National Reading Day is at the beginning of March and as a professional truck driver, it’s always nice to have a good book to entertain you and help pass downtime on the road. Carter Express has compiled a list of some of top-rated classic fiction reads that are better than the movies they inspired plus a few nonfiction options to keep it real while you roll.

A few classics you may have missed

  • The Lord of the Rings You may have seen the movies but nothing beats the books by J.R.R. Tolkien for excitement through great storytelling! Get to know the characters of Middle Earth, a beautiful and expansive fantasy world, and although it is filled with innocence, can also be ridden with turmoil. Follow the protagonist Frodo Baggins as he embarks on a challenging quest. This trilogy will definitely leave you at the edge of your seat.
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens details the life and stories of an orphan named Pip, growing up in Kent and London in the early to mid-1800s. It’s a classic and a must-read quite simply because it’s been described as one of Dickens’ best works.
  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas is another great adventure novel from the author of The Three Musketeers. Thrown in prison for a crime he did not commit, Edmond Dantès learns of a great treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo. He becomes determined not only to escape, but also to unearth the treasure and use it to plot the destruction of the three men responsible for his incarceration. Dumas’ epic tale of suffering and retribution was inspired by a real-life case of wrongful imprisonment.

Mysteries to keep you guessing

  • The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler was published in 1939 and introduced the world to the famous detective Philip Marlowe. Marlowe is hired by wealthy General Sternwood to stop a blackmailer but Marlowe suspects that the old General is merely testing his caliber before trusting him with a bigger job, one involving Sternwood’s two daughters.
  • Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow will keep you guessing to the very end! Rusty Sabich is a prosecutor in a large city, charged with the murder of his fellow prosecuting attorney Carolyn. A newly elected attorney finds out about Sabich’s affair with the murder victim and he now faces a long court battle. The case uncovers corruption, deceit, depravity, and incompetence but you’ll never guess who really killed Carolyn!
  • A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is a great book to get you acquainted with the character of Sherlock Holmes and his partner-in-crime-solving, Dr. John Watson. In this book, you’ll learn how the pair came to meet and work together and are introduced to Sherlock’s idiosyncratic and ingenious ways. Follow up with The Hound of the Baskervilles, which is widely considered the best of the Sherlock Holmes books.

Nonfiction reads that intrigue

  • The Ship Beneath the Ice by Mensun Bound is the true story of what happened to the Endurance, a ship that sank beneath the ice of the Antarctic on November 21, 1915. While the miraculous survival of all those on board has entered legend, the iconic ship that bore them to the brink of the Antarctic was considered forever lost. That is until March 2022.
  • Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand is a moving testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit. In May 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific. Then, on the ocean surface, a young lieutenant’s face appeared – and so began one of World War II’s most extraordinary odysseys. From the award-winning author of Seabiscuit.
  • Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis was also turned into an award-winning movie but don’t miss the full story of how one of the poorest teams in baseball, the Oakland Athletics, won so many games during the 2002 season. You don’t have to be a baseball fan to enjoy Moneyball, a funny, smart, and engaging book for everyone.

We haven’t read them all, of course, but there are many lists of classic bucket list books, mystery novels, or nonfiction explorations you might want to check out. Something else to check out? The many CDL-A truck driving opportunities open at Carter Express! We would love to tell you our story and see how we can help you find career success with us.