Best English Novels:

Did we just say books? Oh yes! There is nothing better than sitting down with a good book, with tea/ coffee and a little music. It’s heaven on earth! Won’t you agree? Reading opens up your mind and takes you to a completely different world, and creates a positive mindset for the world around you. Did you know? Reading books can help you sleep better and reduces stress?

In this stressful world today, you need to be calm and have patience, which you can do so, just by reading the best of the novels and books. Reading is important, especially English novels, which help develop important skills, like building a strong vocabulary, increasing knowledge, becoming creative, etc.

There are a few authors who are producing some of the world’s best novels, which are being loved by everyone. These authors broke all the boundaries and challenged every conception they knew of. There are a certain number of English novels, which when you read them are sure to bring out the best of you and show you the true meaning of the writing.

1.  Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1813):

Who doesn’t love a classic? When one thinks of a classic book to read, Jane Austen is the first author to come to mind with Mr. Darcy showing up at their doorstep, and every girl swooning over him.

Pride and Prejudice is a charming and humorous story of love, including difficult families, where two people bound by fate, meet and fall in love and the end is that they lived happily ever after!

Jane Austen knew how to capture her readers. She knew the women of her time, she knew their struggles, and without thinking twice, she let it all out in her book! That’s what a woman can do!

2.  To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1960):

Known for his Pulitzer prize, Harper Lee, in this novel has addressed the issues of race, segregation, inequality, which is inclusive of both cheerfulness and consideration. He was known as the writer beyond his time!

This story has been told through the eyes of the lovable rogues Scout and Jem, which also led to the creation of Literature’s most loved hero- Atticus Finch, a man who has devoted himself to right the racial wrings towards the colored people of the Deep South.

This book has received instant success and is widely read in high schools and middle schools everywhere.

3.  Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (1964):

Harry Potter may be famous and intriguing, but it was Willy Wonka in the first place who won the hearts of children and adults alike!

From the sufferings and poverty being faced by Charlie Bucket to the rich, spoilt children who join Charlie on his trip to Willy Wonka’s phantasmagorical sweet factory, you will not find anything artificially sweetened in this story by Roald Dahl and his fantasy world.

It is a ride full of fun and magic, with funny characters and, most importantly, kid-friendly.

4.  Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (1847):

One of Literature’s sturdiest heroines of all time, Jane Eyre, in her short span of life, overcomes a traumatic childhood. To her surprise, her childhood is not enough, when she has to deal with more secrets in her adult life, strange noises and mysterious fires in her new home of Thornfield Hall. With all the events taking place in her life, she slowly falls for her employer, Mr. Rochester.

Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte, can be said to be a Gothic masterpiece that has played a significant role in every woman’s life, which has been a groundbreaking move by the author to use the first-person narrative.

Charlotte Bronte, under the pen name of ‘Currer Bell’, has given the world a masterpiece and is a classic of all time!

5.  Big Sky by Kate Atkinson (2019):

Declared as an instant and New York Times bestseller, Big Sky is worth a read! Jackson Brodie is back in town! Big Sky is the fifth installment in Kate Atkinson’s literary crime fiction and fans have been dying to read more of it!

In this novel, Brodie has moved to a quiet seaside village on the Yorkshire coast. This story revolves around the crimes that take place, with a hint of post-modernism to it. Brodie is occasionally joined by his son and his ex-partner’s Labrador.

However, Brodie, once again, finds himself standing between a sinister investigation, which brings forward old secrets that had been buried deep. This is a story that has been superbly written and is a delight to read, once one starts reading it.

6.  Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan (2019):

From the case of a young boy who refuses to get medical treatment on religious grounds (The Children to Act) to the torment of a young couple on a honeymoon on the Dorset coast (On Chesil Beach), Ian McEwan knows how to choose his topics wisely. Machines Like Me is set in the 1980s, in an alternative timeline, where the UK lost the Falkland War.

Charlie, a young man, who is drifting through life and avoiding any chances of full-time employment, falls in love with Miranda, who, although is a clever student, but lives with a terrible secret. When Charlie gets his hands on money, he buys Adam, one of the first-ever synthetic humans. From here, a love triangle begins and as always, Ian McEwan has the ability to keep his readers concentrated on the book until it is completed.

7.  The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides (2019):

Do you have a love for psychological thrillers? Well, this one is the novel for you! The author, Alex Michaelides was first inspired to write his debut novel while he was pursuing his postgraduate degree in psychotherapy and was working part-time at a secure psychiatric unit.

It is a shocking story of a woman named Alicia Berenson, and her violence against her fashion photographer husband, Gabriel, on the edge of Hampstead Heath. The story is built around Alicia and why she shoots her husband one night after he comes back from his fashion shoot. The Psychotherapist in the novel, Theo Faber, is himself trying to figure out and is fascinated by the fact that Alicia chooses not to talk about the shooting, and even after five years, he is focused on finding out why Alicia shot her husband.

