11 Classic Books Everyone Needs To Read

11 Classic Books Everyone Needs To Read

Classic books recommended by an English major.

If you took an English class in high school, you probably read at least one or two classic books and you may or may not have hated doing it.

Even for people who love to read, it can be difficult to get into reading a classic book. The language is different and much harder to understand, making them a slower read. You don't have the cultural background to understand all of the little details and cultural references.

However, classics are worth reading because they help us mark the history of books and how we got to where we are with writing. Often, our more "modern" novels are based on classic ones. Here are 11 classics that everyone should read.

1. 'Pride and Prejudice' by Jane Austen

While all of Austen's work is wonderful, Pride and Prejudice is arguably one of the best books ever written as well as one of the most well-known classics. It is a beautiful novel that has stunning scenery, glamorous parties, a crazy, but loving family, several hidden secrets, and, of course, a fantastic love plot.

The wit and charm of Austen's narrative voice and her use of free indirect discourse make it an enjoyable read. Plus, there are several really great movie versions to help you pick up on little plot pieces you might have accidentally missed.

2. 'Mrs. Dalloway' by Virginia Woolf

One of the famous pioneers of the stream of consciousness writing styles, Woolf takes her readers on the journey of a single day in the head of her title character, Mrs. Clarissa Dalloway, and a WWI soldier named Septimus Smith.

These two characters have drastically different lives, and yet, they're connected in a way so deep and profound that I had to take a second to just sit and process after I figured it out.

It can be a little tricky to read until you get used to the narration being stream of consciousness, but once you learn how to follow it, the story becomes addictive and powerful.

3. '1984' by George Orwell

I personally hated 1984 because I'm not interested in politics or governmental issues, but its theme of the government taking complete control of every aspect of life is one that many people relate to very deeply. While the book is lacking in plot, it has an abundance of satire.

Readers follow the story of a man named Winston and his lover, Julia, and their resistance to Big Brother. There are also several highly quotable lines in here for everyone who likes that in a book.

4. 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' by Oscar Wilde

The Picture of Dorian Gray was Wilde's only novel and arguably his best work. The story is about a young man named Dorian Gray who has a portrait painted of himself by his artist friend, Basil.

Thanks to a throwaway comment, the picture now ages and takes on Dorian's sins rather than Dorian himself. The ending of the novel is tragic but inevitable. Wilde's descriptions, scenes, and characters are all beautifully constructed, making this very fun to read.

5. 'To Kill A Mockingbird' by Harper Lee

I could hardly exclude one of my favorite books from this list. Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird is full of childhood adventure, racial tensions in a Southern town, choosing what's right, and judging people on more than just their appearance. The characters in this book are all wonderfully unique and each one teaches a new lesson to the readers.

If you find that you love this one as much as I do, I recommend Lee's other book, Go Set A Watchman as well. For more on To Kill A Mockingbird and the recent banning, see my article here.

6. 'Little Women' by Louisa May Alcott

Alcott's Little Women is a staple of any literature lover's childhood. The story of the four March sisters and their best friend Laurie is one that is full of childhood adventures, teenage romances, and adult problems all wrapped in the neat little package of familial love.

Whether you're a Meg, a Jo, a Beth, an Amy, or a Laurie, everyone is bound to find at least one character they relate to in this book, making it a fun read.

7. 'Paradise Lost' by John Milton

Technically, Paradise Lost is an epic, not a novel, but it is still more than worth the read. The style is difficult and the syntax is twisted around, but so many novels draw on Milton as their source text that it's nearly impossible to not read Paradise Lost.

Plus, the epic offers a new take on the familiar characters of Adam, Eve, and even Satan.

8. 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Hound of the Baskervilles is easily the most famous Sherlock Holmes mystery. It has a spooky setting, a scary monster, an old family curse, and a full cast of potential suspects.

Basically, it has all of the makings of a good mystery. Its short and simple nature makes it a good book for people who are just easing into classics or people who don't have a ton of time to devote to reading.

9. 'A Christmas Carol' by Charles Dickens

While Dickens has several famous works, A Christmas Carol is my personal favorite. The story is familiar to everyone, making the plot easier to keep up with. The countless movie versions are helpful for anyone who has trouble understanding Dickens's writing style and language. Plus, it's about Christmas.

