Make 2024 Your Best Year of Reading Yet
Introducing The Big Read's 2024 selections
After many months and hours upon hours of comparing titles, I’m excited to share the 2024 lineup for The Big Read! For those who are new to The Big Read, it’s a separate publication and community in which we read and discuss classic books together. I started it in 2021 with a year-long reading of War and Peace and have since branched out into other books.
I try to pepper in a lot of variety between authors, genres, and time periods, and I think the selections for next year hit the sweet spot. There’s a bit more about each book below, but most of them are fairly recognizable by their title alone. Whether reading for the first time or re-reading an old favorite, each book offers deep rewards for slow, communal reading.
Here’s what you get with a $5/month or $50/year subscription:
Weekly recaps with background, contextual material, and highlights from that week’s chapters.
Access to our robust weekly discussions, where you’ll get invaluable insights from a diverse community of readers.
The motivation and accountability to read an all-time classic. (Even a great story sometimes requires a bit of endurance.)
If you subscribe annually anytime in the month of December, I’ll ensure your subscription is good through January 1st, 2025.
What people have said about The Big Read:
Here’s what folks have said about The Big Read for a few of our previous titles:
“Thank you for the existence of The Big Read. It's a great idea and I really enjoyed the act of reading ‘with’ others. Being based in France, it's difficult to share a lot of my anglophone readings with others. . . . I would not have finished [The Count of Monte Cristo] without The Big Read.” —Katherine
“[This was a] great experience with a book I might not have read if not for The Big Read. Jeremy is an excellent literary tour guide.” —Anthony
“A Tree Grows in Brooklyn has been one of my all time favorite books for over 40 years. This is the third time I’ve read it, and it still resonates with me. I was a little nervous to read it again, worried that it would no longer affect me as it has in the past. I had nothing to worry about. Reading it again as part of The Big Read added another layer of enjoyment and great joy. There’s something deeply gratifying about sharing something you love with others and learning that they love it, too! Thank you!!” —Pam
“Thank you for making our reading experience even better with your weekly summaries and by providing extra materials and insights to us, Jeremy! I'm so glad I read this book.” —Stefanie
“This was a book I never thought I would read. I am so glad that I did. I can’t really add to Jeremy’s comments because they were so spot on. I am sure I will come back to this in a few years. It also gave me inspiration to hit some of the books on ‘classic’ lists that I previously just passed over for unknown reasons.” —John
I’ve read plenty of sci-fi classics over the years, but rarely have I enjoyed one as much as I relished Frank Herbert’s Dune. This story feels especially timeless (and timely) because the focus is squarely on the human element rather than on science, technology, or space travel. Though it takes place on an invented planet — the desertified world of Arrakis, aka Dune — Paul Atreides is a young man adjusting to an unexpected regime change and learning about his own leadership abilities along the way.
Even if you think this sci-fi tale isn’t for you, I think you’ll be surprised if you give it a try.
Jane Eyre (March-April)
I can confidently say that Charlotte Bronte has crafted the great heroine of English literature in the character of Jane Eyre. Following an orphan’s coming of age and entrance into adulthood, readers are treated to how a witty, bad-ass young woman conquers her life and world. Not only does it offer a page-turning story, but armfuls of proverbial wisdom, too.
Team of Rivals (May-July)
With an important presidential election coming later in the year, spending a portion of the summer reading a story about the best of what politics can be will offer a nice dose of patriotic optimism, regardless of what happens in November. Goodwin’s tome about Abraham Lincoln’s brilliant political maneuvering is cited by more leaders and politicians than just about any other single title.
Subscribe annually anytime in December, and I’ll ensure your subscription is good through January 1, 2024.
Crime and Punishment (August-September)
Birthed from Dostroyevsky’s own experience in a prison camp, this story looks deeply at a single individual’s crime as well as his internal torment about that crime (i.e. the “punishment”). It gets at the agonizing psychological heart of guilt as powerfully as anything I’ve ever read. That’s not all it does, though — this story offers readers a lot. It’s a crime drama (there is a bit of a cat-and-mouse game that keeps the plot going), a meditation on society and redemption, and a brilliant philosophical treatise on madness and justice. It’s easy to see why this book is an all-time classic.
The Haunting of Hill House (October)
Shirley Jackson’s brand of horror leans on the psychological aspects of fear rather than anything graphic or gross. This story is engaging, tense, and, delightfully layered. As with many books in the haunted house niche, we’re left wondering if the phantoms are real or in the characters’ heads — and you never quite know which voices you can trust. An all-time must-read for any fan of psychological thrillers or horror.
Great Expectations (November-December)
In Charles Dickens’ own favorite novel, we find ourselves immersed in the story of Pip, an orphan whose life takes an unexpected turn when he encounters a mysterious benefactor who will raise the boy’s station in life. As Pip navigates the complexities of love and ambition, the novel unfolds as a timeless exploration of human nature and the transformative power of self-discovery. Like Dickens always does, the story offers plenty of plot twists to go along with its rich celebration of what gives life meaning.
Have any questions or comments? Please let me know!