20 best books on class – 2023 reading list & recommendations

Are you looking for a thought-provoking book on class that will challenge your perspective and open your eyes to the complexities of social inequality? Look no further! In this article, we have curated a list of the 20 best books about class that will take you on a captivating journey through the diverse experiences and struggles of different social classes. From classic literature to contemporary non-fiction, these class books are sure to both entertain and educate you.


by Tara Westover

Educated, a captivating memoir by Tara Westover, is a thought-provoking book on social strata. It delves into the complex dynamics of a family living in the rural mountains of Idaho, where class distinctions are stark and education is a luxury.

The Class

by Erich Segal

‘The Class’ by Erich Segal is an enthralling book about the bonds, struggles, and triumphs of a group of individuals who come from different walks of life but are brought together by one common thread: their shared experience at Harvard University. This riveting novel takes readers on a captivating journey through the lives of these characters as they navigate the complexities of love, friendship, and societal expectations.

The Secret History

by Donna Tartt

The Secret History is a mesmerizing book about societal divisions and the intricate dynamics that arise within them. Set in a prestigious New England college, this novel delves into the secret world of a group of privileged students who are studying classics.

With its impeccable storytelling and rich characterization, this book on class takes readers on a thrilling journey through the complexities of human relationships and the lengths people will go to maintain their social standing.

As readers immerse themselves in the pages of this class book, they will uncover secrets, betrayals, and the dark consequences of ambition. The Secret History is a gripping exploration of power, privilege, and the boundaries that separate the elite from the rest of society.

The Catcher in the Rye

by J.D. Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger is a timeless book on class that has captivated readers for generations. This iconic novel explores the complexities of adolescence, rebellion, and the search for identity. Set in the 1950s, the story follows the rebellious and disillusioned teenager, Holden Caulfield, as he navigates the murky waters of growing up.

Holden’s journey takes place in a world that is both familiar and foreign, filled with class divisions, societal expectations, and the pressures of conformity. As he rebels against the adult world, Holden provides a striking commentary on the phoniness and superficiality that he sees around him.

The book about class delves deep into the struggles and emotions of adolescence, capturing the angst and confusion that many young people experience. Holden’s quest for authenticity and his relentless search for meaning resonate with readers of all ages, making this a true class book.

Through Salinger’s poignant writing style and Holden’s unique voice, The Catcher in the Rye remains a classic that continues to challenge readers to question societal norms, embrace individuality, and face the complexities of growing up in a world obsessed with appearances. This book on class is a must-read for anyone seeking a thought-provoking and enduring exploration of adolescence and the human condition.

The Bell Jar

by Sylvia Plath

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath is a captivating book about class that delves into the complexities of society’s expectations and the pressures of fitting into a predetermined mold.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower: A Captivating Tale about Social Struggles

Discover the unforgettable journey of Charlie, a shy and introverted high school freshman, in the mesmerizing coming-of-age novel, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. This “book on class” immerses readers in a world of relatable emotions, friendships, and the complexities of adolescence.

Set in the early 1990s, The Perks of Being a Wallflower beautifully captures the essence of teenage life, exploring themes of identity, love, mental health, and the challenges of fitting in. The protagonist, Charlie, is an intelligent and observant young boy who struggles to find his place within the social dynamics of high school.

As Charlie navigates the ups and downs of adolescence, readers are taken on a rollercoaster of emotions, witnessing his journey of self-discovery. Through a series of letters addressed to an anonymous friend, we gain insight into Charlie’s thoughts, fears, and desires, creating an intimate bond with the protagonist.

Throughout the novel, Charlie is introduced to a group of misfit friends who become his support system. These friendships help him confront his past traumas and embrace the joys of life, ultimately teaching him valuable lessons about love, acceptance, and the power of human connection.

With its raw and honest portrayal of teenage struggles, The Perks of Being a Wallflower stands as a powerful testament to the transformative power of literature. Through Charlie’s eyes, readers are reminded of the importance of empathy, compassion, and understanding in a world that often feels overwhelming and isolating.

Prepare to be captivated by Chbosky’s masterful storytelling, as he delves into the depths of teenage emotions and unveils the complexities of adolescence. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a true “book about class,” offering readers a poignant and relatable tale of self-discovery, friendship, and the universal struggles we all face when trying to find our place in the world.

The Great Gatsby

by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby is a mesmerizing tale that delves deep into the intricate web of social stratification and the relentless pursuit of the American Dream. Set in the lavish and opulent world of the Roaring Twenties, this book on class unravels the story of Jay Gatsby, a mysterious millionaire who throws extravagant parties in his magnificent mansion, all in an attempt to win the heart of his long-lost love, Daisy Buchanan.

Through the eyes of Nick Carraway, a young and aspiring bond salesman, we are transported into a world where appearances are everything and where the line between illusion and reality becomes increasingly blurred. Fitzgerald masterfully captures the essence of the Jazz Age, where society is divided by wealth and social status, and where individuals strive to climb the ladder of success at any cost.

