Hidden Treasures: Overlooked Classics That Deserve a Second Look

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In the book world, all we hear about are those popular titles. But there are some overlooked classics that deserve a second look. Join us as we dust off forgotten masterpieces, inviting you to give these gems the attention they need to receive. Prepare to be pleasantly surprised and inspired by the timeless tales that have been hiding in plain sight.

“The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde (1890)

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Take a trip to the late 19th century with Oscar Wilde’s scandalously delightful novel. Wilde’s sharp wit and keen observations of society’s superficiality come alive in this tale of vanity and moral decay, showcasing the consequences of eternal youth and beauty.

“Ethan Frome” by Edith Wharton (1911)

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Edith Wharton’s tragic tale unfolds in the wintry landscape of Starkfield. Through haunting prose and a chilling setting, Wharton masterfully delves into the lives of characters trapped by duty and circumstance, exploring the complexities of love and its limitations.

“Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston (1937)

Join Janie Crawford on her quest for identity and independence in Zora Neale Hurston’s groundbreaking work. Hurston’s lyrical storytelling transports readers to the rich cultural landscape of the American South, while Janie’s journey empowers and challenges societal norms.

“The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair (1906)

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Upton Sinclair’s exposé takes you into the gritty world of Chicago’s meatpacking industry. Through vivid descriptions and stark realism, Sinclair exposes the harsh realities of immigrant life and the dehumanizing effects of unchecked capitalism on the working class.

“One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel García Márquez (1967)

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   Dive into the enchanting world of Macondo with García Márquez’s masterpiece. Magical realism intertwines with the saga of the Buendía family, creating a tapestry of love, loss, and the cyclical nature of human history that captivates readers with its surreal beauty.

“Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley (1932)

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 Huxley’s dystopian vision of a future society is eerily prescient. Through a thought-provoking exploration of technology, consumerism, and individuality, Huxley challenges readers to consider the implications of a world driven by instant gratification and conformity.

“The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath (1963)

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   Sylvia Plath’s semi-autobiographical novel offers a poignant look into the struggles of its protagonist. Plath’s raw and introspective narrative delves into mental health, societal pressures, and the disintegration of self, creating a hauntingly vivid portrayal of a young woman’s descent into despair.

“The Stranger” by Albert Camus (1942)

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Enter the mind of Meursault, a detached and indifferent protagonist in Camus’s existential classic. Camus’s exploration of absurdity and the human condition challenges readers to confront the meaninglessness of existence and the consequences of societal norms on individuality.

“The Age of Innocence” by Edith Wharton (1920)

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Edith Wharton makes a second appearance on our list with this exploration of societal expectations in Gilded Age New York. Wharton’s social commentary and keen insights into the constraints of tradition and love amidst high society paint a vivid portrait of a bygone era’s intricacies.

“The Master and Margarita” by Mikhail Bulgakov (1967)

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    Bulgakov’s satirical masterpiece blends fantasy and reality, taking readers on a wild ride through Soviet Moscow. With its surreal elements and biting social commentary, this novel challenges authority and conventional beliefs while exploring themes of love, redemption, and the power of the human spirit.

“A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” by Betty Smith (1943)

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Betty Smith’s classic novel paints a vivid picture of Francie Nolan’s coming-of-age journey in early 20th-century Brooklyn. Through Smith’s evocative prose, readers are transported into the struggles and triumphs of a young girl striving for a better life amidst the challenges of poverty and family dynamics.

“The Plague” by Albert Camus (1947)

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Camus returns with a profound exploration of the human condition in the face of an epidemic. Set in the town of Oran, “The Plague” forces readers to confront existential questions and reflects on the resilience and vulnerability of humanity in times of crisis.

“Bleak House” by Charles Dickens (1853)

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 Dickens’ epic novel weaves together multiple storylines against the backdrop of the legal system. In “Bleak House,” readers are immersed in the intricate web of characters and social commentary, as Dickens critiques the bureaucracy and injustice prevalent in Victorian England with his signature wit and compassion.

“Slaughterhouse-Five” by Kurt Vonnegut (1969)

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Vonnegut’s anti-war classic introduces readers to the unconventional journey of Billy Pilgrim through time and space. “Slaughterhouse-Five” challenges conventional narrative structures and offers a satirical take on the absurdity of war, blending humor and poignancy to provoke contemplation.

“The House on Mango Street” by Sandra Cisneros (1984)

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Sandra Cisneros crafts a lyrical exploration of identity and dreams in a series of vignettes set in a Chicago neighborhood. “The House on Mango Street” offers a poignant portrayal of Esperanza’s coming of age as she navigates her cultural heritage and aspirations, creating a mosaic of emotions and experiences in the process.

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Victoria Cornell helps women adopt a positive mindset even when the struggles of motherhood feel overwhelming. On her sites, Motherhood Life Balance, Neon Moon and Bookworm Era she writes about ways to reduce stress with mindset, manifesting, goal planning, productivity, and more.