1. Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ is a novel that beckons you over and over again with its eternal contemporariness. This book is a satire on the rigid and shallow class structures and an expose on the marriage market of Georgian England. However, if you read this, you may be shocked to realize that that society probably has not changed much in modern times.
Toni Morrison’s ‘Beloved’ is important to read for many reasons. One of them is the fact that it was written by a woman of color, who won the Pulitzer for this very book. This much-loved classic is a critique of the slave trade in America. The painful spirit of ‘Beloved’ that haunts the main character is symbolic of America’s tainted past.
3. Never Let Me Go
This science-fiction (sci-fi) novel written by the Nobel Prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro is about the intricacies of love, friendship, freedom, youth, loss, and acceptance. ‘Never Let Me Go’s’ main characters are flawed, much like average humans, even though they are “clones” in a dystopic world. This book is an emotional read that teaches valuable life lessons and one of the best books to read before you die.
4. Things Fall Apart
Chinua Achebe’s ‘Things Fall Apart’ is an illuminating glimpse into African culture and literature. The novel deals with the shifting power dynamics in a colonized Africa. The protagonist, Okonkwo, finds it difficult to accept the laws and norms imposed on his community. Recommended by bibliophiles around the world, ‘Things Fall Apart’ is among the top books to read before you die, because it strengthens your perspective on what civilization and community mean.
Mary Shelly’s ‘Frankenstein’ is an incredibly important contribution to the literary world. It can easily qualify as the first sci-fi book to ever be written. The plot revolves around an obsessed scientist, Frankenstein, and the monster he creates. Having read this great piece of fiction, many questions about the ethos and pathos of life will crowd your mind. The most important question will be: who is the real monster in Frankenstein?