10 Books to Read in Your Lifetime

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From To Kill A Mockingbird to Wuthering Heights, these are the literary creations you have to experience

“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid,” writes Jane Austen in Northanger Abbey. But while there are many, many novels out there to enjoy, some are considered arguably greater or more important than others – whether for their excellent prose, thought-provoking storylines or the boundaries they broke at the time of publishing. To give yourself a good literary grounding, we’ve narrowed it down to 10 must-read novels that everyone should experience at some point in their lifetime – many of which are still included on school reading lists today.

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From Harper Lee’s exploration of racial tensions in To Kill a Mockingbird, to Emily Brontë’s gothic romance Wuthering Heights, and F Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpieceThe Great Gatsby, these are the classic books to revisit – or add to your reading list right now.

For more reading inspiration, see our guide to the best modern love stories, the 10 ultimate summer reads, and uplifting books to boost your spirits – or get lost in our round-up of absorbing, thrilling page-turners.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee


Harper Lee’s classic tale set in 1930s Alabama is perhaps the seminal text on racial tensions in the Deep South. The story follows the white lawyer Atticus Finch as he attempts to save the life of Tom Robinson, a Black man falsely accused of raping a white woman. By being narrated by Finch’s six-year-old daughter Scout, the unfairness and incomprehensibility of the situation is illuminated further, seen through the eyes of an innocent child.

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