Forget about the stuffy, 1000 page “classic books” you were forced to read in high school. Don’t let those (or the in-class discussion that ensued afterward) ruin classic books for you. Here’s a list of 8 unforgettable books that you’ll actually enjoy instead of having to slug through.
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Aliens, time travel, and satire. What else could you possibly want? This novel is anything but boring. It will simultaneously make you laugh and break your heart. Vonnegut’s story is far from conventional, and is still widely read today.
Anything by Edgar Allen Poe
If you couldn’t put your Goosebumps down as a kid, you will love anything written by Poe will fascinate (and scare you) to the point where you won’t be able to put it down. The Telltale Heart is my personal favorite, but there are collections of his stories available everywhere online or in bookstores. You won’t regret picking one up. That is, until you start losing sleep over them.
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
This novel touches on issues of race, colonialism, and fate. The characters are easy to love (or easy to hate). It’s a book filled with compassion for the adventurous reader. You’ll put this book down and reconsider the way you live. Kingsolver never disappoints.
On The Road by Jack Kerouac
This book will inspire your creative side. Kerouac wrote this novel (allegedly) without stopping. The result is a breathless manuscript that leaves you bewildered, but along for the ride. The characters are ridiculous and quirky. They may remind you of some people you know.
Anything by Jamaica Kincaid
Her most famous work is Girl. Although it isn’t a book, it’s an inspiring, well written piece of literature. I would recommend anything she’s written. Kincaid is an Antiguan-American writer and adds much needed perspective to the world of literature. She’s thoughtful, poetic, and her words will echo in your head once you’ve read them.
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
You won’t be able to put this book down. It’ll scare you and possibly inspire you to change the world around you. Although set in the future, it is remarkably like our current society. It’s an earlier version of the dystopian novels that are so popular today.
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Hurston’s novel is hilarious and gut-wrenching. Not to mention, it’s written by a female author, which can be hard to come by with books considered “classics”. Hurston was influential during her time and weaves an unforgettable story.
The Great Gastby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Even if you’ve already read it, pick it up again. Even though the book is full of symbolism, you can enjoy it at a surface level as well. The characters, while charming, are all doomed. If you liked the movie with Leo, I suggest giving this a read. It’s even better.
For more incredible reading selections, check out this article.