Summer time is nearly upon us and with it (hopefully) some free time to improve ourselves. While exercising and bettering your social life is very important for us all, never forget to try and also grow from a knowledge standpoint. There’s always some exciting new releases, but if you’re looking for some vintage wisdom, you can always go for the classics. Here are my top four literature classics you should read this summer.
1 . Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
A classic horror story written by the pen of English author Mary Shelley, it’s considered a novel that perfectly reflects the Gothic style of the 19th century. It explores concepts such as science and its morality, the creation of life (and its destruction), and mankind’s relationship with God. Having been published in 1818, it has long entered public domain and can be easily found when looking online here on the internet.
2 . The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas
If you like adventure stories, this great classic by Alexandre Dumas could be for you. It tells the story of a young and successful sailor who, in love with a young woman, returns from his journeys to marry her but is falsely accused of treason. He then spends 14 years in prison, where feelings of revenge possess him, but also where he learns how to become a gentleman, the workings of society and the power of knowledge, which will serve him when it’s time to plan his vengeance. Dealing in the ideas of justice, vengeance, mercy, and forgiveness, this classic remains a masterpiece to this day.
3 . The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde
The marvelous mind of Oscar Wilde created in this novel his most famous character: Dorian Gray. With his fantastic style combining smart prose, witty humor and keen observation of reality, Wilde paints the picture (see what I did there?) of a young man pure and joyful but stricken by a bitter vanity, and how said vanity takes him on a down journey into becoming a someone who embodies evil, and how his punishment comes to pass. This 1890 is one of the classics of English literature, arguably Wilde’s most famous book, and a cornerstone in the debates between the ethics of good and evil.
4 . One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel García Márquez
Into some 20th century literature, One Hundred Years of Solitude by Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez might be originally written in Spanish, but there’s no need to dust off your rusty Castellano, because this masterpiece has now been translated into 46 languages. Quite possibly Gabriel García Márquez’s best novel, it is considered a masterpiece of Latin American and universal literature. It tells the story of the people living in the town of Macondo and the lineage of the Buendía family, its founders. The marvel of simplicity, a colonel that fights forever in an ever lost war and people who fly away wrapped in a tablecloth from the sheer innocence that inhabits in them can be expected, but the Colombian does a perfect job of balancing out the fantastical with the mundane in his trademark Magic Realism.