Best Classic Books To Have On Your Shelf
There are books to read, and there are books to keep on the very best spot on your shelf. These are referential books that you always refer every time you are prepossessed by a fundamental question. We compiled the list sorting out thousands of books of the World Civilization, and you will be amazed by reading our picks for the best classic books list.
THE MATHNAWI (Masnavi) by Jalaluddin Rumi
One of the best-known works of Sufism. It is a unique compilation of anecdotes, treatises from the Quran, Hadith and several typical everyday stories in the form of a Turkish poem based on Muslim mysticism and words of wisdom, heralding the abstract meaning of mortal existence. One of the must-reads for the intellectual mind.
HAMLET by William Shakespeare
The epic play portrays the erstwhile Kingdom of Denmark and the bloody family feud ensuing within the royal family. Prince Hamlet sets upon revenge on his uncle Claudius, who had murdered his father King Hamlet and hastily married his mother Gertrude to seize the throne.
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT by Fyodor M. Dostoyevsky
A Russian psychological thriller, the story presents impoverished ex-student Rodin Raskolnikov, who commits the ultimate crime multiple times to test a theory that he belonged to a class of special people who had the capability and right to the act of murder.
FAUST by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
It is a 2-part tragedy showing the journey of Faust who strives to acquire knowledge not perceptible by ordinary minds. In the first part, he strikes a deal with the devil Mephistopheles that the latter will help Faust achieve anything as long as he served the devil in Hell. However in part 2, a new Faust comes to light, who makes his way to Heaven and seeks redemption.
EPIC OF GILGAMESH (Anonymous Mesopotamian Epic)
It is a Mesopotamian epic recounting the adventures of the Sumerian King and demigod Gilgamesh, and his friend Enkidu. Upon the gods sentencing Enkidu to death, Gilgamesh embarks on a perilous journey of self-discovery and unraveling the secret of eternal life in the form of glorious fame surpassing death. He builds walls around the city of Uruk to defend his people, travels to meet Uthnapsihtim, survivor of the Great Flood, and puts down his glorious name in history through his heroic actions.
THE DIVINE COMEDY by Dante Alighieri
This famous Italian epic poem recounts the migration of a soul towards God through the hardships and hurdles of Hell, Purgatory and finally reaching Paradise. From the night before Good Friday to the Wednesday after Easter in the spring of 1300, Dante presents his journey in three parts namely Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso.
THE CRISIS OF THE MODERN WORLD by Rene Guenon
A staunch traditionalist, Guenon highlights the decay and crisis the modern world is facing by adopting action over the pursuit of knowledge, individualism, and a resultant chaotic society. He presents the principles of Metaphysics to explain this deficit and sounds a call to action to salvation.
LES MISERABLES by Victor Hugo
Ex-convict Jean Valjean progresses from being a criminal to a deliverer of the good and just. Throughout the five volumes of this masterpiece, he comes across several individuals and underwent mutual hardships and helped to grow into a decent person until his criminal past catches up with him.
THE METAMORPHOSIS by Franz Kafka
This story is a metaphor presenting the universal ethical principle of action and behavior towards any person as a reflection of others’ behavior towards oneself. Immoral, corrupt, lazy salesperson Gregor Samsa wakes up one morning to find himself transformed into a human-sized repelling bug and consequently gets shunned by his family as he adjusts to his new insect life.
THE ORCHARD by Saadi Shirazi
Containing a vast collection of anecdotes, treatises and accounts of travels, Saadi’s judgment and lifelong understanding of fundamental principles and psychology of the human mind is presented in the form of parallelism with multitudes of fruits in the orchard that signifies the essence of life and beyond.
FAIRY TALES AND STORIES by Hans Christian Andersen
The classic children story compilation by the famous author portrays several stories such as The Tinderbox, The Princess and The Pea, Thumbelina, The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Little Mermaid, and The Wind Swans, all with the essential theme of goodness and truth bearing sweet fruit in the end.
THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS (Anonymous)
It is a collection of stories in the Islamic Golden Age throughout the Middle Eastern, South Asian and East Asian countries like Iran, Iraq, Egypt and India. The primary theme of this book recollects King Shahryar, who executed virgins after one night of courtship and sex, until when the Vizier’s daughter tells him the beginning of a story and the King, in his curiosity postpones the execution to hear further for 1001 nights. Stories include Aladdin’s Wonderful Lamp, Alibaba and the Forty Thieves, and The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor.
