Here are five classic books to read for World Book Day on April 23.
On the day that many of history’s greatest writers were either born or died, including the likes of Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes, the world celebrates books. The goal for April 23 is to promote reading as much as possible through old and new amazing books. In that spirit, here are some classics that are regarded as some of the best books ever written by some of the greatest writers ever.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818)
Perhaps the single most recognizable classic story ever, Frankenstein deals with deep and dark themes of obsession and monstrosity. Through science, Victor Frankenstein creates a new living creature made out of dead body parts. Once that creature gains consciousness it begins to ponder upon its existence on a very human level. It’s the story that everyone’s heard of but not enough have fully read. You won’t be able to fully appreciate its intricacies simply by watching one of the book’s many movie adaptations. Only through reading first-hand Mary Shelley’s words can you ultimately realize just why this book has not only withstood the test of time but has taken life by itself (much like the creature in the book).
Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment (1866)
A story that has captivated readers for nearly two centuries. The Russian legend Fyodor Dostoevsky delivers an absolute nightmare thriller that will have you questioning your own sanity by the end. The story follows the ex-student Raskolnikov who plans and follows through on a murderous act. He thinks he’s gotten away with it but the total anguish that takes over his mind is more than sufficient punishment. There really is no description that anyone could ever give that would do this story justice. Dostoevsky had the mind of a great philosopher and the writing ability of a genius. Simply put—one of the best novels ever written.
Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None (1939)
When it comes to Agatha Christie, her influence is so wide and great that any of her books could really be on this list. This one though feels slightly more appropriate since it is enfolded in detail, even more so than her other novels. One of the bestselling books of all time, the story is concentrated on eight people from different walks of life arriving on an island and then getting killed off one by one by someone mysterious. Feel free to read any of the 66 novels by the incredible Agatha Christie to celebrate this day.
Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women (1868-69)
This coming-of-age masterpiece has inspired many generations of women. In a world that mostly focused on telling stories with male protagonists, Louisa May Alcott told a story that has helped so many women through tough times in their early lives. A true timeless classic, this book will forever be relevant. The four March sisters will live on for eternity purely because their stories are of such a beautiful and human nature.
Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890-91)
One of the most famous and personable writers of all time, Oscar Wilde offered the world a story of intrigue and love. Straying away from any traditional meaning of the word, Wilde wrote about the kind of love that was forbidden at the time, in deep nuances. The way this story is shrouded in secrecy and deceit of the highest order truly speaks to the kind of magician in writing that Wilde was. Though at first criticized to no end, this book is now rightfully appraised as a work of art. The story revolves around Dorian and his desire to stay forever young and beautiful. If by some chance you’ve yet to read this book, do yourself a favor and pick it up now. Certainly, there are so many people who would gladly erase it from their memory just so that they can read it for the first time again.
So long as there are people willing to appreciate classics and looking for the new great books that will be classics in the future, then the world of literature will not only survive but thrive.
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