10 Classic Books You Should Read

10 Classic Books You Should Read

And 10 quotes to go along with them.

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Mark Twain once defined a classic book as, "'Classic' — a book which people praise and don't read." However, the ones that do not read them are missing out on some of the best literature ever written. Many of the great authors wrote about important issues of the times and were eloquent writers, versed in words and descriptions. This is a list of some of my favorite classics that I have read, and I hope that you will be intrigued into opening them up well.

1. "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck

George and Lennie, two roving farm hands, find work on a ranch in California. They dream of making enough money to own their own farm one day where Lennie can have rabbits, and the pair will be their own bosses. Everything is going according to plan at their new job until Lennie has an encounter with the rancher's son's wife, and George has to make a tough decision. Steinbeck tackles some hard subjects in this book such as the plight of migrant workers during the Great Depression and if murder is ever mercy.

"I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you."

2. "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen

Elizabeth Bennett is the second oldest of the five Bennett daughters. Because a girl can not inherit the family's estate, their mother makes it her mission to ensure that her daughters marry well, so she and they will be taken care of when her husband dies. Elizabeth, however, is determined to marry for love, not solely for money. When a wealthy young man buys a house near them and sweeps her older sister off her feet, Elizabeth becomes acquainted with his friend. Their first encounters do not go well, but Elizabeth soon learns that first impressions are not always right. Jane Austin is known for her novels on the lives of the higher society in the Victorian era and her strong female characters. This novel has both and is a great introduction to Austen literature.

"I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine."

3. "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" by Mark Twain

Tom Sawyer is a mischievous, adventurous boy growing up along the Mississippi River. He and his friends play pranks and go on many thrilling adventures including faking their deaths and getting lost in a cave. Mark Twain was a wonderful storyteller, and he drew inspiration for many of his books from his life on the Mississippi.

"Well, everybody does it that way, Huck."
"Tom, I am not everybody."

4. "Oliver Twist"  by Charles Dickens

Oliver is an orphan who must live in a miserable workhouse where the conditions are terrible, and the people are even crueler. He eventually ends up in London where he is recruited by a boy to join a gang of pickpocketers. However, he is found by some good people and is adopted but not without some bumps and harrowing predicaments along the way. This novel was Dickens' condemnation of the treatment of child laborers in London at the time, and he probably drew on his own experience like one as a boy.

"Some people are nobody's enemies but their own"

5. "To Kill a Mockingbird"  by Harper Lee

Scout Finch is a tomboy growing up in rural Alabama during the Great Depression. She, her brother Jem, and their neighbor Dill get into mischief all over town and try to catch a glimpse of Boo Radley, their mysterious neighbor who hardly ever goes outside. Trouble comes to town, however, when their father, a lawyer, must defend an African American man accused of raping a white girl. Lee's gripping book about racism and equality has been a favorite of readers since it was published.in 2018, the novel was voted the best-loved book in America last year and held the lead during the entire five-month voting period.

"I think there's just one kind of folks. Folks."

6. "Night" by Elie Wiesel

Night tells the heartbreaking story of Elie Wiesel's captivity in a concentration camp during the Holocaust. Weisel and his father are separated from the rest of his family and must try to survive the horrific conditions of the camp. Wiesel struggles with his faith and other personal questions during his time in the camp and must come to terms with the evil of mankind. The book is an advocate for the humane treatment of all and a reminder that such atrocities must never be allowed to happen again.

"Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed. Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky."

7. "Animal Farm" by George Orwell

Animal Farm is a commentary on the Russian Revolution and Stalinist era, and Orwell's warning of the dangers of Socialism when taken too far, which is kind of ironic considering he was a socialist. The animals on the farm are tired of the way the farmer treats them, so they run him off the farm and establish their own rule. The pigs become the leaders of the animal's society and promise that everyone will be treated equally. Things quickly turn south, however, and their utopian society begins to crumble.

"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."

8. "The Outsiders" by S.E. Hinton

Ponyboy, his brothers Sodapop and Darry, and their friends are Greasers, poor kids from the wrong side of the tracks, who are constantly picked on and mistreated by the rich kids known as Socials or Socs. When his friend Johnny accidentally kills a Soc one night, Ponyboy and Johnny must go into hiding. Hinton wrote this book while she was still in high school because of the social rifts in her school and the lack of realistic young adult books.

"Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold."

9. "Kidnapped" by Robert Louis Stevenson

Although Treasure Island is Stevenson's best-known work, to me, Kidnapped was better. The book is centered around David Balfour who has just become an orphan. He travels to meet his uncle who has David kidnapped in order to get his inheritance. David escapes, and he tries to get home with the help of a colorful Scotsman. While traversing the Highlands of Scotland, they get into several scrapes and meet many dangerous and interesting characters.

"There are two things that men should never weary of, goodness and humility; we get none too much of them in this rough world among cold, proud people."

10. "The Complete Works of Flannery O'Connor"

This book is a collection of short stories written by O'Connor during her lifetime. Most of her stories center around the South and the people who live there, and a common theme in her stories was people finding grace or learning a lesson just a little too late for it to benefit them. Some are funny, some are sad, and some are even a little morbid, but they are all beautifully written. My favorite story in the collection is "A Good Man is Hard to Find" and is about a family going on vacation who comes across an escaped convict.

"I found out the crime don't matter. You can do one thing or you can do another, kill a man or take a tire off his car, because sooner or later you're going to forget what it was you done and just be punished for it."

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13 Of The Best, Most Famous Poems Ever Written

Masterpieces by some of our favorites like as Shakespeare, John Donne, and Homer.
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Some of us read poetry for an eager and fast escape from this world. On the other hand, some of us read poetry solely to share it with the ones we love. There are miracles on paper that can easily be forgotten about if we let them be. The following poems are written by some of our favorites such as Shakespeare, John Donne, Homer, and more. It is clear why these have become some of the most famous and unforgettable poems ever written. So grab a pen, and interpret these poems in your own, unique way.

1. “Go and Catch a Falling Star” - John Donne

Go and catch a falling star,

Get with child a mandrake root,

Tell me where all past years are,

Or who cleft the devil's foot,

Teach me to hear mermaids singing,

Or to keep off envy's stinging,

And find

What wind

Serves to advance an honest mind.

If thou be'st born to strange sights,

Things invisible to see,

Ride ten thousand days and nights,

Till age snow white hairs on thee,

Thou, when thou return'st, wilt tell me,

All strange wonders that befell thee,

And swear,

No where

Lives a woman true, and fair.

If thou find'st one, let me know,

Such a pilgrimage were sweet;

Yet do not, I would not go,

Though at next door we might meet;

Though she were true, when you met her,

And last, till you write your letter,

Yet she

Will be

False, ere I come, to two, or three.

2. “Drinking Alone in the Moonlight” - Li Po

Beneath the blossoms with a pot of wine,

No friends at hand, so I poured alone;

I raised my cup to invite the moon,

Turned to my shadow, and we became three.

Now the moon had never learned about drinking,

And my shadow had merely followed my form,

But I quickly made friends with the moon and my shadow;

To find pleasure in life, make the most of the spring.

Whenever I sang, the moon swayed with me;

Whenever I danced, my shadow went wild.

Drinking, we shared our enjoyment together;

Drunk, then each went off on his own.

But forever agreed on dispassionate revels,

We promised to meet in the far Milky Way.

3. “Sonnet 18” - William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate:

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

And summer's lease hath all too short a date:

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,

And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;

And every fair from fair sometime declines,

By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimm'd;

But thy eternal summer shall not fade

Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;

Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,

When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st;

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,

So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

4. “The World Is Too Much with Us” - William Wordsworth

The world is too much with us; late and soon,

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—

Little we see in Nature that is ours;

We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;

The winds that will be howling at all hours,

And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;

For this, for everything, we are out of tune;

It moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be

A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;

So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,

Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;

Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;

Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.

5. “She Walks in Beauty” - Lord Byron

She walks in beauty, like the night

Of cloudless climes and starry skies;

And all that’s best of dark and bright

Meet in her aspect and her eyes;

Thus mellowed to that tender light

Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,

Had half impaired the nameless grace

Which waves in every raven tress,

Or softly lightens o’er her face;

Where thoughts serenely sweet express,

How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,

So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,

The smiles that win, the tints that glow,

But tell of days in goodness spent,

A mind at peace with all below,

A heart whose love is innocent!

