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Here at FFL, we love to promote literacy and a love of reading. Many of our readers are college aged and young professional women.  We know that reading is hard to prioritize when you’re writing papers, doing problem sets, or working a 9-5. No matter how much time you have to commit to reading, and whether you read one book a year or a hundred, reading is important.

Today, I want to recommend thirty classic novels to you that everyone should read before their 30. Classic novels often get shoved to the back of the bookshelf.  They often get thought of as stuffy and old-school.  I promise you, there is a reason they are classics.  Make time every year to read some classic novels. Their stories pervade our society.  You’ll not only be a better reader and connoisseur of literature, but you’ll be able to connect better with the world around you, a world that is so often full of adults who were raised on these classics.

  1. The Beautiful and Damned by F Scott Fitzgerald

  2. Hamlet by William Shakespeare

  3. 1984 by George Orwell

  4. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

  5. Emma by Jane Austen

  6. Beloved by Toni Morrison

  7. Moby Dick by Herman Melville

  8. House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

  9. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

  10. Paradise Lost by John Milton

  11. God and Man at Yale by William F Buckley Jr

  12. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

  13. Tess of the D’urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

  14. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

  15. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

  16. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie

  17. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

  18. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

  19. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee


  20. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

  21. Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

  22. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

  23. Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger

  24. The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald

  25. A Severed Head by Iris Murdoch

  26. Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare

  27. The Oedipus Cycle by Sophocles

  28. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

  29. Atonement by Ian McEwan

  30. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

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Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member
Aryssa is a student at Yale University, where she enjoys worshiping the patriarchy, making sandwiches, and finding a husband. She loves wearing her FFL gear and documenting the horrific expressions that ensue for her scrapbook. When she is not being "oppressed" by the patriarchy, she enjoys Lilly Pulitzer and classic novels.

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