The Best American Classic Books to Boost Your Reading Journey
As an avid reader, there’s nothing quite like the experience of being able to escape reality and travel to a completely different time and place through the pages of a book. There is a whole world of literature out there, and while modern books have undeniable merit, there’s something inimitable about classic literature. This is especially true with American literature which boasts some of the most acclaimed books ever written. Below, we will discuss some of the very best American classics that have stood the test of time.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel To Kill a mockingbird, published in 1960, is a masterpiece of American literature. Set in the South during the Great Depression, it follows six-year-old Scout Finch’s life as she tries to make sense of the world around her. As Scout grows up, she is forced to confront racism and injustice when her father, a lawyer, defends a Black man accused of a serious crime. This book highlights how deep-rooted prejudices can become an obstacle in the pursuit of justice and equality. It’s a timeless classic that is still relevant today.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby, published in 1925, is one of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s most celebrated works. The novel is set in an era in which the excess of the Jazz Age or Roaring Twenties clashes with its inherent moral decay. It tells the story of a wealthy man named Jay Gatsby, who is enchanted with his love for the glamorous Daisy Buchanan. This novel is a reflection of the idea that the quest for the American Dream is often ultimately unfulfilling.
Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
Written by Herman Melville in 1851, Moby-Dick is an allegory of the human condition, telling the tale of Captain Ahab’s obsession to hunt down and kill the great white whale that bit off his leg, Moby-Dick. This epic novel explores themes of revenge, isolation, fate, and man’s place in the universe. It is a true classic that has influenced many writers since its publication.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, written by Mark Twain, is considered one of the great American novels by many. Published in 1884, it’s a story about a young boy named Huck Finn who teams up with a runaway slave named Jim to escape their lives in Missouri. The book explores themes of race, identity, and the morality of slavery in the pre-Civil War South. It is written in a unique style, including regional dialects, making it a realistic portrayal of life in the South in the mid-1800s.
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, is a coming-of-age story that follows the seventeen-year-old protagonist Holden Caulfield, who has just been expelled from his prep school. The novel explores the theme of adolescence and its relationship to the world at large. It is a well-known classic that has struck a chord with readers since its publication in 1951.
There are countless other American classics that are worth exploring, but the novels above are an excellent starting point. American literature has given us tales that are both timeless and thought-provoking, and these books are a testament to that. Anyone looking to add depth to their reading experience is sure to find something they’ll love in the above books. These works have stood the test of time and remained relevant decades after they were written, cementing their place in literary history.