While Gatsby embodies the epitome of the self-made man, he soon discovers that wealth and status cannot guarantee true happiness or love. In this book about class, Fitzgerald explores the themes of illusion and disillusionment, the corrupting influence of wealth, and the emptiness that lies beneath the glamorous facade of the upper class.

The Great Gatsby is a timeless classic that continues to resonate with readers today, as it serves as a poignant reminder of the enduring human desire for social acceptance and the consequences of an unrelenting pursuit of the unattainable. With its lyrical prose and vivid portrayal of the decadent 1920s, this class book is a must-read for those who seek to unravel the complexities of society and the human condition.

To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is a timeless book on social hierarchy that delves into the complexities of racial prejudice and injustice in a small Southern town during the 1930s. This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel explores the lives of Scout Finch, her brother Jem, and their friend Dill as they navigate the stratified society of Maycomb, Alabama.

The Outsiders

by S.E. Hinton

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton is not just any book on class, but a gripping tale that delves into the complexities of social divides and the power of friendship. This iconic novel, often referred to as a book about class, takes readers on a journey through the eyes of Ponyboy Curtis, a teenager caught in the midst of rival gangs in 1960s Oklahoma.

The Picture of Dorian Gray

by Oscar Wilde

The Picture of Dorian Gray, a captivating book on class penned by the brilliant Oscar Wilde, delves into the intricate web of society’s expectations and the corrupting influence of wealth and privilege.

The Kite Runner

by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner, an enthralling tale by Khaled Hosseini, is a mesmerizing book that delves into the intricate web of social hierarchy.

This poignant story revolves around the lives of two young boys, Amir and Hassan, growing up in Kabul, Afghanistan. While Amir belongs to the privileged upper class, Hassan is his loyal and devoted friend from a lower social stratum. Their friendship is tested as they face the harsh realities of a divided society.

Set against the backdrop of Afghanistan’s tumultuous history, The Kite Runner explores themes of betrayal, redemption, and the profound impact of social class on personal relationships. It vividly portrays the stark contrast between the haves and the have-nots, exposing the deep-rooted injustices and inequalities that persist in society.

As the story unfolds, Amir’s guilt and remorse for his actions towards Hassan drive him to seek redemption, leading him on a journey of self-discovery that spans continents and decades. Through his captivating storytelling, Hosseini takes readers on an emotional rollercoaster, challenging their perceptions and shining a light on the complexities of class dynamics.

The Kite Runner is an exceptional novel that explores the power dynamics associated with social class, offering a thought-provoking and deeply moving narrative that will stay with readers long after they turn the final page.

The Book Thief

by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief is an awe-inspiring literary masterpiece that dives deep into the heart of human resilience and the power of words. Markus Zusak’s remarkable novel takes readers on a journey through the tumultuous era of Nazi Germany, where a young girl named Liesel Meminger discovers solace and escape in the world of books.

The Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

The Lord of the Flies, written by William Golding, is a riveting book on society’s inherent social structure and the consequences of its breakdown. This thought-provoking novel explores the dynamics of a group of young boys stranded on a deserted island, highlighting the power struggle and the fragility of civilization when class divides disintegrate.

The Hunger Games

by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games is an electrifying book about class that plunges readers into a dystopian world where society is divided into distinct social strata. Suzanne Collins, the mastermind behind this gripping tale, crafts a class book that explores the stark contrast between the haves and the have-nots.

The Fault in Our Stars

by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars: A Captivating Book on Class

Prepare to be enthralled by The Fault in Our Stars, a spellbinding novel that delves into the profound complexities of life, love, and the human condition. Written by the brilliant author John Green, this book has garnered worldwide acclaim and has become a beloved classic among readers of all ages.

Set against a backdrop of the everyday struggles faced by teenagers, The Fault in Our Stars transports us into the lives of Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters, two extraordinary individuals who find themselves navigating the turbulent waters of adolescence while battling a life-threatening illness. Their paths cross at a support group, where they embark on a remarkable journey that will forever change their perspectives on life, friendship, and the power of love.

As you delve deeper into the pages of this remarkable novel, you will be captivated by Green’s masterful storytelling, his ability to weave heartbreak and hope into every sentence. Through his vivid characters and poignant narrative, Green explores the universal themes of mortality, the search for meaning, and the inherent beauty in life’s fleeting moments.

But what truly sets The Fault in Our Stars apart is its profound exploration of class. Green challenges societal norms and stereotypes, highlighting the disparities that exist between individuals from different backgrounds. He delves into the struggles faced by those who are often marginalized, exposing the harsh realities of life and the profound impact it has on one’s perception of self and others.

