5 Classic Books You Should Read This Year

As the new year begins, most of us make lists of things we’d like to do differently this year.

For you, it may be going to the gym, eating healthier, or volunteering more often. Or maybe you want to travel more, finally sign up for yoga, or not work weekends. While these are all wonderful goals, we suggest you also add exercising your brain to the list.

Instead of sitting in front of the TV this year, we encourage you to pick up a book. What better way to exercise your brain than to sit down and read a few classics.

To make it easy for you to get started, below are our top 5 recommendations.

Book #1 – Great Expectations

Great Expectations is Charles Dickens’ 1861 classic novel about an orphan named Pip and his journey from poor orphan to power and wealth, the friends he gains and loses, and his eventual humbling.

The stories and lessons you’ll learn in this book will last you a lifetime.

Book #2 – Treasure Island

Treasure Island was written by Robert Louis Stevenson in 1883.

This book tells the story of Jim Hawkins, a boy living with his parents at their inn, whose life is changed when he encounters a sunburned sailor singing, “Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!” at his family’s establishment.

If you like stories about adventure, pirates, treasure, and sailing the Seven Seas, this book is certainly for you.

Book #3 – Little Women

Little Women is Louisa May Alcott’s 1868 “coming of age” novel set during the American Civil War and follows the lives of four sisters: Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy.

If you’re a bold, fierce, and courageous woman, you will get a kick out of everything these girls, and their mother, Marmee, encounter throughout this heartwarming book.

Book #4 –  The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby was written by F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1925.

This novel takes place in the midst of the glitz and glam of the Roaring Twenties and is narrated by a character named Nick Carraway—Gatsby’s neighbor. Nick tells the story of the many incidents that take place in the home of the rich and famous Mr. Gatsby.

If you love history, this book will easily transport you back into the early 1920s and give you a firsthand look at all crazy things that went on during parties and other social events that were hosted by the wealthy upper class.

Book #5 – Gone with the Wind

Gone with the Wind, written by Margaret Mitchell in 1936, is by far one of the more classic pieces of literature around. Chances are you’ve seen the movie. If you haven’t read the book, it’s a must!

This book details the life of Scarlett O’Hara, a wealthy Southern belle, who lives on a large plantation in Georgia. The plot twists when Scarlett’s family loses all of their wealth, and she is forced to make a decision between marrying for love or for wealth.

This book contains a little bit of everything and includes storylines rich in history, romance, and life lessons.

Our Summer Reading Picks

reading on the beach

Can you feel your toes in the sand, the sun on your legs, the cool ocean breeze, and a book on your lap yet?

That’s right, the summer season is upon us!

We don’t know about you, but there is just nothing better than getting engulfed in a book you just can’t put down in the summer.

Looking for a list of books to bring to the pool or the beach? Here’s our top summer picks! 

Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected—A Memoirby Kelle Hampton

Kelle Hampton instantly knew her newborn baby was different from her other 2-year-old, and she was right. Her doctor confirmed her baby had Down syndrome. Hampton’s moving and inspirational book illustrates how life might not always be perfect, but it’s a beautiful ride.

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood—by Rebecca Wells

This one isn’t a new release, but it’s one of our all-time favorite summer reads! The novel unveils the story about the oldest daughter of one of the Ya-Ya’s, Siddalee, who writes and directs a hit play about her never dull childhood—including some of her mom’s secrets. The mother, Vivi, disowns her daughter, and it’s up to the Ya-Ya’s to bring them back together.

The Dry Grass of August—by Anna Jean Mayhew

This debut offers an interesting point of view from a 13-year-old venturing to the South, in 1954, for a summer vacation with her father, mother, siblings, and black maid, who was more of a parent then either of her parents could hope to be. With anti-integration all around her, she must decide where her own convictions lie.

Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons—by Lorna Landvik

A group of women on Freesia Court create an unofficial book group club, called AHEB (short for Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons). They become a lifeline for one another as each woman goes through her own (sometimes secret) struggles. A fun, great read that shows the power of female friendship. 

Heart of the Matter—by Emily Giffin

This is a powerful novel about two mothers who have absolutely nothing in common—except an incredible love for their children. Their lives converge in an unexpected, tragic way, and both are left questioning what they believe and remembering what matters most to them. An excellent read about human nature.

Comment below with your favorite summer reads!