Must read fiction books should inspire you and make you cry. They should excite and inform you. A list of must-read fiction can include books from any century or genre. The problem is in choosing from the thousands of available books.
Read on to see a shortlist of several classic fiction books that stand the test of time. These books may not have been written today, but they endure as inspiring, heart-rending, and even informative classics of their respective genres.
The Man Who Laughs by Victor Hugo
The Man Who Laughs may not be the first romantic fiction book you think of when considering the work of Victor Hugo, but it’s one of his most enduring classics. Like his Les Miserables, this book takes a period in time and preserves it through a dark romance. In this case, the aristocratic hypocrisy of the time of James II receives a shot of pure romanticism through this novel about royalty and monster love.
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Now, for something completely different. Austen is well-known for romance but also for sarcasm. This acidic but positive portrayal of marriage customs, nobility, and society circa 1811 shows its author’s view of how we think of ourselves. Thus, if you know anything about Austen, you’d know that Sense and Sensibility even after all this time has the power to make us remember what really matters.
1984 by George Orwell
This well-known classic of dystopia fiction may be required reading in many schools. However, for those who have never read it, we’re affirming its status as a must-read book. Orwell describes in 1984 how the future will create systems of control that change what we believe and how we process information. This book is even more important today.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Now a popular film, Gone Girl is the newest book on this list. However, the tale of “Amazing” Amy Dunne has quickly become a centerpiece of gender discourse well worth reading. In addition to being an insightful feminist take on thrillers, Gone Girl is also a genuinely good thriller anyway. Amy may be evil, but no one can deny that she’s compelling.
The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
The Last Unicorn may seem like a children’s book, but its fairytale imagery works at any age. The ancient unicorn’s adventure includes not only a study of gender and fairytales but also of stories in general. How do our fantasies impact our cultural expectations? How do stories tell us what we believe of ourselves? The Last Unicorn has answers if you can see the questions.
Must Read Fiction Books: The Takeaway
Must read fiction books span centuries and genres. However, all the books listed here can inform, scare, inspire, and engross you. Depending on your tastes, you could find your new favorite book by looking out of your comfort zone at some of these classics, from Austenian romances to modern thrillers. We can’t promise you’ll love them all! We can only promise that they’re all amazing.