100 Must Read Books


I wanted to find a comprehensive list, not consisting of just classics or American writers or something like that. I couldn’t find a list that I was completely set on so I just mish mashed a few together, cutting out religious books and anything so obscure I had heard of neither the author or title.

I decided that if I read the book since I graduated from high school, I could check it off as read. So the ones I read before finishing high school will be read again. I hope that will make the list more manageable for me to finish but since I’m such a book nerd, I see no problem finishing.

I am kind of embarrassed that I’ve only read 25 books of these books over the course of my life and about twenty of those were read in in school. I will put the name of the book in bold when I finish it and put the (approximate, if read awhile ago) date I finished it.

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien sometime in 2005

3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

4 Twilight series — Stephenie Meyer Twilight:12/16/11

5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

6 The House of Mirth — Edith Wharton

7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell

9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman

10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott

12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy

13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare

15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk

18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger

19 The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger

20 Middlemarch – George Eliot

21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell I’ve read this yearly since I was 20.

22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald

23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens

24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

26 Don Quixote — Miguel de Cervantes

27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck

29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame

31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy

32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens

33 Chronicles of Narnia Books 1-7 – CS Lewis

34 Emma – Jane Austen

35 Persuasion – Jane Austen

36 Harry Potter series books 1-7 – JK Rowling I read them the weeks they were released and multiple times since.

37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini 2006 or 2007

38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres

39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden about ten years ago

40 The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn — Mark Twain

41 Animal Farm – George Orwell

42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving

45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins

46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery

47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy

48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding

50 Atonement – Ian McEwan

51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel 2004 I actually bought two copies of this book because I accidentally left it at the Berlin airport and wanted to finish reading it when I got home.

52 Dune – Frank Herbert

53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons I’ve read this about four times since 2008ish.

54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen

55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth

56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens

58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

59 Gulliver’s Travels — Jonathan Swift

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov

63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt

64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold 2010

65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas

66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac

67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy

68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding 2002ish

69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie

70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville

71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens

72 Dracula – Bram Stoker

73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett

74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson

75 Ulysses – James Joyce

76 The Inferno – Dante

77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome

78 Germinal – Emile Zola

79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray

80 Possession – AS Byatt

81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell

83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker

84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro

85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert

86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry

87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton

91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad

92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery

93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks

94 Watership Down – Richard Adams

95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole I own this book and get about halfway through before I put it down and forget it.

96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute

97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas

98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare

99 The Unbearable Lightness of Being — Milan Kundera

100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

I realize there are books on here that you would never read and wouldn’t consider for the list. I myself vacillated over putting Twilight on here but it has been an influential series in this decade. I would love to know what you consider a must read. Let me know in the comments.


2 thoughts on “100 Must Read Books

  1. Pingback: My Review of Twilight | Natural Conceptions

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