The best 26 Modern Classic books

Modern classics have a special place in literary history. These books have become timeless, captivating readers through their powerful storytelling and thought-provoking themes. In this handpicked collection, we've gathered some of the most celebrated modern classics for you to explore. Whether you're a fan of contemporary literature or looking to expand your reading horizons, this list is a must-read. Immerse yourself in the rich narratives and compelling characters that have made these books true classics of our time.

The best 26 Modern Classic books
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1
Modern Classic Books: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451

Ray Bradbury
4.8 (50 ratings)
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What's Fahrenheit 451 about?

Fahrenheit 451 (1953) tells the tale of a near future with fireproof homes, where firemen are now tasked with the job of burning books. It’s a dystopian future, where pleasure is catered to and intellectualism has been all but extinguished. But after a chance encounter with a free spirit, one fireman starts to question the true purpose of his job.

Who should read Fahrenheit 451?

  • Fans of classic literature
  • Sci-fi lovers
  • Anyone who enjoys a good dystopian novel

2
Modern Classic Books: Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Their Eyes Were Watching God

Zora Neale Hurston
4.0 (2 ratings)
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What's Their Eyes Were Watching God about?

Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937) is a defining work in African-American and feminist literature. It explores love, independence, and identity through the eyes of a Black woman in the rural American South.

Who should read Their Eyes Were Watching God?

  • Readers interested in feminist literature
  • Appreciators of the Harlem Renaissance
  • Fans of immersive, character-driven novels

3
Modern Classic Books: The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Remains of the Day

Kazuo Ishiguro
4.1 (107 ratings)
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What's The Remains of the Day about?

The Remains of the Day (1989) features one of contemporary literature’s most unforgettable narrators, Stevens, a butler who reminisces on his life in service at one of England’s stately homes in the years leading up to World War II. 

Who should read The Remains of the Day?

  • Fans of contemporary literature
  • History lovers interested in a literary take on the interwar years in England
  • Period drama devotees seeking a look at life in a stately home

What's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time about?

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (2003) by Mark Haddon is a captivating novel that offers a unique perspective on the world. Through the eyes of a 15-year-old boy with autism, it delves into themes of family, truth, and the power of perspective. The book takes readers on a thought-provoking journey as it unravels the mystery surrounding a neighbor's murdered dog.

Who should read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time?

  • Readers who enjoy unique and unconventional narrative styles
  • People interested in gaining perspective on the experience of individuals with autism
  • Those who appreciate a thought-provoking exploration of human behavior and relationships

What's On the Road about?

On the Road (1957) is a novel by Jack Kerouac that follows the journey of two friends as they travel across the United States. Fueled by a sense of freedom and a desire for new experiences, the book captures the spirit of the Beat Generation and explores themes of self-discovery, rebellion, and the search for meaning in life.

Who should read On the Road?

  • Individuals with a desire for adventure and exploration
  • Readers who enjoy stories about personal journeys and self-discovery
  • People who are drawn to the counterculture movement of the 1950s and 1960s

What's I Capture The Castle about?

I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith is a captivating coming-of-age novel that follows the eccentric and endearing Mortmain family as they struggle to make ends meet in their crumbling English castle. Narrated by seventeen-year-old Cassandra, the story delves into love, creativity, and the desire for a better life. With its charming characters and vivid descriptions, this book takes you on a journey of self-discovery and the power of imagination.

Who should read I Capture The Castle?

  • Readers who enjoy coming-of-age stories with a strong female protagonist
  • Those who appreciate witty and introspective narration
  • People who are interested in exploring the complexities of family dynamics and relationships

What's The Princess Bride about?

The Princess Bride is a classic fantasy novel filled with adventure, romance, and humor. Written by William Goldman, it tells the story of a young woman named Buttercup and her true love, Westley, as they navigate through a series of challenges, including a vengeful prince and a band of misfit companions. With its witty narration and memorable characters, this book is a timeless tale of love and perseverance.

