August 9 is the day to celebrate your love of reading. Whether you're a fan of audiobooks, e-books or the good, old-fashioned paperbacks, you should take a chance on these British classics today and add them to the top of your reading list.

"Evelina" by Fanny Burney

If you've recently watched Netflix's "Persuasion" and hated the adaptation, you must be an Austen fan. "Evelina: Or the History of a Young Lady's Entrance Into the World" by Burney is a vivid novel that shares Austen's iconic themes of satirising society and exploring gentlemanliness amidst a culture of snobbery.

Burney's book consists of a series of letters written by the main character Miss Evelina Anville who is belatedly introduced into London society at 17. Humorous and seductive, this classic is a cracking read.

"The Beetle" by Richard Marsh

For those more into sci-fi thrillers, "The Beetle" delivers on both of these and more. The novel is told from several perspectives to create high melodrama and suspense. This classic is a fine example of the best nineteenth-century gothic fiction Britain has to offer.

"Songs of Innocence and Experience" by William Blake

Before the likes of Lang Leav and Rupi Kaur popularised modern poetry, William Blake created "Songs of Innocence and of Experience." This anthology consists of illustrated poems Blake engraved, hand-printed, and coloured himself. This poem collection offers contrasting views that lament the ways in which the gruelling experiences of adult life destroy one's purity and innocence while criticising the weaknesses of naivety.

"The Last Man" by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly

"The Last Man" is one of the first pieces of dystopian fiction ever published. It is set in apocalyptic late 21st century Europe where the country is being ravaged by a mysterious plague-like global pandemic that is threatening the near-extinction of humanity. This book offers a pessimistic and macabre view of humanity's reaction to the end of the world in a distinct coronavirus crisis-like situation.

"The New Dress" by Virginia Woolf

This short story shares similar events and characters in Woolf's famous novel "Mrs Dalloway." It revolves around protagonist Mabel Waring's deeply self-conscious internal crisis at a party hosted by Clarissa Dalloway. This piece of literature may be a quick read, but its elaborate introspection shares feminist commentary that will stay in your consciousness for a long time.

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