Finally understand the meanings behind famed literary references

Even as we enter a new phase during the Covid-19 pandemic, home will still be where we spend most of our hours. If it gets lonely being cooped up indoors, feel free to pick up any of these six classic novels, where you can freely let your imaginations run wild.

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller 

A satirical war novel so iconic, it coined its own phrase. Published back in 1961 which now seems like eons ago, Catch-22 is a non-chronological narrative that follows American bombardier Captain John Yossarian who is stationed on a Mediterranean island during the second world war, revealing his despairs and attempts to stay alive.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger 

Just like its author J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye is no stranger to controversy. Depicting adolescent alienation, the novel is set in the 1950s and tells the experiences of a young man named Holden Caulfield. As Caulfield struggles with angst, guilt and even his desire to save the world, see the protagonist’s cynicism and troubles unfold—all while he transitions into adulthood.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens 

In the highly-regarded Great Expectations, Pip is an orphan boy adopted by a blacksmith and his family. Having fallen in love with a woman of a higher class, he moves to the big city of London to learn how to become a gentleman after being left riches by a mysterious benefactor. A gripping piece of literature that bears an important message about loyalty and conscience, this Charles Dickens classic will not let you down.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 

Set during the Roaring Twenties, this is the entrancing tale of mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby and his relentless pursuit of his former lover Daisy Buchanan. Grab this piece and get cosy, ‘cause the party has just begun.

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

From the same author who brought us One Hundred Years of Solitude comes Love in the Time of Cholera, a tale about an esteemed doctor who (im)patiently waits for the return of the love of his life. And if you like this one, you may enjoy Of Love and Other Demons too, also by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen 

Often compared to Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is considered a romantic novel of manners. Delving into the relationship between wealthy man Mr Darcy and precocious young lady Elizabeth Bennett, learn how each overcome their pride and prejudice with love.