Best Books by George Orwell

5 minute read
Best Books by George Orwell

Eric Arthur Blair more popularly known by his pen name – George Orwell was a British writer, journalist, poet and essayist. His Animal Farm or 1984 is sure to have caught your eye at a book fair, library or someone’s personal library when you visited them. Anyone who believes himself to be a literature enthusiast has read at least these two books of his collection. Let us know what is so special about them. As a prolific writer, he wrote various novels, poems, literary critiques and essays on topics that were important to him like – culture, language, politics and literature. Books by him are a delight for everyone who reads them and we want to share the wisdom of his best books with you. Therefore, we have made a list of some of his best work which we are sure would intrigue you and make you want to read more of his style.

Also read – Best Indian Novels

List of Best Books by George Orwell

Books Source
Animal farm Buy here
1984 Buy here
Down and Out in Paris and London      Buy here
Homage to Catalonia Buy here
Keep the Aspidistra Flying Buy here
Burmese Days Buy here
Coming Up for Air Buy here
Shooting an elephant and other essays Buy here
The Clergyman’s daughter    Buy here
The lion and the unicorn – Socialism and the English genius Buy here
The road to Wigan Pier                          Buy here
Fascism and Democracy Buy here

Best of George Orwell’s work

Here are some of the top books by George Orwell and their details:

Animal Farm

This is a book which graces even my personal book collection. It is a beautiful tale of an animal farm where the animals evict the humans, overthrow their rule and start their own regime. But it turns out that “Some animals are more equal than the others” It is said to be about the Stalin regime. Although superficially it looks like a story of animals like any other childish tales, when you read it you will realize that it is way deeper than that and reveals a lot of things about human nature. We are sure you will enjoy it and it is not even very long.


Similar in the theme of totalitarianism like Animal Farm this book goes a little further and shows an almost dystopian society where everything is controlled by one party and big brother sees all. The penultimate crime is thinking freely – freedom, feelings and expression is forbidden in this world. This book was so popular that it has been translated into about 65 languages and has been a huge hit. This is a book that will make you think about things that exist in your surroundings differently.

Down and Out in Paris and London

This book is a very realistic and almost accurate depiction of the cruel everyday realities of the real world. From his own experiences in Paris and London Orwell gives us a slap of reality where people face hunger, indifference and homelessness in cruel conditions due to various injustices. We are sure this book will make you aware and thankful of the things that you took for granted before. It is a real eye opener. 

Homage to Catalonia

This book is a description of Orwell’s own experiences during the Spanish Civil War of 1936 where he did not work just as a journalist who wrote reports for the British newspapers but where he himself took to arms and fought for his own ideals and against fascism. He joined the struggle of the Spanish people and served in the battle. It would be an interesting read if you are interested in the history of those times or in his personal experiences.

Keep the Aspidistra flying

Through the character of the protagonist named Gordon Comstock Orwell depicts a person who dislikes society and leaves it to live on the margins. But soon realizes that it is not easy to stay like that. This is a full adventure which ends up with him having to come back to the society and getting reintegrated in the system he so disliked. This is an intriguing tale with another character who is disenchanted by the dominant system in the society.  

Burmese Days

Inspired by Orwell’s own days in Burma as an imperial police officer, this book is a satire on British imperialism. The protagonist is a white timber merchant living in the British ruled south East Asia who struggles with his friendship with an Indian doctor and his loyalty towards the British Empire. It would be an interesting read to know more about the British Raj and Burmese culture.

Coming up for Air

This is a nostalgic novel which was published a few months before World War –II. The story of the middle aged protagonist is conveyed in it where he visits the town where he spent his boyhood and gets to know all the changes that have taken place since the last time he was there. It discusses themes like capitalism along with other social and political themes with regards to rural and semi rural Britain.

Shooting an Elephant and Other Essays 

These essays were written between the years 1931 – 1949 and were published individually but then were compiled later. These essays are interesting and talk about various things. The main essay named Shooting an elephant on which this book has been named talks about how a colonizer loses his humanity and freedom by oppressing people. He had a similar experience in his days in Burma where he had to shoot an elephant because it had gone out of control. We are sure it would be interesting for you as well to know what went on in his mind after the incident.

The Clergyman’s Daughter   

As clear by the name it is about a clergyman’s daughter who goes through amnesia and all her life turns upside down because of that. He criticizes certain institutions through various hardships that Dorothy Mare the protagonist goes through. This novel also deals with the role of religion and charity. It will be intriguing to read a book which talks about topics like this.

The Lion and the Unicorn – Socialism and the English Genius

The symbols of England and Scotland as the lion and the unicorn respectively are used as the title of this essay. This is because in it Orwell talks about Britain around the time of World War – II. He argued that a socialist revolution might help England against the Nazis. He said that Britain had outmoded ways and an old redundant British class system which was holding it back from getting better. It is definitely an interesting read.

Also read – The must read books on Indian Politics

So these were the best books by George Orwell. We hope that you will try some of them and find them as delightful as I felt they are. Enhance your knowledge and library by adding Best books by Rabindranath Tagore. To read more about such successful people and amazing writers join us at Leverage Edu.

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