Classic Book Recommendations And Where To Start With Classic Literature

Reading the classics is something that I’ve always wanted to do but I didn’t know where to start. I didn’t feel smart enough and I wasn’t really sure I’d even enjoy them.

That was until I decided to bite the bullet and give the classics a try.

Back in 2021, I decided to start reading one classic book per year. I actually didn’t end up sticking to that as I enjoyed them so much that I read much more than just the one.

I know that it can be intimidating to start reading the classics so I wanted to share a few little tips that helped me.

How to read and enjoy the classics

1. Read slowly. There’s no rush to finish the books. By reading slower, you are able to fully take in all the information and parts of the story.

2. Start with children’s classics. These are often easier to read and will help you get used to the language used in more classic books.

3. Listen to the audiobook while you read. Sometimes my issue with classic books is that I have no idea how to pronounce some of the words. By listening to an audiobook as I read, I feel like I am able to process the story a lot easier.

My Recommendations

There are so many incredible classics out there that I haven’t read yet, but here are the classic books that I have enjoyed the most and think that you will enjoy too.

1. Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery. This is my favourite book of all time. It’s cosy, whimsical, and makes me appreciate all the little things in life. This is one of the first classics I read and I didn’t find the language too difficult to understand.

2. The Call of the Wild by Jack London. I read this book after watching the film that was released in 2020. The film was absolutely beautiful so I knew that I had to try to read the book. It was a pretty enjoyable read but I do wish that I listened to the audiobook alongside reading it as some of the wording was a little tricky which meant it took me a while to read.

3. Emily of New Moon by L. M. Montgomery. This is one of the classics that I read more recently. It’s by the same author as Anne of Green Gables so I had a feeling that I would enjoy this one. Another tip for reading the classics is to know what you enjoy and go with that. I know that I enjoyed Anne of Green Gables so reading another classic that is a similar style was a no-brainer for me.

4. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien. Not only is this book super fun to read, but it’s probably one of the easiest classics I’ve ever read. There are not many complicated phrases or wording which means I could enjoy this book and read it at a faster pace than most classics. The film is great too so if you want to read this book but feel intimidated, you could try watching the film first.

5. Animal Farm by George Orwell. This is a great classic for beginners because it’s not long at all. The story is really interesting too. Animal Farm is a story about animals but has a deeper meaning surrounding the Russian Revolution and the symbolism in the book relates to the world we live in these days too.

6 The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. From all the children’s classics that I’ve read, this one is definitely the most wholesome. It’s basically just animals enjoying their lives and I really don’t think that anyone could not enjoy that.

7. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. I could have included any Agatha Christie book in this list but I chose to mention Murder on the Orient Express because it’s one of the Agatha Christie novels that I started with and it’s probably one of her most known too. This book is one of the reasons that I love murder mysteries now.

8. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. This is one of my more recent classic reads and I wish I didn’t put it off for so long. I managed to read this book in less than 24 hours because I just enjoyed it so much. It’s so magical and exciting that you just want to keep on reading the whole time.

Would you be interested in reading the classics? Do you already read the classics? If so, which is your favourite?


10 responses to “Classic Book Recommendations And Where To Start With Classic Literature”

  1. Emma @ Turn Another Page Avatar

    I love classics, although I’ve not actually read one for a while and my classic TBR is groaning! I think another tip for getting into classics is finding the TV and film adaptation and watching those in order to get to grips with the story. I know a lot of people say “read the book before watching the show/film” but with classics and the language often used, especially in Georgian or Victorian classics, it would be beneficial to watch the film/tv show beforehand just to get a vague idea of the story and plot so it is easier to follow when you’re reading it.


  2. lovelyandgrateful Avatar

    I’m not much of a classics reader either, but I’ve read most of those on your list. 😊 Little Women is another cosy children’s classic I’d recommend if you like Anne of Green Gables. I have a soft spot for the Bronte sisters and Jane Austen too, hoping to read Sense and Sensibility soon.


  3. KT Likes Coffee Avatar
    KT Likes Coffee

    You have some great classics on here. It’s been a bit since I’ve read a classic as I was an English Literature major in college and I read TONS of them. But, some of my favorites are by D.H. Lawrence, Ernest Hemingway, and Oscar Wilde.


  4. John Mulindi Avatar

    Am not an avid literature reader, am more into technical subjects but I like your recommendations.


  5. Bookstooge Avatar

    Great recommendations.
    One thing people can do is Google ‘100 classic books list’ knowledgeable people have created some great lists. And while 100 might seem overwhelming, it gives people a wide variety to choose from.
    Best of luck on your classic journey!


  6. therighterwriterproofreading Avatar

    This list is excellent! I really liked most of these. How old does something have to be to be a classic, though? These were already classics when I was a kid. There are young adult/teen novels from the 70s and 80s that I enjoyed reading as an adult, like The Outsiders and The Giver. I think they’re classics, too, by now!


  7. Rae Avatar

    I love call of the wild and it’s been years. Definitely will be re reading some of these from my childhood. Thanks for the reminder of some good books


  8. Marisabel Avatar

    I am an avid reader but I lack the ability to pick classics! I added three books from your recommendations to add to by TBR list!


  9. juliathereader Avatar

    I agree with your advice to take it slow with the classics, and I would even counsel patience. Styles were different back then. I’m (slowly) making my way through Anna Karenina at the moment and it’s fairly common to come across sentences which are well over 75 words long (the longest I cared to count was 154 words); frequently, sentences are over 60 words long; many half-page paragraphs will comprise only two or three sentences. Tolstoy wasn’t the only one who did this (I really feel sorry for the translators!) It’s less typical in today’s writing but it’s all to an effect, so I would say: take it slow, persist, and try to fall into the pace of the book. It can be hard because our modern world compresses time, but I believe that the classics (along with their meandering, leisurely pace) are their own reward!

    I also agree with watching the film version – sometimes diving into a classic with no historical/social context can feel like falling into an ocean – I think that previewing the 2-hour version can really help you get your bearings (as long as you don’t mind spoilers)! One of my favourite things to do ever is to compare film/book forms of the same story (adaptions) and see how expression has changed over time!
    Happy reading!


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