The 12 Most Essential Novels You Should Read Before You Die

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Every new year we hear it – people resolve to read more books than they did in their previous years. But every year this promise is broken! Why? The answer is obvious – most people don’t know where to start! And that’s too bad, because there are a lot of great books that everyone should read now more than ever.

For people who never developed the habit of reading but want to begin right now, you need to start with the very best of the best. Here are 12 of the very best novels you need finish before you die!


1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

This book, which has been made into a motion picture five times, was initially unsuccessful on its release. Now it’s considered a modern American classic.

2. 1984 by George Orwell.

“Big Brother” oversees a hellish version of the future in this dystopic novel.

3. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

This Pulitzer prize winner about racial injustice in America was Harper Lee’s only novel.

4. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

This book has been called the first ever science fiction novel ever written.

5. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

The classic tale of a shipwrecked sailor has been around for over 300 years.

6. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Based on the French invasion of Russia, this mammoth novel is part history and part romance.

7. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

This one is an emotional tale of rural hardship during the Great Depression.

8. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

The best selling novel of all time. What more do you need to know?

9. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

This was J.D. Salinger’s only published novel, and it forced him into hiding.

10. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Heller took eight years to complete this novel about World War 2.

11. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Author Emily Bronte died just one year after the book was released.

12. Moby Dick by Herman Melville

It’s frequently described as the “greatest book of the sea every written”.

(H/T: dillydrops.co.uk)

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