In May, Harry Hartog Macquarie's focus is on Classic Literature. Classics are an inescapable stopover for any book lover. These amazing titles resist time and mark each generation of reader thanks to their universal themes and superb writing. 

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley 

Most of us would be aware of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, the tortured story of the ambitious scientist and his suffering Creation, but how many of us have actually read it?  This book remains hugely influential through its enduring contemplation of humanity and its contribution to the genres of science fiction and horror.  With relevance to our increasingly changing world, the reader can contemplate the possibilities of science and progress, as well as the nature of existence. An outstanding and remarkable read full of depth and complexity. --- Alannah

Here’s what life is like in Brave New World: You’re designed in a lab and born into a particular class of society with particular characteristics; you do the job that you’ve been conditioned to do; you have hobbies you’ve been told to do; you take a drug called soma if you ever need cheering up; and you have short relationships that never go beyond a physical connection. And what if, despite all this, you were happy? Is this manipulation worse than overt control? Aldous Huxley explores this world of oblivious pleasure and homogeneity through the lens of the meek but questioning Bernard Marx and an outsider called ‘John the Savage’, who grew up with the old ways of society. A truly fascinating and thought-provoking classic of science fiction.--- Alannah
Sylvia Plath's only novel is transfixing, moving and immersive, depicting the protagonist Esther Greenwood's decent into severe depression. It is an important work that captures the sense of a woman's constraint in life choices, particularly the difficulty in balancing, or choosing, between career and family. Told with clever and apt descriptions, Plath's semi-autobiographical book portrays how societal expectations dispossess individuals of their identity and choices, resulting in a sense of disassociation from reality that still resonates with readers today. --- Alannah


Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey

From the most puerile thought to the deepest one, Craig Silvey offers us a very accurate insight to a teenager's mind. The uses of abbreviation to reproduce a local accent and the historical background both contribute to the authentic feeling of this story. Charlie's innocence, goodness and smart thinking touched my heart. The thrilling, coming-of-age story of Jasper Jones is so beautifully written that it's already considered a modern classic. It gave me goose bumps reading it and instantly joined my pile of favourite books of all time.--- Léa

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett 

The classic story of a young girl who moves in with her mysterious uncle after her parents die is one of my all-time favourites. Mary is a spoiled and stubborn child, used to being waited on hand and foot. When she is forced to leave her life in India and move to her uncle's estate on the windswept Yorkshire dales, and is more or less left to her own devices, she discovers a hidden world in the grounds. By bringing the garden back to life with the help of some new friends, Mary breathes life back into the estate and everyone living in it. -- Erin 

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr 

Based on Judith Kerr's real experiences growing up, this novel follows Anna and her family as they must flee Berlin in the wake of the Third Reich. While the threat of Nazism floats in the background, this novel is mostly about the challenges of adapting to change and new languages and cultures. Anna and her family move first to Switzerland, then Paris and finally London, searching for somewhere safe. It is aimed at young readers aged 9-12, coming from the perspective of a child, but can be enjoyed by readers of all ages. -- Erin