I always see these “100 books to read in your lifetime” lists online so I thought it would be a good idea to go through one of these lists and talk through the books I have read, the books I’m yet to read and the books that I just don’t think I’ll ever read.
The list I’ve chosen to use for this is the Goodreads list. There are many variations of these lists available online but most of them feature the same sorts of books so there’s not too much difference in them all.
I’ve decided to break this blogpost up into two parts (otherwise it would be incredibly long).
#1 1984 by George Orwell
Yes! I have read this book several times and it’s one of my most favourite books out there. I would definitely recommend everyone to read this book and it definitely deserves its place on this list.
#2 Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Yes! This is one of my favourite Jane Austen books, after Emma and Northanger Abbey. It’s a true classic and a great place to start with reading classics.
#3 To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Yes, I’ve read this book a couple of times now. Most recently I re-read it last year before I read Go Set A Wacthman. Don’t waste your time with Go Set A Watchman but To Kill A Mockingbird is definitely worth a read!
#4 The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Yes, I have read The Great Gatsby and I remember not really enjoying it. I did read it a while ago and since then I have read more of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s work so I would like to re-read it and give it another go.
#5 Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
No! I haven’t yet read this book but am definitely interested in giving it a read. I believe it is a satirical book about war in America.
#6 The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
No, I haven’t read this book but I’ve heard a lot of good things about it. I definitely want to add this to my TBR.
#7 Animal Farm by George Orwell
Yes, I have read this book! Though it’s not my favourite Orwell book, I would say it definitely deserves its place on this list and is a very thought-provoking read.
#8 Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Yes! I have read this book several times. It is my favourite Charles Dickens book (of the books of his I’ve read so far). I studied it in secondary school and loved it, and have read it a couple of times since then.
#9 Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Yes, I have read Wuthering Heights. It’s the perfect read for those dreary autumn/winter days.
#10 Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
I knew there would be quite a few Brontë books on this list! Yes, I have read Jane Eyre and it’s an amazing book. A great place to start if you’re just getting into classics.
#11 Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
I have read Little Women. I distinctly remember taking this book out from the library as a child. I haven’t read it since then so I definitely think I’m overdue a re-read. The latest film is also fantastic!
#12 Lord of the Flies by William Golding
I have not read this book but I know that it’s quite a popular book to study in schools in England. I would be interested in reading this.
#13 The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Yes! I have read this book twice now and loved it more each time. I also love the TV show. Definitely worth a read!
#14 The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinback
No, I haven’t read The Grapes of Wrath. I don’t actually think that I’ve read any of Steinback’s books and I definitely want to change this. He has a lot of great-sounding reads.
#15 Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
Yes! I have read Charlotte’s Web as a child. I wouldn’t say no to re-reading this book as an adult, but there’s definitely other books on this list I would turn to before.
#16 Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
No, I have not read this book. Neither have I read any of Tolstoy’s other works. His books are very long so would definitely be a big commitment.
#17 Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
I haven’t read this book but it’s definitely near the top of my list of books I want to read. I’ve heard that it’s quite a similar concept to 1984 and the two are often compared.
#18 Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
I have not read this book yet but after a quick search on Google I’ll definitely be adding this to my TBR list. It focuses on the moral dilemmas of Rodion Raskolnikov, an impoverished ex-student in St. Petersburg who formulates a plan to kill a pawnbroker for her money.
#19 One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
I have not read this book but I do have it on my shelf so no doubt I’ll add it to a monthly TBR at some point soon!
#20 The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandra Dumas
No, I haven’t yet read this book. I don’t know too much about it but seems to be very popular. If you’ve read it, let me know in the comments if you’d recommend it!
#21 Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
No, I haven’t read Lolita yet. However, I just watched a film on Netflix the other week called The Bookshop and the book, Lolita, plays a big role in it. That’s definitely made me want to read it more.
#22 Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
No, I haven’t read this book and at 1024 pages I’m not sure if it’ll be making its way onto my TBR just yet!
#23 Ulysses by James Joyce
No! Though I have read Dubliners by James Joyce a while back and enjoyed it.
#24 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
No I haven’t read this book! I’m not hugely into sci-fi so let me know if you think it’s worth a read.
#25 On the Road by Jack Kerouac
I haven’t read this book but I keep seeing it everywhere: Instagram, Youtube, Amazon… and I think it’s something that I would enjoy. The book is based on Kerouac’s travels across the United States.
