If you could only read one book in your life, which one would you choose? This question can turn into real torture for lovers of literature. Which novel best manifested personal values, changed the worldview, and remains support at every stage of life – the answer is undoubtedly highly individual. However, there are classics that most can agree with. They are loved for the time they recreate, the values they teach, the point of view, or just the beauty of words. We present a list of books you should read before 30 or at least once in your life.
In Search of Lost Time, Marcel Proust
In Search of Lost Time follows the narrator’s recollections of childhood and adult life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries of aristocratic France, while reflecting on the loss of time and the lack of meaning for the world. The novel had a major impact on the literature of the twentieth century, with some writers seeking to imitate it, others to parody. Today, Proust’s Literary Monument ranks first on many best book lists and are the most respected novel of its time.
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
Marquez’s novel is one of the most important works in contemporary Latin American literature. One Hundred Years of Solitude tells the story of the Buendía dynasty, the inhabitants of the city of Macondo, and combines:
ü fantastic and allegorical elements such as rain of yellow flowers, alchemy;
ü religious phenomena, with realism, history, and incredible style.
Marquez’s novel became an important work of magical realism and one of the most famous Latin American novels of the 20th century, which has sold 47 million copies and has been translated into 46 languages.
Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
More than 60 years after Lolita was published, it is still a controversial work that sparks controversy over whether it is a “love story” or “pedophilia.” Nevertheless, the skillful manipulation of complex puns, idioms, and descriptions of details does not doubt the author’s skill and makes Lolita one of the most outstanding books of the twentieth century.
The Great Gatsby by Francis Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby is supposed Fitzgerald’s greatest work. He searches for ideas of decline, philosophy, fight to improve, cultural change, and extras, portraying the roaring twenties as a cautionary tale of the American Dream. This vivid portrayal of 1920s US high society is one of the greatest novels in American literature of the twentieth century.
1984 by George Orwell
The events of the novel take place in 1984, when people became victims of perpetual war, ubiquitous government oversight, and propaganda. A literary political and dystopian fiction, Nineteen Eighty-Four has made Orwell’s name and work a household name associated with deception, surveillance, and manipulation. Many of his terms and concepts, such as “mental crime”, “Room 101”, “TV screen”, “2 + 2 = 5” and “hole in the memory”, have been widely used since its publication in 1949 and since then. Since then, from fiction, they have turned into a frightening reality: “Big Brother is watching you.”
Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
This monumental work by the cult Russian writer is a criticism of the Imperial Russian Society and tells about the tragic love of Alexei Kirillovich Vronsky and Anna Karenina, now one of the most famous heroines in literature. An extensive picture of traditions and mores made this novel a legendary work:
- philosophical reflections;
- masterful psychological sketches.