There are some books that stay with you well beyond the last page and the final words. Sometimes, you don’t even remember the ending, you just remember the feeling the book gave you.
Certain images stay ingrained in the imagination like precious stones you keep in your pocket. Stones you can bring out and hold in your hand when a little bit of love, or heartbreak or sentimentality is required.
The first book to make you cry. The first book to trigger an emotion you’ve never felt before. The first book in which you understood love. The first book in which you could recognise grief. These are the books that last a lifetime. These are the books that make reading worth it.
Both old and new, these are our ‘classics that will last a lifetime’.
The best reads of the year. Post continues below…
Bridge to Terabithia
Author: Katherine Paterson
Where: United States
This is a young adult book but it made my mum cry, as well as me, when I was reading it for English class at school.
The feelings it evokes – the loss of innocence; the thrill of imagination; the tear of grief – will stay with you and reemerge as you think of young people facing tragedy and the childhood games every kid should be free to experience.
It tells the story of Jesse and Leslie, two students who create an imaginary world called Terabithia. They share rule as king and queen over a wonderful kingdom, set in the woods. But, as tragedy strikes, the strengths they called upon in ruling that fantasy land must be employed again, this time in real life.
Author: Charlotte Brontë
Where: United Kingdom
It's a novel about the power of love, and the many transformations within a woman's life. From a young girl indebted to her abusive aunt and cousins, to a woman in charge of her own life - yet understanding her place in the world.
When 'plain' Jane Eyre falls in love with Edward Rochester she goes through the phases so many of us have also experienced: daydreaming in secret; jealousy; bravery in revealing her feelings; skepticism that he feels the same in return; heartbreak; loss; and deep, deep love that remains, despite all odds.
To Kill a Mockingbird
Author: Harper Lee
Where: United States
This list wouldn't be complete without this read-in-highschools-everywhere classic. With the moral compass that is Atticus Finch, it's the first look for a lot of young people into the history of racism in America's south, as told from the perspective of Atticus' children Jem and Scout.