10. 'The Secret Garden' by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Secret Garden isn't a classic book that typically makes it onto lists like this one, but I personally think that it is a good read for people of all ages. For me, it was the first classic I ever read. I was somewhere between eight and ten years old.

At the time, I found it to be full of magic and mystery. My opinion ten years later has not changed. I find it to be just as wondrous and magical at nineteen as I did at nine.

11. 'The Sound and the Fury' by William Faulkner

The Sound and the Fury is one of the most difficult books I have ever read, but also one of the most interesting. It is set in Jefferson, Mississippi and Cambridge, Massachusetts and follows the Compson family through several years. This family has all you could ever want as far as dysfunction, feuds, and inheritance problems.

Faulkner's stream of consciousness style is really confusing to follow, so it's important to read the 1945 addition of the appendix before beginning the actual novel, but the story itself is rewarding and thought-provoking.

Cover Image Credit: Lily Snodgrass

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35 Major Life Facts According To Nick Miller

"All booze is good booze, unless it's weak booze."

Fact: If you watch "New Girl," you love Nick Miller.

You can't help it. He's an adorable, lovable mess of a man and you look forward to seeing him and his shenanigans each week. While living the infamous and incomparable life of Nick Miller, and obviously Julius Pepperwood— he has learned many valuable laws of the land. And, although Nick refuses to learn anything from anyone besides his mysterious, old Asian friend Tran, he does have a few lessons he'd like to teach us.

Here are 35 facts of life according to 'Nick Milla Nick Milla':

1. Drinking keeps you healthy.

"I'm not gonna get sick. No germ can live in a body that is 65% beer."

2. Dinosaurs never existed.

"I don't believe dinosaurs existed. I've seen the science. I don't believe it."

3. A paper bag is a bank.

"A bank is just a paper bag but with fancier walls."

4. Having sex is similar to delivering mail.

"I'm like a mailman, except instead of mail it's hot sex that I deliver."

5. Moonwalking is a foolproof way to get out of any awkward situation.

Jess (about Nick): "Now he won't even talk to me. I saw him this morning and he just panic moonwalked away from me. He does that sometimes."

6. Using a movie reference is also a great way.

Cece: "Come on, get up!"

Nick: "No, I don't dance. I'm from that town in "Footloose."

7. There's no reason to wash towels.

Nick: "I don’t wash the towel. The towel washes me. Who washes a towel?"

Schmidt: "You never wash your towel?"

Nick: "What am I gonna do? Wash the shower next? Wash a bar of soap?"

8. Exes are meant to be avoided at all costs (especially if/unless they're Caroline)

"I don't deal with exes, they're part of the past. You burn them swiftly and you give their ashes to Poseidon."

9. IKEA furniture is not as intimidating as it looks.

"I'm building you the dresser. I love this stuff. It's like high-stakes LEGOs."

10. You don't need forks if you have hands.

Jess: "That's gross. Get a fork, man."

Nick: "I got two perfectly good forks at the end of my arms!"

11. Sex has a very specific definition.

"It's not sex until you put the straw in the coconut."

12. Doors are frustrating.

"I will push if I want to push! Come on! I hate doors!"

13. All booze is good booze.

"Can I get an alcohol?"

14. ...unless it's weak booze.

"Schmidt, that is melon flavored liquor! That is 4-proof! That is safe to drink while you're pregnant!"

15. Writers are like pregnant women.

Jess: "You know what that sound is? It's the sound of an empty uterus."

Nick: "I can top that easily. I'm having a hard time with my zombie novel."

Jess: "Are you really comparing a zombie novel to my ability to create life?"

Nick: "I'm a writer, Jess. We create life."

16. All bets must be honored.

"There is something serious I have to tell you about the future. The name of my first-born child needs to be Reginald VelJohnson. I lost a bet to Schmidt."

17. Adele's voice is like a combination of Fergie and Jesus.

"Adele is amazing."

18. Beyoncé is extremely trustworthy.

"I'd trust Beyoncé with my life. We be all night."

19. Fish, on the other hand, are not.

“Absolutely not. You know I don’t trust fish! They breathe water. That's crazy!"

20. Bar mitzvahs are terrifying.

Schmidt: "It's a bar mitzvah!"

Nick: "I am NOT watching a kid get circumcised!"

21. ...so are blueberries.

Jess: "So far, Nick Miller's list of fears is sharks, tap water, real relationships..."