This is a story one cannot get enough of, making it a smart, sophisticated psychological thriller.

8.  The Sleepwalker by Joseph Knox (2019):

Joseph Knox, in today’s world, is an exciting new name in crime fiction. The Sleepwalker is the very definition of a dark, gritty, and nasty crime story. It is the third of the series by Joseph Knox, about Aiden Watts, a blemished Manchester detective, who has a difficult family background. Watts, manipulated by a reticent psychopath from his past, realizes that he is too late in recognizing that a remorseless contract killer is on the loose.

This story is a rollercoaster ride, and it keeps you awake, even after you are tired of all your work. After completing the last page, your mind will be wide awake with the thoughts of the novel, instead of resting.

It is a brilliantly written novel, with the ability to keep its readers wanting for more!

9.  After the End by Clare Mackintosh (2019):

An ex-police officer, Clare Mackintosh knows just how to get to the minds of her audience. She has done that previously through her works- I Let You Go, I See You, and Let Me Lie.

Her latest novel, After The End, brings the same thrill and is just as powerful as her previous writings. It is a spellbinding and propulsive exploration of marriage, love, and parenthood. Max and Pip will be one the strongest could you will ever know, and their friendship is unshakeable, but after their son gets sick, their son’s life is in their hands. They have very different viewpoints for their son’s future, which leads to fights and drama.

The question here arises, what if they could have both the options for their son?

With the emotional prowess of Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper, Clare Mackintosh makes her readers believe that the ending is just another step towards a new beginning.

10.  The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary (2019):

What if you find out that your flatmate is your soulmate?

Tiffy Moore is in desperate need of a cheap flat and that too in a hurry. Leon Twomey works at night and is in need of cash. When they decide to live in a one-bedroom flat, their friends think they are crazy, but it turns out to be the only best and possible solution.

Everything seems okay with Tiffy being out during the day and Leon at night, but with Tiffy’s horrible ex-boyfriend, the client’s at work, the situation gets quite complicated for them.

Beth O’Leary’s first novel is feel-kinda-good fiction. The protagonists are very likable, and the comic situation that they find themselves in makes it quite convincing for the readers and connects it with themselves.

11.  Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams (2019):

Boldly political, Bridget Jones’ Diary meets Americanah in this novel that speaks to everyone who has been in search of love and found something quite different in its place.

Candice Carty-Williams completed her debut novel, after the bestselling author Jojo Moyes, gave her an opportunity to use her rural cottage to complete her book, and she was chosen among 600 applicants at that time.

Queenie Jenkins, a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman, living her life in London, has just broken up with her long-term boyfriend, Tom. Queenie begins to seek comfort in all the wrong places. Her boss never appreciates her work and her family does not listen to her.

After Queenie shifts from one questionable decision to another, she wonders, “what are you doing? Why are you doing it? Who do you want to be?” These are the questions that a young woman asks herself in the 21st century, which allows her to connect with the novel.

12.  City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert (2019):

Elizabeth Gilbert is best known for her novel Eat, Pray, Love, the 2006 memoir, which chronicles her journey across Indonesia, Italy, and India.

This is a fiction novel, with a unique love story, which is set in the New York theatre during the 1940s. City of Girls explores the themes of female sexuality and promiscuity, inclusive of the idiosyncrasies of true love.

Nineteen-year-old Vivian Morris has just dropped out of her sophomore year at Vassar and has been sent by her parents to stay with her Aunt Peg, who owned the New York theatre, The Lily. Vivian makes good friends with the people at The Lily and throws herself into a decadent lifestyle, which leads to her learning some tough lessons.

Written with commanding words of astuteness about human yearning and acquaintances, City of Girls is a love story like no other.   

13.  Circe by Madeline Miller (2018):

Madeline Miller has been the winner of the Orange Prize in 2012 in conjunction with her first novel, A Song for Achilles. Miller takes the story of Circe, who has previously appeared in the ancient Greek texts like Homer’s The Odyssey and brings it back to life, with words and a captivating storyline for the 21st Century audience.

Circe is the story about finding yourself, but it stands out completely far from that. This novel gives us a little sneak peek into the lives of the Titans and Olympians, including the mortals.

Circe is a grasping story of emerging the duns of inner fear and disobeying its limitations.

14.  The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal (2019):

The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal is quite an intoxicating story of art, obsession, and possession, and it is shocking to find that this is her debut novel.

The Doll Factory is the story of Iris, an aspiring artist, who has the opportunity to become a model for the Pre-Raphaelite artist, Louis Frost, with one condition, that is, he has to teach her how to paint.

