Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on August 6, 2018

30 Books Everyone Should Read At Least Once In Their Lives

30 Books Everyone Should Read At Least Once In Their Lives

The greatest books are defined as classics for a reason. Written by the greatest literary minds of their time, they have universal themes, characters, experiences, emotions and perspectives that are still relevant today. Some of them are the very inspiration from which entire modern genres of literary fiction have sprung up from.

If you love reading, here’s a perfect reading list for you. Even if you aren’t so much into reading, here’re 10 reasons to love reading.

Everyone should read at least once for these 30 books — some are well known classics, others are modern giants.  All are well worth reading at least once in your life!

1. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

50-anniversary-cover1

    Published in 1960, this timeless classic explores human behaviour and the collective conscience of The Deep South in the early 20th century. Humour entwines the delicate strands of prejudice, hatred, hypocrisy, love and innocence to create one of the best novels ever written.

    Print | eBook | Audiobook

    2. 1984, by George Orwell

    1984

      Although 1984 has passed us by, George Orwell’s dystopian, totalitarian world of control, fear and lies has never been more relevant. Delve into the life of Winston Smith as he struggles with his developing human nature in a world where individuality, freewill and love are forbidden.

      Print | eBook | Audiobook

      3. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling

      harry_potter_and_the_Sorcerers_stone_adult_usa

        I’m willing to bet you’ve heard of Harry Potter, but have you read the books? Join Harry Potter as he begins his journey into the world of magic, where he is the celebrated Boy Who Lived. Visit Hogwarts, meet your favourite characters and watch Harry grow into the one of the most famous literary characters in the world.

        Print | eBook | Audiobook

        4. The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien

        9780618640157_custom-s6-c30

          Middle Earth is a wonderful, expansive fantasy world filled with turmoil, heroes, evil and innocence. Although our protagonist Frodo Baggins’ quest seems impossible to complete, this trilogy is a tale of triumph in the most impossible circumstances.

          Print | eBook | Audiobook

          5. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

          Penguin-2

            Published in 1925, Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby explores the decadence of the Jazz Age, and one man’s introduction into a world where even those with the most indulgent lives cannot earn love.

            Print | eBook | Audiobook

            6. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

            pride_and_prejudice_book_cover_by_fourblackbirds-d533108

              One of the most famous novels of all time, Pride And Prejudice details the courtship of two opposed characters in a world where manners and courtesy are of the utmost importance.

              Advertising

              Print | eBook | Audiobook

              7. The Diary Of A Young Girl, by Anne Frank

              diary-of-anne-frank-postcard-front_0

                Unforgettable and deeply influential, Anne Frank’s diary is a raw account of a young girl’s life as she hides from the Nazis. Despite her circumstances, Anne believes that people are still good at heart and that the world is full of beauty: she will change your life.

                Print | eBook | Audiobook

                8. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak

                71h2sjik5al-_sl1380_

                  Set in Germany during 1939, The Book Thief follows Liesel as she rescues books from the tyranny of Nazi rule. Meanwhile, her family has hidden a Jewish fighter in their basement and death looks down on the family, narrating our tale. Experience bravery that is rarely found in the world, and friendship that is formed in the most unlikely of situations.

                  Print | eBook | Audiobook

                  9. The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien

                  Hobbit_book

                    Although the movies are inexplicably long, The Hobbit was originally written as a short children’s book. Meet your favourite characters for the first time as the unforgettable Bilbo Baggins traverses the harsh landscapes of Middle Earth to challenge a dragon.

                    Print | eBook | Audiobook

                    10. Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott

                    9780147514011

                      Join four sisters, each with their own prominent personality, as they come of age in charming 19th Century New England. Experience their struggles and revel in their flaws, as these girls become strong women.

                      Print | eBook | Audiobook

                      11. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

                      tumblr_nd4wnpO3ZS1tv8vcro1_r1_1280

                        Books are forbidden, and it is our main character Guy Montag’s job to burn any books he comes across. Often compared to George Orwell’s 1984, Ray Bradbury’s dystopian world is an unsettling commentary on Western societies’ addiction and dependence on the media and conformity.

                        Print | eBook | Audiobook

                        12. Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte

                        cvr9781416500247_9781416500247_hr

                          Arguably one of the most influential fictional heroines of all time, Jane Eyre is a strong, unbroken women despite her troubled childhood and repressed Victorian society.
                          Print | eBook | Audiobook

                          13. Animal Farm, by George Orwell

                          Advertising

                          Print

                            This famous 1945 satire, examines the realistic risks of revolution and the dynamics animals will inevitably give in to.

                            Print | eBook | Audiobook

                            14. Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell

                            gone-with-the-wind

                              Set in The South during The Civil War, chances are if you love the movie you’ll love the book. Although the main character and the world she lives in is loathsome, readers’ opinions are twisted as this novel dishes out a fated justice when both Scarlett and The South lose their wars.

                              Print | eBook | Audiobook

                              15. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

                              97803167694881

                                Starring the original cynical adolescent, The Catcher In The Rye explores the challenges and isolation of adolescence. Decipher your own message as you follow sixteen-year-old Holden Caulfield, in this novel that has split audiences for decades.

                                PrintAudiobook

                                16. Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White

                                image_35

                                  Team up with Charlotte, a loving and generous spider, and Fern, a farmers daughter as they try to save Wilbur the piglet from becoming breakfast. Charlotte’s Web is a compelling reminder to bask in the simplistic wonders of everyday life, and to be kind to all living creatures.

                                  Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                  17. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis

                                  il_fullxfull.346024210

                                    Another renowned fantasy world, Narnia is the home of hundreds of magnificent creatures each with their own origins, morals and ideals. Let you imagination run wild as you enter the wardrobe and meet some of the most famous literary characters in history.

