Books

100 Books To Read Before You Die – Creating My Mega List

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.

More...

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.

This article contains affiliate links. This means I earn a small commission if you use my links, with no extra cost to you.

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 formulas 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 (*) and will go back and re-read it so I can rate it.

You can see all the books I currently own from this list that are waiting to be read on my dedicated goodreads bookshelf.

Lets go…

100 BOOKS TO READ BEFORE YOU DIE
THE MEGA LIST

100

The Year of Magical Thinking
Joan Didion

99

The Code of the Woosters
PG Wodehouse

98

Oliver Twist
Charles Dickens

97

The Giver
Lois Lowry

96

The Alchemist
Paul Coelho

95

Life After Life
Kate Atkinson

94

The Line of Beauty
Alan Hollinghurst 

93

Are You There, God? It’s Me Margaret
Judy Blume

92

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Arthur Conan Doyle

91

The Secret Garden
Frances Hodgson Burnett

90

In Cold Blood
Truman Capote

89

The Fault in our Stars
John Green (*)

88

Robinson Crusoe
Daniel Defoe

87

Lucky Jim
Kingsley Amis

86

A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens

85

The Hunger Games Trilogy
Suzanne Collins (*)

84

The Book Thief
Markus Zusak

83

The Big Sleep
Raymond Chandler

82

Rebecca
Daphne Du Maurier

81

War and Peace
Leo Tolstoy 

80

Brideshead Revisited
Evelyn Waugh

79

The Woman in White
Wilkie Collins

78

Treasure Island
Robert Louis Stevenson

77

Austerlitz
W G Sebald

76

The Trial
Franz Kafka

75

Mrs Dalloway
Virginia Woolf

74

The Old Man and the Sea
Ernest Hemingway

73

Vanity Fair
William Makepeace Thackeray 

72

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Rebecca Skloot

71

Les Miserables
Victor Hugo

70

On The Road
Jack Kerouac

69

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
Michael Chabon

68

Gone With The Wind
Margaret Mitchell

67

The Scarlet Letter
Nathaniel Hawthorne

66

Madame Bovary
Gustave Flaubert

65

Bleak House
Charles Dickens

64

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Junot Diaz

63

Moby Dick
Herman Melville

62

A Passage to India
EM Forster

61

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Mark Twain

60

Invisible Man
Ralph Ellison

59

Dune
Frank Herbert

58

The Diary of a Young Girl
Anne Frank

57

A Tale of Two Cities
Charles Dickens

56

Anne of Green Gables
LM Montgomery

55

Never Let Me Go
Kazuo Ishiguro

54

A Clockwork Orange
Anthony Burgess

53

Heart of Darkness
Joseph Conrad

52

Gone Girl
Gillian Flynn (*)

51

Emma
Jane Austin

50

Don Quixote
Miguel De Cervantes

49

Wolf Hall
Hilary Mantel

48

Slaughterhouse Five
Kurt Vonnegut

47

Of Mice and Men
John Steinbeck (*)

46

The Little Prince
Antoine De Saint-Exupery

45

Gullivers Travels
Jonathan Swift

44

A Wrinkle in Time
Madeleine L’Engle

43

Ulysses
James Joyce

42

Dracula
Bram Stoker

41

The Stranger
Albert Camus

40

The Hobbit
JRR Tolkien

39

The Grapes of Wrath
John Steinbeck

38

Lolita
Vladimir Nabokov

37

The Corrections
Jonathan Franzen

36

Atonement
Ian McEwan

35

Tess of the D’Ubervilles
Thomas Hardy 

34

The Handmaid’s Tale
Margaret Atwood

33

Things Fall Apart
Chinua Achebe

32

Middlemarch
George Eliot

31

Farenheit 451
Ray Bradbury

30

David Copperfield
Charles Dickens

29

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Douglas Adams

28

Charlotte’s Webb
EB White (*)

27

Midnight’s Children
Salman Rushdie

26

The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe
CS Lewis

25

Lord of the Flies
William Golding

24

Beloved
Toni Morrison

23

The Wind in the Willows
Kenneth Grahame

22

Crime and Punishment
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

21

Brave New World
Aldous Huxley

20

The Count of Monte Cristo
Alexandre Dumas

19

Charlie & the Chocolate Factory
Roald Dahl (*)

18

Little Women
Louise M Alcott

17

One Hundred Years of Solitude
Gabriel Garcia Marquez

16

Anna Karenina
Leo Tolstoy

15

Animal Farm
George Orwell

14

Frankenstein
Mary Shelley

13

Catch-22
Joseph Heller

12

Harry Potter Series
JK Rowling

11

His Dark Materials
Philip Pullman

10

The Lord of the Rings
JRR Tolkien

9

The Catcher in the Rye
JD Salinger

8

To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee

7

The Great Gatsby
F Scott Fitzgerald

6

Wuthering Heights
Emily Bronte

5

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll

4

Jane Eyre
Charlotte Bronte

3

Great Expectations
Charles Dickens (*)

2

1984
George Orwell

1

Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen

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 60 books again 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…



Want to hear more from me? Sign up to receive my emails now!

Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like

>