Who should read The Princess Bride?

  • Readers who enjoy a mix of fantasy, romance, and adventure
  • Those who appreciate clever and humorous storytelling
  • People who love classic tales with a modern twist

What's The Fault in Our Stars about?

The Fault in Our Stars is actually written by John Green and tells the story of two teenagers, Hazel and Gus, who meet at a cancer support group. As they bond over their favorite books and share their fears and dreams, they embark on a journey that challenges their perspectives on life and love. It is a poignant and beautifully written novel that explores the complexities of living with illness and the power of human connection.

Who should read The Fault in Our Stars?

  • Readers who enjoy emotionally impactful and thought-provoking stories
  • Those who appreciate authentic and relatable characters
  • Anyone interested in exploring themes of love, loss, and the meaning of life

What's Ender's Game about?

Ender's Game (1985) is a science fiction novel that follows the story of a young boy, Ender Wiggin, who is recruited into a prestigious military academy in space. Trained to lead Earth's defense against an alien race, Ender must navigate complex simulations and intense challenges that test his strategic genius. As the fate of humanity hangs in the balance, Ender prepares for a final battle that will determine the outcome of the war.

Who should read Ender's Game?

  • Science fiction enthusiasts looking for a thought-provoking and intellectually stimulating read
  • Readers interested in exploring themes of war, morality, and the consequences of one's actions
  • Individuals who enjoy stories with complex and multi-layered characters

What's Life of Pi about?

Life of Pi by Yann Martel is a captivating novel that tells the extraordinary story of a young Indian boy named Pi, who survives a shipwreck and is left stranded on a lifeboat in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger. It is a tale of adventure, resilience, and the power of faith, as Pi must find a way to coexist with the wild animal in order to survive. This thought-provoking book challenges our perceptions of reality and belief, leaving readers questioning the boundaries of imagination and the depths of the human spirit.

Who should read Life of Pi?

  • Readers who enjoy philosophical and thought-provoking literature
  • Those with an interest in exploring the nature of storytelling and truth
  • People who appreciate unique and imaginative narratives

What's A Clockwork Orange about?

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess is a dystopian novel that delves into themes of free will, morality, and the effects of psychological conditioning. Set in a future society, the story follows Alex, a delinquent who undergoes a controversial treatment aimed at suppressing his violent tendencies. This thought-provoking book challenges the reader to question the nature of good and evil.

Who should read A Clockwork Orange?

  • Sci-fi enthusiasts looking for a thought-provoking and darkly satirical exploration of society
  • Readers interested in the psychology of violence and free will
  • Individuals who enjoy challenging and unconventional narrative styles

What's The Color Purple about?

The Color Purple by Alice Walker is a powerful novel that explores the lives of African American women in the early 20th century. Through the eyes of the protagonist, Celie, the book delves into themes of racism, sexism, and the power of female relationships. It is a poignant and thought-provoking read that has left a lasting impact on its readers.

Who should read The Color Purple?

  • Readers who enjoy thought-provoking and emotionally impactful stories
  • Individuals interested in exploring themes of race, gender, and resilience
  • Those looking to expand their understanding of the African American experience

What's A Thousand Splendid Suns about?

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini tells the story of two Afghan women, Mariam and Laila, whose lives become intertwined in unexpected ways. Set against the backdrop of a war-torn Afghanistan, the novel explores themes of friendship, resilience, and the enduring power of love. It is a compelling and heartbreaking tale that sheds light on the lives of women in a patriarchal society.

Who should read A Thousand Splendid Suns?

  • Readers who enjoy emotionally powerful storytelling
  • Individuals interested in the lives and experiences of women in Afghanistan
  • Those who want to gain a deeper understanding of the impact of war and conflict on personal lives

What's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn about?

