Whether you’re completely new to reading or you just want to expand your collection, it’s never a bad thing to acquaint yourself with some of the classics. The literary canon is filled with revered masterpieces and iconic texts that are enchanting, stimulating, piercing and otherworldly, novels that, even after decades, continue to amaze and captivate readers. 

Here are 10 books you absolutely must read before you die.

1. One Hundred Years of Solitude
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Often hailed as one of the most influential literary works of our time, One Hundred Years of Solitude led to its author receiving the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982. This dazzling masterpiece portrays seven generations of the Buendia family in the mythical town of Macondo and continues to enthrall with its compassion and lyrical magic.

2. To Kill a Mockingbird
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Set in America’s deep South during the Great Depression, this Pulitzer Prize-winning plea for justice tells the story of a six-year-old girl whose lawyer father is defending a falsely accused black man. Grab a paperback copy of To Kill a Mockingbird, Amazon’s #1 Best Seller in Teen & Young Adult Classic Literature now.

3. If on a Winter's Night a Traveler
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Italo Calvino’s If on a Winter's Night a Traveler has been described as “the ultimate love letter to the reader.” An undeniably unique work of fiction, this novel features an intricately crafted plot whose diverse sub-plots and a variety of styles lure the reader into a literary labyrinth.

4. Beloved
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Inspired by a true story, Toni Morrison’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Beloved is set in rural Ohio after the Civil War is a spellbinding, suspenseful and unflinching examination of slavery and its traumatic aftermath. First published in 1987, Beloved has since become a cultural milestone.

5. Giovanni's Room
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Set in bohemian 1950s Paris, James Baldwin’s groundbreaking novel Giovanni's Room delves into the complexities of the human heart as it chronicles a love story between two men. Published in 1956, Amazon’s #1 Best Seller in LGBT Classic Fiction is a deeply moving narrative way ahead of its time.

6. The Left Hand of Darkness: 50th Anniversary Edition
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Often regarded as one of the keystones of the science fiction genre, The Left Hand of Darkness not only wonderfully displays ideas but it also spectacularly upends conventional assumptions about gender. Grab a paperback copy of the 50th anniversary edition of this Hugo and Nebula Award-winning masterpiece now.

7. The God of Small Things: A Novel
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Arundhati Roy’s dazzling debut novel The God of Small Things is a powerful tale of forbidden romance and taboos that is equal parts family saga, love story and political drama. Amazon’s #1 Best Seller in Indian Literature won the Booker Prize in 1997 and is now considered a modern classic and a landmark.

8. The Complete Maus
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The first graphic novel to win the Pulitzer Prize, The Complete Maus brilliantly mixes biography, memoir and history as it narrates the author’s father’s harrowing experiences during the Holocaust and how these seeped into his own childhood. The two volumes of Maus are compiled in this hardcover at a very affordable price.

9. Things Fall Apart
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Published in 1958, Chinua Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart is celebrated as an undeniable classic of modern African literature. An illuminating work depicting the devastating effects of colonialism, Amazon’s #1 Best Seller in African Literature is essential reading for anyone wanting a more nuanced understanding of other ways of life.

10. Where the Wild Things Are
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Maurice Sendak’s Caldecott Medal-winning picture book Where the Wild Things Are has become one of the most beloved children’s books of all time. With charmingly fantastical illustrations, this highly-acclaimed whimsical tale of otherworldly wild things continues to captivate its readers more than half a century on.