Nick: "And blueberries."

22. Take your time with difficult decisions. Don't be rash.

Jess: "You care about your burritos more than my children, Nick?"

Nick: "You're putting me in a tough spot!"

23. Getting into shape is not easy.

"I mean, I’m not doing squats or anything. I’m trying to eat less donuts."

24. We aren't meant to talk about our feelings.

"If we needed to talk about feelings, they would be called talkings."

25. We're all a little bit too hard on ourselves.

"The enemy is the inner me."

26. Freezing your underwear is a good way to cool off.

"Trust me, I'm wearing frozen underpants right now and I feel amazing. I'm gonna grab some old underpants and put a pair into the freezer for each of you."

27. Public nudity is normal.

"Everbody has been flashed countless times."

28. Alcohol is a cure-all.

"You treat an outside wound with rubbing alcohol. You treat an inside wound with drinking alcohol."

29. Horses are aliens.

"I believe horses are from outer-space."

30. Turtles should actually be called 'shell-beavers.'

Jess: "He calls turtles 'shell-beavers."

Nick: "Well, that's what they should be called."

31. Trench coats are hot.

"This coat has clean lines and pockets that don't quit, and it has room for your hips. And, when I wear it, I feel hot to trot!"

32. Sparkles are too.

"Now, my final bit of advice, and don't get sensitive on this, but you've got to change that top it's terrible and you've got to throw sparkles on. Sparkles are in. SPARKLES ARE IN."

33. Introspection can lead to a deeper knowing of oneself.

"I'm not convinced I know how to read. I've just memorized a lot of words."

34. It's important to live in the moment.

"I know this isn't gonna end well but the middle part is gonna be awesome."

35. Drinking makes you cooler.

Jess: "Drinking to be cool, Nick? That's not a real thing."

Nick: "That's the only thing in the world I know to be true."

Cover Image Credit: Hollywood Reporter

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The Zodiac Signs As Bath And Body Works Scents

Just in case you want to know what scent you are!

Bath and Body Works fans could be considered to be part of a cult. The scents draw you in as if calling your name, if you ever
wondered what your scent should be based on your zodiac sign, here it is!

Aries: Country Apple

The rather impulsive Aries takes their time picking and choosing the scents from Bath and Body Works. The soothing scent of a fresh apple orchard is just what they need on a daily basis to keep up with their shenanigans.

Taurus: Japanese Cherry Blossom

The personality of a Taurus is stubborn, or what I like to say, is stuck in their ways. When they first discovered this scent in middle school, this was it. This is the only scent you will find anywhere around a Taurus.

Libra: Pink Chiffon

Pink Chiffon is another cult classic. This best selling scent went out of style for a hot second but is back and bigger than ever.

Leo: Thousand Wishes

Thousand Wishes is a purr-fect scent for a Leo. The light scent adornes the wearer just the right amount to get the desired reaction from those around them.

Aquarius: Be Enchanted

The rather cold personality of an Aquarius is counteracted by the loving scent of Be Enchanted. The scent is just enough tenderness for the wearer to be relaxed.

Gemini: Moonlight Path

Gemini's constantly change their favorite scent and are in and out of the store almost weekly to by new lotions, candles, and body washes. You will never see a full empty bottle of anything, however, Moonlight Path is the scent they keep coming back to again and again.

Virgo: Sea Island Cotton

The clean personality of a Virgo must be matched with the clean scent of Sea Island Cotton.

Capricorn: Cucumber Melon

Another clean scent of Cucumber Melon is the exact thing a Capricorn needs. The balance and calming scents are what make this scent so attractive to a Capricorn.

Scorpio: Paris Amour

The light scent is what you would expect from an extreme sign like a Scorpio. The scent lightly washes over the wearer in almost a cloud that

Sagittarius: Cashmere Glow

Cashmere Glow is a perfect scent for the winter sign. The vanilla and golden peach scent is just the mixture that creates the perfect accessory in the chilly months.

Pisces: Warm Vanilla Sugar

This lovely scent accentuates the lovely personality of a Pisces. They can never get enough of this scent so they just keep buying and buying until they have a full stockpile.

Cancer: Velvet Sugar

Velvet Sugar is the perfect blend of red velvet and strawberries and a Cancer is always changing their mind. The wearer can tell if it is a more red velvet or strawberry kind of day, and that is the balance that they need in their lives.

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