This book is not simply a book about class; it is a revelatory journey that forces us to confront our own biases, question our preconceived notions, and ultimately, strive for a more compassionate and inclusive society. Through his characters, Green reminds us that class is more than just a socioeconomic construct; it is a prism through which we view the world and ourselves.

So, immerse yourself in the poignant pages of The Fault in Our Stars, and allow its profound message to touch your heart and soul. Be prepared to laugh, cry, and ultimately, be forever changed by this extraordinary tale of love, loss, and the indomitable spirit of the human soul.

The Giver

by Lois Lowry

The Giver by Lois Lowry is a mesmerizing book about society, conformity, and individuality. Set in a dystopian world, this thought-provoking novel takes readers on a thrilling journey through a meticulously structured society where everything is controlled and uniform.

This book on class introduces us to Jonas, a young boy who is chosen to be the Receiver of Memory, a highly respected and mysterious role in this tightly regulated community. As Jonas begins his training, he discovers the truth about his seemingly perfect world – all emotions, colors, and memories of the past have been completely eradicated.

As he delves deeper into his role, Jonas unravels the dark secrets behind the façade of harmony and sameness. He realizes that his society’s pursuit of eliminating pain and suffering has come at the cost of genuine human experiences and emotions. This book about class challenges readers to question the importance of individuality, freedom, and the true meaning of happiness.

The Giver is a class book that will leave readers captivated and inspire them to examine their own lives and the world around them. It serves as a powerful reminder of the significance of embracing our unique qualities, cherishing our memories, and fighting against conformity.

The Alchemist

by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is a captivating book about the journey of self-discovery and the pursuit of one’s dreams. This timeless tale takes readers on an exhilarating adventure, making it the quintessential book on class.

The Color Purple

by Alice Walker

The Color Purple: A Book on Class

Step into the world of Alice Walker’s powerful and thought-provoking novel, The Color Purple. Set in the early 20th century, this compelling book explores the intricacies of social hierarchy and the unyielding strength of the human spirit.

Prepare to embark on a journey that delves deep into the lives of Celie, a poor African-American woman, and her struggles to navigate a society divided by class. Through Walker’s vivid storytelling, we witness the harsh realities faced by those trapped in the lower echelons of society, while also witnessing the fierce determination of individuals to rise above their circumstances.

In this captivating book about class, Walker’s prose paints a vivid picture of a world where poverty and privilege collide. She unapologetically exposes the vast disparities between the wealthy and the impoverished, shining a light on the injustices and prejudices that permeate society. Through the eyes of Celie and other unforgettable characters, readers are challenged to confront their own biases and question the very foundations of class divisions.

But The Color Purple is not just a book on class; it is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. As Celie faces unimaginable hardships, she discovers an inner strength that empowers her to overcome adversity. Through her journey of self-discovery and empowerment, Walker reminds us that even in the face of oppression, hope can flourish.

With its raw emotional depth and profound exploration of class dynamics, The Color Purple remains a timeless masterpiece that continues to captivate readers. It is a class book that challenges us to confront the social constructs that divide us and to strive for a world where everyone is granted equal opportunities to thrive.

The Handmaid’s Tale

by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood is a mesmerizing dystopian novel that delves into the complex dynamics of power and hierarchy in a society dominated by oppression and control. Set in the near future, this thought-provoking book explores the consequences of a totalitarian regime where women are stripped of their rights and reduced to mere vessels for reproduction.

With a captivating narrative and richly drawn characters, The Handmaid’s Tale immerses readers into a world where social class plays a pivotal role in defining one’s worth. This brilliant critique of society examines the stark divisions between the ruling elite, known as the Commanders, and the subjugated Handmaids who are tasked with bearing children for infertile couples.

Atwood’s masterful storytelling skillfully weaves together themes of gender inequality, oppression, and the resilience of the human spirit. Through the eyes of the narrator, Offred, readers are offered a glimpse into the inner workings of a society that thrives on fear and control. The book’s exploration of class distinctions and the struggles faced by those at the bottom of the social ladder will leave readers pondering the implications long after they turn the final page.

The Handmaid’s Tale is a must-read for anyone seeking a powerful and thought-provoking book that sheds light on the dangers of a society divided by class and the importance of fighting for equality and freedom.


by George Orwell

“1984” by George Orwell is a thought-provoking dystopian novel that delves deep into the realms of power, control, and social hierarchy. Described as a “book on class,” this captivating masterpiece takes us on a gripping journey through a future world where Big Brother reigns supreme and individuality is crushed under the weight of a totalitarian regime.


After exploring the wide range of books about class, it is clear that these literary works offer a unique and insightful perspective on the complex dynamics of social hierarchy. From classic novels to contemporary memoirs, these 20 best books about class delve deep into the issues of privilege, inequality, and the struggle for social mobility. Whether you are looking to gain a better understanding of class dynamics or simply immerse yourself in captivating stories, these books are a must-read for anyone interested in exploring the complexities of the social world.