What are the best must-read American classic books?

asked by Anonymous
392 contributors
14 solutions
  1. 47

    #1To Kill a Mockingbird

    To Kill a Mockingbird
    To Kill a Mockingbird is Harper Lee's Pulitzer prize-winning masterwork of honor and injustice in the deep south and the heroism of one man in the face of blind and violent hatred. This was first published in 1960.

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    Ananya Mittal
    Written on April 25, 2018
    "great book to read and disscuse with other people"
  2. 43

    #2Fahrenheit 451

    Fahrenheit 451

    Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian novel wherein a totalitarian regime has ordered the burning of books in order to suppress the spread of subversive ideas. It preaches about the power and role of knowledge to see beyond the surface.


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    William Lopez
    Written on May 14, 2018
    "Fahrenheit 451 is one of the most important books in American literature. I re-read this book at least once a year and every time I do I come away feeling as if I learned something new. I'm actually re-reading it right now because the HBO movie based on the novel comes out this weekend!"
  3. 40

    #3The Call of the Wild

    The Call of the Wild

    The Call of the Wild is Jack London’s famous short novel published in 1903. London explores the laws of civilization and wilderness and the pull of instinct through the eyes of Buck, a half Saint Bernard, half Scottish shepherd. 


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    Arthur Duncan
    Written on April 19, 2018
    "The Call of the Wild was the first book I ever chose to read on my own. Jack London's books are great for anyone to read but especially for young boys."
  1. 39

    #4The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a classic American novel by Mark Twain. Published in 1884, it tells the story of a naughty boy settled in the Mississippi Valley. Full of humor it's also considered a deep and complex work.

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    Hemant Malhotra
    Written on April 24, 2018
    "Huck Finn is a great book, and probably the single most readable of the classic American novels. Right from the start, it is Huck himself who is speaking to you in his own voice, and he tells you his own story and goes through the the world in his own way, as he is becoming a man. If you haven't read it, read it, and if you have, read it again. Stop looking: this is the book you're looking for!"
  2. 36

    #5The Color Purple

    The Color Purple
    Set deep in the American South, The Color Purple by Alice Walker is the tale of Celie, a young black girl born into poverty and segregation. After living a very hard life, she starts to discover joy and the power of her own spirit.

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    Verónica Reséndiz
    Written on May 15, 2018
    "This book is a classic novel that every teenager should read. The story takes place in the 1940s and touches upon segregation, race, poverty, violence but the true meaning of family."
  3. 35

    #6The Crucible

    The Crucible

    The Crucible: A Play in Four Acts by Arthur Miller tells the story of Abigail Williams, who was wrongfully charged with witchcraft in 17th century Salem. The story was inspired by the persecution of communists in the US during the McCarthy era.


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    Bruce Pearson
    Written on May 1, 2018
    "This is pretty cool"
  4. 32

    #7The Great Gatsby

    The Great Gatsby

    The Great Gatsby is a classic book written by F. Scott Fitzgerald which was first published in 1914. It tells the story of wealthy man Jay Gatsby who is in love with Daisy Buchanan from an old money family. This has two film adaptations. 


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  5. 30

    #8Leaves of Grass

    Leaves of Grass
    Walt Whitman is one of the most influential writers and poets of the 19th century. Leaves of Grass contains all his best poems and an outline of events significant to his life and work. Whitman is famous for his O Captain! My Captain!. 

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    Susan Wells
    Written on May 15, 2018
    "Do you like poetry? The works of Walt Whitman will have you engaged."
  6. 28

    #9Invisible Man

    Invisible Man

    This book narrates the life of a nameless black man living in the US, how hard it was for him to grow up in a racist town in the South, and how he eventually became leader of the community in New York.


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    Howard Holmes
    Written on April 18, 2018
    "The Invisible Man is one of the best must-read American classic books. A first novel by an unknown writer, it remained on the bestseller list for sixteen weeks, won the National Book Award for fiction, and established Ralph Ellison as one of the key writers of the century"
  7. 25

    #10The Things They Carried

    The Things They Carried
    The Things They Carried is an autobiographical collection of stories about Tim O'Brien's experiences in the Vietnam War as an American soldier. It tells tales of humanity and compassion in a time of chaos and violence.

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    Bertha Muñiz
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "This is a must read American classic. This book sheds so much light on the choas of war and the good things that can come out of so much hatred. This book changed my life and I recommend it to anyone. "
  8. 13

    #11The Portrait of a Lady

    The Portrait of a Lady
    The Portrait of a Lady is a historical mystery drama written by Henry James. It was first released in 2003. It is about an American lady who was brought to Europe and tried to fight the destiny set for her.

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    Tang Zhou
    Written on May 5, 2018
    "The Portrait of a Lady, written by Henry James, is that classic tale of when the girl does not fall for her intended suitors but rather seeks the company of the stranger with a questionable past. James tells the story well and this is definitely a recommended read"
  9. 10

    #12Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

    Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

    Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is a memoir written by Harriet Ann Jacobs, originally published in 1861. It tells the story of the writer's experiences and escape from slavery in North Carolina during the 19th century. 


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    Lawrence Price
    Written on May 6, 2018
    "Great book that takes you through the life of a girl who was a slave. You really feel for her throughout reading and the writer does a great job writing the characters."
  10. 0

    #13Hotel Du Lac

    Hotel Du Lac
    Hotel Du Lac is a romantic, inspirational, and philosophical novel written by bestselling author Anita Booker. It was first released in 1995. It won the Booker Prize. It is about an aspiring romance writer looking for inspiration.

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    Terry Wagner
    Written on April 17, 2018
    "My daughter read this book for her literature class and she said she really enjoyed it. She even bought a copy for her friend's birthday so that she can read it too. It's a very good book "
  11. 0

    #14The Great Gatsby

    The Great Gatsby

    The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is one of the great classics of twentieth-century literature. It tells the story of Jay Gatsby, an obscenely wealthy man with new money who is in love with Daisy Buchanan, a beautiful girl from an old money family


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    Abhinav Tata
    Written on May 15, 2018
    "The thing about many American novelists, such as Hemingway and Fitzgerald, is that you either love them or hate them. Gatsby is one of few books that I will read over and over again. It is a classic for a reason. There are many aspects about Gatsby that ring true in today's world. People are still entitled, self-absorbed, and live an excess of life. Fitzgerald describes this falsity or a lack of reality within what is truly real, and his characters, like Tom and Daisy, are deplorable. His words are poetic, and visceral, and not many authors can write with such passion. This is Fitzgerald's magnum opus."


Best What are the best must-read American classic books
1To Kill a MockingbirdBooks 47 Paid
2Fahrenheit 451Books 43 Paid
3The Call of the WildBooks 40 Paid
4The Adventures of Huckleberry FinnBooks 39 Free
5The Color PurpleBooks 36 Paid
6The CrucibleBooks 35 Paid
7The Great GatsbyBooks 32 Paid
8Leaves of GrassBooks 30 Paid
9Invisible ManBooks 28 Paid
10The Things They CarriedBooks 25 Paid

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