5 classic novels to get stuck into this summer


Photo by Simon Cocks

With the last few weeks of exam season approaching, summer is almost upon us. This means that there’s now time for us all to pick up some of the books that we didn’t have time to read during term time, whether it’s an old favourite or even a new read for you. Here are my top five novels to get stuck into this summer…

1. The Tempest by William Shakespeare

This may be a baffling choice to many, after all, a play is meant to be watched and not really read. However, I would make an exception for this particular work. The play is set on a mystical island which is inhabited by the powerful sorcerer, Prospero, and his daughter Miranda. With the aid of magic, Prospero maroons his enemies on the island and proceeds to wreak havoc with the aid of the fairy, Ariel, and his slave Caliban. Ultimately the story is one of family and redemption.

2. Go set a Watchman by Harper Lee

It’s been many years since we first saw Scout Finch in Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Her second work follows Scout and many other familiar faces twenty years after the events in To Kill a Mockingbird. Set in the mid-1950s, Scout grapples with her father’s view of society whilst reconciling it with her own.

3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Probably Austen’s most revered work, Pride and Prejudice focuses on Mrs Bennett and her quest to find all of her daughters suitable husbands. There have been many adaptations of this particular novel, and the characters Mr Darcy and Elizabeth are some of the best known in English Literature. This is well worth a read.

Photo by Kate Hiscock

Photo by Kate Hiscock

4. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

One of the most well-known detectives of all time, Sherlock Holmes is not your typical hero, as he struggles with OCD and a drug habit. Conan Doyle’s work is both inventive and enjoyable, focusing on the clever detective as he strives to solve crime.

5. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Many of us probably curse the name of Steinbeck after studying Of Mice and Men at GCSE or at other levels of schooling, but The Grapes of Wrath is a whole different type of story. Still set in the dustbowl of America, it follows the story of a family as they migrate westward across the US, looking for stability and employment like so many others. It is a tale of false hope and longing, but a must read for anyone who loves literature.


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