Cutting this list down to the Top 5 was difficult but I think I managed! If you have any suggestions as to which books you think should be on this list and why, let me know down in the comments!
5. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
In this harrowing tale of good and evil, the mild-mannered Dr. Jekyll develops a potion that unleashes his secret, inner persona—the loathsome, twisted Mr. Hyde. (Goodreads)
4. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde’s madcap farce about mistaken identities, secret engagements, and lovers entanglements still delights readers more than a century after its 1895 publication and premiere performance. The rapid-fire wit and eccentric characters of The Importance of Being Earnest have made it a mainstay of the high school curriculum for decades.
Cecily Cardew and Gwendolen Fairfax are both in love with the same mythical suitor. Jack Worthing has wooed Gwendolen as Ernest while Algernon has also posed as Ernest to win the heart of Jack’s ward, Cecily. When all four arrive at Jack’s country home on the same weekend the “rivals” to fight for Ernest’s undivided attention and the “Ernests” to claim their beloveds pandemonium breaks loose. Only a senile nursemaid and an old, discarded hand-bag can save the day!
This Prestwick House Literary Touchstone Edition includes a glossary and reader’s notes to help the modern reader appreciate Wilde’s wry wit and elaborate plot twists. (Goodreads)
3. Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence
Lawrence’s frank portrayal of an extramarital affair and the explicit sexual explorations of the central characters caused this controversial book, now considered a masterpiece, to be banned as pornography until 1960. (Goodreads)
2. A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle
From the moment Dr. John Watson takes lodgings in Baker Street with the consulting detective Sherlock Holmes, he becomes intimately acquainted with the bloody violence and frightening ingenuity of the criminal mind.
In A Study in Scarlet, Holmes and Watson’s first mystery, the pair are summoned to a south London house where they find a dead man whose contorted face is a twisted mask of horror. The body is unmarked by violence but on the wall a mysterious word has been written in blood.
The police are baffled by the crime and its circumstances. But when Sherlock Holmes applies his brilliantly logical mind to the problem he uncovers a tragic tale of love and deadly revenge… (Goodreads)
1. The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe remains the unsurpassed master of works of mystery and madness in this outstanding collection of Poe’s prose and poetry are sixteen of his finest tales, including “The Tell-Tale Heart”, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”, “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Pit and the Pendulum,” “William Wilson,” “The Black Cat,” “The Cask of Amontillado,” and “Eleonora”. Here too is a major selection of what Poe characterized as the passion of his life, his poems – “The Raven,” “Annabel Lee,” Ulalume,” “Lenore,” “The Bells,” and more, plus his glorious prose poem “Silence – A Fable” and only full-length novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym. (Goodreads)