#26 The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
Yes! I’ve recently just finished reading all three of these books and I loved them!
#27 Of Mice and Men by John Steinback
Another Steinback book that I haven’t read. This book was also another popular book to study in school but I missed out on that.
#28 The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
Yes, I have read this book quite recently. It’s the perfect Spring read and a lovely children’s classic.
#29 Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
No, I have not read this book and haven’t read any of Rushdie’s work. The book deals with Indian’s transition from British colonial rule to independence to the partition of India. It has won a lot of awards so I’m looking forward to giving this a read.
#30 The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Yes, I have recently read this book! I would definitely recommend it and I would also recommend watching the film adaptation on Netflix.
#31 Moby Dick by Herman Melville
No I haven’t read Moby Dick but I do have the book on my shelf so I’m sure it will feature on a TBR soon.
#32 Dracula by Bram Stoker
Yes, I have read this book several times and it’s definitely worth giving it a read around the October/Hallowe’en season.
#33 A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
No, I haven’t read A Tale of Two Cities yet but I really must get a move on with reading more of Dickens’ works.
#34 Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
I haven’t read Rebecca however, I know it has a massive cult following and is perhaps one of du Maurier’s most popular books. I do have the book on my shelf and after reading my first du Maurier book a couple of months ago, I’m definitely looking forward to reading Rebecca.
#35 The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Yes! I have read The Hobbit, the latest time was last month. I love The Hobbit – it’s definitely a lot easier to read than The Lord of the Rings trilogy and, because of that, I did find it slightly more of an enjoyable read.
#36 The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Yes! This is one of (if not my number one!) favourite children’s book both now and when I was younger. I read it a lot as a child and have gone back to it as an adult. My love for it stays the same!
#37 Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
I haven’t read this book and don’t know too much about it. It seems interesting after reading a little bit about it. It seems to be along the same lines as Catch-22 in that it’s a form of anti-war literature.
#38 Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
Yes! And reading Les Misérables was such a massive achievement because the book is huge, the plot is complicated and the individual stories intertwine in ways that can be quite confusing. I loved the book, I love the film and I love the theatre show.
#39 Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
No, I haven’t read this book. To be honest, I’m quite surprised that I never read this book as a child as it sounds like it would have been right up-my-street.
#40 Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
I haven’t read Madame Bovary but I’ve added it to my list after reading a quick summary about it online. Madame Bovary tells the story of Emma, a peasant who marries an older doctor, Charles Bovary, to escape the dullness of rural life. Emma swiftly grows disillusioned with both her husband and their provincial ways.
#41 Atonement by Ian McEwan
I haven’t read Atonement and I’m not really a fan of Ian McEwan’s writing so I’m not sure if the book is worth the read…?
#42 Life of Pi by Yann Martel
I haven’t read Life of Pi but I have seen the film and really enjoyed it. My boyfriend has Life of Pi on his shelf so I might have to borrow it…
#43 The Colour Purple by Alice Walker
Yes, and this is such a great book! Incredibly thought-provoking and inspirational. This book really does deserve its place on this list.
#44 Middlemarch by George Eliot
I have read Middlemarch. I always had quite mixed feelings about it. I had heard a lot of positive things about the book and a lot of bold claims that it was the best book ever written however, when reading it I didn’t think that a lot actually happened. Upon reflection, I can definitely see its worth and I can understand the praise a lot more.
#45 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Yes! I love this book. A great children’s classic!
#46 David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
No, I haven’t yet read David Copperfield however I did watch the film this year and really loved that. The book is quite large so it’s a little scary.
#47 Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
No, I haven’t read this book but I have seen the film. It’s been a while since I’ve watched the film so I would definitely be interested in giving the book a read this time round.
#48 Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
I have not read Fahrenheit 451 however I have heard a lot of great things about Ray Bradbury’s writing.
#49 Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Yes, I have read Heart of Darkness. I feel like I’m due a re-read of this book. I did read it some time ago and I remember it being quite a complex story.
#50 Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling
Of course I’ve read this book! 🙂 Countless times
So that’s part one of all the books I’ve read from the “Books you should read in your lifetime” list. Part two will be out soon!
Thanks for reading!
Love, Zoë xx