Some people dismiss classic books as old-fashioned, boring or stuffy, and okay some of them are. But there are also some classics we should all read and enjoy because not only can the difference in language used help increase our vocabulary and improve our brain and ability to focus, but they are also great examples of good storytelling. Here are some of my favourites: 

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen - a witty and engaging observation of life that never grows old and illustrates perfectly how to create compelling characters and dialogue alongside perfect descriptions.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy - a tale that is heartbreaking no matter how many times you read it.

Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy - I read this as a teenager and fell in love with it, a powerful story of love and loss. It is great to watch on the stage too if you ever get the chance.

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys - I studied this book for a Literature paper and loved the way that Jean Rhys took the familiar story of Jane Eyre and turned it on its head by telling us who the lady in the attic really was. You’ll never see Jane Eyre the same way again.

The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy - a great, timeless family saga that draws you in perfectly.

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame - a children’s book but one that is utterly enchanting no matter how old you are, and teaches us all about the simple value of messing about in boats and remaining loyal to our friends.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott - simply the best book about sisters that has ever been written.