With a block of unrestricted time now stretching out before us, it’s never been easier to pick up one of the classic books that you’d always promised yourself you’d read. Come out of this crisis with a broader world-view and an expanded mind with these landmarks of literature.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Arguably her most well-known work, Pride and Prejudice has been recreated for the screen countless times, but nothing can best the book. Following the lives of the Bennett sisters as they navigate the highs and lows of friendship, love and scandal, the book brings to life one of the most recognisable couples within literature, that of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett.

One of only six books she wrote in her lifetime, Pride and Prejudice is a light hearted pick-me-up in these otherwise uncertain times, you’ll be reaching for this novel even after you can venture back outside.

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Often regarded as Tolstoy’s finest literary accomplishment, the novel is a dense 587,287 words and can span over a thousand pages depending on the edition due to different sized pages and the print used, so you might need the entire 14 days of lockdown to finish it.

Focusing on Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812, the book follows three characters: Prince Andrei Bolkonsky who goes against his family to fight in the war, Pierre Buzukhov, the illegitimate son of a nobleman who is having to fight for his inheritance, and Natasha Rostov who is caught between them. impute

The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes

Written in two parts and published in 1605 and 1615, ‘Don Quixote’ as it is less formally known is considered to be the first modern novel and was voted the greatest book of all time by the Nobel Institute.

After becoming fascinated by reading romances of chivalry, Don Quixote decides to become a knight and go on daring adventures, accompanied by his faithful squire, Sancho Panza. As the pair travel the world together, they run into all sorts of issues, from fighting with friars to tilting at windmills, and their relationship grows.

Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J R R Tolkien

The father of an entire genre, the tropes and stereotypes that we’ve come to associate with fantasy novels originated in this collection of three books. A tale of danger, friendship, intrigue and loyalty, four friends leave their home underground in the Shire and set out on a journey unlike any other, battling against creatures of evil as they do so.

Remade as Oscar winning films and loved throughout the world, this is one series with an entire background that you would otherwise miss out on and is the epitome of fantasy.

Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Believe it or not started life as a short story, and not a vehicle for Benedict Cumberbatch. Consisting of 56 short stories and four novels, the works of Sherlock Holmes became popular after featuring in the magazine ‘The Strand’ and has remained so ever since. The four novels consist of ‘A Study in Scarlet’, ‘The Sign of the Four’, ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ and ‘The Valley of Fear’, with the series consistently being paired together as a collection.

The series follows the most well-known private detective in the world, Sherlock Holmes, who has keen powers of observation and is able to notice things that others never could. With his violin, mood swings and famous dwelling of 221b Baker Street, London, and his loyal companion John Watson, the detective tracks down killers that continue to elude the police.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

First published in 1925, this archetypal novel of the Jazz Age has been highly praised by generations of readers and remains as the triumph of his career, giving an insight into 1920s America that enthrals as well as educates.

Focusing on the mysteriously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love, the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, but told by the ordinary Nick Carraway, the reader falls into a world of lavish parties, intrigue and scandal that perfectly explains the somewhat conflicting themes of the ‘American dream’ and corruption.