Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy may just be the most iconic sisters in literature and now, the big screen.
Greta Gerwig's film "Little Women" has captured the hearts and minds of so many people who either met these characters for the first time or were reintroduced to old friends. The March sisters have a special brand of magic, one that has resonated with readers well past its original publication.
The novel was originally published in 1868 and Louisa May Alcott's writing has captivated readers for more than 150 years. If the movie and novel have left you wanting more classic literature, the books on this list are sure to pique your interest.
From Jane Austen to Gabriel Garcia Marquez, these authors — and their stories — are must-reads.
1. "Pride and Prejudice," by Jane Austen
This novel has just about everything that made you fall in love with "Little Women." The Bennet sisters vary in personality and attempt to forge their own paths in society. Plus, the love story between Elizabeth and Darcy is a legendary mix of ups and downs.
2. "Beloved," by Toni Morrison
This novel is a New York Times bestseller for a reason. It looks at the life of the protagonist, Sethe, who escaped slavery 18 years ago. She struggles with memories of the place she left in order to gain her freedom through this beautifully written story.
3. "Jane Eyre," by Charlotte Brontë
This list would not be complete without a mention of Charlotte Brontë. In "Jane Eyre," the reader follows the main character from her childhood as an orphan to her life at Thornfield Hall, the home of the mysterious Edward Rochester.
4. "Walden," by Henry David Thoreau
Alcott's father was influenced by transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau as well as Ralph Waldo Emerson, making "Walden" a must-read to help understand some of the intricacies in "Little Women." The author chronicles his time spent in a cabin alone in the woods.
5. "Emma," by Jane Austen
The main character, Emma Woodhouse, could be called a matchmaker extraordinaire. Emma is flawed, interesting and incredibly funny.
6. "East of Eden," by John Steinbeck
The story centers on two families living in Salinas Valley, California, who end up reenacting the story of Adam and Eve as well as the tale of Cain and Abel.
7. "Anna Karenina," by Leo Tolstoy
These characters will be impossible to get out of your head once you dive into this story. Anna makes tragic choices that will keep readers riveted as she navigates 19th-century Russian society.
8. "Mansfield Park," by Jane Austen
Protagonist Fanny Price is sent to live with her uncle, Sir Thomas Bertram, at his home in Mansfield Park in this Austen book. The story, which touches on themes of slavery, is on the darker side compared to Austen's other novels.
9. "To Kill A Mockingbird," by Harper Lee
If you got out of high school without reading this classic, now is the perfect excuse to pick this up. The story will send you down an emotional path as lawyer Atticus Finch takes the case of Tom Robinson, a black man accused of a crime in a small town in Alabama. The story is filled with other memorable characters like Scout Finch and Boo Radley.
10. "Wuthering Heights," by Emily Brontë
Another Brontë sister classic, "Wuthering Heights" follows the character of Heathcliff from being a young man to old age.
11. "One Hundred Years of Solitude," by Gabriel García Márquez
This novel follows the Buendía family in the fictional town of Macondo. The prose can be defined as "magical realism" and the story is unforgettable.
12. "Tess of the d'Urbervilles," by Thomas Hardy
This novel is full of intrigue as the character of Tess tries to inherit a part of a family fortune that is not her own. Upon its publication, it was harshly criticized for challenging the morals of Victorian England.
13. "The Age of Innocence," by Edith Wharton
Set in the Golden Age in New York City, Newland Archer fights his feelings for Countess Ellen Olenska and his responsibilities to his wife, May Welland.
For more reading list ideas, check out:
- 10 most anticipated books of 2020, according to Goodreads members
- Best books in winter 2020: What to read right now
- 5 books to read if you enjoyed 'Late Migrations' by Margaret Renkl
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