Most people have had to read these books at one time or another, and most of them we probably couldn’t appreciate at the time. These classic books definitely need to be re-read!

Hello again! I’ve got another long one for you today! I wanted to talk about those classic books we were all forced to read during school that most of us probably hated. Turns out, most of the time we were too young to appreciate the literary classics we were given. Go figure. So today, I want to go over some of those books that you might not have liked during school, but as an adult, you might actually enjoy! Let’s talk classic novels!

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Classic Books to Read The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood Bestsellers Dystopia Fiction

Via Dainty Desires

This one is super popular again because of the Hulu series by the same name. This book was weird to me the first time I read it in high school, but when I read it a few years ago, I loved it! So I encourage you all to read it again, especially if you’re going to watch the series (or already have).

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Classic Books to Read The Outsiders S.E. Hinton Fiction Bestsellers Stay Gold Pony Boy

Via Penguin Teen

I read this book twice. Once as a kid, and the other time as a senior in college. The second time was so much better. I definitely think it’s because I was older and I understood more of what was going on in the book. This was one of the first books I thought of when deciding to write this particular post. Old classic books are always better the second time!

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1984 by George Orwell

Classic Books to Read 1984 George Orwell Fiction Dystopia Bestsellers


This classic literature novel is becoming popular again, and it was one of the books I loved immediately when I read it. I have a thing for dystopian novels that can be used as a warning for the future. They just make the best books! I’ve probably read it 5 or 6 times in my life, and I plan on reading it every few years just for fun! You can find many cool versions now too, since it’s popular again.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Classic Books to Read To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee Bestsellers Fiction Boo Radley Jem and Scout

Via RMS Book Club

After Harper Lee’s prequel for this book, Go Set a Watchman, was released, this book seemed to lose popularity. I have not read the new one, so I can’t comment on it, but all I know is that people read the new book and it changed how they felt about To Kill a Mockingbird for the worse. I would still suggest reading it again, even if you’ve read the new one, because the original story is one of the top books to read!

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Classic Books to Read East of Eden John Steinbeck Fiction Literature


This is said to be Steinbeck’s greatest book. He sure seemed to think so! It’s a beautiful story, and even has a young Steinbeck in it as he based this off of family members. How wonderful. I enjoyed Steinbeck books as a kid, so I liked this one, though I need to read it again! And it was the book he was most proud of, so how can you not try it if it is one of his top books?

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A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Classic Books to Read A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens Fiction Literature


I’ll be straight with you. I loathed this book in high school. I really did. I skipped so much of it. I actually used SparkNotes to get through this part of class (sorry, wonderful English teachers of mine!). I could not get through the writing style. However, it’s the one book that is always on any list of classic books because you appreciate it more as an adult. And, yeah, you do. Also, once you realize Dickens was paid by the word, you totally get why he was so verbose!

The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

Classic Books to Read The Catcher in the Rye J.D. Salinger Literature Fiction Holden Caulfield


Another good one. This one went over my head the first time I read it, but I know now that it’s because I was way too young when I tried to read it. That’s sometimes the biggest problem when it comes to reading. You have to read the classics books, especially one like this, at the right time. This one is much better suited for older teens to adults!

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Classic Books to Read Lolita Vladimir Nabokov Literature Fiction


Probably the most controversial of the literature books that are recommended is this one. The themes within the book are still controversial to this day, yet it’s still revered as one of the most important works of the 20th century. If this went over your head as a kid, it should have, and now you’ll understand more about it.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Classic Books to Read The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini Fiction Bestsellers Literature


Many of you may not have read this in middle or high school because this book came out in 2003. However, it became a complete success. Set with the backdrop of the fall of the Afghanistan Monarchy, it shows the rise of the Taliban through the eyes of young boys. Beautifully written, and definitely needs to be read by all!

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Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

Classic Books to Read Bridge to Terabithia Katherine Paterson Fiction Children Kid Book


Ah yes, the book that ripped out everyone’s hearts when we were young little tykes. It’s still a good book, and I have read it a few times since the first time. It still breaks my heart, but it’s such a beautiful story and it’s a great read. So, if it hurt you as a child, read it again. It’s still going to hurt, but the messages are much clearer.

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Classic Books to Read The Giver Trilogy Lois Lowry Gathering Blue Messenger Kid Book Fiction

Via The Invisible Mentor

This book was wonderful to read. It’s an easy read, and honestly I feel bad because I had no idea it was part of a trilogy until I was looking for images of the book. Bad Julie. I’m so going to read the others soon because The Giver was so good. There’s also a movie that’s on Netflix right now and they did a pretty good job on it. Way better than I was expecting!

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Classic Books to Read Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury Fiction Literature Bestsellers

Via Barnes & Noble Reads

I loved this book so much. It was probably the first of the classic books to read that I read in class that I absolutely fell in love with. Everything else was not my style, or I just didn’t like it. But this book captured my attention and didn’t let go. I still read it every few years because I loved it so much. My favorite parts are about the technology Bradbury came up with that we have today!

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Classic Books to Read Lord of the Flies William Golding Fiction Literature


If I was to name my favorite book from high school, it’s honestly a tie between Fahrenheit 451 and Lord of the Flies. I still read these books all the time. I actually own this copy of Lord of the Flies and it’s beautiful. It’s strange, but I read this book when I need to relax. I don’t know why, I just do and it works for me! I just love the book so much. So, if you didn’t like it back then, try it again for me!

There you have it - a bunch of books to add to your reading list! The cool thing about books is that they mean something different to you depending on where you are in your life. If you didn’t like a book when you were young, you might like it now. Let me know which is your favorite, and don’t forget to share this with friends and family. Stay nerdy, my friends!