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is an iconic coming-of-age novel by Betty Smith. Set in early 20th century Brooklyn, it follows the life of young Francie Nolan as she navigates poverty, family dynamics, and her own dreams for the future. With beautifully crafted characters and a poignant storytelling style, the book explores themes of resilience, hope, and the power of education.

Who should read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn?

  • Anyone who enjoys coming-of-age stories with strong female protagonists
  • Readers who are interested in exploring the challenges and triumphs of growing up in a working-class neighborhood
  • Individuals who appreciate rich, vivid descriptions of the human experience

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What's Lolita about?

Lolita is a novel by Vladimir Nabokov that delves into the controversial and taboo topic of a middle-aged man's obsession with a twelve-year-old girl. Through beautiful prose and intricate storytelling, Nabokov challenges the reader to confront their own moral boundaries and raises questions about the nature of love, desire, and the power dynamics in relationships.

Who should read Lolita?

  • Readers with a strong stomach for controversial and challenging subject matter
  • People interested in exploring the complexities of human nature and obsession
  • Those who appreciate masterful and thought-provoking storytelling

What's Invisible Man about?

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison tells the story of a nameless African American man who navigates through a world where he feels unseen and unheard. The novel explores themes of identity, race, and societal expectations, offering a powerful commentary on the realities of life for black Americans in the early 20th century.

Who should read Invisible Man?

  • Readers who enjoy thought-provoking and introspective narratives
  • Individuals interested in exploring themes of identity, race, and social invisibility
  • Those who appreciate rich and symbolic storytelling

What's Memoirs of a Geisha about?

Memoirs of a Geisha is a captivating novel that delves into the hidden world of 1930s Kyoto, Japan. Written by Arthur Golden, it tells the story of a young girl named Chiyo who is sold into the life of a geisha. From her training to her eventual rise as one of the most renowned geishas of her time, the book offers a fascinating glimpse into the customs, traditions, and sacrifices of the geisha culture.

Who should read Memoirs of a Geisha?

  • Anyone interested in Japanese culture and tradition
  • Readers who enjoy immersive and descriptive storytelling
  • Individuals curious about the hidden world of geishas and their experiences

What's Brideshead Revisited about?

Brideshead Revisited is a captivating novel by Evelyn Waugh that delves into themes of love, faith, and the decline of the British aristocracy. Set in the interwar period, it follows the story of Charles Ryder and his complex relationships with the aristocratic Flyte family. Through rich prose and intricate character development, the book offers a poignant exploration of nostalgia and the passage of time.

Who should read Brideshead Revisited?

  • Readers who enjoy exploring the themes of love, faith, and the passage of time
  • Individuals interested in British aristocratic society and its complexities
  • People who appreciate literary works with richly developed characters and evocative storytelling

What's Mrs. Dalloway about?

Mrs. Dalloway (1925) is a novel by Virginia Woolf that takes place over the course of a single day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway, a high-society woman in post-World War I England. Through a stream-of-consciousness narrative, the book delves into the inner thoughts and emotions of its characters, exploring themes of time, memory, and the complexities of human experience.

Who should read Mrs. Dalloway?

  • Readers who enjoy introspective and psychologically complex novels
  • Those interested in exploring the inner thoughts and emotions of characters
  • People who appreciate lyrical and experimental writing styles

What's Watership Down about?

Watership Down by David Parkins and Richard Adams is a beloved classic that tells the story of a group of rabbits who embark on a perilous journey to find a new home. Filled with adventure, friendship, and the struggle for survival, this timeless tale captivates readers of all ages.

Who should read Watership Down?

  • Animal lovers and those interested in rabbit societies
  • Readers who enjoy epic adventures with richly developed characters
  • People who appreciate allegorical storytelling with deeper underlying themes

What's Flowers for Algernon about?

