The 10 Most Timeless Reads

Aoife O'Brien

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A leading art critic of the Victorian era once said, “All books are divisible into two classes, the books of the hour, and the books of all time.” This quote is still true today. Here are the best examples of this.

Winnie the Pooh

Written in 1964, the stories of Pooh Bear are packed with adventure and miscommunication as a group of unlikely friends face their fears and try to help one another while sometimes, hilariously missing the mark.

The Diary of Anne Frank

This harrowing story of a young girl in hiding during the Holocaust shows what happens to society if hate and bigotry are left unchallenged. It deals with the struggle of maintaining humanity in the face of inhumanity.

Wuthering Heights

Although this book may seem old fashioned to modern readers, it deals with the eternal enigma of love. The book addresses the lack of constancy surrounding young people in relationships and readers can easily identify with the protagonist as she struggles to overcome societal expectations on her quest for true love.

Black Beauty

As the first novel ever published written from an animal’s point of view, the book was never intended for children but for adults to reconsider their treatment of horses. It had a huge influence and inspired much of the legislation in the US surrounding animal cruelty.

Oliver Twist

The story of a young boy who inadvertently gets caught in a world of corruption effectively illustrates the dangers of greed and poverty and the destructive power of money in society, not only in Victorian London but across the globe in recent years of financial recession.

A Tale of Two Cities

As the highest selling book of all time, this novel explores the effect that corruption in the ruling class has on ordinary people. Its descriptions of characters who put duty before desire in crisis situations provide readers with worthy role models.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

The wardrobe which opens its doors to a world of magic, mystery and adventure has captivated audiences since it was first published in 1950.

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

This book is a manifestation of Twain’s dream of an America free of injustice and social disparities. Dealing with slavery in 19th century America, it shows the murky stains of American society in a light and frivolous way which has had a deep seated impact on readers.

Harry Potter 

The highest selling book franchise of all time, these novels fight against all types of evil and encourage love of friends, family and even enemies. The quotes teach real lessons not only to the characters but to the thousands of readers across the globe. “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are far more than our abilities.”


This Irish example of a timeless book was published in 1897, and paved the way for vampire lore in popular culture. It has inspired hundreds of movie adaptations and is arguably the most instantly recognisable fictional character.

Aoife O’Brien