THE GRAPES OF WRATH by John Steinbeck
The story is set at the time of the Great Depression in America. The Joads, an impoverished family of Tenant farmers, are driven from their home in Oklahoma due to the wrath of crashing economies, drought, famine and bank foreclosures. They look for a future with pride, dignity and prospect of a job in California and face the ugly picture of the primal needs of any human being in distress.
SUFISM AND TAOISM by Toshihiko Izutsu
Sufism and Taoism are two distinct philosophies and although they are separated by history and timeline, share unique features and repeating patterns to form a blend of mysticism and philosophical dialogue applicable throughout human history ultimately.
ULYSSES by James Joice
It is a modern-day interpretation of the Greek hero Odysseus in the form of Leopold Bloom who undergoes several adventures and encounters in Dublin on a single ordinary day, which surprisingly turns extraordinary in the course of events.
ROMEO AND JULIET by William Shakespeare
Romeo and Juliet are Shakespeare’s most famous tragedy mired in ill-fated love and passion between two young people. Their tragic deaths in the end bring about a lasting union between their two feuding families.
OF MICE AND MEN by John Steinbeck
Lennie Small and George Milton, two migrant ranch workers, move to a separate land looking for a new prospect in life and jobs, only to be doomed in life and unable to share a bright future together they have always envisioned.
THE NAME OF THE ROSE by Umberto Eco
It is a historical murder mystery novel that initially was categorized as a suicide in a Benedictine monastery. However with further suspicious deaths occurring within the walls, Detective William and his novice Ados of Mele investigate this heinous crime and find clues rooted in the Inquisition and other Gospels of Christianity.
METAPHYSICA by Aristotle
“Being qua being” is the essential philosophy behind this book. Aristotle puts forth queries about the existence only for the sake of it and not for some unique qualities in some lives. Causation, matter, formation, soul form the principle pillars in this treatise.
TRACTATUS LOGICO PHILOSOPHICUS by Ludwig Wittgenstein
Wittgenstein’s Tractatus presents the relationship between language and reality and criticizes science in its limitations. The author shows logical pictures, reasoning, sense, thoughts and even a truth function in mathematical expressions to uphold the general form of a proposition.
THE ILLUSION OF DEMOCRACY by Rene Guenon
Democracy is criticized and is heralded as an illusion. The majority of vote receivers are only qualified if they are specialized in the government and administration, and so democracy becomes a moot point.
TIME AND ETERNITY by Ananda Coomaraswamy
Time is the Primary Principle of the universe and is beyond measurement; eternity is everlasting. This philosophy attracted the attention of global thinkers, and their contributions are the initial description on this subject.
COSMOS AND HISTORY by Mircea Eliade
The primitive and archaic religious cultures are no longer present and valid to return. Instead, man has to understand in modernized concept what it is to be human and shun all that which is based on mystics and ancient activities.
2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY by Arthur C. Clarke
It is a 5 section novel based on science fiction and recounts the adventures of Dr. David Bowman in his space travel journey to Saturn for the search of extra-terrestrial life after a monolith’s magnetic property hinted towards a mystery in space.
UTOPIA by Thomas Moore
It portrays a utopian fictional island society and uproots the religious, social, cultural and political laws and problems to define what is right and wrong, just and unjust. It is believed to be a criticism of Contemporary Europe.
A TREATISE on PAINTING by Leonardo da Vinci
It is a collection of da Vinci’s writings on the topic of “On Painting” to argue that drawing and painting are also a form of science and expressions. He draws the comparison between the expressions of laughing and weeping and displays their scientific basis.
SYMBOLS AND THE INTERPRETATION OF SYMBOLS by Ananda Coomaraswamy
The article is a compilation of Eastern and Western World symbols and their definitions in symbology. These symbols depict the very soul and culture of the civilizations and help to construct historical events.
THE METAPHYSICS OF SEX by Julius Evola
It describes the practices of sexual magic as a mode of action to achieve transcendence in life. It incorporates Hindu and Buddhist schools of teaching and describes the power of intercourse as ethereal and holy.