Hey everyone! There are hundreds of works of classic literature, so there are always going to be some well-known books that we haven’t all got round to yet, aren’t there? Nevertheless, there are always those books that you’ll admit you haven’t read, and someone will look at you in horror and gasp “What do you mean you haven’t read x/y/z yet?” I know I’ve done so to people in the past, and I’ve watched BookTubers confessing the classics they’ve yet to read and been equally as shocked. With that said, it’s only fair that I share my list of classic books that I’ve not read yet!
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
I know, I know. How have I not read this? I read a chapter or two when I was maybe twelve years old but for whatever reason I didn’t keep reading. I’m fairly sure I know the plot of the book, too. It’s one of those stories so deeply ingrained into popular culture that everyone knows about Mr. Rochester’s skeletons in the closet (or in his case, the wife in the attic), and, let’s be honest, is there a more famous line than “reader, I married him”? I’m not sure there is.
1984 by George Orwell
Everyone in the world seems to have read 1984. It’s particularly relevant nowadays with ideas of ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative facts’ being thrown around, and I think it even saw a sudden rise of sales to go alongside the Trump presidency. I’ve read the first chapter a few times, I know the opening sentence off by heart and I even know what happens to Winston in the end. I just haven’t read it for myself.
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
I know the premise of Dorian Gray as far as there being a seemingly-immortal man with an aging picture of himself in his attic, but that’s as far as my knowledge of it goes. Have you read it? Is it worth reading? Let me know!
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
I don’t think I’m alone in not having read Gone with the Wind, given that it’s about a thousand pages long (no hyperbole here; it genuinely is about a thousand pages long), but I would love to find the patience from somewhere and plough through it. I’ve not seen the film either, but I do know the famous “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn” line. Of all the books on this list, this is one I really want to get to.
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
I don’t mind Dickens; I read Great Expectations and enjoyed it, even if it did feel a little bit drawn out in places. A Tale of Two Cities is so iconic that I feel like I should have read it by now, but I just haven’t. I’ve been reading The Infernal Devices which is full of references to it, and every time Will or Tessa mentions it again, I feel more and more compelled to read it. Watching Les Mis for the first time years ago ignited a years-long interest in the French revolution, and I would love to read one of the most famous books ever written to be set in that time period. I just haven’t.
That’s my list of well-known classics I haven’t actually read! Are there any on my list that you think I should read immediately? Are there any that you haven’t read either? Which well-known classics have you not read yourself? Thanks for reading, follow me on Instagram @afewmorebooks for more bookish content, and thanks for reading!