2017 is coming to an end; with just a few days left and I still can’t believe it. But that means we have to do new things; some of which involves reading new best novels in 2018 as we can’t obviously read the same books over and over (actually we can but it won’t be much fun). As an English literature student, a writer, and book lover like myself, reading is something I constantly have to do and I’m always interested in reading books by classic writers I may or may not know which were written around 1500 – 1900.
Whether you’re traveling or looking for some horror books to read that may tickle your fancy, a book is always enjoyable. And while most people find classic books boring, I’ll be recommending a lot of classic books by different writers from different parts of the world; books I’ve personally enjoyed and would definitely recommend to anyone. So save up some money because you may have to purchase some of this books, though I won’t say much on it as I may end up summarizing the whole book.
1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
This book had to come first because despite all the books I’ve read, this is by far one of the best, and my favourite books ever; the reason Jane Austen is my favourite author of all time. Pride and Prejudice is a book that’ll keep you anticipating and wanting to know more as you progress. Set primarily in the county of Hertfordshire, the book centers around the the Bennet family – Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty, and Lydia – but particularly on Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy as they practically fight what they feel for one another with so many family obstacles; though not towards them.
The book is filled with love, romance, pride, rejection, conflict, denial of emotions, jealousy, social class differences, and confusion but, it ends on romance in the best way possible. Defintely perfect for hopeless romantics as it shows, not in an obvious way, the power of love.
2. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Another favourite of mine. Though it’s a bit lengthy, but it’s most definitely worth it and a book that’ll draw you into its actions. The Count of Monte Cristo centres around a young man – whose life is pretty good; he has a job; is getting married to a woman he loves, and has his father with him – who was framed, arrested and unwrongfully imprisoned on his wedding day – due to different reasons as it was a collaboration between different people. He spends so many years in prison, suffering, without any knowledge of the outside world till he eventually escapes, acquires immense fortune and goes back to get revenge in the best way possible on the people who imprisoned him.
This book is filled with suffering, pain, quest, vengeance, love, death, betrayal, murder, wickedness, plot twist, suspense, and so many things that makes the plot get better and better with each chapter. The attention to detail and imagery was impeccable and you could feel yourself in each description and each action which makes the book even better. You certainly cannot read this book and not enjoy it; it has everything and is even better than a sci-fi or a thriller movie because you cannot anticipate what comes next and each revelation is always shocking and unexpected.
3. Hard Times by Charles Dickens
Dickens was definitely a great writer who lived during the 19th century and his novels were not just novels; he used his works to depict the sufferings, exploitations, and injustice the lower class people were faced with in England during that era; and Hard Times was one of those books. I just recently read this book in class as it was recommended and I really loved it.
Hard Times focuses on a few characters; mainly Mr. Gradgrind who brings up two of his children – Louisa and Tom – based on his theory of facts which ends up ruining their lives, Sissy Jupe who was taken in my Mr. Gradgrind after she was abandoned by her father and the only character who ends up happy in the end, Mr. Bounderby, a rich pompous banker married to Louisa, Mr. Harthouse who becomes interested in an already married Louisa and Steven; the only good guy who dies later on. I enjoyed this book more than I thought as it’s a mixture of different literary elements aimed at making a point. Certainly worth the read for anyone interested in revolutionary movements or anything related to injustice and social class differences.
4. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
This is a book I’ve previously reviewed and it had to join the list of best novels to read in 2018. Little Women, written in 1868 centres around a poor family; particularly 4 sisters; Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy who are faced with the hardship and difficulty of not having any money, Amy’s accident, and their father as well as Beth’s illness later on. But despite all that, they all care for and love each other; helping out one another even when they don’t have anything good enough to help with.
With all the difficulties, the book ends on a happy note during Christmas with Meg getting engaged, Mr. March returning home, and the whole family enjoying a nice Christmas with lots of present. The book takes us into the life of 4 sister’s; filled with difficulties, hope, happiness, sadness, hope, a bit of quarrel, and most importantly, love.
5. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Another book by Charles Dickens which I’ve also reviewed but couldn’t resist talking about. Dickens is definitely a great writer and his books are worth the read.
Great Expectations is a book that brings together a young boy, Pip, a rich, bitter and heartless old woman, Miss Havisham, an escaped prisoner, Abel Magwitch and a young, heartless girl, Estella – who was brought up by Miss Havisham to be cold and heartless due to her past. This is certainly a book that’ll leave you wanting more as we see how the lives of every character is related to the other and how they learn from their actions and mistakes. This book is filled with love, sadness, death, wealth, bitterness, hate, and most importantly, a lesson well learnt.