11 Best Books to Read Before You Die – Classic to Modern

Reading has the power to transform our lives. It can take us on incredible journeys to new worlds, introduce us to fascinating characters, and challenge us to think deeply about the world around us. The books we read can inspire us, offer us hope, and change the way we see ourselves and others. With that in mind, we have compiled a list of the top 10 books that we believe everyone should read before they die.

11 Best Books to Read Before You Die - Classic to Modern

Why These Books Are Must-Reads

The books on this list were chosen for their ability to make an impact on readers, to challenge us, and to offer us insights into the human experience. They have stood the test of time and continue to be beloved by readers all over the world. We believe that the messages in these books are important and deserve to be shared, and we hope you will find them as meaningful as we did.

The Impact of Literature on Our Lives

Literature is more than just entertainment. It has the power to educate, inspire, and transform us. When we read stories, we are exposed to new ideas, different cultures, and diverse perspectives. We learn about the struggles and triumphs of others, and we see our own lives reflected back at us in new and surprising ways. Through literature, we can explore the depths of human emotion, connect with others, and grow as individuals.

Reading is also a great way to improve our mental health. It has been shown to reduce stress levels, improve focus and concentration, and even increase empathy. When we read, we enter into a state of flow, where we are fully immersed in the story and forget about our own worries and problems.

Furthermore, literature can help us develop critical thinking skills. By analyzing and interpreting texts, we learn to question assumptions, evaluate evidence, and form our own opinions. This is a valuable skill that can be applied to all areas of life.

Criteria for Choosing the Top 10 Books

The Great Gatsby

When choosing the top 10 books, we looked for works that were well-written, engaging, and thought-provoking. We also considered the impact that these books have had on readers and on the world as a whole. Finally, we chose books that we felt were representative of different genres and time periods, to offer a varied reading experience.

One of the books on our list is “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. This classic novel explores themes of racism, justice, and courage, and has been a favorite of readers since its publication in 1960. Another book on our list is “1984” by George Orwell, a dystopian novel that warns of the dangers of totalitarianism and the importance of individual freedom.

Another must-read on our list is “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald. This novel captures the glamour and excess of the Jazz Age, while also exploring deeper themes of love, ambition, and the American Dream. It is a timeless classic that continues to resonate with readers today.

Finally, we included “The Diary of Anne Frank” on our list. This powerful memoir chronicles the experiences of a young Jewish girl during the Holocaust, and has become a symbol of hope and resilience in the face of adversity. It is a testament to the human spirit and the power of literature to inspire us to be better.

These are just a few examples of the books on our list. We hope that you will take the time to read them and discover for yourself the transformative power of literature.

The Classics

Our list begins with three of the most beloved classics in literature. These books have stood the test of time and continue to captivate readers of all ages.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird (Harperperennial Modern Classics)

This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is a powerful exploration of justice, race, and morality in the Deep South. Set in the 1930s, it tells the story of a young girl named Scout Finch and her experiences growing up in a small Southern town. Through her perspective, we witness the injustice and prejudice that pervade the community, as well as the courage of those who stand up against it.

Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird is a timeless classic that has been read and loved by generations of readers. The novel is a poignant reminder of the struggles and injustices faced by African Americans during the Jim Crow era. Through Scout’s eyes, we see the harsh realities of racism and discrimination, but we also see the hope and resilience of those who fight for justice and equality.

The character of Atticus Finch, Scout’s father, has become an icon of moral courage and integrity. His unwavering commitment to justice and fairness has inspired countless readers and continues to be a powerful symbol of hope and progress.

1984 by George Orwell


Written in 1949, this dystopian novel has become a classic of modern literature. It tells the story of Winston Smith, a man living in a totalitarian society where individuality and independent thought are outlawed. As Winston begins to rebel against the oppression of the state, he becomes a symbol of hope for those who long for freedom.

George Orwell’s 1984 is a chilling portrayal of a world where personal freedom and individuality are suppressed in the name of “the greater good.” The novel has been widely read and studied for its powerful commentary on the dangers of totalitarianism and the importance of individual liberty.

