What is a classic book? In our opinion, it’s any work that proves a good story will endure. Classic books tend to populate high school reading lists, lists of books everyone should read, and more.
There are books that are considered classics within specific genres, such as classic science fiction books, classic gothic horror novels and classic romance novels. There are classics that distill the voices of certain times and places, such as books from Lost Generation writers or from the Harlem Renaissance.
Classic books also have the tendency to become cultural touchstones—everyone knows what it means to tilt at windmills; to chase a white whale; to ask “to be or not to be” (and if you don’t; it’s high time you cross these classic books off your TBR). They’ve also been turned into iconic films, sparked some of the most hated characters known to man, and invented fantastic places we can only dream of visiting.
While many books that we consider classics were written long ago, the best ones are truly timeless, telling tales that resonate with people around the world and across generations. If you're wondering what all the fuss is about, it's time to see for yourself.
There's a reason everyone knows these stories.
These books will have you hooked as you try to decipher what's really going on.
Find your next great read among these celebrated titles.
Which ones are truly worth your time?
This 1927 novel is a philosophical reflection upon the complexity of the human experience.
You'll be dying to discuss these picks.
Any one of these reads would make a great gift.
Boundary-pushing books, from classic to contemporary.
Are any of these books on your TBR list?
"A classic is a book which people praise and don't read." —Mark Twain
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“You are more mysterious than David Blaine reading a Sue Grafton novel at Area 51.”
Transport yourself to the great countryside.
Literary censorship has long been a source of contention.
“Wit and humor do not reside in slow minds.”
"We care so much we refuse to burn out. If we burn out, who’s here for the kids?"
Mary McCarthy's books pushed boundaries.
Love her or hate her, Stein is a part of our literary fabric.
Discover new twists on definitive tales.
These are the most divisive books in the library.