Business books are awesome. There is so much to learn from marketing to strategy to management. However, every now and then, I like to read a new genre to widen my perspective on life. One genre that has helped me expand my outlook is classic books.
Here are the 5 great classic books I recommend:
5) The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Hemingway wrote this novel with great simplicity and power. It played a large part in winning him the 1954 Nobel Prize for Literature.
The story revolves around an old fisherman who hasn’t caught a fish in months. So, he heads far out in hope of landing a large catch. Eventually, he hooks a giant marlin but it is too big to get into his small fishing boat. He ties the marlin to the boat and attempts to bring it back to town while fighting off sharks that are eating his catch.
This book teaches how one can find success in failure and why perseverance is so important in life.
4) The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
When someone mentions Machiavelli, people automatically think of a villain or master manipulator. However, most people haven’t even read his book or understand the context of his writings.
Machiavelli lived during the dark ages in a time when there was civil unrest in Italy and wars in other parts of the world. As a government official, Machiavelli traveled frequently on diplomatic missions and studied the art of ruling a state.
Throughout the book, Machiavelli talks about what it takes to be a great and respected leader.
If you’re interested in philosophy, politics or power, this book is a must read.
3) Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Written over 60 years ago, this sci-fi novel takes place in the future which when described, is a bizarrely accurate depiction of our modern-day society. In the book, people have remarkably fast cars, wireless communication devices, and virtual reality system in their homes.
However, one main difference is that in Bradbury’s future, instead of firemen putting out fires, they start them. Books have been outlawed and firemen are ordered to burn all books.
One firefighter, Guy Montag, finds something missing from his life and thus starts reading books. Realizing that books are critical for learning and living, Montag rebels against the firefighters and attempts to reintroduce books into society.
2) The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
If you’ve ever wondered how different life would be if you were immortal then look no further. Everyone thinks immortality is a gift, but it can also be a curse.
In this novel, Dorian Gray meets a painter who insists on creating a portrait of Dorian. Once the painting is completed, Dorian is amazed by the artwork. However, he becomes depressed once he realizes that the portrait will be forever beautiful while he will grow old and ugly. Dorian wishes to trade places with the picture and his wish is granted. Dorian ends up going down a path filled with drama, lust, murder and revenge.
Oscar Wilde is a brilliant writer and the book is filled with quotable lines in every chapter. The book is also filled with many moral lessons from which everyone can learn a thing or two.
1) The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald
Children are constantly showed films and television shows where in the end, everyone lives a wonderful life and things end happily ever after. However, as kids mature, they learn the truth about life. Life is a never-ending roller-coaster of emotions. At times, it can be horrible or it can be wonderful. None of us know whether there will be a happy ending in our lives or not. And that is exactly why this book is timeless.
Gatsby grew up poor on a farm but had big dreams of becoming rich and successful. He enlisted in the army but before he was sent off, he found his soulmate, Daisy, and fell in love with her. When he returned home he learned that she had married some wealthy businessman. Gatsby worked hard and became a rich man although his business operated illegally. He then attempts to rekindle Daisy’s love for him, however, Daisy’s husband isn’t fond of simply letting her go.
This novel is generally considered to be F. Scott Fitzgerald’s finest work and one of the great novels of the twentieth century.
If you're interested in reading any of these books, please click on the title below: