9 CLASSICS OF LITERATURE TO READ IN ENGLISH
It’s a fact that reading in English helps a lot in the learning process. No wonder this is a very important piece of advice from teachers to students. By the way, TIE (Test of Interactive English) requires the reading of a book for the exam, a result of the importance of reading in English. And if you like literature and the classics, we bring you a list of nine works for you to read in English that will help you in this process. Check out!
NORTHANGER ABBEY – JANE AUSTEN
From Jane Austen’s works, Northanger Abbey is the shortest, with about 78,000 words. It tells the story of Catherine Morland, a 17-year-old girl on vacation in Bath as a guest of wealthy neighbors. She is deeply enthusiastic about Gothic novels, “the spookier the better”, and she tends to imagine her narrative structures and melodrama by applying it to her own life.
OF MICE AND MEN – JOHN STEINBECK
The novel is mostly the story of a friendship between George and Lennie, who has minimal mental abilities. It’s a fascinating study of life during the Great Depression, particularly the relationship between different social groups, and its simple language is compelling. It’s hard to say more about the novel without revealing its whole plot, but it’s a good, accessible way to get to know the writing of one of the 28 Nobel Prizes in literature written in English.
FRANKENSTEIN – MARY SHELLEY
Frankenstein, written by Mary Shelley in 1816, is one of the most difficult classics on this list. It has 75,000 words, but the early nineteenth-century style can sometimes be difficult to follow. Readers who think they are already quite familiar with Frankenstein’s story may be surprised. It’s really worth reading!
READ MORE: 6 SERIES ON NETFLIX TO TEST YOUR ENGLISH
SHERLOCK HOLMES – ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE
The mysteries of Sherlock Holmes have become internationally famous, aided by adaptations like the Sherlock TV series from BBC and the two films of Sherlock Holmes by Guy Ritchie. Many of the originals are short stories, which are more accessible to English learners because they are not so extensive. But Arthur Conan Doyle’s best-known Sherlock Holmes novel, The Hound of the Baskervilles, has only 59,000 words and is convincing and easy-to-read words.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL – CHARLES DICKENS
In A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens wrote one of the most influential novels produced in Britain. With A Christmas Carol, Dickens invented Christmas as it is celebrated in the Western world today. Before Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol, Christmas was not an official holiday, nor was it considered a time that everyone should spend some time with their family, exchange gifts, eat turkey, donate to charity or celebrate good fortune in life. It has established or at least helped to establish all these traditions. Its debut was on December the 19th and on Christmas Eve, the novel was completely sold out.
ANIMAL FARM – GEORGE ORWELL
Animal Farm‘s writing style is considerably more accessible than A Christmas Carol. This is partly because it was written more recently, but also because George Orwell valued clarity in style; His “5 Rules for Effective Writing,” highly praised, include rules such as “if it is possible to cut a word, always cut it.” His own adherence to these rules makes his writing direct and enjoyable to read.
THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY – OSCAR WILDE
It’s difficult to recommend a single text for anyone who wants to know the works of Oscar Wilde. The dry mood can be very challenging as well as his exciting pace. His stories are obviously more accessible, but they are also quite varied. His only novel, The Image of Dorian Gray, is then a logical choice. It has about 78,000 words, and perhaps you already know the story: a handsome young man has a painted portrait and as he ages, the signs of aging appear in the picture while he is still young.
THINGS FALL APART – CHINUA ACHEBE
Chinua Achebe’s critically acclaimed debut novel, 1958, has less than 200 pages in most editions but is highly recommended for anyone who wants to explore a more modern novel. One of the best-known and influential post-colonial novels in English, Things Fall Apart describes Nigeria in the 1890s when Christian missionaries arrived.
DUBLINERS – JAMES JOYCE
Dubliners is a series of connected thematic stories and it is also part of the classics. Joyce has a very difficult writer’s reputation as anyone who has tried to read Ulysses or Finnegans Wake. However, a portrait of the artist as a young man is a bit easier, and Dubliners is written quite directly. Although Joyce writes in Hiberno-English, it shouldn’t present too much difficulty for most readers.
Do you want to be able to read all these classics? Come to study with us!
Do you want to learn English online with native speakers? Check our online platform and go for it!