Best of Classic Fiction

By Julianne Jones | March 10 2020 | Fiction

They’re called classics for a reason.

Maybe you were assigned one in high school, forced yourself to start reading it, and then realized you couldn’t stop because it was so unlike anything you had ever read before. Maybe one was the first book you ever chose to read just for yourself, and it made you fall in love with literature all over again.

Maybe a family member, a friend, a trusted teacher, or a close coworker recommended one because they knew you would love it as much as they did. Or maybe there’s one that’s been on your “To Read” list for years, filed away in the back of your mind, and you’re finally going to get around to it—and know you’ll be better because of it.

Whatever the reason is that draws you in, these are the books that form the foundations of a lifelong love of literature, the ones that stick with a reader forever and help to form their personal preferences. These are essential reading and true works of art.

There’s really only one word that perfectly describes the titles in this collection: classic.

To see the full list of titles on the Backlist Vault, click here.

To see this collection on Edelweiss, click here.

Lord of the Flies
978-0-399-50148-7
Golding’s iconic 1954 novel, now with a new foreword by Lois Lowry, remains one of the greatest books ever written for young adults and an unforgettable classic for readers of any age.   This edition includes a new Suggestions for Further Reading by Jennifer Buehler.At the dawn of the next world war, a plane crashes on an uncharted island, stranding a group of schoolboys. At first, with no adult supervision, their freedom is something to celebrate. This far from civilization they can do anything they want. Anything. But as order collapses, as strange howls echo in the night, as terror begins its reign, the hope of adventure seems as far removed from reality as the hope of being rescued.
$11.00 US
Dec 16, 2003
Mass Market Paperback
Penguin Books
US, Opn Mkt (no CAN)

Dune
978-0-441-17271-9
NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE directed by Denis Villeneuve, starring Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Jason Momoa, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Chang Chen, Charlotte Rampling, and Javier Bardem.Frank Herbert’s classic masterpiece—a triumph of the imagination and one of the bestselling science fiction novels of all time.Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, heir to a noble family tasked with ruling an inhospitable world where the only thing of value is the “spice” melange, a drug capable of extending life and enhancing consciousness. Coveted across the known universe, melange is a prize worth killing for....When House Atreides is betrayed, the destruction of Paul’s family will set the boy on a journey toward a destiny greater than he could ever have imagined. And as he evolves into the mysterious man known as Muad’Dib, he will bring to fruition humankind’s most ancient and unattainable dream. A stunning blend of adventure and mysticism, environmentalism and politics, Dune won the first Nebula Award, shared the Hugo Award, and formed the basis of what is undoubtedly the grandest epic in science fiction.
$10.99 US
Sep 01, 1990
Mass Market Paperback
Ace
US, Canada, Open Mkt

The Crucible
978-0-14-048138-9
A haunting examination of groupthink and mass hysteria in a rural community The place is Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692, an enclave of rigid piety huddled on the edge of a wilderness. Its inhabitants believe unquestioningly in their own sanctity. But in Arthur Miller's edgy masterpiece, that very belief will have poisonous consequences when a vengeful teenager accuses a rival of witchcraft—and then when those accusations multiply to consume the entire village.First produced in 1953, at a time when America was convulsed by a new epidemic of witch-hunting, The Crucible brilliantly explores the threshold between individual guilt and mass hysteria, personal spite and collective evil. It is a play that is not only relentlessly suspenseful and vastly moving but that compels readers to fathom their hearts and consciences in ways that only the greatest theater ever can."A drama of emotional power and impact" —New York Post
$14.00 US
Oct 28, 1976
Paperback
Penguin Books
US, Canada, Open Mkt

The Scarlet Letter
978-0-553-21009-5
Hailed by Henry James as "the finest piece of imaginative writing yet put forth in the country," Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter reaches to our nation's historical and moral roots for the material of great tragedy. Set in an early New England colony, the novel shows the terrible impact a single, passionate act has on the lives of three members of the community: the defiant Hester Prynne; the fiery, tortured Reverend Dimmesdale; and the obsessed, vengeful Chillingworth.With The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne became the first American novelist to forge from our Puritan heritage a universal classic, a masterful exploration of humanity's unending struggle with sin, guilt and pride.
$4.95 US
Feb 01, 1981
Mass Market Paperback
Bantam Classics
World