Thursday, April 19, 2012

100 Books to Read Before You Die

I came across this list the other day when I was trying to decide what book I wanted to read next.  It is now my mission to read every book on the list!  There are a bunch of different versions of this floating around, but I chose this one because it seemed pretty well-rounded, and I also liked that there are not multiple books for one author on it.  This list came from  I have already read some of these (although not nearly as many as I should have) but since when I read them, they were required reading for school, I am going to reread them.  This is definitely when having a Kindle makes things easy, especially since I live on the third floor and will not be hauling all of these crazy books up and down the stairs :-)  Actually I will probably become good friends with my local library as well, and then if I come across anything I feel like I want to read again, I can pick up a copy.  I thought about just going down the list in order, but I am going to have to jump around and pick and choose what I am in the mood for, otherwise this project will take ten times longer than it already will!  And just for the record, the books are not in any particular order. 

100 Books to Read Before You Die

1.    The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien
2.    The Road Less Traveled - Dr. Scott M. Peck
3.    Catcher in the Rye - J. D. Salinger
4.    In Cold Blood - Truman Capote
5.    To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6.    War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
7.    The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
8.    The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
9.    Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
10.  World War Z - Max Brooks
11.  Education of a Wandering Man - Louis L'Amour
12.  Watership Down - Richard Adams
13.  The Illiad - Homer
14.  The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
15.  The Color Purple - Alice Walker
16.  Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand
17.  Paradise Lost - John Milton
18.  Ulysses - James Joyce
19.  Dracula - Bram Stoker
20.  Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
21.  A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
22.  Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
23.  1984 - George Orwell
24.  Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
25.  Gone With the Wind - Margaret Mitchell
26.  Shogun - James Clavell
27.  For Whom the Bell Tolls - Ernest Hemingway
28.  The Stand - Stephen King
29.  Lady Chatterley's Lover - D. H. Lawrence
30.  Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
31.  The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde
32.  War of the Worlds - H. G. Wells
33.  A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
34.  The Prince - Niccolo Machiavelli
35.  The Art of War - Sun Tzu
36.  The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne
37.  Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson
38.  Something Wicked This Way Comes - Ray Bradbury
39.  Starship Troopers - Robert A. Heinlein
40.  Deliverance - James Dickey
41.  Lord of the Flies - William Golding
42.  The Dark Night Returns - Frank Miller
43.  Season of Mists - Neil Gaiman
44.  The Princess Bride - William Goldman
45.  Eaters of the Dead - Michael Crichton
46.  The Pillars of the Earth - Ken Follett
47.  Night - Eli Wiesel
48.  Exodus - Leon Uris
49.  Contact - Carl Sagan
50.  You Can't Go Home Again - Thomas Wolfe
51.  On The Road - Jack Kerouac
52.  Blubber - Judy Blume
53.  Foundation - Isaac Asimov
54.  The Stranger - Albert Camus
55.  The Trial - Franz Kafka
56.  Rabbit, Run - John Updike
57.  Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoevsky
58.  The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - C. S. Lewis
59.  The Long Goodbye - Raymond Chandler
60.  Absalom, Absalom! - William Faulkner
61.  Grendel - John Gardner
62.  Hour of the Dragon - Robert E. Howard
63.  The Executioner's Song - Norman Mailer
64.  Cop Hater - Ed McBain
65.  Moby Dick - Herman Melville
66.  A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court - Mark Twain
67.  McTeague - Frank Norris
68.  A Game of Thrones - George R. R. Martin
69.  Fight Club - Chuck Palahniuk
70.  Titus Groan - Mervyn Peake
71.  Slaughterhouse-Five - Kurt Vonnegut
72.  Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea - Jules Verne
73.  The Divine Comedy - Dante
74.  Don Quixote - Miguel De Cervantes
75.  Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe
76.  Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
77.  The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
78.  Charlotte's Web - E. B. White
79.  One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
80.  The Magus - John Fowles
81.  Foucault's Pendulum - Umberto Eco
82.  Middlemarch - George Eliot
83.  Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
84.  The Complete Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
85.  The Complete Shakespeare - William Shakespeare
86.  Rosemary's Baby - Ira Levin
87.  I am Legend - Richard Matheson
88.  The Complete Plays of Aristophanes - Aristophanes
89.  The Science of God - Gerald L. Schroeder
90.  The Maltese Falcon - Dashiell Hammett
91.  No Exit - Jean-Paul Sartre
92.  Alexander of Macedon - Harold Lamb
93.  Battle Royale - Koushun Takami
94.  We Have Always Lived in the Castle - Shirley Jackson
95.  Band of Brothers - Stephen Ambrose
96.  Ancient Inventions - Peter James and Nick Thorpe
97.  The Telltale Heart and Other Writings - Edgar Allen Poe
98.  The Call of the Wild - Jack London
99.  The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - Frank Baum
100. The Canterbury Tales - Geoffrey Chaucer

I am not sure if I will be able to make it through all of these.  But I do want to make at least a good faith effort.  I am already somewhat nervous about The Illiad and Shakespeare...they will probably be towards the end of the list :-) 

The first one I chose was The Stand by Stephen King.  I have had this one on my list of books to read for a while, but just have not gotten to it.  Since I already had it, I figured it was as good a place to start as any.  Luckily it has not given me nightmares yet, but I am only 20% of the way through!



  1. Hmmm... could be a good list to bring to my book club! I started something similar - I am reading a bio of each president, in order. (NOT all in a row; my brain can't take that.) I'm about to embark on James K. Polk - how exciting does THAT sound?!?! Good luck with the project!

  2. Wow, that's quite a list. I already read a lot, but I'm definitely not this cultured :)!