Are you need of a hug? It may not be the same but why not take a “literary” hug? Reading can provide comfort to anyone, particularly in stressful times. We may not be able to have that human interaction that we yearn for, but there some books that will give you that heartwarming distraction. So if you are looking for that perfect book that will leave you warm all over, here are 10 classics that you should immediately get started on:
Note: The listed classics are in the public domain. The links direct you to the websites, Project Gutenberg and Librivox, sites that offer public domain books, free of charge.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
No list can be complete without a title by Jane Austen and there is no title more comforting, more entertaining, than the lovable title Pride and Prejudice. The characters of this beautiful novel, particularly the lively heroine, Elizabeth Bennett, will make you feel that they are part of your family and the wit and humor it provides will make anyone forget what is going on outside.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
During these difficult times, there is nothing more important than family. And an amazing novel that highlights the importance of family than the loving musings of the March family. The March sisters’ struggles through life and their dedication towards one another will be uplifting to any reader.
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
I started reading this and Anne’s lovable nature, her rampant mind and her love for imagination can make any reader reminiscent about their childhood and make them think about life beyond the chaos.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Now, more than ever, we want to go down a rabbit hole and escape reality. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is the perfect escape book. It may be quirky, it may be downright strange, but we can use a little bit of that right now, don’t you think?
Emma by Jane Austen
Due to the popularity of the Emma (2020) movie, this spoiled but lovable heroine is making a comeback. Emma’s antics but compassionate nature will give many entertaining days through this quarantine.
Dubliners by James Joyce
You might think that reading random stories about the average Irishman (or woman) may not be considered to be a calming factor. But you may be surprised. Dubliners not only will give you insight in the look of the Irish people but it will also give you that necessary escape you need.
Evelina by Frances Burney
If you are a big fan of Jane Austen, then you should read Evelina by Fanny Burney. Told in epistolary format, read as Evelina’s entrance into society doesn’t turn out as she expected. The satirical attack that Burney gives on 18th century fashionable London will a pleasure to an Austen fan.
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
Another classic a Jane Austen fan will love! Apart from the ongoing friction between Margaret Hale and John Thornton (which is a pleasure to read!), the analysis of social concern that Gaskell provides in this novel makes it a highlight in the Victorian literary canon.
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Considered to be Austen’s most romantic novel, the undying love between Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth will warm anyone’s cold heart.
A Room With A View by E.M. Forster
Very good! Forster’s wit and humor reminds me a little of Jane Austen’s writings. And his use of imagery and symbolism is astounding. So you’ll get to go on that “vacation” after all.
What book would you suggest to be your “literary hug”?
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