Classic fiction books provide windows into romantic eras, adventures in faraway lands, and the origins of now-famous characters. Therefore, no matter the reason you come to classic fiction, you can be sure to find new worlds to explore, memorable characters, and the best writing ever put down.
Read on to learn 5 diverse classics of literature that anyone should add to their bookshelf. The elements of fiction may differ but each book brings its own charm to your rainy day reading schedule.
The Man Who Laughs by Victor Hugo
Victor Hugo may be better known for The Hunchback of Notre Dame, another great book, but The Man Who Laughs may be his best. This romantic fiction classic chronicles Gwynplaine, the street performer, who played on the streets in the era of King James II. He loves Dea, the blind actress, but fears his own deformity: a smile permanently cut into his face.
The longing, love, loss, and romanticist horror of this book makes it timeless.
The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
For science fiction and fantasy lovers, The Left Hand of Darkness tackles gender identity in Le Guin’s uniquely poetic style. She has a way with images that makes them feel odd and surreal, like witnessing someone else’s dream.
In this book, a planet of people can freely switch between genders. This leads the story to an examination of what gender means (and what it doesn’t). It remains timely fiction even now.
Watership Down by Richard Adams
The story of Hazel and the other rabbits of the den near Watership Down remains a crushing fairytale classic that wields realism like a weapon to explore ourselves. Through rabbits, Adams thus finds enough lore to fill a Tolkien storybook. He tackles language, society, mythology, art, and other topics by looking for traces of them in real rabbit behavior.
Those who love animals may be saddened and also interested by this tale. Even non-fiction lovers should flock to this story.
Howards End by E.M. Forster
Howards End was written by Forster in 1910. It tackles the social issues of the day, including women’s rights, the social conscience of the rich, and the identity of men in a changing world. This book may only be a century old, but its incredible empathy in the face of social inequality makes it a must-read.
Othello by William Shakespeare
Shakespeare may not be the most accessible fiction author but even those who want to get into him often have a hard time! It’s tough to know where to start. Othello is our choice because of its powerful hero-villain dynamic. The villain is the protagonist of the story, and his view of the hero’s values makes an absorbing portrait of envy and hatred. Thus, so many modern stories owe their existence to Othello that we can’t help but recommend it.
What to Read Next
Classic fiction books present a thousand worlds of possibilities. Therefore, we offered you 5 distinct genres and time periods to help you choose between diverse offerings. Even if you can’t pick one, consider exploring all 5 of these classics on a rainy day.