So this is a bit of a departure from travel content and I haven't posted in so long, but 2020 really got me back into reading and introduced me to so many amazing books.
I've taken a break from travel content because frankly I've been a bit down about not being able to travel. I decided to lose myself in books instead and I managed to read 60 books in 2020. My TBR (to be read) is now so long I'm wondering if I'll even manage to read all the books I want to in my lifetime.
In an effort to diversify my reading a bit, I was furiously searching ‘books to read before you die’ on google. Until one day I came across a really clever Medium article where they had compared a few different lists and merged them to create their own mega list.
I absolutely loved this idea but this particular compilation had a bit of a male bias as they included a list aimed at men, so I decided to create my own mega list using the same principle.
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HOW I CREATED MY OWN MEGA LIST OF BOOKS TO READ BEFORE YOU DIE
I compared and combined 12 lists (detailed at the bottom of this post) and sorted the books by the number of lists they featured on and the average position it held on the lists.
So for example my number 1 entry featured on 9 of the lists with an average position of 20. Number 2 was also on 9 lists, but an average position of 29, and so on.
There were 687 books mentioned in total over the 12 lists (entire series’ count as one).
If I came across a book from a series I changed it to the entire series and removed any duplicates on the same list. There are probably some I’ve missed, but honestly I’d had enough of staring at excel for so long, and my mind was blown from the formula’s on my spreadsheet.
If a list was in no particular order, I just used the order it was in. So it’s not an exact science.
Ok so onto the books. What follows is my mega mega ultimate amazing list of 100 books to read before I die. Some I’ve already read, if I read it recently I have given my rating out of 5. If I read it too long ago to remember if I liked it I have marked it (R) and will go back and re-read it so I can rate it.
For my own purposes I’ve also marked the ones I own, but haven’t read with an (O).
100 BOOKS TO READ BEFORE YOU DIE
THE MEGA LIST
The Year of Magical Thinking
The Code of the Woosters
Life After Life
Kate Atkinson (O)
The Line of Beauty
Are You There, God? It’s Me Margaret
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Arthur Conan Doyle
The Secret Garden
Frances Hodgson Burnett (O)
In Cold Blood
The Fault in our Stars
John Green (R, O)
Daniel Defoe (O)
A Christmas Carol
The Hunger Games Trilogy
Suzanne Collins (R, O)
The Book Thief
Markus Zusak (O)
The Big Sleep
Daphne Du Maurier (O)
War and Peace
The Woman in White
Wilkie Collins (O)
Robert Louis Stevenson
W G Sebald
The Old Man and the Sea
William Makepeace Thackeray
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
On The Road
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
Michael Chabon (O)
Gone With The Wind
The Scarlet Letter
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
A Passage to India
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Diary of a Young Girl
A Tale of Two Cities
Anne of Green Gables
LM Montgomery (O)
Never Let Me Go
Kazuo Ishiguro (O)
A Clockwork Orange
Heart of Darkness
Gillian Flynn (R, O)
Miguel De Cervantes
Of Mice and Men
John Steinbeck (R)
The Little Prince
Antoine De Saint-Exupery
A Wrinkle in Time
JRR Tolkien (O)
The Grapes of Wrath
Tess of the D’Ubervilles
The Handmaid’s Tale
Things Fall Apart
Ray Bradbury (O)
Charles Dickens (O)
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
EB White (R)
The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe
Lord of the Flies
The Wind in the Willows
Crime and Punishment
Brave New World
Aldous Huxley (O)
The Count of Monte Cristo
Charlie & the Chocolate Factory
Roald Dahl (R, O)
Louise M Alcott
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Gabriel Garcia Marquez (O)
Harry Potter Series
JK Rowling (R, O)
His Dark Materials
Philip Pullman (O)
The Lord of the Rings
The Catcher in the Rye
To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee (O)
The Great Gatsby
F Scott Fitzgerald
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll (O)
Charles Dickens (R)
George Orwell (O)
Pride and Prejudice
Okay, so now what?
My plan now is to read and rate them all.
I know, it’s going to take me a few years to get through them. My target this year is to read 100 books but there are so many books not on this list that I want to read too. I might aim for 2 a month which will take me what, 4 years?
So I shall say by 2025 I aim to have completed this entire list.
I will keep the list updated with my ratings as I go along. Feel free to use my list and join my in my challenge. Let me know if you do!
On a personal note...
There are probably going to be some changes around here on the blog. I’ve been so disheartened with the world, (not mentioning any names here *cough* coronavirus *cough*) that I am avoiding most things travel related currently.
I planned a whole trip to New Zealand for 2021 which is now not going to happen. So I stopped editing my videos and photos. I stopped reading other blogs for inspiration. I abandoned my instagram.
I’m planning on including new content which isn’t exclusively travel related (yes including books). So watch this space…
The 12 lists I used to make my mega list:
BBC - The Big Read
Medium - Top 200 Books of All Time
Medium - Creating the Ultimate 100 Books List
Vulture - 100 Most Important Books of the 2000's
OCLC - Top 100 Books
The Guardian - 100 Best Books of the 21st Century
Independent - 40 Best Books to Read in Lockdown
Business Insider - Goodread's 100 Books to Read Before You Die
Business Insider - Amazon's 100 Books to Read Before You Die
Best Books of the Decade according to Goodreads
BBC - The 100 Greatest British Novels
Reedsy - 100 Books to Read Before You Die
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