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.
Steinbeck showed that migrant farmworkers were "citizens of the highest type."
Harrowing tales from Florida to Kentucky.
With stories old and new, these gothic horror novels have the classic dark mood you love and the modern twists you can't resist.
By Kara Brand
When in doubt, hit the books.
Harper Lee's words still ring true today.
Almost a century later, hope continues to endure through disillusionment.
Rediscovering the book series that redefined children's literature.
“Trifles make the sum of life."
Rachel Carson’s New York Times best seller launched a global movement.
Read an essay from Alice Walker’s book, Living by the Word.
By Alice Walker