Modern classic books > Saltpetre recommends:

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First in the series, we remember  books that changed the course of history by setting themselves as benchmarks for further writing. These are works of art we could simply not remain indifferent to. They set the tone of conversation for the present as well as the future. Some presented  themselves as a mirror to society, while others transported us to a universe never experienced before. 

We hope that this list reminds you to discover some of the instant modern classics, for reading them for the first time gives a sense of re-reading something familiar. If you’ve already read them, a classic is a book with which re-reading offers as much of a sense of discovery as the first reading.

  • Animal Farm by Goerge Orwell
  • An allegorical work by Orwell, this novel is set in a world where animals are much cleverer than now. A world filled with pigs fluent in English, staging a revolution against humans, Animal Farm depicts humankind at its best and absolute worst. This piece of literature remains relevant for readers of any generation , and can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. The themes and messages in the book are just as powerful, moving and relevant now as they were seven decades ago.

  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • One of the first books in the ‘Magical Realism’ Genre, this book is filled with beguiling treasures that captivate the reader’s imagination. As García Márquez aptly puts it, this literature turns reality upside down and shows us what hides beneath. Filled with Thrilling melodramatic turn of events, real tales of human connection and a commentary on the political climate, reading and  re-reading this book makes one truly appreciate the novel’s longevity, artistry, and global resonance.

  • Madhushala by Harivansh Rai Bachhan
  • Easily one of the most popular works of Hindi literature, this book of 135 quatrains is renowned for its nuanced use of beautiful metaphors. Though on the face of it the poem talks about alcohol, it actually is a reflection of life and its complexities. Filled with absolutely memorable verses, this poem subtly talks about the philosophy of the way of living. A must read for Hindi Literature aficionados , with the English translation widely circulated as well.

  • A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
  • An extended essay by Virginia Woolf, this fierce and humorous piece of writing is a must read to understand feminism fundamentally. Covering everything from why a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write, to authors such as Jane Austen, Aphra Behn and the Brontë sisters, and the tragic story of Shakespeare's fictional sister Judith, it remains a passionate assertion for female creativity and independence in a society trying to dismantle the patriarchy.

  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • This book series by Sir Doyle provides a sublime glimpse into a world long gone. Following Sherlock Holmes and his partner Dr. Watson, in solving the most complex criminal mysteries in London takes the reader on a roller coaster of page turning thrills. With eccentric rivals like Moriarty and Irene Adler, this is a classic masterpiece which one can't put down without finishing the whole book. 

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