Orwell’s vision of a dystopian future has influenced countless works of literature and popular culture. The concepts of “Big Brother” and “thoughtcrime” have become part of our cultural lexicon, and the novel’s warnings about the dangers of government surveillance and censorship continue to resonate with readers today.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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This romantic comedy of manners is one of the most beloved works of English literature. Set in the late 18th century, it tells the story of Elizabeth Bennet, a clever and independent young woman who must navigate the social conventions of her time while falling in love with the dashing Mr. Darcy. Through their witty and delightful dialogue, Austen explores themes of love, marriage, and social status.

Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is a timeless classic that has captured the hearts of readers for over two centuries. The novel is a witty and charming portrayal of English society in the late 18th century, and its memorable characters and sparkling dialogue continue to enchant readers today.

At the heart of the novel is the romance between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, one of the most iconic couples in literature. Their relationship is a testament to the power of love to overcome social barriers and prejudices, and their journey towards understanding and acceptance is a joy to behold.

Pride and Prejudice is a celebration of wit, charm, and romance, and its enduring popularity is a testament to the timeless appeal of Jane Austen’s writing.

Modern Masterpieces

The next three books on our list are more recent works of fiction that have become modern masterpieces.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief

This novel tells the story of Liesel Meminger, a young girl living in Nazi Germany during World War II. As she struggles to survive the horrors of war and the oppression of those around her, Liesel finds solace and hope in the power of words and storytelling. This deeply moving book is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.

You can find this book here.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner

Set in Afghanistan, this novel follows the friendship of Amir and Hassan, two boys from different social classes. After a tragic event tears them apart, Amir must grapple with his guilt and search for redemption in a war-torn country. This poignant and thought-provoking book explores themes of friendship, betrayal, and the complexities of the human heart.

You can find this book here.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

The Road: Pulitzer Prize Winner (Vintage International)

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, this novel is a haunting portrayal of a world after an unspecified global catastrophe. The story follows a father and his young son as they travel through a desolate landscape, facing starvation, danger, and the loss of all that they hold dear. This bleak yet beautiful book is a testament to the enduring power of love and hope in the face of unimaginable adversity.

You can find this book here.

Inspirational Non-Fiction

Our next two books are non-fiction works that offer inspiration and insights into the human experience.

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

Man's Search for Meaning

In this powerful memoir, Frankl recounts his experiences as a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II. Despite the unimaginable horrors he witnessed and endured, Frankl found meaning and purpose in his life and work, and went on to develop a groundbreaking form of psychotherapy known as logotherapy. This inspiring book has become a classic of modern psychology and a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.

You can find this book here.

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

In this transformative book, spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle offers readers a path to inner peace and enlightenment. Drawing on wisdom from a variety of spiritual traditions, Tolle shows us how to let go of our negative thoughts and emotions, and enter into a state of presence and awareness. This book has inspired millions of readers to live more fully in the present moment and to find peace and contentment in their lives.

You can find this book here.

Life-Changing Memoirs

The final two books on our list are memoirs that offer profound insights into the human experience.

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

The Glass Castle: A Memoir

In this unforgettable memoir, Walls recounts her unconventional and chaotic childhood, growing up in poverty and with dysfunctional parents who were both brilliant and deeply flawed. Despite the challenges she faced, Walls went on to become a successful journalist and writer, and this book is a testament to her resilience and strength of character. It is also a deeply moving story of love and forgiveness.

You can find this book here.

Educated by Tara Westover

Educated: A Memoir

In this inspiring memoir, Westover tells the story of her journey from the isolated mountains of Idaho to a PhD from Cambridge University. Growing up in a strict and abusive household, she was denied access to formal education, but through her determination and drive, she was able to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles and achieve her dreams. This remarkable book is a testament to the power of education and the human spirit.

You can find this book here.

In Conclusion

These 10 books offer readers a journey through different genres, time periods, and experiences. From the classics to modern masterpieces, from non-fiction to memoir, these books are united by their ability to inspire, challenge, and transform us. We believe that these books are essential reading for anyone who loves literature and wants to explore the depths of the human experience. By reading these books, we hope that you will be moved, inspired, and transformed, and that they will leave a lasting impact on your life.

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Eddison Monroe
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