In memory of Barbara Bush, here are 10 great novels to begin your journey into reading

One of these timeless books belongs to the 1930s and still remains unputdownable.

Barbara Bush was one of the most respected First Ladies of the United States, but the world remembers her for more than the important stature she held.

Among all the charity work that Bush pursued to drive positive change in the world, one of the causes closest to her heart was literacy. 

Under the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, the beloved public figure helped several people across the world learn to read and write.

In honor of the gift of reading that Bush bestowed upon the less fortunate, Inquisitr published a list of classics that every literate individual should read. 

These are the top 10 novels that one must make the time to read in this lifetime:

1.    To Kill A Mocking BirdAuthor: Harper LeeYear of publication: 1960

A moving story about the brutality of segregation that was rampant in the southern region of America narrated from the innocent perspective of a 6-year-old child, To Kill A Mocking Bird is symbolic of America’s troubled past.A year after being published, the book went on to win the Pulitzer Prize. The most incredible fact about the award-winning book is that it was also Lee’s first ever published book.

2.    The Master and MargaritaAuthor: Mikhail BulgakovYear of publication: 1967 (in English)

This book was written when Lenin and Stalin were the prominent leaders of the world. In that era, the medium of literature was used majorly by daring thinkers and writers to express their ideas at the cost of offending governments. Authors were often murdered by state officials for such writing.Bulgakov was one such author, who penned the masterpiece The Master and Margarita before he breathed his last. His book was open to the readers of the western world only 27 years after he died.The engrossing work of fiction narrates the story of the Devil visiting the Soviet Union and Jerusalem.

3.    The Old Man and the SeaAuthor: Ernest HemingwayYear of publication: 1952

The Old Man and the Sea is the story of an incredible tussle between an old fisherman and a gigantic marlin that he caught. The book went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for two years – in the category of literature and fiction.

4.    Fahrenheit 451Author: Ray BradburyYear of publication: 1953

Bradbury’s timeless novel delves into an imagined future of political volatility. In this world, the government is hostile to any new ideas that might uproot the old. As a result, there are government squads appointed to look for and burn offensive books. The brilliant title of the book indicates the temperature at which books burn.

5.    The Good EarthAuthor: Pearl S. BuckYear of publication: 1931

The book was one of the most loved literary works of its time, as it narrated a heart-wrenching story of a family’s trials and tribulations in World War II. The book was ahead of its time in its bold depiction of racism and oppression.

6.    HiroshimaAuthor: John HerseyYear of publication: 1946

A Pulitzer-winning author, Hersey wrote a powerful story of 6 survivors of the deadly bombing of Hiroshima, Japan. The book was published in its entirety in a special issue of the New Yorker magazine in the year 1946.

7.    Catch 22Author: Joseph HellerYear of publication: 1961

Captain John Yossarian, the fictional B-25 Bombardier of the U.S. Army Air Force, leads his team of young men through the insanities of war in this masterpiece. This book is unique in its storytelling technique and the readers hear the same events from the perspective of more than one character.

8.    The Lord Of The RingsAuthor: J.R.R. TolkienYear of publication: 1954

Arguably the most splendid literary work of Tolkien, this fictional story sold over 150 million copies across the world. The book narrates an engaging story of good over evil in a fantasy world and has gathered a cult following over the years. 

9.    One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s NestAuthor: Ken KeseyYear of publication: 1962

The book, penned by one of the most influential thinkers and writers of the 1960s, depicts the inhuman treatment of mentally ill in institutions in America through a gripping story.The book was made into a Broadway play before being adapted into a major motion picture starring Jack Nicholson as the lead character.

10.    Nineteen Eighty-FourAuthor: George OrwellYear of publication: 1949

In this book, Orwell paints the picture of a frightful future in which freedom of speech is stripped away from writers and artists. In such an imagined future, countries are at constant war with each other and the government is an intruder in the private lives of its citizens. 

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