Her art has not been unnoticed by others. The sinister collector, Silas Reed, who has an obsession 

15. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (1847):

Going back to the classics, Wuthering Heights touches the readers hearts on a completely different level. The tale of a bleak farmhouse on the Yorkshire moors, is the perfect setting for an English study, but is a step away from the demands of the classroom.

The drama and intensity of the story is increased due to the completely unavoidable circumstances. There is a presence of characters who are unable to control their emotions, which leads to revenge and violence. The heart of the story is the mysterious, Heathcliff, who was adopted by the Earnshaw family, to live at Wuthering Heights. As he grows up, he becomes fond of his adopted sister, Cathy, but is left with a broken heart when she marries Edgar Linton. Heathcliff is bent on taking revenge from Edgar, runs away from home, and returns a well-educated man. 

There are a few novels which come to you with pre-packaged expectations, and they seem as a part of Literature’s collective unconscious, which Wuthering Heights completely follows. 

16. Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King (2014):

Stephen King, one of the best writers of the horror genre, the author knows how to get the audience’s attention. His language is a bit advanced for the reader, but it is the story that keeps one intrigued. 

Mr. Mercedes is the first book in the trilogy, where a retired cop named Bill Hodges, tries to save thousands of lives by stopping a man from killing them. The question arises whether the cop will be able to stop that man or not. 

Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense, Stephen King, who has an insight into the mind of the obsessed, insane killer, which of course, sends a chill down the spine and is an unforgettable feeling. 

17. Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James (2011):

An erotic, amusing and deeply moving story, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale, which is sure to possess you, obsess you and stay with you forever. 

With a Literature student named Anastasia Steele, who goes into interview Christian Grey, she sees a beautiful, brilliant and an intimidating man. When she realizes that she wants this man, she becomes desperate to get close to him. Unable to defy Anastasia and her beauty, wit and charms, Christian gives in and tells her that he wants her too, but on his own terms. 

This sets the entire plot of the story, which show how the protagonists of the story fall in love, depart from each other, find each other again and have a beautiful life ahead. 

This book is intended for mature audiences only. 

18. Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling (1997-2007): 

Whether it is a child, or an adult, Harry Potter and the wizarding world is our dream come true. It is a place where one can find himself/herself. Maybe there are muggles between us, you never know! 

Full of sympathy for Harry, we feel how he feels. The imaginative situations, and oh! So many details, make us  crave to go to Hogwarts. It is, for us, an unforgettable magical world, and sure sets the bar high for other such novels, which are yet to come. 

Would Draco be the one to kill Dumbledore? Or would Harry kill Snape? Many questions arise for the readers, which keeps them wanting for more. Harry Potter doesn’t seem safe where he feels the most at home, that is, Hogwarts. Every year, there is another mystery, yet to be solved by Harry himself. 

He was “the Boy who Lived” and so do we, with Harry Potter in our hearts.  

19. The Martian by Andy Weir (2011):

A meticulously researched, well-written novel, with the intricate details of a completely strange planet, with a surprisingly funny story about an astronaut who is left behind on Mars, presumable considered as dead. 

Mark Watney, the astronaut left behind, becomes the first person to walk on Mars and must figure out how to survive on the planet. There are chances that he won’t survive and will starve to death, but Mark is not ready to give up just yet. He is portrayed as a relentless man, who, with his engineering skills single-minded refused to quit. 

This novel is one of a kind, which is full of space terms and words! This is a hard science fiction, and the author is able to convince the readers of the reality about space through his book, The Martian. 

20. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (1985):

The universe is at war! It is just like the World Wars, with children being taken away from their homes to fight, but this time, it between different universes! 

Andrew Ender Wiggin thinks that he is playing a computer simulated war game, but in reality, the war is actually taking place somewhere in the universe. He is the result of genetic experimentation and may be  the military genius that Earth desperately needs in a war against the alien army, seeking to wipe out the entire humankind. 

This novel is not difficult to read and is rich and engaging in terms of plot and story. It is about leadership, about the quality of a man which make him powerful and admirable. 

This book has the ability to make you think about various aspects of life. 

21. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell (2008):

Have you ever wondered what makes a person successful? Malcolm Gladwell presents in his book, how a positive environment is an important part of becoming a successful person. 

He takes us on an intellectual journey, where the world of ‘outliers’ show us the journey of the best and the brightest, the most successful and famous people. 

He argues that success is married to opportunity and the time spent on the task given. His work is thoroughly researched and it is even visionary at times.  

for collecting strange and beautiful things, has also noticed her.

This novel is richly evocative of Victorian London and is an unforgettable piece of art, which brings chills down the spine.

Books are a man’s life. Without books, man would not be where he is today. It has recorded so many pieces of information for the world to know, and learn and increase his vocabulary. Among those books, there are a few, which stand apart and are brought to the forefront, due to their ability to attract the audience.

If you loved reading this article, then you will also love our review of ‘The Best Indian Biographies.” Click here.