Book Recommendations Based on Your Favorite Classics

Book Recommendations Based on Your Favorite Classics


It’s a common scenario: you’ve read all the classics, some of them twice. You’ve tried some of the more obscure authors, but really all you want is to read  Wuthering Heights again for the first time. Instead of delving back into the dusty classics section of your local bookshop or library, why not branch out and try some new authors? We’ve compiled a list of books by authors new and old that will re-inspire your reading journey — and maybe even help you find some new favourites?


Read on for our recommendations!




If you love Jane Austen’s Emma, try…..The Bridgerton Series by Julia Quinn


This bestselling series has now become a hit Netflix show that everyone has probably already seen. But have you checked out the books?  What’s more, if you love these historical romances, there are EIGHT of them! After all, there’s nothing better than starting a new series knowing you have your reading material sorted for the next few months!


"Emma" Quote Print, Shop Here


The Bridgerton series follows the eight Bridgerton sibling, who are helpfully named alphabetically.  They are set at the height of Austen’s England, so the settings and costumes will be familiar to fans of hers. Through the series, the siblings navigate high society and find true love along the way. The salacious comings and goings are narrated by the mysterious Lady Whistledown, a kind of 1800s “Gossip Girl”, who scandalised polite society by recording down all their less than savoury secrets.

The series is delightfully fun and Jane Austen fans will not be disappointed!




If you love Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier, you love….And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie


There are few books like Rebecca, that skillfully balance a romance, thriller, mystery and psychological horror, with a compelling heroine, terrifying villains —  and moody, dramatic setting to boot. Rebecca is unforgettable, and many authors have tried to imitate Du Maurier’s unique blend.


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And Then There Were None definitely matches Rebecca for the creepy setting. A group of guests from different backgrounds are invited to stay on an island off the coast of Devon. They vaguely know their host, but have no idea why they are invited. It soon transpires they have been brought there for a very specific purpose.  Like Rebecca’s narrator, they are trapped in a grand house, trying to work out their fate before it is too late. Furiously fast-paced, you will tear through this murder mystery in an evening.



If you love Frankenstein by Mary Shelley…You should try Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia


Written by an 18 year old Shelley, you could say that Frankenstein is not the only first science-fiction, but all the first YA fiction! Frankenstein is a classic for good reason - it presents gothic horror with startling psychological depth. 


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Mexican Gothic is set in 1950s Mexico. The narrator must travel to the mysterious High Place, a sinister mansion in the remote countryside, to come to the aid of her cousin, who claims to be in serious peril. The walls of High Place are full of terror as well as sinister individuals who are hiding monstrous secrets. It is gripping and creepy, and the titular heroine makes for a loveable, if unlikely, sleuth.


If you adore The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger…. you should read Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre


This classic has “caught” the heart of many readers, who related to its anxious and vulnerable narrator. He is on the cusp of adulthood, trying to imagine what his adult self will look like, and already mourning the loss of his youthful naiveté and spirit.  It continues to strike a chord with readers who find themselves at the crossroads of adolescence and adulthood, determined to stay true to themselves but pulled inexorably towards the trappings of ordinary life.  It is a book every teenager should read. 

"Catcher in the Rye" Quote Print, Shop Here 


While the satirical novel Vernon God Little might have little to do with Catcher on the surface, it should be alongside it as a book that all young people should read. It opens on the protagonist, Vernon Little, sitting in a sheriff’s office. His best friend has just committed a school shooting and then killed himself. Little has been arrested as his accomplice. In his adolescent mind, there is only one solution to this predicament : he must escape to Mexico. What happens next is unforgettable. For teenagers who have grown up with the threat of school violence as well as the oppressive chokehold of social media, this twenty-year old book still resonates deeply. 




If you can't stop reading  I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou…you should pick up Persepolis by Mariane Satrapi


This is the first in a series of seven memoirs by Angelou, recounting her turbulent and abusive childhood through her struggles to find her place in the world as a multi hyphenate writer-poet-lecturer. It has become a touchstone of American literature and memoir, describing in vivid detail a world that few of us can imagine. Angelou experienced racism and severe family discord. She spent her childhood moving from different family members houses before starting out on her own in 1940s San Francisco. Despite her traumatic beginnings, this memoir is a story of hope and passionate love for literature and the arts. 


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A worthy 21st century companion to Caged Bird Sings is Persepolis by Marianne Satrapi. This award-winning graphic novel memoir follows the author’s childhood and adolescence up until young adulthood growing up in Post-revolution Iran. Aside from all the usual difficulties of being a teenager, Satrapi recounts the fear and tension in her liberal family, the constant underlying threat of violence that permeates their daily life and the regret and longing for the Iran that had been lost to them. Despite the weighty subject matter, Satrapi keeps it light and relatable but telling stories of her own ordinary teenage rebellion and awkward attempts at womanhood, which are hilarious rather than heartbreaking. It is an unmissable book.



If you loved The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, you will enjoy My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Odessa Moshfegh


Considered a feminist masterpiece, The Bell Jar is Plath’s only novel. Somewhat autobiographical, it tells the story of Esther Greenwood, a promising young woman at the start of her career. She has just won a prestigious prize to work at a magazine in New York City. She has worked hard to get there and a bright future seems within her grasp. But Esther is more than just intelligent, she is quite brilliant. With the weight of expectation upon her, she cracks. What follows is the story of her mental unravelling, in forensic detail.

For readers now, writing about mental illness is nothing new, and there are plenty of modern novels that talk about suicide and depression. But when Plath wrote this, it is hard to for us to understand how revolutionary it was, both in its descriptions of mental illness, as well as being about a young woman.  Moshfegh is a worthy successor to Plath, and to read her second novel is to imagine what reading the Bell Jar must have felt like in the 1960s.



My Year centres on a young, attractive and wealthy New Yorker in the early 2000s who has just graduated from a prestigious college. She has everything going for her and pretty much all possibilities are open to her. She has a cool job, and a luxe apartment paid for by her inheritance. What more could a young woman want?  But beyond her cool exterior she is very ill indeed. The protagonist decides she will heal herself from her feelings of grief and depression by taking a year out to sleep. What follows is feverish, drug-induced haze inside her apartment, visited by a small cast of characters, included her best friend and her boyfriend, who both care for her and torment her. It is strange, difficult and sometimes unpleasant read. But you certainly will never forget it. 


What do you think of these recommendations? Have you read them, or would you suggest others? Comment below!

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