could anyone suggest me one english novel that should be read atleast once  in one's lifetime? i hope to get a good suggestion......could anyone suggest me one english novel that should be read...

could anyone suggest me one english novel that should be read atleast once  in one's lifetime? i hope to get a good suggestion......

could anyone suggest me one english novel that should be read atleast once  in one's lifetime? i hope to get a good suggestion......

Expert Answers
ms-einstein eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If you only read one novel, I would suggest To Kill a Mockingbird. The Pulitzer-prize winning book is amazing on so many levels. First of all, it deals with racism in America during the Great Depression. The conflict between whites and blacks in the south is depicted in such a way that readers cannot help but contemplate their own prejudices. The book is filled with richly detailed characters you wish would spring out of the novel and come to life: Atticus Finch, Scout, Jem, and Boo Radley to name a few.

It is the only novel Harper Lee wrote and often it is described as nearly perfect. The book is based on Lee's observations about her father, a southern lawyer. It is filled with scenes that you will remember for life.The novel is told by Scout. Her innocent eyes reflect a world of "What ifs," if only adults behaved better.

The book also was made into a movie starring Gregory Peck. Although so many movies do a horrible job of imagining the book, that is not true with this film. When you read the last page, you will be glad to have another medium to explore with these characters.

I don't read too many books more than once, but To Kill a Mockingbird is one of them.

But don't stop at one. Consider Middlemarch, Atlas Shrugged, Peace like a River, Gone with the Wind, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, and, well, the list goes on and on.

Happy reading!



missy575 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

To Kill a Mockingbird was an excellent suggestion. There is no book that I have ever read since that can pack as much of the human experience and teach as many lessons as TKAM. I also agree with Frankenstein, it is my number 2 choice, but an important and relevant 3rd for me is 1984. I would have to argue that a book choice depends on your personal journey right now. If you are frustrated with society and wonder how much worse it could get, check out 1984. If you want to look at what humans are capable of and are science minded, check out Frankenstein. Frankenstein is also a good read if you love language. It is in a beautiful Victorian tongue and the expression of thought is just georgeous. But, if you love children, if you love innocence, if you despise the hurt that mankind can cause on others, and if you long for a hero that's unexpected, read To Kill a Mockingbird. Your faith in humanity will be healed.

mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the category of novels written by the English, as opposed to Americans, we only include those that come from England.  At the top of the list must be a Dickens novel such as Bleak House, A Tale of Two Cities, David Copperfield, Oliver Twist, or Great Expectations.

The Bronte sisters are renowned for poignant and masterful tales such as Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. Of course, Thomas Hardy's novels are not to be ignored:  Tess of the d'Ubervilles, Return of the Native, Mayor of Casterbridge.

M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

English as in British? Or in the English language in general? I adore To Kill a Mockingbird when it comes to American literature because of the language Harper Lee uses, and because of the point of view of Scout as a narrator. In British Lit I have to admit that Frankenstein is one of those novels that makes you analyze life and death from many different directions. I remember one of the thesis I wrote was on how Frankenstein depictsErickson's Psychosocial Epigenesis and I was able to proof my point too! Absolutely adore it!

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Well, I am glad this is a discussion posting as you are going to get as many different answers as you will editors! For me, I think everyone should read The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James before they die. This is a truly moving book that I try to re-read every two years or so, and as I grow older I seem to appreciate it more and more. It concerns a naive and idealistic youth and the way she had such high hopes, but then made a very bad decision and married somebody who curtailed those hopes and dreams.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are so many!  I would sugest anything by Charles Dickens.  Pick one, any one.  I also love Jane Austen.  If I were to pick my absolute favorite, my favorite Dickens is A Tale of Two Cities and my favorite Austen is Emma.  I love all the Brontes.  So many good books, so little time!

Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Brontes have already been mentioned, but I would choose Jane Eyre as an English novel which should be read at least once. It is a story of pain, compassion, love, morality, class, money, faith, and loss--all the important things to read, write, and think about in life.

Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Do Irish authors count?  I would have to say Dracula, by Bram Stoker.  And I don't think Frankenstein is a crazy choice, either.  I am also a big fan of John Fowles.  I read The Magus when I was quite young, and it has stuck with me so far.

literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I believe that an English novel that everyone should read is Frankenstein. I have loved this book since I first picked it up. I reread it every year. Call me crazy, but this is my answer!

melerner | Student

i would sujest u to read "THINGS FALL APART"  by "chinua achebe" he is an african writer .and his book containes a lot about african culture as well as lot about human relations........the story is a tragedy of Okonkwo,an important man in the Igbo tribe .u must read it its a very interesting novel ,try that out