6. “How Do I Love Thee?”- Elizabeth Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,












I shall but love thee better after death.

7. “ Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” -Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village though;

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near

Between the woods and frozen lake

The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake

To ask if there is some mistake.

The only other sound’s the sweep

Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

8. The Jabberwocky” - Lewis Carroll

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:

All mimsy were the borogoves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!

The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!

Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun

The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand;

Long time the manxome foe he sought—

So rested he by the Tumtum tree

And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,

The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,

Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,

And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through

The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!

He left it dead, and with its head

He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?

Come to my arms, my beamish boy!

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”

He chortled in his joy.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:

All mimsy were the borogoves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.

9. “Tears Fall in My Heart” - Paul Verlaine

Tears fall in my heart

Rain falls on the town;

what is this numb hurt

that enters my heart?

Ah,the soft sound of rain

on roofs, on the ground!

To a dulled heart they came,

ah, the song of the rain!

Tears without reason

in the disheartened heart.

What? no trace of treason?

This grief's without reason.

It's far the worst pain

to never know why

without love or disdain

my heart has such pain!

10. “We Wear the Mask” - Paul Lawrence Dunbar

We wear the mask that grins and lies,

It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—

This debt we pay to human guile;

With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,

And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be over-wise,

In counting all our tears and sighs?

Nay, let them only see us, while

We wear the mask.

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries

To thee from tortured souls arise.

We sing, but oh the clay is vile

Beneath our feet, and long the mile;

But let the world dream otherwise,

We wear the mask!

11. “The Panther” - Rainer Maria Rilke

His vision, from the constantly passing bars,

has grown so weary that it cannot hold

anything else. It seems to him there are

a thousand bars; and behind the bars, no world.

As he paces in cramped circles, over and over,

the movement of his powerful soft strides

is like a ritual dance around a center

in which a mighty will stands paralyzed.

Only at times, the curtain of the pupils

lifts, quietly--. An image enters in,

rushes down through the tensed, arrested muscles,

plunges into the heart and is gone.

12. “Sea Fever” - John Masefield

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,

And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;

And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,

And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide

Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;

And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,

And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,

To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;

And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,

And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

13. "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Goodnight" -Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

















Save these poems for your next coffee shop date or solitude moment. You might be surprised at how much you can find yourself in a poem.

Cover Image Credit: Thought Catalog

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16 Candid Stories About Famous Authors That Are More Interesting Than The Stories They Wrote

Sometimes the stories authors create within their own lives are far more interesting than the stories they create on paper.

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Throughout history, authors have written millions of stories that entertain people around the world. However, sometimes the stories they create within their own lives are far more interesting than the stories they create on paper.

1. Mary Shelley Kept Her Dead Husband's Heart in a Jar Postmortem

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Percy Shelley died in a shipwreck, and when his body was found, it was burned. During the burning, a friend of his saw the heart and salvaged it. Later, it was given to Mary Shelley, and in turn, she kept the heart in a jar until she died.

2. No One Knows How Edgar Allan Poe Died

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The death of Edgar Allan Poe is a mystery to everyone. The man was found wandering the streets in a drunken state, in another person's clothes. He was confused and didn't know where he was. He was calling out for a man named Reynolds.

3. Jane Austen Never Married

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The most romantic writer of all time, never married. Austen was engaged for about twenty-four hours. However, the next day, she turned around and said she could not marry the fellow because she was not truly in love with him.

4. Lord Byron Is Infamous for Incest

https://ofallingstar.tumblr.com/post/174643120053/mary-shelley-2017

In his early years, Byron fell in love with a cousin of his. This loved sparked the poems "Hills of Annesley" and "The Adieu." Later on in life, Byron had a strange infatuation with his sister. The infatuation was so strong that his wife left him because of it. There are rumors that he had an affair with his sister.

5. Mary Shelley's Virginity

https://edge-and-back.com/post/174494239987/mary-shelley-2017-we-created-monsters/embed

There is a reason that no one is more goth that Mary Shelley. During her youth, Mary spent a lot of time in the graveyard visiting with her mother. When she met Percy Shelley, this was the place they would meet to spend time together. Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin's grave is also the site where Mary Shelley lost her virginity. Yes, Mary Shelley lost her virginity to Percy Shelley on top of her mother's grave.

6. Agatha Christie Went Missing

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In December 1962, following an argument with her husband, Agatha left a note for her secretary saying she was going to Yorkshire. At 9:45, she left their home and later her car was found at Newlands Corner, parked above a chalk quarry with expired driving license and clothes. Over a thousand police officers, 15,000 volunteers, and several airplanes searched the landscape for her. Agatha was not found for ten days, even though there was an ongoing search. On December 14, 1926, she was found at the Swan Hydropathic Hotel in Harrogate, Yorkshire where she was registered as Mrs.Teresa Neele from Cape Town. The name is the same as the woman who Agatha's husband was having an affair with.

7. Crying In Charles Dickens' Yard

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At one point in his life, Hans Christian Anderson received a bad review. In light of this situation, Hans decided to lay face-down in the dirt to cry. However, the funniest part of this is that he was not just laying in any patch of dirt, Anderson was laying in a patch of dirt in Charles Dickens' yard.

8. Victor Hugo And Bats

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At one point in his life, Victor Hugo gave his wife, then fiancee, a bat in an envelope. Romance level: Ozzy Osborne.

9. Percy Shelley Believed in 'Free Love'

https://edge-and-back.com/post/174494239987/mary-shelley-2017-we-created-monsters/embed

Percy Shelley, a famous poet as well as Mary Shelley's husband, is known for believing in 'free love.' Essentially, this is the idea that anyone could love whoever they wanted. On the surface, this is a wonderful concept, and definitely, an idea that was before his time, however, it did cause issues. Mary Shelley was not Percy's first wife. He started courting Mary before his first wife had divorced him, or anything of the sort. And during his relationship with Mary, he had affairs with countless other people. It's even speculated that he had an affair with Mary's step-sister, Claire.

10. Magic and Sir Author Conan Doyle

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You may know Sir Author Conan Doyle as the man who invented the Sherlock Holmes series. During his life, he was friends with Harry Houdini. The two were friends until Houdini discovered that Doyle truly believed he (Houdini) had magical powers.

11. Elizabeth Gaskell's Secret Home

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The Victorian novelist, Elizabeth Gaskell, bought a home in Hampshire which she kept a secret from her husband. However, sadly, while having tea with her daughters, she had a heart attack. Her husband didn't know about the house until after she had passed.

12. Emily Dickinson or Boo Radley?

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Emily Dickinson was notoriously a recluse during her life. She didn't leave home that often, and when she did it was to tend to the garden. She was such a recluse that she didn't even leave her bedroom upstairs to attend her fathers funeral that was being held downstairs.

13. Vladimir Nabokov and Tiny Stories

https://www.telltaletv.com/2015/10/doctor-who-review-under-the-lake-season-9-episode-3/dw-s9-e3-index-cards/

Okay, maybe they weren't tiny. It is said that Nabokov wrote all of his stories on index cards as a way to piece together the pieces of the plots. Tedious work.

14. Ernest Hemingway's Urinal

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At one point in his life, Ernest Hemmingway stole a urinal from a bar called Sloppy Joe's. Hemingway stated that he "pissed away enough money" in the bar, therefore he deserved to own the urinal.

15. Samuel Beckett and Andre the Giant

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Beckett and Andre the Giant were close friends, and therefore Andre's dad, Boris Rousimoff, helped Beckett build his farm. In exchange, Beckett would drive Andre to school every day.

16. Haruki Murakami and Baseball

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The whole reason Haruki Murakami started writing novels was because, one day at a baseball game at Jingu Stadium, he decided it would be a fun idea. That same night he started writing Hear the Wild Sing.

It's obvious that authors not only created stories for people to read. Authors created stories within their lives that people will still learn about years after their passing. These authors were some of the most interesting people to ever live!

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