                                    Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                    18. The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck

                                    9780141185064

                                      Published in 1939, this novel set during The Great Depression follows one Oklahoma family as they are forced to travel to California. Experience America in a tale where it’s people are divided into the haves and have-nots, the powerful and the powerless.

                                      Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                      19. Lord of the Flies, by William Golding

                                      previous_Lord_of_the_Flies

                                        This classic novel follows the lives of boys marooned on an island as they regress into savages; and their beautiful, enjoyable island existence collapses into a primitive and cruel nightmare.

                                        Advertising

                                        Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                        20. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini

                                        kiterunner

                                          A story of true friendship, The Kite Runner follows Amir as he tries to find the only true friend he’s ever had – despite abandoning him due to ethnic and religious differences that were prominent in Kabul, Afghanistan.

                                          Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                          21. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck

                                          bookcover2

                                            Of Mice And Men is a complex story of a friendship between two migrant workers: George Milton and Lennie Small, in California. Watch their friendship develop as the pair work towards their modest dreams of owning their own land and pets.

                                            Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                            22. A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens

                                            twocities

                                              Following eighteen years as a political prisoner, Dr Manette is released and returns to England with his daughter Lucie. There, two very different men fall in love with Lucie and become entwined in a tale of love and sacrifice.

                                              Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                              23. Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare

                                              cvr9781451621709_9781451621709_hr

                                                Perhaps the most famous love story ever written, Romeo and Juliet is an epic tragedy that explores the euphoria of desire and the tragedy of revenge.

                                                Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                24. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams

                                                h2g2-01 copy

                                                  Grab a towel and accompany human Arthur Dent on a fantastic adventure across the galaxy. Learn not to take the universe so seriously and forget any meaning you’ve applied to anything in your life, because we all know the real meaning of life is 42.

                                                  Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                  25. Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte

                                                  216215

                                                    Published in 1847, this passionate and harrowing story of love, rivalry and revenge follows Catherine Earnshaw and her father’s adopted foundling Heathcliff as they grow into very different adults.

                                                    Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                    Advertising

                                                    26. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker

                                                    purple

                                                      Winner of multiple awards, The Color Purple is a devastating tale that tackles the lives of colored women in 1930s USA. Censored and challenged, the harsh reality displayed in The Color Purple will leave you shaken.

                                                      Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                      27. Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll

                                                      alice_cover

                                                        Bizarre and curious, Alice In Wonderland explores the potential of imagination and the reality of fiction. If you’re a fan of escaping the real world, this is definitely the book for you.

                                                        Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                        28. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley

                                                        frankenstein_book_cover_by_mario0357-d6rszr0

                                                          A combination of gothic thriller, cautionary tale and romance novel, Frankenstein is a story like no other. Written by Mary Shelley when she was just eighteen, Frankenstein prompts readers to ask themselves some truly shattering questions: what makes us human? What do we owe to one another as living creatures? How far can science push the boundaries of nature?

                                                          Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                          29. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain

                                                          Huck-Fin

                                                            Often titled The Great American Novel, The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn is a deep and complex tale of friendship, adolescence and shifting societal norms.

                                                            Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                            30. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut

                                                            9780385333849_custom-s6-c30

                                                              Although Vonnegut himself admits there are few characters or confrontations in this book, the impact of his novel is undeniable.

                                                              We travel through life with our protagonist Billy Pilgrim as he experiences World War II from a rather unique perspective – that is, he’s been abducted from his home planet of Tralfamadore. Rich and deeply funny, this tale aims to discourage us from war and murder that the authorities force the public into.

                                                              Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                              Featured photo credit: Girl Reading A Book | Picjumbo via picjumbo.com

                                                              More by this author

                                                              Anna Chui

                                                              Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

                                                              How Self Doubt Keeps You Stuck and How to Overcome It How to Detect a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing The Desire to Be Liked Will End You up Feeling More Rejected Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering This 4-Year Old Girl’s Explanation On the Problem with New Year’s Resolutions Is Everything You Need

                                                              Trending in Communication

                                                              1 19 Golden Pieces of Relationship Advice From the Experts 2 Signs Of Low Self-Esteem And The Root Causes You Might Not Know 3 How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship 4 How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Past or Future 5 This Is What Happens When You Move Out Of the Comfort Zone

                                                              Read Next

                                                              Advertising
                                                              Advertising
                                                              Advertising

                                                              Last Updated on May 21, 2019

                                                              How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

                                                              How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

                                                              For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

                                                              If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

                                                              Example 1

                                                              You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

                                                              You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

                                                              In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

                                                              Example 2

                                                              You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

                                                              People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

                                                              You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

                                                              Example 3

                                                              You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

                                                              Advertising

                                                              The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

                                                              Example 4

                                                              You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

                                                              Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

                                                              If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

                                                              Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

                                                              • Understand your own communication style
                                                              • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
                                                              • Communicate with precision and care
                                                              • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

                                                              1. Understand Your Communication Style

                                                              To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

                                                              In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

                                                              Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

                                                              2. Learn Others Communication Styles

                                                              Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

                                                              Advertising

                                                              If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

                                                              “How do you prefer to receive information?”

                                                              This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

                                                              To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

                                                              3. Exercise Precision and Care

                                                              A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

                                                              On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

                                                              Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

                                                              I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

                                                              I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

                                                              Advertising

                                                              In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

                                                              The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

                                                              Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

                                                              4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

                                                              Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

                                                              In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

                                                              “Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

                                                              Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

                                                              Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

                                                              It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

                                                              Advertising

                                                              It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

                                                              It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

                                                              Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

                                                              Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

                                                              The Bottom Line

                                                              When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

                                                              I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

                                                              More Articles About Effective Communication

                                                              Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

                                                              Reference

                                                              Read Next