The List – 100 Books to read

100 Books To Read Before I Die

Number Title Author Rating
1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows J.K. Rowling 7/07 *****
2 Tess of the D’Urbervilles Thomas Hardy
3 Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck 11/06 ***
4 1984 George Orwell 11/06 *****
5 The Princess Bride William Goldman  4/10 ***
6 The Woman in White Wilkie Collins
7 Atlas Shrugged Ayn Rand
8 A Room With A View EM Forster
9 The Yellow Wallpaper Charlotte Perkins Gilman
10 The Old Man and the Sea Ernest Hemingway  Abandoned
11 A Child Called It Dave Pelzer
12 The Penelopiad Margaret Atwood 12/07 ***
13 Double Vision Pat Barker  8/10 *****
14 Northanger Abbey Jane Austen  11/10 ***
15 The Turn of the Screw Henry James 03/09 **
16 The Mermaid Chair Sue Monk Kidd
17 Ethan Frome Edith Wharton  7/12 ***
18 David Copperfield Charles Dickens 01/08 ***
19 A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens
20 Never Let Me Go Kazuo Ishiguro 12/07 ****
21 Zorro Isabel Allende 12/06 ****
22 Amsterdam Ian McEwan 3/08 ***
23 Memories of my Melancholy Whores Gabriel Garcia Marquez 04/08 ****
24 The Road Cormac McCarthy 04/08 ****
25 The Surgeon of Crowthorne Simon Winchester  03/08 *
26 Island of the Day Before Umberto Eco
27 The Monkey’s Mask  Dorothy Porter  12/13 ****
28 Slaughterhouse Five Kurt Vonnegut 04/09 ****
29 Lolita Vladimir Nabokov  02/11 ***
30 Midnight’s Children Salman Rushdie 05/08 ****
31 Enduring Love Ian McEwan 2/07 ****
32 On The Road Jack Kerouac 01/08 no stars
33 Possession A. S. Byatt
34 Briefing for a Descent into Hell Doris Lessing
35 Time’s Arrow Martin Amis 11/07 ****
36 Blonde Joyce Carol Oates  5/12 ****
37 Girl with a Pearl Earring Tracey Chevalier 1/07 ***
38 The Same Sea Amos Oz 5/07 ****
39 In Cold Blood Truman Capote
40 If On Winter’s Night, A Traveller Italo Calvino 3/07 *****
41 Olive Kitteridge Elizabeth Strout
42 Boy in the Striped Pajamas John Boyne 1/07 ****
43 Sleep, Pale Sister Joanne Harris 7/07 *
44 The Count of Monte Christo Alexandre Dumas
45 The Complete Polysyllabic Spree Nick Hornby 11/07 ***
46 The Stories of John Cheever John Cheever
47 Nineteen Minutes Jodie Picoult 1/09 ****
48 The Ringmaster’s Daughter Jostein Gaardner 4/07 ***
49 The Dice Man Luke Rhinehart 07/08 ***
50 The Stand Stephen King  2/14 ***
51 Kafka on the Shore Haruki Murakami 08/08 *****
52 How the Dead Live Will Self 10/12 *
53 The Unbearable Lightness of Being Milan Kundera 8/07 ***
54 The Outsider Albert Camus
55 The Woods Harlan Coben 9/07 *
56 Shakespeare’s Wife Germaine Greer
57 Mister Pip Lloyd Jones 1/13 ****
58 The Virgin Suicides Jeffrey Eugenides
59 The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith Thomas Kenneally 10/07 ***
60 Life of Pi Yann Martel
61 One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch Alexander Solzhenitsyn
62 The Outsider Albert Camus
63 The Trial Franz Kafka
64 The Red Queen Margaret Drabble
65 Like Water for Chocolate Laura Esquivel
66 Orlando Virginia Woolf
67 On Beauty Zadie Smith 12/07 ****
68 The Green Man Kingsley Amis  02/10 ***
69 This Boy’s Life Tobias Wolff
70 Hangover Square Patrick Hamilton
71 An Uncommon Reader Alan Bennett 02/09 ***
72 An American Tragedy Theodore Dreiner
73 Bleak House Charles Dickens
74 Dracula Bram Stoker
75 Frankenstein Mary Shelley  12/11 *****
76 A Thousand Splendid Suns Khalid Hosseini 09/08 ****
77 The Name of the Wind Patrick Rothfuss  05/10 *****
78 Helen of Troy Margaret George
79 Voss Patrick White
80 The Invention of Hugo Cabret Brian Selznick
81 Twilight Stephanie Meyer 12/08 ****
82 Beyond the Deepwoods Paul Stewart
83 On a Pale Horse Piers Anthony 01/08 ***
84 Under the Net Iris Murdoch
85 Doctor Faustus Thomas Mann
86 Brideshead Revisted Evelyn Waugh
87 Through the Looking Glass… Lewis Carroll  4/10 **
88 King of the Steppes Ivan Turgenev
89 Ivanhoe Sir Walter Scott
90 Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship Johann  Wolfgang von Goethe
91 Dangerous Liasons Pierre Choderlos de Lacios
92 Tom Jones Henry Fielding
93 Gulliver’s Travels Johnathon Swift
94 Moll Flanders Daniel Defoe
95 March Geraldine Brooks  07/09 ****
96 The Castle of Crossed Destinies Italo Calvino
97 A Suitable Boy Vikram Seth
98 The Other Queen Phillipa Gregory  10/12 ****
99 A Wrinkle in Time Madeleine L’Engle
100 Eucalyptus Murray Bail 02/09 ***
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8 comments

  1. Some interesting book choices, where did this list of 100 come from? Recommendations? What about Lord of the rings? Noah barleywater runs away? Monster blood tattoo series? Captain Corelli’s mandolin? Jasper Fforde’s books which I know you have read based on the title of your blog, the secret river, Dragon tattoo series, one day, 300 graphic novel and Maus graphic novel, the godfather, jasper jones, bartimeus trilogy, and the book thief by Markus Zhelvis

    1. Hi Benn, I’ve read most of those, so I didn’t put them on the list. Or, they weren’t published when I made it! Interestingly, I have lost focus on the list since I started the blog in 2006 – there’s always something new to read! Plus work dictates a proportion of it. At the time I made the list, it was literally just 100 books I wanted to read at the time. But I have promised myself I will get through them, so I still tick them off, but it doesn’t dominate my reading choices anymore.

  2. Although, I haven’t read Noah Barleywater Runs Away – if its good I will add it. I tried Maus – I don’t like his style of illustration and have read better graphic novels. Persepolis for instance. I liked the concept though.

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