by Henry Carlson
Herman Melville, 1851
“Moby Dick” is a pillar of classic literature as it explores the theme of revenge. The book is told from the perspective of a man named Ishmael who joins the whaling crew of Captain Ahab, a man so dedicated to hunting his white whale that his passion consumes him and all those around him. Clocking in at around 585 pages (depending on the edition), “Moby Dick” is a behemoth of a novel that everyone should check out..
“The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”
Mark Twain, 1884
This is one of Mark Twain’s most notable books in an already respected catalogue. “Huckleberry Finn” follows a young boy named Huck in a small town in Mississippi who must evade his drunken father’s wrath and in the process befriends a runaway slave. The book takes a deep look into the morality of slavery and the hypocrisy of civilized society. This commentary makes “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” an undisputed American classic.
“To Kill a Mockingbird”
Harper Lee, 1960
This novel about law and rights has been a staple of classic literature in schools for decades. “To Kill a Mockingbird” follows the story of Scout Finch, her brother Jem, and her father Atticus in the small town of Maycomb, Alabama. This book is known for its complex themes: it explores deep questions about human nature and the coexistence of good and evil.
“Lord of the Flies”
William Golding, 1954
This classic is a disturbing tale of human nature and primal instincts. The novel follows a group of British school boys who become stranded on an island after their plane crashes and they come up with efforts to organize themselves. The novel takes a deep look into civilization versus savagery and inherent evil.
Mary Shelley, 1823
This has been an extremely influential piece of literature in the monster and horror genres. “Frankenstein” tells the haunting story of Dr. Victor Frankenstein who gives a creature life in his pursuit of knowledge and is in turn plagued by his creation in several unfortunate events. The novel is told from the perspective of Captain Robert Walton who finds Dr. Frankenstein while sailing for the north pole where the Doctor is hunting his creation. “Frankenstein” explores themes of monstrosity sublimely.