The best books have the potential to stick with you long after you’ve finished them. Some can even affect how you look at the world.
We’ve put together a list of 25 such books — taking inspiration from Amazon’s list of 100 books to read in your lifetime, recommendations from Goodreads users, as well as some of our own personal favorites.
These books’ exploration of politics, history, and the human condition are so insightful, they’ve withstood the test of time.
The next time you’re looking for a riveting read, consider picking up one of these 25 mind-blowing books.
Talia Avakian contributed reporting to an earlier version of this article.
“1984” by George Orwell
First published in 1949, George Orwell’s account of a chilling future is a timeless read.
His book is where the idea of Big Brother originated, and his messages of a restrictive government remain as insightful today as they did when they were originally written more than 60 years ago.
Orwell presents readers with a vision of a haunting world that remains captivating from beginning to end.
“Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley
Huxley’s masterpiece is a powerful work of speculative fiction where “World Controllers” create the ideal society.
While most society members are content with a world where genetic engineering, brainwashing, and recreational pleasures meet all their needs, one newcomer longs to break free.
Huxley’s enthralling tale takes readers through a frightening and thought-provoking take on society.
“Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley
“Frankentein” tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a doctor who brings a creature to life, only to recoil at how hideous it is.
Left tormented and in isolation, the innocent creature turns on his creator in this eloquent Gothic thriller, which touches the hearts of readers with its messages of the dangers of science and human judgment.