Reading selections are a matter of personal taste. It’s almost arrogant to provide a bucket list of tomes to consider before biting the bullet. But, like buying a great cup of coffee, we need to share the best selling list with others because it doesn’t seem fair not to.
These recommendations are six books you need to read before Death comes creeping around your back door. Hurry!
The Great Gatsby — F. Scott Fitzgerald
With the subplot of obsession for Daisy, Fitzgerald unveils his greatest work in a beautiful, simple and extraordinarily textured tale of the Jazz Age in all its excess and decadence. Gatsby is the story of having too much, wanting even more and going too far. A classic of American mythology, it captures an era and generation in a manner that eludes most writers that have dared to emulate Fitzgerald’s spirit.
The Catcher in the Rye — J.D. Salinger
The reclusive author resented the success this tome brought him. He spent the rest of his life avoiding the attention, even hiding new works in closets and at the bottom of drawers. First published in the 1950s, this controversial story still resonates as the most brilliant coming of age story ever. Troubled teenager Holden Caulfield’s experiences over a single day in New York City could play out in the 21st century.
To Kill a Mockingbird — Harper Lee
Atticus Finch was voted one of the best characters in literature. It’s not surprising. His compassion in a tale rooted in innocence, cruelty, kindness, hatred, racism and pathos make him a true American hero. A masterpiece in every sense of the word, this book won the 1961 Pulitzer and was made into an Oscar winning film, itself considered a classic.
Moby Dick — Herman Melville
Over 100 years later and it’s still a mesmerizing and often haunting social commentary hidden inside one man’s insane pursuit of a creature as elusive and mysterious as the sea it inhabits. Written with unexpected humor, Moby Dick is a timeless classic filled with indelible characters of faith and desperation.
Dracula — Bram Stoker
Of all the books one could read, will any have had the influence on popular culture as this one? The legend of vampire may predate Dracula, but Stoker’s work could easily be called the match that lit the fire. Allegedly based on the exploits of Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia and member of the House of Drăculești, the author chronicles an unrelenting dark tale of a dead creature, but also explores female sexual expression, Christian iconography and the consequences of modernity.
David Copperfield — Charles Dickens
Not simply another revered Dickens classic. It’s a richly textured tale rumored to have aspects drawn from the author’s life. The title character is a growing boy that discovers all that’s good and bad in life. Filled with some of the most imaginative characters in literature, David Copperfield’s true power is in its cast of innocents, eccentrics and villains.