Books: 10 great classics to read absolutely

Books: 10 great classics to read absolutely

Coronavirus has given us a new dimension of time. A season of slow reflection and slow discovering that goes well with the activity of reading which, thanks to its ability to make us live millions of lives, allows you to travel, go out, meet people and personalities without any danger of contagion.

For this reason we have decided to draw up a list of 10 unmissable classics to read. A small warning, however: difficult to distinguish, in the panorama of world and historical literature, some unmissable masterpieces. It would be like selecting the 10 brightest grains of sand among all the beaches that overlook all the seas, oceans and even lakes (even the artificial ones). We have therefore selected 10 titles that are classic, are unmissable, but perhaps not so well known. Not all of them, at least.

1 Osvaldo Soriano – Think with your feet

Osvaldo Soriano (Photo by Ulf Andersen / Getty Images)

© Ulf Andersen

A collection of short stories dedicated to football. But not the football of the Serie A, B, of the Premier Ligue, of the top players. In Thinking With Your Feet, football is a pretext, a metaphor, an opportunity to tell about life, men and Argentina. All with a lightness that, in these times, would be called unforgivable.

2 Joseph Conrad – Heart of Darkness

Yes, it is the book from which it was taken Apocalypse Now!. But at the same time, it is not. Getting lost in Conrad’s Africa is not getting lost in Vietnam by Francis Ford Coppola and Kurtz is not the titanic Marlon Brando. Another world, another story, other characters: a story that advances slowly like a boat on an African river. Equally softly suffocating.

3 Louise May Alcott – Little Women


A book that always remains on the shelf of the memory (of the girls) and that is looked at with suspicion by anyone who has passed the age of middle school (or is a boy. Often both). In reality Little Women it remains an extraordinarily pleasant book to read, full of inventions and things that happen. A classic to be reappropriated with pride. Also recommended is the essay by Carolina Capria entitled In the world of little women (Agostini)

3 Agatha Christie – Murder on the Orient Express

Mutatis Mutandis is worth the same speech made for Conrad: seeing the film (or, in this case, the films) is not worth a single page of Christie’s book. Beyond the clockwork plot, Murder on the Orient Express remains a cross-section of humanity told one detail at a time. Psychological refinements that can shine only on the book page and that are precious pearls in a gold casket.

4 Jirō Taniguchi – In dad’s time

Gekiga (Japanese graphic novel) by the extraordinary master Jirō Taniguchi. A story for touching and delicate images, imposing and sublime but above all impossible not to know. A story capable of involving everyone and which brings the autobiographical story to a form of perhaps never again achieved perfection. To have

5 Edgar Allan Poe – Arthur Gordon Pym story

Tale of the Fantastic, Little Brother of Moby Dick from Melville. Both works, both the Gordon Pym and the novel about the white leviathan, are in fact the result of the narratives of an adventurer who fell out of favor as a result of his own adventure dream who, upon returning from his bankruptcy mission, became a witness ( for a fee) of magnificent and incredible things from which both Poe and Melville were inspired. A seminal and obscure adventure story that cannot be missing from every reader’s collection of emotions.

6 Mario Rigoni Stern – The sergeant in the snow

Telling something terrible, horrifying, enormous and incomprehensible without falling into rhetorical traps is possible. This is demonstrated by the masterpiece of Mario Rigoni Stern, an indispensable reading in times when the war rhetoric has come back forcefully to fill our ears and hearts. Also to be recovered is the show by Marco Paolini, entitled The sergeant, inspired by the book.

7 Grace Deledda – Reeds in the Wind


In Reeds in the Wind Grazia Deledda gives us the strength of the contradiction of the spirit of the time, bringing us, as a gift, the certainty that changes in society arise in contexts of contrast between speed and millennial immobility. Reeds in the wind, as well as a novel worth a Nobel prize, it is history in the history of the land of Sardinia.

8 Agota Kristof – The Trilogy of the city of K

Agota Kristof (Getty Images)

© ullstein bild Dtl.

The city of K is a place of the spirit from which, once entered, you can no longer exit. A labyrinth of feelings and mirrors, where everything seems and is the opposite of everything, and where the most heinous cruelties are combined with the purest romanticism. At the expense of the terrifying term “Trilogy”, we are talking about an extraordinarily fast, light, agile and subtle book. Exactly like a snap trap.

9 J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

What can I say: it is the first chapter of Harry Potter. If you think it’s not part of the masterpieces, well, you’re Muggles.

10 Liala – Like kisses on the water

Amalia Liana Negretti Odescalchi in Cambiasi, aka Liala (as renamed by Gabriele D’annunzio) is exactly that type of author that you will not find in the lists of masterpieces. Yet his work, of which we have chosen one of the most sinuous works, remains today a manifesto of decadent and extraordinary literature, unjustly relegated to the margins as popular. Liala’s books are saturated with beautiful writing, true manuals of elegance and narrative tricks that can make the page vibrate in the wind of an eternal spring. To be rediscovered.

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