Flowers for Algernon is a thought-provoking novel by Daniel Keyes that delves into the complexities of human intelligence and the impact of societal expectations. Through the eyes of Charlie Gordon, a mentally disabled man who undergoes a groundbreaking experiment to increase his intelligence, the book explores themes of identity, empathy, and the ethical implications of scientific advancement. It is a poignant and unforgettable story that challenges our perceptions of what it means to be truly intelligent.

Who should read Flowers for Algernon?

  • Curious individuals seeking to explore the complexities of human intelligence and consciousness
  • Those interested in thought-provoking narratives that challenge perceptions and societal norms
  • Readers who enjoy emotionally impactful stories that provoke introspection and empathy

What's The Old Man and the Sea about?

The Old Man and the Sea, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Ernest Hemingway tells the story of an aging Cuban fisherman named Santiago, who struggles with a giant marlin in the Gulf Stream. Filled with themes of struggle, resilience, and the nature of mankind, it is a timeless classic that explores the relationship between man and the natural world.

Who should read The Old Man and the Sea?

  • Readers who enjoy literary classics and timeless stories
  • Those interested in themes of perseverance, resilience, and the human spirit
  • People who appreciate insightful exploration of the relationship between man and nature

What's Cat's Cradle about?

Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut is a thought-provoking novel that explores themes of science, religion, and the destructive potential of humankind. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the story follows a writer who becomes entangled in a complex web of lies surrounding the creation of a deadly substance called Ice-nine. With Vonnegut's signature dark humor and sharp wit, the book challenges our beliefs and raises important questions about the consequences of our actions.

Who should read Cat's Cradle?

  • Readers who enjoy satirical and thought-provoking storytelling
  • Individuals interested in exploring themes of science, religion, and human nature
  • Those who appreciate unconventional narrative structures and dark humor

What's The Haunting of Hill House about?

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson is a chilling tale that follows four people as they stay in a supposedly haunted mansion. As they experience unexplained events and unearth the house's dark history, they begin to question their own sanity. This classic horror novel delves into themes of fear, isolation, and the supernatural, leaving readers with a sense of unease long after they've turned the final page.

Who should read The Haunting of Hill House?

  • Readers who enjoy psychological horror and atmospheric storytelling
  • Those who are intrigued by the exploration of the supernatural and the unknown
  • Individuals who appreciate complex and well-developed characters in a chilling setting

What's The Perks of Being a Wallflower about?

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky is a poignant coming-of-age story that follows Charlie, a shy and introspective teenager. Through a series of letters, Charlie shares his experiences as he navigates high school, friendship, love, and loss. The book delves into themes of mental health, identity, and the complexities of growing up.

Who should read The Perks of Being a Wallflower?

  • Teenagers and young adults navigating the ups and downs of adolescence
  • Individuals who appreciate introspective and emotionally resonant storytelling
  • Readers who enjoy coming-of-age narratives with complex and relatable characters

What's My Antonia about?

My Antonia is a novel that tells the story of a young immigrant girl named Antonia Shimerda and her journey to America. Set in the vast plains of Nebraska, the book explores themes of friendship, hardship, and the immigrant experience, offering a poignant portrayal of life on the American frontier in the late 19th century. Through beautiful prose and vivid descriptions, Willa Cather captures the essence of the American landscape and celebrates the resilience of the human spirit.

Who should read My Antonia?

  • Readers who are interested in exploring the immigrant experience in early 20th century America
  • People who appreciate richly descriptive and atmospheric writing
  • Those who enjoy character-driven stories with a strong sense of place and nostalgia

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Modern Classic Books
 FAQs 

What's the best Modern Classic book to read?

While choosing just one book about a topic is always tough, many people regard Fahrenheit 451 as the ultimate read on Modern Classic.

What are the Top 10 Modern Classic books?

Blinkist curators have picked the following:
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  • The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

Who are the top Modern Classic book authors?

When it comes to Modern Classic, these are the authors who stand out as some of the most influential:
  • Ray Bradbury
  • Zora Neale Hurston
  • Kazuo Ishiguro