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The 13 Best Fiction Books: Classic, Famous and Banned

From those banned classics you secretly love to timeless tales that have stood the test of time, we've got it all covered. Are you ready to join us at Blinkist for a journey into the world of literature like no other? Grab your reading glasses, and let's get started!
by Chris Allmer | Oct 2 2023

Fiction books hold an extraordinary power to transport us to exciting worlds, awaken emotions, and ignite our imaginations. In this article, we will embark on a literary journey, exploring the realms of timeless tales, famous masterpieces, the classics, and … the banned ones.

But before we begin, let’s talk about Blinkist. Have you ever found yourself intrigued by a classic or banned book but intimidated by its length or unsure of where to start? Fear not! Blinkist is here to save the day. You can digest the best fiction books in small, bite-sized chunks within a 15-minute reading time. So, whether you’re on your lunch break, commuting, or just craving some literary enlightenment, Blinkist is your go-to source for exploring these literary gems without feeling overwhelmed.

The Timeless Allure of Classic Literature

Classic literature holds a special place in the literary canon with its enduring themes, memorable characters, and timeless relevance. Let us immerse ourselves in some of the best classic fiction books.

1. “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen

It is a beloved classic that explores themes of love, marriage, and social class in 19th-century England. Austen’s sharp wit and astute observations, along with the timeless romance between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, make “Pride and Prejudice” a masterpiece that continues to enchant readers across generations.

2. “Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare

Moving to the realm of tragedy, we encounter this iconic play. It explores the ill-fated love between Romeo and Juliet, whose families’ feuds stand as an insurmountable barrier. Shakespeare’s poetic language and exploration of love, fate, and the consequences of impulsive actions have made “Romeo and Juliet” one of the most famous and enduring fiction books in Western literature.


3. “Moby-Dick” by Herman Melville

Another classic that demands our attention. This epic tale of obsession and revenge follows Captain Ahab’s relentless pursuit of the enigmatic white whale Moby Dick. 


4. “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë

This captivating novel tells the story of Jane Eyre, a young woman’s journey for self-realization and independence in the face of societal constraints. Brontë’s exploration of love, morality, and the search for identity in Victorian society remains a timeless and inspiring read.


The Magic of Famous Fiction Books

In addition to classic books, there are numerous famous fiction books that have garnered widespread acclaim and captured the imagination of readers worldwide. Let’s explore a few of these celebrated works and learn why they are some of the best fiction books around.

5. “The Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Lord of the Rings is an epic high fantasy trilogy that has become a cultural phenomenon. Tolkien’s richly imagined world of Middle-earth, populated by unforgettable characters like Frodo Baggins and Gandalf the Grey, invites readers into a grand adventure of good versus evil. “The Lord of the Rings” continues to captivate readers with its epic scope, intricate mythology, and themes of heroism and sacrifice.

6. “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” by J.K. Rowling

This saga introduced us to the magical world of Hogwarts and the boy wizard Harry Potter. This enchanting tale of friendship, bravery, and the battle against evil captured the hearts of millions of readers worldwide. Rowling’s richly detailed world-building, complex characters, and messages of love and resilience have made the Harry Potter series a beloved cultural phenomenon and, hands down, one of the best fiction books of all time.

7. “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee.

This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel confronts racial prejudice and injustice in the American South through the eyes of Scout Finch. Lee’s powerful storytelling, memorable characters, and exploration of empathy and moral courage continue to resonate with readers, making “To Kill a Mockingbird” a timeless classic.

We all know those books that seem to be on everyone’s lips, referenced in conversations, and revered in other works of art. They’re the timeless classics that deserve a prime spot on your reading list. But let’s face it, life has a way of sneaking in, leaving little time to fully immerse ourselves in these literary gems.

Fear not, fellow book enthusiasts! Our curated collection at Blinkist is here to save the day. We understand the struggle of balancing time, work, and responsibilities while yearning to experience these literary wonders firsthand.

And Now, the Power of Banned Books—Fiction Books at Their Best

The following books have faced controversies, censorship, and challenges, but their impact on literature remains undeniable. Let’s dive into some of the best fiction books that have faced censorship but continue to captivate readers.

8. “Nineteen Eighty-Four” by George Orwell

Let’s start our dark journey with George Orwell’s dystopian masterpiece.  This thought-provoking novel paints a chilling picture of a totalitarian regime that manipulates truth, suppresses individuality, and invades privacy. But by reading “1984,” we confront the importance of preserving freedom, protecting privacy, and questioning authority. It’s a wake-up call to the dangers of unchecked state power.


9. “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger

This coming-of-age novel explores themes of alienation, identity, and the loss of innocence. Its realistic portrayal of teenage angst and rebellion has made it a target for censorship. 

10. “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald

This classic novel delves into the illusory nature of the American Dream during the Roaring Twenties. It examines themes of wealth, love, and the corrupting influence of materialism. The book faced censorship for its depiction of adultery and morally questionable characters. 


11. “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding.

Another banned book worth exploring. This gripping tale explores the dark side of human nature and the breakdown of civilization through the story of a group of boys stranded on an uninhabited island. The book tackles themes of power, violence, and the loss of innocence. Its frank portrayal of human behavior has led to attempts to ban it due to its violent content.

12. “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou

It is a powerful autobiography that recounts her experiences growing up in the segregated South and overcoming racism and trauma through literature. The book has faced censorship due to its frank discussions of sexual abuse and racism.


13. “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck

It explores the harsh realities of the American Dream during the Great Depression. The book has been banned for its strong language and depiction of violence. Nevertheless, by reading “Of Mice and Men,” we gain insights into the human condition, compassion for the marginalized, and an understanding of the fragility of dreams.

Banned books hold immense value precisely because they challenge societal norms, confront uncomfortable truths, and offer insights into the complexities of the human experience. In these free collection, you’ll explore the most popular fiction titles that have been banned and challenged. 


So go ahead, defy censorship, and embrace the power of these banned classic and timeless books. Remember, with Blinkist, you can explore the 13 best fiction books and many more in just 15 minutes, gaining a more profound understanding of their profound messages. For additional reading recommendations in this vein, check out Blinkist Magazine, which features up-to-the-minute top picks and captivating articles.

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