. Looking back on this story now? I love it. I want to go back to my english teacher and thank her for making me read this book. The imagery, the metaphors, the foreshadowing--Dickens writes it all so perfectly! I definitely plan on rereading this sometime soon.

So there you have it! My top five favorite classic novels. I highly recommend all of these books for your literary enjoyment as well for writing research. Check back on Thursday when I'll discuss my top five favorite modern novels!

Also, if you missed the announcement on Saturday, I'm hosting a writing contest! Submissions are open now, and will be until March 17th! If you're interested in participating, you can check out all of the details here!

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Philippians 4:6